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15 Questions NDTV’s Ravish Kumar Should’ve Asked Rahul Gandhi But Did Not!

If you remember this word ‘pliable’, it was used by none other than Rahul Gandhi on an ANI Editor over PM Modi’s interview. The choice of word by Rahul had received condemnation from the media community as well. The interview in which Rahul Gandhi chose to use ‘pliable’, actually did not restrain the interviewer from asking any questions whatsoever, from demonetization to GST, to Ram Mandir, among so many others, and PM Modi had answered all the questions.

But now, when Congress ecosystem is hailing Rahul Gandhi’s interview with Ravish Kumar of the NDTV, we list some specific instances where a neutral journalist might have asked the much obvious counter question to Rahul’s answers but Ravish Kumar chose not to do so for reasons best known to him. After presenting some facts, we leave the readers to decide whether this interview is ‘pliable’ or not.

1.

Rahul’s claim

Our fight is against those who undermine institutions. He cites the press conference of four Supreme Court Judges etc to back his argument.

Counter question not asked

Your party and your family itself has the dubious history of imposing an emergency on the nation. Congress has a track record of making CBI a ‘caged parrot’, apart from bringing impeachment proceedings against the judge it didn’t want – all this mocks this claim. On February 10, 2019, Congress leader Kapil Sibal reportedly issued a veiled threat to the civil servants of the country. The effort of Congress to bring impeachment motion against the CJI was also seen as threatening to judiciary. How can you claim that you will safeguard institutions with such a track record?

2.

Rahul’s claim

I am for taking everyone along. I am all for love. Even if RSS people face difficulty, I will stand for them.

Counter question not asked

If so, did you condemn Mamata Banerjee government for the reported violence unleashed by the TMC workers in West Bengal? The murder of BJP workers is rampant in the state. Under Congress-JDS government in Karnataka, people are being put behind bars for supporting Modi in a democratic way. Few techies were arrested just because they shouted slogans for Modi at your event. Is this your brand of love and the model of taking along all the people with you?

3.

Rahul’s claim

Whether I speak to farmers, women, the youth, they all speak of the fear which is there under the Modi government.

Counter question not asked

The first instalment of money has already reached the farmers’ accounts in the states like Uttar Pradesh. PM Modi in his rallies and interviews gives an account of 9 crore toilets that have ensured dignity to women and 7 crore LPG gas connections that have benefitted women. Do you feel your narrative of fear will stick against these staggering numbers?

4.

Rahul’s claim

PM Modi harbours personal enmity towards my family but whenever I meet him in public, I show love.

Counter question not asked

Then how do you explain that you retain and reward those who personally attack Modi? One of your candidates in UP, Imran Masood had vowed to cut Modi into pieces and you ensured him not only a ticket but party position. People like Mani Shankar Aiyar who hurled worst abuses at Modi come back after a brief suspension from the party. From maut ka saudagar to khoon ki dalali, your family and yourself have been involved in personal attacks against Modi?

5.

Rahul’s claim

We have battled BJP with slogans such as ‘suit-boot ki sarkar’, ‘chowkidar chor hai’.

Counter question not asked

Then why do you have a problem if the opponent says Rajiv Gandhi ended up as Bhrastachari no 1? In fact, “Rajiv Gandhi chor hai” was a slogan minted by the left parties, and used by them after his death also. UPA-1 was formed with the help of the same Left. In contrast, Modi government says it made the rich pay up their dues as it has brought laws like IBC and law on fugitive economic offenders, all of which have not happened during UPA. Don’t you see a contradiction here?

6.

Rahul’s claim

In UPA’s period, I had made it clear that I don’t interfere in the government, which is the job of Manmohan Singh, but concentrate only on party’s affair.

Counter question not asked

But the image that has stayed with people’s minds is perhaps of your act of tearing the ordinance passed by the Manmohan Singh government in full public glare, thereby forcing your will on the government…

7.

Rahul’s claim

You can’t charge us with crony capitalism because we have implemented farm loan waiver in 3 states.

