Sunday March 18, 2018
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When Rahul Gandhi’s tantrum trumps charred toddlers


In a ghastly incident in Faridabad district, two kids were burnt alive, allegedly by some upper caste people of the village. And as it always happens, some cops got suspended, the ministry ordered an inquiry, politicians flocked to the scene, and we are waiting for some compensation to be announced.

That’s what usually happens every time when such an incident takes place. But, India Today TV came up with something different this time. In a race for exclusive content with the ‘exclusive’ watermark running across the screen, there is a severe crunch of quality content as well as the often demanded ‘angle’ these days. Well, angle is very important as there are 360 of them!

What do they do? Every channel is doing the trending story of two ‘Dalit kids burnt alive in Haryana’. Where is the innovation?

Enter Rahul Gandhi – seemingly ‘unhappy’ with some reporters asking whether it is just a photo-op or does it hold some meaning as well – who took them head-on with a vicious use of sentences with ‘poverty’, ‘death’ and ‘insulting’ in an angry vein.

As if it was not all for the usually calm Rahul Gandhi, while he tried to gain access to the aggrieved father, he had an altercation with an India TV group reporter. That was not even an altercation as he merely asked her that he wanted to talk to the victim family and if she wanted to do so, she could go ahead. Later, he even apologised and entreated her to go for the interview with the victim.

Here is the 20-minute video of ‘exploding’ Rahul Gandhi from India Today TV YouTube channel:

What’s important?

What is lost among all this is the charred bodies of two toddlers, so young and innocent. The news channel does not talk about it as the main issue. Rahul Gandhi and his ‘supposed’ attack on the fourth pillar of democracy becomes the prime concern of the nation instead.

This is not just one instance. It happened in the Delhi rape of two kids earlier this week when the rapes were sidelined amid Kejriwal’s verbal attack on central government and Modi.

The same happened with Dadri lynching where the family was asking the people to stay calm, but the media chose to keep fanning the fire of communalism to suit its agenda of squeezing the last drop of a trending news.

This is a sad situation when media becomes a milkman to squeeze the last drop of newsy milk and then adulterates it with its agenda and ‘sells’ it as a premium product.

In present times, it is seldom the political parties that play the politics of hate or death. Rather, the media channels have emerged out as the biggest polarisers and sell-outs to various political parties singing their tunes on their convenience, in the name of serving the society.

Communal death did not stop with Dadri lynching of Akhlaq, rapes did not stop with Nirbhaya, farmer suicides did not stop after the media hue and cry… But media makes it appear so. Media has the power of keeping an issue alive for its advantage in the garb of being the ‘watchdog’.

If media was any dog, it won’t be the watchdog; it is a savage beast that tears apart its prey to satiate itself.

Here, the prey is any news that has a shock value. Any news which some editor, smoking cigars in his bathtub or yelling at a panel of guests, decides to make a national cause of concern, becomes the ‘most shocking event that shames the nation and humanity’ every single time.

Clearly, India Today TV could have played it down even if a reporter had some altercation with Rahul Gandhi as the issue was ‘two kids burnt alive’ and not the anger of the Gandhi scion. But alas, in these turbulent times, Rahul Gandhi’s anger has more news value than roasting of two little angels in a house.

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  • arealgoodfellow

    Fake Gandhi was angry because ke was faking his concern . This Raul fellow is corrupt and fraud thus he is angry and envious . ???????????????????????

Next Story

For Modi, Road To 2019 Will Be Steeper

Perhaps the BJP's only solace at the moment is that its opponents haven't been able to get their act together

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wikimedia
  • Many believe that Modi and BJP are now no longer is a favourable place
  • The new policies are not getting public approval
  • If situation isn’t handled carefully, 2019 elections will be steeper for BJP

For the Bharatiya Janata Party’s supporters, the growing belief that the party is no longer as favourably placed as before must be both bewildering and disheartening.

They must be wondering what could have gone wrong when the BJP was looking forward to not only a comfortable victory in 2019 but was also planning to celebrate the 75th year of India’s independence in 2022.

Is the Modi-magic vanishing?  Wikimedia Commons
Is the Modi-magic vanishing? Wikimedia Commons

The talk of a “New India” under the BJP’s near-permanent control was in the air with both Nitish Kumar and Omar Abdullah from two opposite sides of the political spectrum saying that Narendra Modi faced no challenge.

