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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Arnab v/s Rahul. You say it best...when you say something else..

It was like watching dialogues from two unrelated movies stiched together. Yes, I'm referring to the much celebrated Arnab-Rahul interview. I took to reading the transcript after I found it tough to move beyond the first 15 minutes of the actual interview on youtube. It was one of those videos, where you would rather see a message that says "your program will end and an advertisement will start in 5 seconds".

I read the transcript and then did a Ctrl F in Microsoft Word for a list of the most used/abused words, and kept a count of who blurted them out how many times. And the disconnect between the number of times these words were uttered by Arnab and Rahul should tell you a story. The thingies in italics are my insertions.

Keyword: System
Arnab: 0 times
Rahul: 73 times

Sample (Rahul): The reason children of politicians keep getting repositioned is because the system is closed. You are not going to change that without opening the system, you are not going to open the system without having processes, the system is not going to open by waving a wand and saying Abracadabra let us open the system.

Another Sample: The issue is do you want an open system? (Watch how he paraphrases that complicated concept in the next line.) Do you want a system where these things are out in the open? (Time for reverse sweep) Or do you want a closed system where these things are hidden?


(Trainers: When in doubt, blame the system - whatever be the question. This is vital in surviving Arnab. Suppose he asks you a tough question, like, what do you think about the impact of inflation, don’t say some nonsense and expose your intelligence, or the lack of it. Be smart, say that the real problem is not inflation, the real problem is the system, which we have to change.)

Keyword: Modi
Arnab: 28 times
Rahul: 3 times
Rahul (Indirect): Once

This was possibly the question that was on top of everyone’s mind (Modi versus Rahul, or Modi as PM). Not one straightforward answer. There were seventeen questions in which Modi was mentioned, and there were three responses involving Modi in the answer. 

(Trainers: Naam tak nahin lene ka beta, us manhooz ka. Kuch bolega toh woh kal koi rally mein aake public mein teri chaddi uthaar dega. Yaad rakhna…yeh tera interview hain, Modi ka nahin.

Sample: 
-----
Arnab: Narendra Modi calls you a Shehzada, a) what is your view of Narendra Modi b) are you afraid of losing to Narendra Modi, Rahul please answer my question as specifically as you can?


Rahul: What Rahul Gandhi wants to do, is Rahul Gandhi and millions of youngsters in this country want to change the way the system in this country works. What Rahul Gandhi wants to do is empower the women in this country, wants to unleash the power of these women, I mean we talk about being a superpower...

 
Arnab: You are avoiding the question

Rahul: No I am not avoiding the question (I am actually busy answering another question...can't you see?)


Arnab: My question to you is, what is the Congress Vice President's view of the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate?


Rahul: I think we will defeat the BJP in the next elections (Sonia: Mera beta solid ban gaya hain(wipes a tear).)


Arnab: And what is your view of BJP's prime ministerial candidate?


Rahul: The BJP has prime ministerial candidate (surprise!), the BJP believes in concentration of power in the hands of one person, I fundamentally disagree with that, I believe in democracy
(I believe in 12 gas cylinders because I say so), I believe in opening up the system. I believe in the RTI, I believe in giving power to our people. (I believe I can fly. I believe I can touch the sky. Cmon Arnab, sing with me.)

Keyword: Rahul Gandhi
Arnab: 13 times
Rahul: 6 times

Sample (Rahul): To understand that question you have to understand a little bit about who Rahul Gandhi is and what Rahul Gandhi's circumstances have been and if you delve into that you will get an answer to the question of what Rahul Gandhi is scared of and what he is not scared of. 

(Trainers: When cornered in a personal manner, start referring to yourself in third person. People will think you’re talking about someone else. Saala Arnab ka bhi fuse confuse ho jayega.

Reminded me of a Dilbert cartoon:

Did you notice the difference between the usage of the keywords - Modi and Rahul? Arnab mentioned (or was made to refer to) Modi more than double the number of times he mentioned Rahul (28 versus 13). And Rahul referred to himself in third person twice the number of times he referred to Modi (6 versus 3). That pretty much sums up the recent opinion polls too.