Counter question not asked

There are many reports of delayed and wrongful implementation of farm loan waivers in those states. Apart from this, even if you want to justify this using such parallels, then BJP would say that they have also implemented farm loan waivers in large populous states like Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, and at the national level they have PM Kisan that benefits 12 crore farmers…

8.

Rahul’s claim

PM Modi does only speeches, not a single work has been done with strategy. But we in the Congress government always believed in strategy. We isolated Pakistan and brought peace to Jammu & Kashmir.

Counter question not asked

How can you claim that when powerful countries of the world had stood with India in the instances of airstrikes, the surgical strikes and anti-satellite missile test? When UPA had moved the resolution in UN against Masood Azhar in 2009 it was alone, but powerful nations like UK, France etc came to support India under Modi government, which finally made China backtrack from its earlier stance. BJP would argue that it has brought the terror financing in J &K to its knees. They may also like to ask under whose rule at the centre that the J&K situation had boiled over and Kashmiri Pandits had to be exiled in their own country?

9.

Rahul’s claim

1984 anti-Sikh riots was a tragedy. Whoever was involved in it, should be punished.

Counter question not asked

It is one thing to sympathise it terming a tragedy. But specifically, were Congress workers involved in the riots? You have been offering different versions in different interviews. The specific answer is necessary because Congress often blames BJP for communal ideology. But here is a person who people believe to have led the mob against the Sikh community, has become the Chief Minister of a Congress-ruled state.

10.

Rahul’s claim

We will increase the public investment in healthcare.

Counter question not asked

While you are claiming to do this if voted to power, Modi government would claim that it has already moved in this direction – by ensuring that the poor of this country get treatment under Ayushman Bharat in which both the amount and number of persons covered are greatly more than previous government health insurance scheme. Don’t you feel that ‘we will do it’ message of yours may not appeal to those poor who have already got the operations done using the Ayushman Bharat card and are feeling grateful towards Modi?

11.

Rahul’s claim

Media never took up the Rafale issue..

Counter question not asked

You often made a claim of ‘Rs 30,000 crore to Anil Ambani’ in Rafale, but never backed it up with any document. Even in the Indian Express interview, you have failed to specify the source of your claim. How do you expect media to take your argument on Rafale without evidence?

12.

Rahul’s claim

Election Commission takes no actions against PM Modi’s speeches. It is for the EC to address the concerns about EVMs

Counter question not asked

The EC gave a clean chit to you also. BJP may also level similar allegations against EC. When it comes to EVMs, you find no discrepancies or doubts when you won three states. How does this logic of yours work?

13.

Rahul’s claim

Has there been a pressure on judiciary? Well, why ask me. The four judges of the Supreme Court said it in a press conference.

Counter question not asked

The act of Congress to bring impeachment motion against the then CJI Deepak Misra was also seen as threatening from your side. Legal luminaries who don’t belong to any particular party had opposed this move. Soli Sorabji had said that the move from Congress will harm judiciary. How can you take a moral high-ground with such an arguably arm-twisting move?

If all these were the naturally simple counter questions that any neutral journalist might have asked, there were other obvious questions Ravish Kumar of NDTV refrained from asking. They are here:

14.

You propose Nyay scheme as your vision. First, you quote different amounts in different places. Your advisor says it will come from taxing the middle class. You say that it will be coming from the pockets of Ambani, Nirav Modi and Mallya. Chidambaram says India’s economy is growing, so money will come. But you argue that economy is destroyed by Modi government. Why are there so many contradictions in articulating one single idea?

15.

Series of scams have dented UPA in 2014. Even in this election you and your family are still facing corruption charges. How do you respond to this?

We could add many more questions that needed to be asked by a neutral journalist. But let’s assume that the time frame didn’t allow for an exploration of all those questions. Even if you consider the list of counter questions that was not asked, it raises several questions about the so-called neutrality of this interviewer and the quality of Rahul Gandhi’s leadership in discussing the issues.

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