Rahul Gandhi has scripted an inspiring journey from being ‘the reluctant politician’ to the strongest challenger to the Modi government. It certainly merits being retold on celluloid.
- A biopic on the personal and political journey of Congress President Rahul Gandhi has reportedly gone on floors.
- The trailer showcases how Rahul grew as a person and a leader amidst deep personal tragedy, failures and unwarranted ridicule.
- While dynasty did give Rahul an edge, the trailer appears to argue that his journey to the top leadership of the Congress has been anything but smooth.
- The director of the film views Rahul’s rise as an inspirational story on countering defeat and failure.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi has travelled a great distance over the past four years, from being perceived as a reluctant politician to the firebrand who has repeatedly challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself to a debate on the Rafale controversy (without an affirmation from the latter yet).
The ‘reluctance’ is nowhere in the picture nowadays, as Rahul leads the attacks of the Opposition against the government from the front, whether the issue is GST, violence, joblessness, Rafale or farmer distress.
While he is a scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, Rahul Gandhi has brought in his individual style of political leadership. The BJP and its alleged ‘troll army’ have tried to discredit Rahul on many occasions, but the people of the country are now beginning to take notice.
Little is known about the personal life of Rahul Gandhi, and what shapes his perspectives and ideas. But in an interesting update, a biopic on Rahul Gandhi’s personal and political journey has now gone on floors. Titled My Name is RaGa, the movie is being directed by Rupesh Paul, and its trailer was released today.
A BED OF ROSES? NOT QUITE
The trailer portrays how Rahul Gandhi was leading a happy childhood before the tragedy of his grandmother Indira Gandhi’s assassination. After that, the trailer shows him as an introvert who is prone to mood swings. He loves his father Rajiv Gandhi deeply, but is afraid that he (Rajiv) will be killed as well. Sadly for Rahul and the nation, that fear proved to be true.
After Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, it is well known that the Gandhi family moved away from active politics, before Sonia Gandhi led the Congress party to a spectacular electoral victory in 2004.
However, Sonia Gandhi refused to take the PM’s position and chose Dr Manmohan Singh for the top job. Critics of the Congress often used to say that Dr Singh is merely keeping the seat warm till the time Rahul takes over.
There is no denial of the allegations of dynastic influence on the Congress in the trailer. It showcases a conversation where Dr Singh is telling Rahul that it is time for him to shine (by implication, take up leadership). But Rahul does not want to take up leadership, even if it is ‘on a platter’ for a simple reason. He does not think that he is ready.
Later, the trailer gives glimpses on the personal attacks by Narendra Modi on the Gandhi family, where he compares it to the Mughal dynasty. In a press conference, Rahul Gandhi is being asked by the press if he will fail again. He replies firmly, “My grandmother and father died for India. It will be an honour for me if I can even fail for this nation.”
The trailer also appears to showcase Congress’ recent electoral victories that have stalled its slide in the face of the Modi wave. Lastly, a woman tells Rahul that she loves him because he taught his haters to accept him as their beloved Raga. To this, Rahul responds with a wink. The allusion to the famous hug with Narendra Modi in Parliament and the subsequent wink by Rahul Gandhi are unmissable.
STRENGTHENED BY FAILURE
Biopics have been the flavour of the season of late. The Accidental Prime Minister, which was based on the tenure of Dr Singh, has already generated a lot of hue and cry from the Congress for its negative portrayal of the Gandhi family. The open support of the BJP to the movie on Twitter gave it a clearly political colour. The movie named Thackeray on the life of late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray has witnessed polarising reactions as well. A movie on Narendra Modi that will star Vivek Oberoi is already in the works, and the teaser itself obscures little on the leanings of the film.
Speaking on the movie My Name is RaGa, director Paul comments, “The movie has no intentions to glorify Rahul or to demystify him… It’s the story of a coming back of a human being who had been ridiculously attacked. Anyone who has fearlessly confronted defeat and failure can relate to this story. In that sense, I don’t want to call this a biopic, it’s a story of any man who becomes unstoppable after he wins over a catastrophic life.”
If you dispassionately look beyond the propaganda overkill on dynasty, Rahul Gandhi’s ascent to the top leadership of the Congress has not been easy. He has faced terrible personal tragedy, several electoral debacles and an enormous amount of criticism and ridicule from all quarters.
And yet, Rahul has remained humble, admitted to his mistakes and grown as a person and a leader to take the baton of party leadership at the right time.
Indeed, even though he still has a long way to go, Rahul Gandhi’s inspiring journey so far from ‘Pappu’ (as his opponents have tried to label him) to a tiger whose ferocity is giving them sleepless nights, is worth retelling on celluloid.