“I know that men are won over less by the written than by the spoken word, that every great movement on this earth owes its growth to great orators and not to great writers.”
– Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1925.
Since the dawn of time, the world has played host to great leaders who became great by way of their words. Words, they articulated straight into the listener’s heart. And as someone very aptly pointed out – to become a great orator, one needs to be a student first.
As Kanhaiya Kumar finds himself free from the grip of law, it appears as if time has dawned upon a budding politician. In fact, after listening to his speech, it would be safe to say that there’s actually a lesson or two that our present crop of ministers can learn from Kanhaiya Kumar’s motivated speech in JNU last night. And who better than Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi to begin with?
Mr. Gandhi has had a political career of over 8 years during which, the governance has been served to him on a platter more than once. It takes a special set of skills to turn your biggest strength into your biggest weakness.
To make matters worse for himself, Rahul has a way with words which doesn’t always work in his favor.
Rahul Gandhi, who could have been the progeny of political discourse in the country, is now widely referred to as a figure of dubious and laughable connotations. His speech delivery, his content and even his analogies have come under fire by almost everyone on the board. Even loyal Congress supporters seem to have been disillusioned by the charm of Rahul Gandhi’s conviction.
At a time when the Congress leader strives to come out of the fix he finds himself in, comes a PhD student whom nobody even knew a month ago. This PhD student was served with a platter of hatred and jail sentence when he first came into limelight.
If you have seen JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar’s speech from JNU last night, you have in all probability witnessed the dawn of a politician. Agree or disagree with his ideologies, but when he speaks, he claims your attention like no other politician has, in recent times.
Thus, it won’t be totally unfair to say that Rahul Gandhi needs Kanhaiya Kumar more than Kanhaiya Kumar needs any eminent personality, right now. And by that, we don’t imply garnering sympathy votes but actually learn a few vital tips on public speaking.
Here are a few lessons that Rahul Gandhi can learn from Kanhaiya’s school of oratorship:
1. Clarity of thoughts
The country has witnessed the fall and rise of Kanhaiya Kumar in the last one month. Kanhaiya’s biggest skill is his clarity of thoughts that he efficiently put to use every time he was on a public domain to talk about his cause. His cause of ‘aazadi’ from the miseries of our times was manipulated with him being anti-national but that did not deter him from articulating his thoughts into well constructed comments of snark.
2. Sarcasm and wit
Kanhaiya Kumar’s personal angst against the establishment finds a way through sharp-witted snark and sarcasm to make it to public domain. The fact that he doesn’t want people to feel pity for him exemplifies his courage and perseverance.
His personal angst against the system for being wrongfully convicted, for witnessing his family’s trial on national television, hasn’t made him take to unlawful means. Instead, he embraced his plight in the garb of sarcasm and wit, as is apparent in his quotes.
3. Delivery of speech
Kanhaiya’s voice reeks of influence from his native state which establishes his identity as one among the masses. This makes for a strange, incalculable connection with his audience. His command over the language and articulation of badly-pronounced hindi words is his biggest strength. That tells something about the evolution of the orator in him, something Rahul Gandhi needs the most right now.
4. Body language
On occasions when Kanhaiya Kumar has taken to public portals, his speeches have been inclusive and communicative, which comes from the way he constructs his sentences. However, when it comes to Rahul Gandhi, there’s always ALWAYS a one-way communication that graces the eco-systems around him. The inclusiveness of Kanhaiya’s speeches comes from his body language and his hand gesture that hint at invitation and approachability.
5. Established Ideology
While we take sides on Kanhaiya Kumar, there’s one thing we can all agree on, that Kanhaiya Kumar clearly has a well established ideological intellect that directs his words and actions. We may agree or disagree with his ideology, but that is his biggest weapon.
His ideas on the wealth distribution may find some takers and haters but he is very clear about his vision. And that’s what separates him from Rahul Gandhi, in whose case, accusations make up for most of his speeches, with little or no light on ideologies.
While there are many more intricate elements in Kanhaiya’s speech that could come handy for Rahul Gandhi, let’s just say here’s a start.
Designs by Aroop.