Back in the 80s when I was a kid we lived in a place called Bidar an arid town with extremely hot climate in the northern part of Karnataka, it was election time and we were told that Indira Gandhi would be coming to our dusty town to address a gathering so our school declared a holiday and asked all children to attend this gathering compulsorily. On the D day we had all assembled in the hot sun in a huge field scheduled as the venue for her speech it was thronged by truck loads of people carried and brought from nearby villages. We waited for four long hours as they kept saying her arrival was delayed due to her busy schedule. Finally the iron lady as she is often referred to I do not know why, arrived swiftly in a black sari and kept waving for the next 15minutes till the crowds stopped cheering. She then began her speech in Hindi but alas most of the rural crowd assembled there did not understand what she said even as many ladies gaped at her fair skin and whispered how white and clean she was in this hot sun. The workers who stood in between us like soldiers occasionally hinted at us to cheer and clap and we clapped fearing they might scold us.
A year later we shifted to Bangalore we had got a color TV probably one of the first houses in our area to possess one. We had many neighbors visiting us to watch that news on Doordarshan. Back then the enthusiasm to watch these moving images at home was so very high that we switched on our television sets even before the scheduled time and waited impatiently looking at the blank screen that buzzed like rain. Then the official doordarshan logo the globe would revolve like a heavenly object in the background of the signature tune of doordarshan that was composed by Pandit Ravi Shankar with the help of Shenayi expert Ustad Ali Ahmed Hussain Khan in the saare jahan se accha tune. The sheer excitement it incited in us makes it a nostalgic moment of our lives. There were no set top boxes and no remotes required and the whole family watched it with peace and tranquility without wrenching for that remote.
News then was brief and covered all headlines national and international read by neutral non-judgmental non-opined pleasant voiced readers like Meenu, Mrinalini, Geethanjali Iyer, Salma and others that was quiet legendary. There was no melodrama high drama no sensations no breaks or breaking news and no barking as well it was just plain news and not views. It was read focusing on the problem and not on the person giving its viewers ample scope to analyze and interpret it with their own wisdom and sense.
The monopolistic political syndicate understood the significance of the wide substantial promotion the visual image could yield them hence slowly mobilized it as a propaganda tool, soon often we saw Indira Gandhi waving and walking briskly, shaking hands and getting garlanded everywhere.
In 1991 the Narasimha Rao government liberated the broadcasting industry leading to the advent of many foreign channels like CNN, Star TV, MTV that replaced our national channel by hooking millions of naïve and impressionable viewers.
Today every news channel markets itself claiming they are the best and it’s their impact that got the authorities to deliver, news hour debates are more like fish markets where each seller screams to woe his customer, the customer being the poor viewer here it is quiet dramatic to see politicians and media anchors acting as entertainers expressing and emoting forcing their opinions on others and making personalized attacks against the panel deviating from the topic and derailing the discussion without any fruitful consensus. Patriotism, integrity, national interest and tolerance is a thing of past all that sells today or rather marketed is vehement usage of complicated English coupled with arrogance and unconnected interrupting arguments leaving the viewer feeling dithered and stressed.
What news falls under prime time is often decided by the TRP ratings, the judgmental notions of the media editor and not to miss out the pseudo secularists’ big weight and big money that could win them a ‘ big fight’. The terms ‘secular’, ‘dalit’, ‘minority’ and their due appeasement in their vocabulary is like chanting shubashitas. Why should a secular media call it as a ‘dalit judge’ or ‘dalit raped’ I was not aware of the many casts in Karnataka until the media spoke of the Vokkaliga vote bank or the Lingayat vote bank. With this kind of divisive talks echoing everywhere I wonder how long it would take us to simply classify people as educationally and economically empowered or weak.
It is these economically and educationally backward classes who are contained from decades with the same social status that form the vote bank of the UPA government who polarize issues of poverty and secularism making a mockery of the nation’s poor. Today’s polity is not about principles and nation’s growth but all about pocket filling calculations and verbal scoring points
When you cannot belittle an enemy best thing to do is to equate yourself with him. This is what the congress is doing by comparing an able statesman like Mr.Modi with a spineless and naïve puppet like Rahul. I have not seen a single talk show with Sonia or Rahul on any of these news channels debating about the perennial problems of India and taking a stand on it. The media should invite Rahul and give him a fair chance to discuss and prove his political ability and connect with people through this wide network of modern media. I wonder how some able veterans in the congress can unquestioningly tolerate dilution in administration by silently promoting dynastic rule even at the cost of being ruled by totally unworthy scions. The ones shielding and praising her highness Sonia and the Royal simpleton Rahul are pronounced saints who deserve holy-grail and are promoted rapidly. But how is this monopoly achieved? What is more powerful plain white skin or pure black money?
