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Political expose, hashtag trends and media

By Tarun Pratap

The Bhartiya Janata Party released a video of Nitish Kumar with a tantric last Saturday. The video went viral within a few hours. The BJP stated that Nitish Kumar knew he was losing and thus went to seek the tantric’s help.

The RJD resorted to similar statements and cited BJP’s impending loss as the reason for them stooping so low. Lalu Prasad Yadav said that he is a bigger tantric than such tantrics.

The video is of June, last year. In the video, the tantric seems to raise slogans against Lalu. It is trending all over social media but the genuine question is the timing and intention of the BJP in releasing the video.

In India, political parties often ‘reveal’ something of their opposition during elections. At the time this video was shot, Nitish Kumar was not holding any position. So, his going to a tantric is only a reflection of his personal beliefs and has nothing to do with his current political position.

Is it justified to malign opposition’s image? Media plays a huge role in portraying a person as a hero or a villain, and would leave no chance in creating a story out of any issue.

When a party releases some information, it immediately turns into a trending topic. However, with the incoming flow of a few more such trends, the issue slips from every media or political mind.

Recently, the BJP and Congress accused each other of corruption, however, now hardly anyone remembers it or even shows a concern. It is the duty of media and political parties to follow up on each trend they start, instead of letting them fall off the radar of the media and the minds of common people in the wake of recent trends.

The BJP stated they have proof against Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. The question is, why don’t they release the information? Doesn’t the public deserve to know? The same question holds true for the Congress.

It seems that the motive behind certain political parties releasing some information is just to malign the opponent’s image to create a ripple effect in the election outcome, but not to prove someone guilty.

Ironically, every party resorts to this measure. The problem is: the real issue often gets sidelined during such occasions.

Every single time the sidelining of ‘issues’ and focusing on the ‘non-issues’ becomes apparent as media projects a lack of morality and ethics while covering these agenda-driven ‘reveals’. One can easily make out which media organization gives a slant towards what news from which party.

Media houses exhibit double standards as they highlight issues that have no value to normal public. Public is left with no choice, in absence of better news, but to discuss these petty stings and allegations.

It is sad that in our nation, rapes, molestation, farmer suicides, poverty driven deaths, roads with potholes, people having no access to potable water, kids dying of malnutrition etc. are not discussed on prime time, unless they trend on twitter, but chooses to do so with a politician visiting a tantric a year ago.

The political parties, often, tread with an agenda of maligning the opposition, even in false ways. Once the elections are over, nobody is bothered to do a follow up. The question is, if they have the proof as they always claim, why don’t they go to a police station and file an FIR.

All they do is to target their opposition and shift the focus from the true issues. It is a tactic to keep the limelight to themselves while portraying the opposition as the villains.

The problem with media is that, they are selective in choice of issues and parties they cover (or don’t cover). On Saturday, the tantric video was released, and every channel was running it as Badi Bahas and all. However, today itself, the media seems to have forgotten it because there is another saleable story of Geeta’s return to India.

Media needs to play the role of objective, unbiased and constructive stakeholder of the society and not indulge in ridiculing itself by Loktantra me tanttra mantra and Geeta ki ghar wapasi.

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