Wanted: Decent Speechwriters

Published: November 6, 2013 - 13:53 Updated: February 3, 2014 - 02:03

I’m not thinking about global warming and rising sea levels these days. I’m more concerned about the rising levels of noise pollution in the run-up to the 2014 general election. Our eardrums are assaulted by speeches, more speeches and even more speeches by khadi-clad orators. Well, since the not-so-bright television-wallahs have foolishly decided that the battle for 2014 is between BJP’s Narendra Modi and Congress’s Rahul Gandhi (despite the fact that the latter has made it clear that he’s not remotely interested in becoming PM), I have decided to analyze the speeches of both. As far as I’m concerned, both their speechwriters need help. 

Modi’s Speechwriter: Now, I have absolutely no idea who this man is but I suspect he’s a failed Bollywood dialogue writer, specialising in villainspeak like ‘kitne aadmi the’ and ‘kutte’! Consider all those cheap and vicious remarks he’s put into poor, dear, innocent Modi’s mouth: 50 crore girlfriends, riot victims being likened to puppies, disparaging references to the PM as a watchman, et cetera. He is also a pathological liar or perhaps delusional when it comes to Modi’s rather modest accomplishments — and so darn arrogant that he refuses to believe that the internet gives the public instant access to the truth. It is because of him that poor, dear, misunderstood Modi has earned the name Feku on Twitter and social media.

To make matters worse, he has no idea how to deal with poor, dear, confused Modi’s latest demand: ‘Make me sound polished and statesman-like, plizz, yaar.’ He’s been scratching his head since and out of desperation has taken to plagiarising speeches by Congress ministers. So far, he’s pinched one of Shashi Tharoor’s speeches and Jairam Ramesh’s statement on how toilets must come before temples. The nation is now waiting with bated breath for the day he forces poor, dear, ignorant Modi to spout Jawaharlal Nehru’s most memorable ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech. And you know what will follow, don’t you? The nation will be outraged, many of us will laugh cruelly, and that harassed school-marmish BJP spokesperson, Nirmala Sitharaman, will have to go on every single news channel and defiantly claim that Modi wrote that speech first before he was born (yes, the BJP thinks voters are that stupid).

Honestly, poor dear Modi should dump him as soon as possible, before he becomes a bigger embarrassment. The speechwriter really needs to spend quality time in a
padded cell.

Rahul Gandhi’s speechwriter: I don’t know who he is either, but I visualise him as a retired DU professor — an affectionate grandfatherly type who knew Rahul when he was a baba and will always think of him as a baba. This, to me, is his biggest mistake. Yes, Rahul is taking baby steps in the world of politics but that doesn’t mean his speechwriter should give him baby talk. I mean, what’s with this ‘mummy says’ nonsense? To us it sounds like ‘mummy says colas are poison, mummy says we should always eat vegetables, mummy says we should brush our teeth before bed’, et cetera.  Granted, Indian men are obsessed with their mummies. Cricket god Sachin Tendulkar had announced to the public that he wants his mum to watch his last-ever match — dear god, this made front-page news in one of India’s leading English dailies! And Bollywood has shown us the roughest, toughest heroes like Dharmendra and Amitabh bleating the word ‘Ma’ with glycerine glistening in their eyes.

Fortunately, Rahul’s speechwriter is finally letting his academic side show. I cheered madly at the ‘escape velocity’reference he made in a speech to Dalits. And while Rahul’s Rightwing hecklers may be sneering at it (according to the snobs, Dalits are woefully ignorant, and would never have got it), I can tell them to go stuff it. Science is good — never forget that Rahul’s daddy was the person who promoted the introduction of computers to India — and people (particularly Rightwingers) sneered at him then too. Cut to today, and guess who had the last laugh!

We also love Rahul’s ‘Tear it up’ speech (ref: that nasty ordinance that sought to negate the Supreme Court’s order that convicted lawmakers can’t continue in office). The boy became a man that day by standing up for citizens.

So, yes, Dear Speechwriter for Rahul Gandhi, go with those ‘tear it up’ kind of speeches, go with science, but do leave mummy completely out of it, will you? Honestly, it makes us cringe.   

This story is from print issue of HardNews