The spin doctors of our political parties have successfully converted Rahul Gandhi’s television interview into a discourse on the varying degrees of culpability in the incitement of riots (“Rahul triggers war of words”, Jan. 29). It is a shame that the average citizen of India plays right into the hands of the media in the sensationalisation of such farcical political catfights over calamities. The upshot of such trading of charges is prolonged acrimony and politicking. Of what significance is a verdict on which party is the more guilty when the country needs to find stability in the global economic environment? The only lasting solution would be for the administrative machinery to remain neutral, focus on operational efficiency and eschew political partisanship. For how long will we endorse the spectacle of the Bharatiya Janata Party shedding crocodile tears for the victims of the 1984 riots? For how long will we tolerate the Congress harping on holding a rising Chief Minister accountable for an event whose after-effects are diverted into the politically expedient blame-game?

Shahabuddin Nadeem, Bangalore

The performance of Rahul Gandhi during the interview was more than disappointing; it was insipid (“Rahul Gandhi’s ‘interview of the year’ will have disappointed supporters”, Jan. 28). His very body language — sitting on the edge of his seat, leaning forward nervously, letting his eyes dart about, wetting his lips constantly — betrayed his discomfort.

The hallmark of a good leader is self-confidence born out of a deep understanding of his subject and reality, poise, communication skills and the ability to sway his audience towards his way of thinking. Apart from coming across as a mildly endearing simpleton, Mr. Gandhi demonstrated none of these qualities during the interview; he will have to meet many statesmen in his career. Politics calls for a strong will and determination to hold one’s own. But Mr. Gandhi seems more suited to discussing, surrounded by sycophants, sociological theory over a cup of chai.

S. Rajaram, Chennai

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