Rahul at Mt Carmel
Rahul Gandhi trolled as he watches Vijender Singh vs Kerry Hope boxing match. Picture: Rahul Gandhi addressing Mount Carmel school.Twitter

A Bengaluru girl has lashed out at the media for their "misconstrued" and "exaggerated" reports about Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi during his visit to Mount Carmel College on Wednesday, while thanking him for his "inspiring interaction."

Several reports had surfaced on Wednesday, claiming Rahul Gandhi was stumped by the students of Mount Carmel College when he asked questions about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet projects such as 'Make in India' and 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'.

Several media outlets had reported that when Gandhi asked students if Modi's campaigns were working, they responded with a loud yes, embarrassing the Congress leader. 

However, this girl from Bengaluru has a different version to share. Elixir Nahar wrote an open letter "to ‪#‎RahulStumped‬ Enthusiasts" on Facebook on Thursday, giving details of her side of the 25 November interaction. 

She rubbished the claim that Rahul Gandhi was stumped and said that there were mixed reactions to his questions.

This is how that exchange in question went, minus the hullabaloo surrounding it:

"Do you think Swachh Bharat is working?"
"YES/NO"
"Really?"
"NO/YES!"
"Ok. I don't think it's working"

And

"Do you think Make in India is working?"
"YES/NO"
"Then do you think more jobs are being created?"
"NO (Majority)"

She accused the media of misrepresenting facts. 

"To deliberately cut these circulating videos is to cut off our voices. I felt an iota of what Mr. Gandhi must be feeling on a regular basis, thanks to misrepresentation by the media. To have the screams of my peers and I shouting "NO, IT'S NOT WORKING" to be cut off and tuned down like that," she wrote.

She praised Rahul Gandhi for having a seamless interaction with the students of the college, appreciating his efforts to strike "a chord with the audience right from the start".

"He opened with why he chose our college in particular. He spoke about societal norms: What is 'pretty', what is 'skinny', how irrelevant these terms are to him, and why women are so important in his life - his grandmother, mother, and sister. He was humourous, and he struck a chord with the audience right from the start, before jumping into the nitty gritty," her post read.

She further wrote that Rahul wants to revive the party and give it a new face, one which is devoid of corruption.

"The best part was that he recognised corruption in higher levels of the Youth Congress. He admitted to things going wrong in Congress which led to their loss in 2014. He spoke about rejuvenating the party and giving it a new face and image," the post read.

Those 'No Ragging' posters you vaguely see around educational institutions could be put to good use this week. They must all be collected and sent to Indian media houses country-wide! It has arisen to be the need of the hour, considering the events of November 25th, 2015 - the day we'd fondly remember as 'Mr. Rahul Gandhi's (memorable?) visit to Mount Carmel College'. If I had a few hashtags to throw around, they would be on the lines of ‪#‎Misconstrued‬ and ‪#‎Exaggerated‬, and this is from someone on the inside.

Didn't get your invitation? Don't worry, it wasn't lost in the mail or anything. It was lodged with all the other invites to media houses in P.O box: Sorry You're Not Invited.
As we students made our way past the lurking media and into our college campus, the fact of the matter was - this is about us, not them. It was going to be a friendly interaction between him and us, discussing matters that concern the youth and the country. We were definitely eager to see how he had tailored his interactive speech to suit our audience of young women.

He opened with why he chose our college in particular. He spoke about societal norms: What is 'pretty', what is 'skinny', how irrelevant these terms are to him, and why women are so important in his life - his grandmother, mother, and sister. He was humourous, and he struck a chord with the audience right from the start, before jumping into the nitty gritty.

What touched most of the audience was Mr. Gandhi's emphasis on 'starting a conversation' about all the issues. He informed us about how his government was being shunned out of Parliament, to the extent of their mic being turned off while they are speaking, despite them being the Opposition and still having a foothold in there. He brought us up to speed on how the central government has not once been open to starting a conversation with them, about anything under the sun that concerns the citizens. He drew up examples from the past, when former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was in office, and how he would pick up the phone and directly call the Opposition just to have a conversation. Let me add that these facets arising on the eve of the Winter Session in Parliament could be more than a mere coincidence.

He emphasised the need for a collective ruling body, and that change cannot be brought about by just one man, including himself. He said the body should be made up of people like us and that we should be allowed easier access into politics, including Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. These were all facets that resonated well with his young audience. Questions were raised about the GST Bill, the 'Suit-Boot Sarkar' the situation in the North East, tolerance in India and opportunities for differently-abled citizens. He was understanding and answered seamlessly.

Read the full post here.

 (With IANS inputs)

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