political past

This old video of Narendra Modi and Jairam Ramesh shows politicians could also laugh and be graceful

The Congress leader and the future prime minister exchanged light-hearted banter while making their points.


“I am in fear, there is no humour left in public life because of this fear. Everyone is scared. I am in fear.” This is how Prime Minister Narendra Modi explained the lack of jokes in his speeches (that narrative has changed since demonetisation) to Arnab Goswami in that interview in 2016.

With politicians tearing viciously into one another in recent times, a trend that almost no one is exempt from, good humour and grace between political adversaries is a thing of the past. Literally, as this TV discussion from more than a decade ago shows.

Years before he became prime minister, and even before he became the chief minister of Gujarat, Modi, then the BJP’s general secretary, appeared on a television show with Congress leader Jairam Ramesh hosted by journalist Vir Sanghvi. Both the politicians were younger and less bitter.

“I think the Congress is being honest when it says that it will not try to topple the [NDA] government,” Modi said when asked by Sanghvi about the Congress’s intentions. “Because the immediate goal and strategy of the Congress is to finish the Third Front and win back their voters to the Congress. And till that is accomplished, they will not turn to us.”

To this, Ramesh who seemed impressed by the analysis, promptly replied: “Modi sahab, if you’d like to leave the BJP, then there’s a vacancy for you in the Congress.”

“You’ll face lots of problems, I am from (the) Sangh parivar,” said Modi with a laugh. The exchanges did not descend to rancour, and the debate continued with restraint and cogency.

On social media, inevitably, this exchange has been turned into an “epic response by Modiji”, while others have noted an early sign of Modi’s interest in haute couture.

The change in Modi’s public persona was noted too.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Bringing your parents into the digital fold can be a rewarding experience

Contrary to popular sentiment, being the tech support for your parents might be a great use of your time and theirs.

If you look up ‘Parents vs technology’, you’ll be showered with a barrage of hilariously adorable and relatable memes. Half the hilarity of these memes sprouts from their familiarity as most of us have found ourselves in similar troubleshooting situations. Helping a parent understand and operate technology can be trying. However, as you sit, exasperated, deleting the gazillion empty folders that your mum has accidentally made, you might be losing out on an opportunity to enrich her life.

After the advent of technology in our everyday personal and work lives, parents have tried to embrace the brand-new ways to work and communicate with a bit of help from us, the digital natives. And while they successfully send Whatsapp messages and make video calls, a tremendous amount of unfulfilled potential has fallen through the presumptuous gap that lies between their ambition and our understanding of their technological needs.

When Priyanka Gothi’s mother retired after 35 years of being a teacher, Priyanka decided to create a first of its kind marketplace that would leverage the experience and potential of retirees by providing them with flexible job opportunities. Her Hong Kong based novel venture, Retired, Not Out is reimagining retirement by creating a channel through which the senior generation can continue to contribute to the society.

Our belief is that tech is highly learnable. And learning doesn’t stop when you graduate from school. That is why we have designed specific programmes for seniors to embrace technology to aid their personal and professional goals.

— Priyanka Gothi, Founder & CEO, Retired Not Out

Ideas like Retired Not Out promote inclusiveness and help instil confidence in a generation that has not grown up with technology. A positive change in our parent’s lives can be created if we flip the perspective on the time spent helping them operate a laptop and view it as an exercise in empowerment. For instance, by becoming proficient in Microsoft Excel, a senior with 25 years of experience in finance, could continue to work part time as a Finance Manager. Similarly, parents can run consultation blogs or augment their hobbies and continue to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Advocating the same message, Lenovo’s new web-film captures the void that retirement creates in a person’s life, one that can be filled by, as Lenovo puts it, gifting them a future.


Depending on the role technology plays, it can either leave the senior generation behind or it can enable them to lead an ambitious and productive life. This festive season, give this a thought as you spend time with family.

To make one of Lenovo’s laptops a part of the family, see here.

This article was produced on behalf of Lenovo by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.