Its time our politicians owned up some moral responsibility instead of peevishly nit-picking and passing the monkey off their backs blaming opposition for every other incident. The venomous mid-day meal episode that killed 22 children in Bihar is noteworthy to debate how can a Government wash its hands off by saying the opposition planted poison and filth in the meals, the UP government should act responsibly and apologize to the people and own up their short comings. The involvement of nefarious elements if any should be investigated and guilty punished instead of refusing to own it up.
Every other debate revolves around defaming and demonizing Mr.Narendra Modi blissfully ignoring the development that Gujarat has seen raking up the violence issue on all occasions even when SIT has given a clean chit to Mr.Modi. If Gujarat has scored high in developmental statistics then our prime minister should be graceful enough to congratulate him on his success. Latest debate being US’s visa denial to Modi the media and UPA are busy mocking it instead of questioning the face value of the fact that how can a country like US that drops drones and wages war on muslim nations wear a secular mask by denying visa to Modi. In the hour of uniting nationally against US’s decision to deny Modi a visa the UPA along with the media is busy bickering about Modi’s credentials playing cheap politics coupled with cheap journalism, has the media ever followed up with Rahul Gandhi’s detention in Boston Airport for illegally carrying US$160000. Where did it come from? See links below for more information on Rahul’s Gandhi’s detention in US.
As per these reports if Rahul Gandhi were to go to US today he would be arrested and sentenced to 144years in jail. What happened to the Robert Vadra case? Why is Indian English media downplaying serious corruption issues leveled against top congress men and women?
I wonder if these Media houses which are run by business giants whose revenue runs into millions of rupees were institutionalized mouthpiece of Congress that work like a coterie at all times.
But even after all those stressful debates I must admit that there are a few stress relievers rather entertainers like ‘Renuka Choudary’, ‘Manish Tiwari’ and the intelligent and always arrogant ‘Mani Shankar Aiyar’.
Because of the numerous scams emerging the congress needs more spokespersons to browbeat journalists and fool the common man hence recently even the sex scandal tainted minister Mr.Abhishek Manu Singhvi has been brought back honorably.
Whenever there is an extremely important issue which has gone out of hand the Congress resorts to their Hydra headed warriors like Ms.Renuka Chaudary who seems more like an unaccomplished Bharathanatyam dancer throwing her emotive irrelevant expressions often when she is countered and cornered but she still vehemently argues with that cynical smile shaking her head questioning panelists like a school teacher if they believed in law or not when the actual debate is all about why there were dilutions of those laws. Then she quickly resorts to dubious interruptions and personal attacks which is a great strategy to hijack the issue thereby denigrating the prime time news hour.
Next savior is Mr.Manish Tiwari the Wordsworth of congress who never answers the query but goes back like a time machine defending all scams with an epee of sophisticated English and justifies all their scams by digging the fossils and filth of the opposition. That filth I do not know why it lingers so long without getting resolved even after 20-30years. Maybe the ruling party keeps many cases pending against the opposition so that these cases can be raked up n number of times and used as a face saving shield to cover up their own misappropriations. Of late Manish Tiwari is believed to be mentoring congressmen in spokesperson ship along with the English coach Mr.Shashi Tharoor. See link below about Manish Mentoring skills http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=180618
Another bigwig of congress Mr.Mani Shankar Aiyar the euphemist who always forgets to take his BP pills on time he keeps the media, opposition and his own peers speculating as even he is not sure what he might utter the next minute. All those who question him will be slandered and slapped tight with brazen high headedness and colossal English vocabulary.
The English media is profusely propagating Rahul as the next PM, youth icon and things like that I wonder why these videos of Rahul were never aired on CNN IBN, NDTV or Times Now
Today the media is a power-house which can arm-twist anybody who points a finger at it, it can thump and rise to get justice to a Jessica Lal or it can simply black list someone like it did to Mr.Rajiv Dixit’s mysterious murder. Are they becoming kangaroo courts succumbing to political pressure for personal gains misleading millions failing to unravel the truth demeaning the very nobility of journalism?