Nothing to say: Rahul Gandhi on mute.

Nothing to say: Rahul Gandhi on mute.

Rahul’s sound of silence

Why is the Congress party’s election campaign on Mute?

Asif Syed | New Delhi | 25 March, 2014 | 09:40 PM

Why is Rahul Gandhi, the face of the campaign, silent in every campaign video?

The Congress party’s election campaign is literally at a loss of words.

And this speechlessness is being led by the party mascot Rahul Gandhi.

Every election campaign advertisement after advertisement features a soundless Rahul Gandhi. The first set of advertisements featuring his “hand-picked” brigade of youth leaders did all the speaking and claimed that they were just mouthing his thoughts and ideals. A smiling (and silent) Rahul appears at the end of the advertisement at the head of a large group of similarly “inspired” young people. The second set of advertisements being broadcast on television go one step further. They feature just the smiling faces of poor Indians interspersed by clips of Rahul talking to similarly impoverished Indians. However, one can’t hear what Rahul is saying because his voice is on mute and is covered by the soundtrack and voiceover.

The saving grace is that these campaign videos actually try and to some extent succeed in communicating something of the party’s message.

While the effectiveness and the ‘high concept’ intention of these advertisements can be debated what is a fact is that in none of the advertisements does Rahul ever speak directly to the voter. It is always other people – the youth leaders or the voiceover – who are doing the talking for him. Rahul, inexplicably is silent.

But I guess just his silence was not enough for Rahul Gandhi. It seems that he does not want anyone to be heard at all!

That is the only explanation that I can come up with for this latest masterpiece from the Congress party posted on YouTube by Ajay Maken.

Check out the video here:

The video is called “Congress ki Yuva Avaaz” but for the entire two minutes and seven seconds of the video there is no “Avaaz” at all! The video is just clips of Rahul Gandhi sitting in a circle talking to other Congress people, very few of whom are even “Yuva”. Aargh, the irony.

What is the Congress party trying to say? That they like to sit in a circle and talk to each other? That they what they are saying to each other is so stupid that it has to be covered up by a soundtrack so no one can hear them? That old people if they are not heard and only seen will actually come across as young people?

What is the video meant to communicate? Is it a riddle? Is it High Art? Is it a trick to confuse and confound the opposition and voters alike?

Seriously, what are they up to?

The Congress party will be spending more than Rs. 500 crore on its election campaign and this is a gross wastage of party funds in such a critical election. The Congress party should take strict and immediate action against the people responsible for approving an election campaign of such low standards.

But who are the individuals responsible? Why, its none other than Ajay Maken, (featured in the video) who is the head of the AICC’s Communication Department and Rahul Gandhi who heads the Publicity and Publication Committee.