May 1, 2007

The Spin Work

The UK daily Telegraph’s India based South Asia correspondent Peter Foster in a first-hand account exposes what we all knew before. Foster who was covering Rahul Gandhi’s poll campaign in UP for an article writes:


However suffice to say that his performance in Lucknow was close to terrible. First he had a 'roadshow' which involved zooming round the city with his head sticking out of the sunroof of a jeep while being showered with rose petals and serenaded by a cacophonous oompa band.

This was the warm up act for a 'rally' that evening in the old city of Lucknow which was only attended by a few hundred Congress workers and faithful.

Rahul was clearly furious when he saw the embarrassing turn-out, berating his team of advisers in public, on stage while wagging a finger at the rows of empty seats.

And yet the next morning, as I waited to board a plain back to Delhi, I read in the local newspaper how Rahul had received a welcome the like of which had not been seen in 'living memory' except for the former Indian BJP prime minster Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lucknow's most famous son.

It's interesting how the Indian media has jumped onto the 'son-rise' bandwagon, even though Rahul is a rotten public speaker and, compared to firebrand polulist politicians of Uttar Pradesh, like Mayawati or Mulayam Singh Yadav is about as engaging as a slap on the face with a wet fish.

All of which means there are two parallel universes out there. The one in which Rahul, a product of the international educated classes, stumbles round rural India looking faintly bewildered and the world of the newspapers where he's the coming saviour of Congress.

As we say in our business, never let the facts get in the way of a good story. I suppose the thinking goes that with the help of his Gandhi name and so much sycophantically positive press coverage the legend will outstrip the reality to the point where he does become PM material in the popular mind. [Peter Foster]

As Foster cant read Hindi, I suspect it must be the Congress mouthpiece Hindustan Times that published those ‘glowing’ reports.


Prasanna said...


If my memory does not fail me,i it was CNN-IBN .It flashed headlines "Rahul Storms Vajpayee's bastion"

BTW-Nice Blog.Cant figure out how i missed this before

Just added to my blogroll

RS said...

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