#AreYouSeriousTimesNow – Can Rahul Gandhi Enjoy a Movie in Peace?
Times Now, there are enough real issues to debate, you can leave the imaginary ones alone.
Times Now, there are enough real issues to debate, you can leave the imaginary ones alone.(Photo: Altered by The Quint

#AreYouSeriousTimesNow – Can Rahul Gandhi Enjoy a Movie in Peace?

The hour of the prime time has struck, and Times Now’s Rahul Shivshankar has a breaking news story. Angry, bold letters on the screen scream ‘HARD FACT’ – Shivshankar must be leading up to something important. In a slow, juicy reveal, Shivshankar lets us know that Congress president Rahul Gandhi was watching Star Wars at a cinema hall, hours after his party lost the elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

‘#AreYouSeriousRahul?’ we ask. After the votes had been counted, the political slugfest for the day was done and dusted, EVM rigging allegations had been made and dismissed, you dared to do something recreational on your own personal time – are you serious?

Wait, back up a bit. We’re not really asking this, because we don’t care! But thanks Times Now, for forcing this inane question down our throats.

Of course this ‘news’ nightmare doesn’t end here – soon enough, Times Now brings in a few people to talk/shout about an issue that has been conjured out of thin air.

We must give credit where it is due. Times Now reported no unverified information – like Shivshankar kept asserting, these were "hard facts".

Apparently, a Times Now reporter was assigned the sorry job of going to the cinema hall and asking the staff, like a nosy aunty, if Rahul had indeed watched a film there that night.

This sting operation of sorts apparently revealed that Rahul had gone to the movies with two male and two female friends. Did your investigation not reveal what kind of popcorn Rahul ordered, Times Now? Or did he not order any at all?

Gasp! What a deviant! Let’s argue it out on the 9 pm prime time slot.

Shivshankar then goes on to say “we’re not taking a position here” – an absurd declaration, given that the channel created the #AreYouSeriousRahul hashtag and fanned the trend on social media.

Shivshankar also points out that while Rahul was performing the ‘abhorrent’ act of watching a film in a theatre, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was assessing the BJP’s performance in the election.

But the channel also neglected to mention that the BJP scraped a narrow victory in its home turf, Gujarat, with the Congress and its allies giving it a tough battle. The BJP failed to cross the triple digit mark in the 182-seat Assembly, winning only 99 seats – its lowest in the state since 1985.

The BJP may have emerged victorious in Gujarat, but perhaps it has just as much reason to introspect as the Congress.

Also Read: Gujarat Polls Are Over, But Congress’ Hopes for ‘Navsarjan’ Remain

This election season, Rahul appeared to have come into his own, carrying out the Gujarat campaign on an issue-based rhetoric, and shedding the ‘loser’ label, as several political analysts have pointed out. That being said, there’s no denying that the Congress has to reflect on its performance, and focus on being as prepared for elections as the BJP. But is giving Rahul grief about watching Star Wars on the day of the results really the way to convey that point?

For the sake of journalism, Times Now, take a chill pill!

There are enough real issues to debate, you can leave the imaginary ones alone. As Rahul eloquently says – "May the farce be with you".

Also Read: ‘Aapki Dava Mein Dum Nahi’: Rahul Takes Down FM, Again

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