Wednesday, May 20, 2009
While everybody would like to annoint Rahul G as the latest messiah, I have an interesting take and wd like to point out the role played by the media in general in shaping our collective approach towards politicians, this time around.
These are ads, films and television exposes with political overtones that have been aired over the last 3-4 years. These have sub consciously raised our level of expectation from the political establishement and in a way also influenced our behaviour when it counted.
a) Tata Tea - remember the politician who is accosted by a calm young man and asked for his qualification to run the country !!
b) Idea Cellular - janta bole Naa to Naa.
c) Rang De Basanti - the film with Aamir as protoganist and its unabashed angst against the political class.
d) Crusades run by TV channels (specifically NDTV) towards exposing the politician criminal nexus while covering the BMW case, the Jessical murder trial, etc
e) Lead India and Bleed India campaigns run by TOI.
i think collectively all these gave vent to our cynisim towards politicians and helped formulate a sharper response towards both corrupt politicians as well as those who seek to divide and rule.
And as far as Rahul G is concerned, i still think, Chaddi pahen ke Fool khila hai.....fool khila hai.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Beautifully displayed in this great Haat are political animals of all kinds - ranging from asses, horses, buffaloes, vultures, hyneas and tigers. All freshly washed, sorted and neatly lined up. A casual view showcases their fresh and attractive appeal, pleasant demeanour and their colgate smiles. But touch them, feel them, question them and you know their core is nothing but sheer crassness, deadly fangs and gnawing teeth. One moment you observe them making the right diplomatic announcements and overtures, giving the right bytes to the paparazzi and just the next they would be changing colour, contracdicting what they said earlier.
The smiles and cordiality displayed is misleading. Animals like Chiranjeevi (Praja Rajyam), Ramadoss (PMK), Rao (TRS), my favourite Mayawati (BSP), Amar Singh and Mulayam (SP), Deve Gowda (whatever his party is called) and Jaya amma (AIADMK ) can make or break the next 5 years of our country. Each is masquerading as a saviour when he or she is nothing more than a lowly pimp, whoring around to sell his MPs to the highest bidder and promises of political gain in his or her home state.
What is chilling is that not one of them, even vaguely, has an agenda for the country ! Its not that others like the Congress or BJP have one, but atleast they have intellectuals who can cobble up one and can respectfully represent and simultaneously do good for the country.
The fact that we would see another election and a spend of 15-20000 Cr again from the central exchequer within 2 years, at a time when the macro economic environment is floundering, could possibly imply increased prices, increased taxes and an increased cost of living in general. That the government would be spending most of the time in managing its disparate allies and their contradictory demands, would mean reduced time for governance and lower focus on issues that truly matter. Plus there is a real and grave danger of being saddled with less than competent people who could severely compromise the image and face that our country has built over the last couple of years on the world stage.
Meanwhile, for another 7 days or so, this supermarket show will go on. Wares are being lined up for sale. Parties are busy changing the point of sale merchandising - announcing new Buy 1, get1 free offers, new improved pricing and using spit and polish to keep the wares looking attractive. Party bosses have begun shopping. Selected animals are being picked and placed in their shopping carts while some other displayed animals are being turned upside down to check their pricing labels. Some animals after having been purchased are even seen jumping shopping carts.
Actually this is not Politics. This is entertainment masquerading as Politics.