Rahul Gandhi is always in the eye of a storm. If it is not his absence during party crisis then, it is clips of goof-ups at rallies and media interactions that hound him for days in the social and news media. Last week was no different. Rahul Gandhi was in the news last week because of a video clip showing him getting ‘stumped’ by a professor asking a ‘tough question’ during an interaction in Singapore. The clip was uploaded by the said-professor and it became viral in no time. Soon it was trending on social media and was picked up by all news channels and portals.
It started debates on his capabilities on TV channels. It made him a trending topic on Twitter for days till the Congress Party shared the complete coverage of the interaction with IIM alumni in Singapore.
Now, we know that it was not the complete truth. This Tweet by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor makes the entire interaction available to the public.
Instead of being taken in by edited & doctored videos purporting to poke fun at RahulGandhi, why not watch & hear what he actually said in this unedited video? https://t.co/JgdYWcySZO
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) March 10, 2018
Another video shared by the Congress party today shows that the Congress president has a spiritual side that very few are aware of. Opening up to questions on his family and its contribution in the political leadership of India, he said that his family has paid great price for doing their job. But, also said that they have “completely forgiven” those who killed his “papa” and “dadi”.
He said that his grandmother and father who had both paid the price with their lives did it willingly for their country.
During the interaction, Rahul Gandhi said that his grandmother had told him that she was going to be killed and that he had told his father that he was going to die.
He said that his grandmother was killed by the same guys he used to play badminton with. His father went down when a suicide bomber blew him up during an election rally in Tamil Nadu in May 1991. The bomber was an LTTE recruit, the terrorist group in Sri Lanka led by Prabhakaran.
On being asked how he felt about it, he said, “We (he and Priyanka) were very upset and hurt and for many years we were quite angry. But, somehow, completely…in fact, completely (forgiven).”
Speaking on the LTTE leader Prabhakaran’s death he said, “There is a history that when one realises that when these events take place, it’s collision of ideas, forces, confusion. That’s where you get caught. I remember when I saw Mr Prabhakaran on TV lying dead, I got two feelings – one was why they are humiliating this man in this way.
“The second was, I felt really bad for him and for his kids and I did that because I understood deeply what it meant to be on the other side of that thing. So to me when I see violence regardless of who it is, I know that there is a human being behind that, there is a family behind that, a kid crying behind that. I have been through a lot of pain to get this and it is something I consider very valuable. I find it difficult to hate people, even my sister does.”
He further said, “We knew that my father was going to die. We knew that my grandmother was going to die. In politics, when you mess with the wrong forces, and if you stand for something, you will die. That’s pretty clear.”
Asked if he thinks he had a privileged life being the son, grandson and great grandson of former prime ministers, he said, “It depends which side of the coin you are… of course there are a number of privileges where I sit, but I would not say that I haven’t been through a rough ride.”
“I was 14 when my grandmother was assassinated. I used to play badminton with those who killed my grandmother. I saw my grandmother die and then, them die. After that my father was killed. So you live in a particular environment… surrounded by 15 guys from morning noon and night, I don’t thinks that’s a privilege. I think that’s quite a hard thing to deal with,” he said in a video shared by the Congress party on its Twitter handle.
— Congress (@INCIndia) March 10, 2018
He said that he has been surrounded by 15 guys since 1984 which is almost like house arrest.
He spoke about the phone call he had received on his father’s death and said that he had already guessed that he was dead upon being told that there was some “bad news”.
Recounting his days in Harvard where he had gone for higher education he recalled an anecdote where the FBI updated him and his guardian on security in case of a terrorist attack on him and remembered how he found his guardian crying at the end of the security drill saying, “it is the most evil thing I have heard.” Rahul said, “that’s the price of previlidge I guess.”
It is perhaps the most-revealing chat that the Congress president, now 47, has had about his personal life and growing years which have till now been a very closely-guarded family secret.