Monday, June 20, 2011

Ek Thaali Ke Chatte Batte or Dyed in the Wool

So it’s all back to square one.

All that Lokpal Bill sound and fury finally ended with a free for all name calling and we know now not just the politicians but the civil society members are also a shameless, whiny lot. Look at that joker Anna Hazare. He wrote another letter to Sonia Gandhi complaining her party men were calling him names. Is that what we expect from a leader? And pray who is Sonia Gandhi? She’s just the president of the same political party that has put Anna in the dock. As of now there has been no news about Sonia chiding any of her men. For all you know they must have cursed Anna after checking with her and she may have taught them a bad word or two in Italian. Sonia Gandhi is very clever. When Indira Gandhi was throwing Maneka Gandhi out of her house, she went and quickly hid in the bathroom lest her hand be suspected in the whole tamasha. But I am sure she was quietly winding up her mother- in- law against Maneka for days altogether like one of those evil bahus in an Ekta Kapoor serial. How do I know all this? Kyonki Sonia bhi kabhi bahu thi.

And it is not just the politicians and the civil society members who are the only guilty parties here. Our media persons are no better. The other day after Hussain’s death, Arnab Goswami was presiding over a talk show to determine the politician’s culpability in Hussain’s death. Anyone who reads my blog would know I am no fan of the political establishment and as for the BJP, I wish their leaders were also in that train on that fateful day in Godhra, but I think all this hype about the government not doing anything to protect Hussain when he got those death threats is silly. He chose to go. No one forced him and as for death threats, don’t all our film stars and directors get them all the time. Rajiv Rai got them and he fled to London with his wife. Preity Zinta also got a threat unless she was making it all up but she went to a court and testified against the underworld and she’s still alive and owns an IPL team and needlessly jumps up and down whether her team is doing well or not. No one has targeted her as yet. We should say only good things about the dead and all I will like to say about Hussain is that he liked publicity and nubile young female actors of Bollywood. He seems to have had a good life until he died at the ripe old age of 93 and may his soul rest in peace. He once gifted my wife a sketch and if that work appreciates in value and is worth millions one day, I will bless his soul even more.

Anyway, I was on the topic of Arnab Goswami and his strange antics during the show. He dropped his voice in that pseudo manner and asked ‘Can our politicians drop their compulsions for once and do the right thing?’ Yes...they will do the right thing if journalists do the right thing! How come our media persons are always haranguing the politicians but sparing the corporate honchos? If one is a bribe taker, the other is a bribe giver. They are the two faces of the same coin. But you can never expect to see a talk show where the chairman of a corporate conglomerate is being quizzed for his role in the scams, not at least in this country. How come there has been no probing report on why the Tatas were given a clean chit in the 2G scam by the CBI. Tomorrow if the Talwars are let off similarly, Goswami will make us sick with all his antics but who wants to take on the Tatas? Certainly not those who depend on them for their ad revenues. If Goswami even talks about implicating a large corporate house, his masters will pack him off to Siberia and he knows this. And such a person wants to be the messiah of the common man. Heaven help us.

The other two journalists who are pissing me off big time are Manu Joseph and Hartosh Singh Bal. When ‘Open’ magazine did the expose’ on the Radia tapes last year, I felt admiration for both of them. But they turned out to be like Bhakti Barve in ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron.’ They recently did a cover story on how some research by the Tatas is path breaking. For the Tatas, in these troubled times, the cover story achieves what full page advertisements in every page, including the front and back covers would achieve. And as you know the corporates always pay well for the advertisements. To add insult to injury, Manu Joseph is always heckling the educated middle classes forgetting the same middle class was squarely on his side when Barkha Dutt and Sonia Verma placed him in that chair during the show on NDTV that ‘hurt’ his bum so much that he whined about it afterwards. We could have also laughed at him like I am sure generation after generation of Barkha Dutt’s family will laugh playing the tape of Manu’s expressions when the chair was poking him where it hurts the most. But we didn’t as we happen to be decent folks.

His colleague Hartosh Singh Bal is no better. He talked about the Jaipur literary festival being racist with William Dalrymple as the head. At that time one of the festival organizers had mentioned in an interview Hartosh was saying all this because he was not invited. I had felt bad for him then. But turned out she was right after all. For not only did he go for the festival but was also photographed having a lot of fun and he never wrote anything bad about the festival or the organizers after that.

Well, they are welcome to invite themselves to festivals and parties thrown by the research wing of the corporate entities who not so long ago they were busy 'exposing.'

I have decided not to watch ‘Times Now’ or buy ‘Open’ Magazine. That is my peaceful way of protesting.

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