Why Rahul Gandhi’s movie outing is none of anyone’s business
New Delhi, Dec 20: Love them or hate them, public figures lead enormously stressful life because of regular scrutiny on them. As the spotlight is always on them, from politicians, actors to sportspersons, lives of celebrities/public personalities are no less than reality television shows.
On Monday, when the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly election results were out, Rahul Gandhi reportedly went and watched the latest Hollywood blockbuster, Star Wars, at a theatre in the national capital.
Apparently, his simple act of visiting a theatre and watching the film with a couple of friends was captured on camera by members of a television crew and became fodder for debate about the new Congress president's "suitability as a politician".
On Tuesday evening, TV news channel, Times Now, aired a news programme detailing why the 47-year-old politician is not serious about his job-politics-because on a day when the Congress lost elections in both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the scion of the Gandhi family went for a movie outing.
The news channel not only infringed on Rahul's privacy by airing details about his personal life, but the news anchor hosting the programme also gave Rahul "gyaan" (knowledge) about how he should be a 24X7 politician like Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
As soon as the news debate started, simultaneously, the hashtag----#AreYouSeriousRahul--trended on Twitter.
The new Congress president once again found himself in the dock. From political opponents to common man, several people on the micro-blogging site raised questions about Rahul's commitment to politics and public work.
The heated debate surrounding Rahul's report card as a politician started because the Congress president (probably a movie buff like Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal) decided to have some "me time" enjoying the fantasy-science fiction.
Without mentioning in which theatre Rahul enjoyed the film (citing security concerns), the Times Now report stated that during his movie outing, Rahul was accompanied by a few friends.
The news report took a dig that on a day when Rahul was supposed to analyse what went wrong for the Congress in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections, the new Congress president was caught enjoying a film.
Many also lambasted the news channel stating that the story reeks of nervousness and desperation of Rahul's opponents.
An attempt to dilute Rahul Gandhi's growing image as the most deserving Prime Ministerial candidate for 2019. Opposition's nervousness and desperation at full display. RaGa's public appearance are self-evident. And so is #TimesNow journalistic standards. #AreYouSeriousRahul—Sanjukta Basu (@sanjukta) December 19, 2017
Over the years, Rahul has built a reputation of being a reluctant and seasonal politician, who often leaves his party abandoned in the midst of important political events to go for long vacations.
This election season, however, the Congress presented an energetic, committed and matured politician, Rahul, who campaigned extensively in Gujarat for several months.
In fact, the Congress is giving Rahul all the credit for winning 77 seats in the Gujarat elections and thus restricted the BJP to only 99 seats (just seven seats more than the majority mark) in the 182-member state Legislative Assembly.
It is not that Rahul went missing after the election results were out like in the past.
Accepting the defeat and showering credit to the supporters of the Congress for getting a fairly good deal in the Gujarat polls by winning 77 seats, Rahul tweeted on Monday, "The Congress party accepts the verdict of the people and congratulates the new governments in both states. I thank the people of Gujarat and Himachal with all my heart for the love they showed me."
"My Congress brothers and sisters, you have made me very proud. You are different than those you fought because you fought anger with dignity. You have demonstrated to everyone that the Congress's greatest strength is its decency and courage," he added.
A day after the Gujarat result, Congress president said the polls had delivered BJP a "zabardast jhatka (terrific shock)" that exposed PM Modi's credibility crisis.
Reports say that the Congress president will visit Ahmedabad on Wednesday for a three-day-long review meeting of the party. Several senior Congress leaders are expected to take part in the meeting as well.
"The main objective of the meeting is to scrutinise the results of Gujarat assembly elections," stated a Congress leader.
So, next time Rahul watches a movie in a theatre or enjoys a meal outside (which he often does), photographers should either stop filming the politician (as those are his private moments) or news anchors should stop picking up such mundane details about anybody to keep the standards of journalism high.