Parliament washout: Rahul fails to back threat, Modi invites him to chat; none of it makes sense

If we worked the way our elected representatives did in Parliament we would lose our jobs in a jiffy. Imagine answering only 50 of the 440 questions put up during the session and working only 19 hours and 22 hours in the two Houses respectively. The Lok Sabha lost 92 hours to noise and disturbance and the Rajya Sabha (wise old elders) 86 hours.

That comes to roughly 30 minutes a day of splintered work.

Congress leaders meet the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on 16 December 2016. Image courtesy PIB

Congress leaders meet the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on 16 December 2016. Image courtesy PIB

Congress leaders meet the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on 16 December 2016. Image courtesy PIB

And we, the people, kind of accept this complete lack of sanctity as par for the course. It is amusing, it is cute, it is ‘what else do you expect?’ tolerance by a nation that allows it.

It is disgraceful and the fact is that all of these MPs will get their full perks and privileges for this season without any consequences whatsoever rankles.

We’d get our salary cut if we stayed away or created a ruckus or disrupted the office. They’ll get a free pass. They do not even think they did anything wrong by doing nothing.

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To cap this dereliction of duty we see today a photograph of Rahul Gandhi in convivial not so confrontational ‘fireside’ chat mode with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Where was the need for Modi to give this person an audience so soon after he and his cohorts had held Parliament at ransom. Pro-Modi folks will say oh, it is deep strategy, he’s disarming Rahul, see, he is confusing him by killing him with kindness, what a smart move. Really? Here is a man who said just a couple of days ago he had a smoking gun. He publicly accused the Prime Minister of corruption. Then he whimpered into Parliament and kept his mouth shut. No bullets in the chamber…literally.

The legendary Erle Stanley Gardner once had Perry Mason say if there is a gun in a story it better go off for the story to fly. Rahul Gandhi’s gun never goes off. He cocks it, takes off the safety, brandishes it around and then does nothing more than threaten to shoot himself in the foot…and even that he does not do.

Surely, there must be some laws in our country against libel and if you so publicly say you have earth shattering evidence against the Prime Minister you are compelled to produce it or make a public apology and retract.

If you do neither and just hope the stink from your salvo dirties up the atmosphere sufficiently for your purposes then one has to raise an eyebrow and ask why the PM chose this juncture to cozy up to a guy whose conduct scarcely qualifies him for a personal meeting with Modi. It is almost like he is appeasing him. A BJP supporter said it was a stroke of genius that Modi told Gandhi we must meet more often like this.

I asked him why he thought that.

And he said, arre, good move, he is confusing him, can’t you see.

No, I cannot.

Indeed, much as we deny it, it is the media that keeps Rahul in the limelight and feeds the monster of his mass communication. Why we do it is probably broken down into a simplistic ‘well everyone is doing it’ sentiment that defies media’s own value system.

So like the kid who cries ‘wolf’ Rahul Gandhi may get his headlines but his credibility has hit rock bottom.

Even if he produces a rabid rabbit from his hat no one will listen to him.

He has not only insulted the elected leader of the country but he will also get away with it.

First Published On : Dec 17, 2016 15:45 IST

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