Dear Arnab, thanks for trying to take an interview of Rahul Gandhi

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On January 17, 2014, Rahul Gandhi played a heroic innings in front of a 'home crowd' at the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) meet. He wasn't made the party's prime ministerial candidate on that occasion, but he somewhat made it up through a fiery speech, at least in form if not in content, to boost the demoralised supporters.

[Read: What Rahul Gandhi told in interview to Times Now]

Ten days later on January 27, the Gandhi scion gave a one-to-one interview to one of India's most-dogged television journalist, Arnab Goswami, and it was a damp squib. After seeing the pyrotechniques at the AICC meet, one would have expected a revamped Rahul Gandhi for at least till the elections but ten minutes into the interview, the future leader of the grand-old party was clearly struggling to make the ends meet in an alien environment. In the mind of a true Congress supporter, this interview of Rahul Gandhi would give birth to a deep fear, and that is about an uncertain future.

Rahul and Arnab were speaking? It seemed Plato and Sir Donald Bradman were conversing

The interview that continued for over an hour led to nowhere. It was a clueless and confusing conversation, something which might have transpired between great philosopher Plato and cricketing genius Sir Donald Bradman, with neither understanding what the other is saying.

Rahul Gandhi wastes a big chance to get close to the middle-class

For Rahul Gandhi, it was a big waste of an opportunity. The man has been mostly seen speaking to election rallies in remote parts of the country. His words have been ridiculed by the urban educated for they are mostly tailor-made for the rural constituencies. But when the Gandhi scion got an opportunity to reach out to that class which will be playing an important role in the next national polls, he was seen falling awfully short of the minimum level of satisfaction.

Why Rahul Gandhi sounds so demoralising?

Rahul Gandhi is not a special orator and his thinking is perhaps too simplistic and confused. But what was most disappointing was his expression of helplessness. He speaks about his family tragedies from a position of weakness and also tends to compromise with somebody launching scathing attack on his family for 40 years and his educational credentials (read Subramanian Swamy). He says he is not scared, but reveals somehow that he is a fatalist who will continue with his 'tirade' against the system even if he is beaten up.

If the face of the country's oldest political party, which is still revered as an institution, talks like an unfortunate loner, then there is very little to expect from its foot-soldiers in a big battle like Lok Sabha elections.

Rahul Gandhi is a man of contradictions

Rahul Gandhi puts up a facade of (over) confidence by saying the Congress will win the next polls. Yet, on an another occasion, he says that electoral losses don't matter. What's important is long-term changes that he aspires to bring in the system. This is contradictory just like his dual treatment of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. At one time, he backs the UPA government's social and political initiatives like MNREGA, Food Security Bill, Aadhar, RTI, Lokpal, etc., at another instance, he openly trashes the same government's credibility on issue like ordinance to shield tainted politicians.

On the question of corruption, the 43-year-old leader reasserts his uncompromising stand but yet doesn't give a clear answer when asked about the party's lack of firmness in dealing with tainted leaders. The man stresses core issues instead of peripheral ones, but nobody knows where the core ends and periphery begins.

He is just another person with a good heart but clueless about how to go about

Rahul Gandhi looks another average good-willed citizen of this country who wants to make a positive contribution but doesn't know how to go about it. He clearly reflects the philanthropic mind of a committed NGO official but doesn't have any grasp on things that are purely political.

Messed-up comparison between Delhi and Gujarat riots

He accuses Narendra Modi as an authoritarian and his government of abetting and aiding riots in Gujarat in 2002. He desperately defends his own party in the 1984 riots by repeating the difference in the roles played by the respective governments in the two cases. He said witnesses saw the Gujarat government fuelling the riots and again, he admits that a few Congressmen were probably involved in the anti-Sikh riots of 1984. He felt an entire community shouldn't pay the prices for what two Sikhs had done (assassinating his grandmother Indira Gandhi) and so on.

Incoherent thoughts and words took the eager audience nowhere

The point is: These can be incoherent thoughts of a common citizen of the country but for the leader of a premier political party, there must be a clarity of thought on issues. Rahul Gandhi, during this interview, looked as if he is against Modi just because his party is against him.

The interview never really took off and it was because Rahul Gandhi kept on running from one blind lane to another. Even an unsparing interviewer like Arnab Goswami couldn't find much opportunity to make it a historic moment in the history of his channel because the man sitting opposite to him never expressed his thoughts clearly. "Empowering the women", "including the youth", "I am not fighting a superficial battle", "I will take on the system", "the system needs to be opened up", etc were words that were flung around but nobody ever got answers to the three most-important questions asked in the journalistic circuit: What? Why? and How?

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