Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is no stranger to media coverage. Born into a family of national leaders, he became a Member of Parliament in 2004, soon after his entry into politics. Viewed by many as the Congress' Prime Ministerial candidate, he has frequently found himself the focus of vitriolic trolls and political rivals, even as his gaffes receive widespread coverage.
The frequent trolling is not a new phenomenon. Over the years, much has been said by Opposition leaders at all levels as well as ordinary citizens about Gandhi's political moves as well as his personal life. But now, it would seem that Gandhi is hitting back at critics.
"Bring it on trolls!" reads the caption for a short video he posted on Instagram. In it, the Wayanad MP can be heard discussing how his actions and remarks frequently end up becoming fodder for news coverage and fresh criticism.
The Congress leader on Tuesday held a video interaction with Indian economist Kaushik Basu, discussing a wide variety of topics from the Indian political scene and his party's electoral defeats to the imposition of Emergency by his grandmother and more. The former Chief Economist of the World Bank, Basu had also been India's chief economic advisor in the past. He is now a professor at Cornell University.
Clips of the interaction were shared on social media by Gandhi as well as the Congress party's official handles. And even as many reacted to the Congress leader's assertion that the imposition of Emergency had been wrong, or debated his vision for the Congress, Gandhi had more to add.
"You will see...there will be something that I've said that will be twisted out of context. It'll be all over the Indian newspapers...and they'll run it. And that's just the way it is. But I'm okay with that," he can be heard telling Basu even as the latter laughs.