Amidst conversations on net neutrality in India and the ecommerce giant Flipkart pulling out of Airtel Zero, another development in India that was trending and garnered interest during the week was Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi returning for his eight-week long sabbatical. Largely a political news, Rahul Gandhi’s vacation coverage was more than what Indian media covered during elections.
Despite Congress’s poor performance at the general elections in 2014, Mr Gandhi’s absence had created panic in the India media. Why is it so hard for people to accept that Indian politician can go on vacation too? Speculation about his whereabouts had served ample content for social media and television news during his absence. Also there was no dearth of memes and spoofs depicting Mr Gandhi’s vacation plan.
My personal favourite was the parallel between Batman and Mr Gandhi. His father was killed when he was a kid, he left without informing anyone, he was at a secret location and has returned with special powers and a new personality. Rahul Gandhi is indeed Batman. But what does he plan to do with his special powers? Well…he is going to meet farmers from different states and launch a comeback campaign. Hmm…let us see how well that goes.
Mr Gandhi may not have made an impressive mark during his election campaign but is the top trend on Twitter following his return. #RahulReturns, #RahulGandhi was trending on Twitter and during his leave of absence Twitteratis were speculating his whereabouts and how exactly does he plan to ‘introspect’ on his and party’s future. Trends such as is #RahulOnLeave and #WhereIsRahul had kept social media users engaged and some supporters worried. “Yo man! Your agyaat-vaas is just as good as ours!” Pandavas to Rahul. #RahulReturns,” Roflindian had Tweeted.
“All I’m saying is he’s been relaunched so many times, this better be a 13 Inch Gold, Rahul Gandhi Air with Retina Display,” Tweeted Vir Das. Mr Gandhi’s 58-day sabbatical, vacation abroad (most likely Southeast Asia, but country not confirmed) and his return has given Indian audience enough content to play around and there is no dearth of creativity in this nation. I am not sure how long Rahul Gandhi will be trending on Twitter but I will get something new for Trending in India next week!