Keyword: Women
Arnab: 0 times
Rahul: 18 times
This one was a googly. There were no questions about women in the 80 minutes interview. However, they just appeared everywhere in Rahul’s responses. Modi, BJP, growth, corruption, Priyanka - whatever be the question, women had to appear. 

Keyword: Process
Arnab: 5 times
Rahul: 24 times
Sample (Rahul): There is a process. See there is a legal process. And that process is on. Okay.

(Trainers: If you think you’re overusing system, try process. Process is an interviewer killer term - Arnab will look like a fool if he responds to you saying I don't want to hear about processes.

Keyword: Power  (and it’s variants)
Arnab: 8 times
Rahul: 39 times

Keyword: Empower
Arnab: 2 times
Rahul: 23 times
Sample (Rahul): Everything we have done over that last 5-10years, in fact if you look all the way back to the freedom movement (now, don't ask me about 1984 riots, I was not there, but I was there in the freedom movement.), every single thing we have ever done is empower people (yes, emergency, riots, corruption, every single thing). We empowered people in the freedom movement, we empowered farmers in the Green revolution (some losers hung themselves later, what am I supposed to do?), and we empowered the citizens of India when we did the telecom revolution (and when we did the citizens in the 2G scam). We have empowered millions and millions. (You wanna corner me? I’ll empower the shit out of you too.)

Keyword: Real issue/Real question
Arnab: 0 times
Rahul: 10 times
(Trainers: Beta, we already discussed this in the inflation question. If you’re clueless about something, insist that the real question is something else…like Sunny Leone for example….anything other than what is being asked.

Other culprits:
Keyword: Fundamentally
Arnab: 3 times
Rahul: 13 times

Keyword: Superficial
Arnab: 2 times
Rahul: 8 times
Sample: Arnab: How is it superficial?
Rahul: It's completely superficial (duh!)

Keyword: Avoid
Arnab: 9
Rahul: 1
Sample: Arnab: You are avoiding the question
Rahul: No I am not avoiding the question.(duh^2)

To top it all, Rahul himself blurted out his interview strategy. Don’t believe me? Here’s the transcript: 

Rahul: It is like in our mythology when they talk about Arjun, he only sees one thing, he does not see anything else, you asked me about Mr. Modi you ask me about anything and the thing that I see is that the system in this country needs to change, I don't see anything else and I am blind to everything else.

Whatever you ask him, he's going to say that it is the system’s problem. It eeez because he eezzzz the blind, my booyyyyyy, he eezzzz the blind, to everything else, and apparently it’s a virtue, like the one Arjuna possessed. Good that you know your Mahabharata, Rahul. But I sincerely hope you have heard of another character in that epic, someone who was used by the Pandavas to slay Bhishma, the fiercest of warriors. But the Pandavas had people who could shoot from behind Shikhandi, the human shield. The Hand-me-down Party simply lacks that kind of firepower, even if Bhishma were to lay down his weapons. 

Oh, btw, that reminds me of something Sheila Dixit didi had said. About a bunch of broom-wielding men from Ghaziabad (aka AAP)! I hope you guys have not outsourced Shikhandi's role to them; it's actually a pivotal role, especially in an era of Arjun wannabes.

Bush, Palin, you should really check out this guy, no kidding!

Disclaimer: The chat transcript is a property of TOI. Used in public interest. I am not responsible for choking, seizures, empowerment, disembowelment, or any other medical disorders you might experience after you click on the link.

4 comments:

  1. Nice Article but are you completely against him because he atleast sat through the whole interview though blabbering only on six pints only. But Mr. Modi had walked away in the middle of his interview when questioned on Gujarat riots.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ankush,
      This is not a Rahul versus Modi interview comparison. What we saw for 80 minutes was the comprehension and communication skills of a person that Congress has chosen to lead a population of 1.2 billion. As for other skills that he might possess, we are yet to see a clear, decisive, and successful demonstration yet, despite being in the public sphere for a decade. Even if Congress wins all 543 seats in the election, I hope they find someone else for the PMs job. Just sitting there for 80 minutes or 5 years will not suffice - we have already seen that in UPA 2, with Dr. Manmohan Singh.

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