Yet, the scene has changed. What is more, it has happened so over a rather short period of time. Among the reasons for it may be the BJP’s electoral setbacks in, first, the Chitrakoot assembly byelection in Madhya Pradesh in November last year, the near-defeat it faced in the Gujarat assembly polls in the following month and finally the huge margins by which it recently lost three byelections in Rajasthan.

Before these contests, the successes of the Congress’s student wing in the Delhi University and of a leftist union in the Jawaharlal Nehru University student union elections over the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the saffron brotherhood’s student wing, were significant pointers to the emerging trends.

BJP will definitely see a tough time in 2019 elections. Wikimedia commons
BJP will definitely see a tough time in 2019 elections. Wikimedia Commons

The new scenario has now led to conjectures about a fall in the BJP’s number of Lok Sabha seats to 200/220 from the present 282 in a House of 545. Since these figures have been mentioned by a saffron scribe, it is obvious that assessments on these lines are currently on in the BJP. Another scribe has identified the absence of effective speakers other than Modi as one of the factors behind the BJP’s slide in popularity.

Perhaps one of the first to say openly that the Modi magic was fading was a Shiv Sena spokesperson, who also noted the change in Rahul Gandhi’s “body language” and his transformation into a credible leader. Not long after, the Sena decided not to align with the BJP in 2019.

Also Read: Editorial Freedom Should be used Wisely in Public Interest says PM Narendra Modi to Media

The BJP’s old ally is not the only party to begin thinking of greener pastures. The Telugu Desam Party, too, has expressed its displeasure over the “neglect” of Andhra Pradesh in the Union budget. To forestall a rupture, the BJP has offered the Shiv Sena 144 seats in Maharashtra in an assembly of 288 seats, but the generous gesture is more indicative of the BJP’s nervousness than of magnanimity.

So, what went wrong for a party which was riding high during the first three years of its tenure?

First and foremost reason is its failure to usher in the promised “achhe din” or better days because of a sluggish economy. The scene might have been better but for the twin blows of demonetisation, which dealt a blow to small businesses, and the shambolic rolling out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which also unsettled the traders and businessmen.

It seems unlikely BJP will be able recreate its historic win in 2019 elections. Wikimedia Commons
It seems unlikely BJP will be able recreate its historic win in 2019 elections. Wikimedia Commons

The second reason is the widespread rural distress which eroded the BJP’s influence in Gujarat. As a party essentially of urban lower middle class areas, the BJP’s connection with the countryside has never been very strong. In its Jan Sangh days, the party once even forgot to adopt a resolution on agriculture till the lapse was noticed at the last minute.

Modi is now said to have sought the advice of farming experts to reach out to the cultivators. But the move is unlikely to pay immediate political dividends.

To compound the BJP’s problems, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), the Sangh Parivar’s labour wing, has raised the red flag over the “disappointing” Union budget.

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi: Government bringing Stringent Consumer Protection Law

Another explanation for the BJP’s woes is undoubtedly the inability to control the saffron goons, who have been running amok to impose their diktats on diet, inter-faith romance and film scripts, among other things.

The rampages of the cow vigilantes have hit the meat and leather industries and resulted in ageing cows being let loose by their owners to roam the countryside and city streets to forage on their own. Hence the proposal to impose a fine on the “guilty” owners.

The result is the prevalence of an atmosphere of intolerance of the kind which made a section of the intelligentsia return the awards which they had once won in protest against the deteriorating state of affairs in the country.

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi 's new policies are not being received well by the public.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi ‘s new policies are not being received well by the public.

Perhaps the BJP’s only solace at the moment is that its opponents haven’t been able to get their act together. Moreover, the fissures in their ranks are palpable with a rift in the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) over whether to align with the Congress in an anti-BJP front, and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) teaming up with the Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka on the eve of the assembly elections.

There are also said to be reservations among the senior opposition leaders about accepting Rahul Gandhi as the leader of an alliance.

Karnataka will be the next big electoral battle for the BJP. If it can dislodge the ruling Congress in the state, it will be able to brush aside the party’s setbacks in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Otherwise, the road to 2019 will seem steeper. IANS