Dear RaGa,
Rahul baba. Namesake. The nation watched you on the idiot box, making a bit of an idiot of yourself. Wasn’t a great interview, dude, even you’ll admit.

Illustration/ Amit Bandre

Talk to me, as one Rahul to another, why did you pick Arnab as your first TV interviewer? The man might rave and rant, but when required, can narrow down to a razor sharpness. He came prepared, you came to pulpit-ise. By comparison, Modi and the muffler guy are very careful about their ‘TV TRPs’.

Yours was like a one-way exhibition match. RaGa vs ArGo. Except one guy shows up to ingratiate, the other
to interrogate.

Frankly, to me, you came off as a really cool guy. I’d like to hang with you. In a nation presided over by goondas, you are a thorough gentlemen. So refined in an atmosphere of roguishness.

Can I suggest just a few things? Throw them out the window if they’re not useful.

First of all, sack your media advisory team, your image make-over guys and your speech writers. They prepared you for a sociology paper, when the exam was politics.

All that textbook, ‘mugged up’ rhetoric about ‘empowering women’. Forget it, you can’t. At least not till you’ve disempowered men. Starting with Chhattisgarh cops who molest adivasi women and then get a gallantry award.

The point is, play to your strengths. For starters, turn your boyish charm into Barack-like charisma (Man, if only dimples could guarantee development.)

Become India’s Obama. Women dig him, men want to be him and the young, love that he loves Led Zeppellin. The guy’s a rockstar.

Next, shed this old-fashioned, fuddy-duddy Gandhi image. I know you feel this lineage thing, this sense of filial duty, you ‘watched your granny and dad die’ saga. But that dynasty argument has passed its sell-by date. Break free, man, of Sonia, of your sister, of the Sardar, of the sycophants surrounding you. You have so much inherited baggage, you’re thousands of kilos overweight.

And finally, what an opportunity you have. Fifty per cent of our population is below 25. That’s your potential voter base. Sixty million people want a young leader, a straight forward, straight talker. India wants to love its PM.

Modi terrifies us and Kejriwal, we know, is playing us.

You could be our knight in shining achkan.

Chalo, you’ve lost Lok Sabha 2014. Don’t waste your time trying to regain lost ground.

Plan for 2018. You’ll still be under 50.

I have voted in the past for good governance, and other hogwash promises. And got nothing for it.

So this elections, I’m cynical enough not to expect change, or corruption to diminish. What I do want is the leader of a nation, not an NGO.

Go bro, the world is your oyster.


Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62

The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper.