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Flashback 2015: When Modi turned maun, Rahul Baba baatoonee

By Maitreyee Boruah

What happens when the most talkative boy in a classroom turns secretive? And, the quietest kid suddenly becomes garrulous?

Such changes in personality traits never go unnoticed, for sure.

Rahul Gandhi & Narendra Modi

Indian political scenario is also witnessing a similar unfathomable situation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, known as a powerful public speaker and communicator, has suddenly decided to become a private person. On the contrary, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, seen by most as Modi's bete noire, has developed an aggressive behaviour to express almost all his views.

Modiji, please speak up

Is the mantle of Prime Minister too heavy to let the incumbent speak without any fear or favour? Such a possibility can't be denied. Even Modi's immediate predecessor, Manmohan Singh, who served the country for two terms, was hugely lambasted by his opponents for maintaining a stoic silence surrounding the corruption scandals that plagued his government.

In fact, it was Modi, the then Gujarat chief minister, who had called the former Prime Minister ‘maun' Mohan Singh.

What would make Modi talk?

Modi, who has always been on the forefront when it came to verbal tirade against his opponents, is not even answering the queries of his voters, forget attacking his competitors.

Modi's new-found love for silence and solitude became suffocating even for his admirers when he failed to immediately condemn the dastardly episode of the lynching of a Muslim man, Mohammad Akhlaq, in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, on the suspicion of eating beef.

Modi's reticence seems to have become a habit now. Be it the growing agrarian distress, the escalating food prices or the award wapsi episode, maverick Modi decided to act meek, by refusing to talk on important national affairs. Or, is it Modi could care less?

Modi loves foreign tours

However, in foreign shores (as he travelled across the globe in 2015), the Prime Minister slips into his old personality--charismatic and interactive--with much ease.

These days, Modi does not like to interact with the desi media, which is evident as he has hardly given any interview in the recent times. Yes, there is of course his pet radio programme, Mann Ki Baat, where he addresses the nation every week. But in most of the episodes his speeches were lackluster, without any mention of important issues.

Rahul Baba's new avatar

So, should we think the reluctant politician has finally got his groove back? Or, is it a forced act to remain relevant in politics?
By now, Rahul Gandhi's dilemma is known to all. The scion of the Gandhi family was forced to jump into the political arena by his mother to save the dynasty. Since his arrival, Rahul was a non-starter. Every time the Congress tried to push their Baba to the limelight, he proved to be a disappointment.

Rahul simply can't speak, say political observers. He was also termed as too naïve and childish to rule the nation one day (as the Congress desperately continues to hopes).

Holiday rejuvenates the Congress scion

Rahul gave the nation a good amount of shock when he returned from his much-discussed holiday in some secretive foreign location earlier this year.

Rahul landed in India with his new-found energy. He went to Parliament and took on Modi directly. In his recent public appearances, Rahul tried his best to speak at length.

He was also instrumental in disrupting both the monsoon and winter sessions of Parliament. See critics, Rahul is talking and attacking.

Isn't it what Indian politicians are supposed to do? Just talk and forget serving the nation? While a few are impressed, the rest feels it's a forced act as Rahul tries to fit into his new expected role.

Since political pundits have failed to crack the puzzle of Modi's maun and Rahul's baat, should we consult psychologists to describe such unexpected human behavior?

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