An attempt to know, understand (and ultimately, transform) that which occurs on the fields of play - India (her politics, media, music) and beyond ...

Monday, January 02, 2006

Chetan Sharma: Javed Miandad :: Rajdeep Sardesai: Sonia Gandhi

If the title needs explaining, you are probably not familiar with the notorious Sharjah cricket match. Allow me to explain: faced with what was once a near-impossible task of scoring 4 runs off the last delivery to win the match, Javed Miandad is treated by Chetan Sharma to a full toss. A full toss that is smashed for a six, handing the game and the championship to Pakistan.

In this case, it's not so much that Sonia Gandhi is Javed Miandad - indeed she is a Courtney Walsh (or a McGrath) with the bat. It's that Rajdeep is SO Chetan-like that even Sonia cannot seem to be anyone other than Miandad (for the most part). Sonia's government has been in office for nearly 2 years now - a period where they have excelled in various acts of constitutional violations, pompousness, pusillanimity, corruption and administrational incompetence. So you would think Sonia would have a real tough time explaining her government's performance, but think again - you haven't reckoned on Rajdeep coming to the rescue!

In what is billed to be the "first major interview since turning down the PM's chair" Exclusive: Sonia's interview Part I, Sonia is lobbed so many full tosses that it seems more like a promotional public relations exercise by Rajdeep's organisation! Even then, we hardly get any response of significance from this sphinx! What a low our country has sunk to that this lady is (for all practical purposes) the Prime Minister, and the media has nothing to say other than this apology of an interview!

Rajdeep gushes, starts by calling her "arguably the most powerful person in the country", and then proceeds with laughable questions and some times setting up responses for Sonia that she can readily agree with, such as:

    So India will not be thwarted by terrorism?
  • Yes, we saw that after the Volcker Report you took action. So that is a clear message [any one found guilty of corruption will be held accountable] you are sending out. (My comment: Wow, really? How long did it take for the ministry to be prised out of Natwar's vice-like grip?)
  • So will the money go to the needy in the Rural Employment Scheme?
  • Will this government last a full five-year term?
  • Have you thought of any role for him [Rahul]? Or have you always left it for the party to decide?
  • PM Manmohan Singh rated his performance as a six on 10 in a private conversation to me. How would you rate him? He is a man who doesn’t like to trumpet his own achievements.
  • [Secularism]'s an issue which your family over the years has fought for, right from Jawaharlal Nehru. Do you believe that that concept is under threat in India today? Like in the case of terrorism?
  • Are you saying that if Sonia Gandhi makes a resolution, she keeps to it?
  • When you look at yourself today and you look at the Congress Party, do you look at it as furthering Rajivji’s legacy?

What can be more annoying than the questions that Rajdeep asks? The responses from Sonia! This lady does not go beyond the most worn-out cliches: there is no depth, no analysis! I shudder at the thought that this is the lady responsible for running the country!

How does Rajdeep sign-off?

Well, Mrs Gandhi, if you’re not the most powerful person in India, I don’t know who is! But thank you very much for joining us.

This analysis has been interrupted due to a sudden bout of gagging experienced by the author ... the program will be resumed when the author has recovered!


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