“Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see…” is a line from a famous song by an artist who is often credited with being the creator of modern pop music as we know it. On Sunday, August 5 if there was one statement that should have been lampooned and ridiculed in the news media it should have been the one by the new Home Minister Sushil Shinde. “I am a foot soldier of Sonia Gandhi.. if Sonia asks to shoot… will shoot to kill”. This was in an interview to Prabhu Chawla in the New Indian Express.
Such stupidity and sycophancy seem to come naturally to many Congress leaders. It is just that it’s not from a low-level ‘darbari’ but from the Home Minister of a vast nation. However, one did not find a single mention of Shinde’s chivalry in any news channel or even online media, except the NIE itself. CNN-IBN is usually a good judge of character as Rajdeep Sardesai’s tweet about Shinde’s arrival clearly indicates. After all, didn’t an eminent Social Genius tweet that when it comes to political analysis “Rajdeep Sardesai is Numero Uno”? And they’re also good at ‘misunderstanding’ all they see. But let’s come to CNN-IBN later. Let’s first misunderstand BJP leader L.K. Advani (LKA). I promise you, it will be fun.
Since the BJP’s election loss in 2004 LKA has made a series of comments which have caused embarrassment to his party or even some damage. The first one was about M.A.Jinnah being a secular man. Naturally, this was enough fodder for not only the Congress but even the BJP and the Sangh Pariwar. LKA had to pay some price for this folly even if he considered it his honest assessment of Jinnah. This statement was made in Pakistan around May-June 2005; the first year after the election loss. Things went quiet for a while after this. Then in 2008, in an interview with Arnab Goswami, LKA was asked what he thought about Rahul Gandhi and about LKA Vs. RG as an election battle in the 2009 General Election. LKA then narrated how he ran into RG at an airport and I quote from the interview:
“He (RG) met me in the VIP lounge of the airport and he asked, "What do you think will happen in the country?" … I said to the PM that after the UP verdict, there is a growing feeling in the political circles that the two mainstream parties are shrinking. Caste based parties and regional parties are occupying that space. Rahul asked, "What can be done about this?" I said that the only thing that strikes me is that the two mainstream parties should not regard each other as enemies. Political adversaries, yes. Political opponents, Yes. But not as enemies”. There is absolutely nothing wrong in LKA’s advice to RG. But I have to wonder why LKA only blames regional parties for the caste calculations. The Congress is the pioneer in dividing the nation by caste, community, linguistics and religion which indeed has been the inspiration and motivation for regional parties. That was, of course, casual conversation but would LKA have put similar sentiments in writing independently? About the same Sushil Shinde CNN-IBN tweeted, quoting him: “Caste is important to be Home Minister”. So there! So you can judge how CNN-IBN analyses LKA and Sushil Shinde.
Alright, the BJP then puts together a Task-force on Black-Money and on February 1, 2011 released a report: 'Indian Black Money Abroad in Secret Banks and Tax Havens'. The report said that Sonia Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were among Indians who held Swiss bank accounts. Oops! So SoniaG writes to LKA expressing her heartburn over this allegation and that neither she nor her family had any Swiss accounts. LKA instantly writes back to “express regret”. That was enough to set off another round of misunderstanding over what LKA actually meant. The media naturally called it an “apology” by LKA while BJP and others defended that LKA just expressed regret Sonia and her family were mentioned in the report and it wasn’t an apology. At this incident LKA should have already appointed a Secretary of Clarification. It’s been long overdue.
In the background of the Anna Hazare agitation against corruption LKA decides to go on another Yatra in October 2011. Though the yatra was meant to be over issues of corruption the media constantly and cleverly keeps asking him questions on whether he is still a PM candidate of the BJP at the next election. LKA smartly ducked and dodged the question but never made a single strong statement to shut the media up once and for all over the question, one way or another. The PM issue clearly dwarfed his anti-corruption yatra. Then, again in May 2012 he skips BJP’s national executive meet and the media suggested he was “sulking” at being side-lined. After this meet LKA goes home and writes a blog slamming party president Nitin Gadkari and others for failures in UP elections and many other crucial decisions. Again, absolutely nothing wrong in writing that but a top leader of a political party would be expected to calculate the consequences of his public outbursts.
So, knowing how media crooks in India are known to twist any statement in favour of the Congress party, LKA writes another blog titled: “Speculations about Congress fate in 2014”. Let me quote critical excerpts from this particular post which the media, particularly CNN-IBN, is toying with (Emphasis mine):
In an informal chat with two senior Cabinet Ministers before the formal dinner, I could clearly perceive an intense sense of concern weighing on the minds of both these Ministers. Their apprehensions were as follows :
a) In the Sixteenth Elections to the Lok Sabha, neither the Congress nor the BJP may be able to forge an alliance which has a clear majority in the Lok Sabha.
b) In 2013 or 2014, therefore, whenever the Lok Sabha elections take place, the Government likely to take shape can be that of the Third Front. This, according to the Congress Ministers would be extremely harmful not only for the stability of Indian politics but also for national interests.
My response to the anxiety voiced by these Congressmen was: I can understand your concern, but I do not share it. My own view is:
i) The shape which national polity has acquired in the past two and a half decades makes it practically impossible for any government to be formed in New Delhi which does not have the support either of the Congress or of the BJP. A third Front Government, therefore, can be ruled out.
ii) A non-Congress, non-BJP Prime Minister heading a government supported by one of these two principal parties is however feasible. This has happened in the past also.
But…. Such governments have never lasted long…..
Soothsayers are not wanting who predict that it may be the first time when the Congress Party’s score sinks to just two digits, that is, less than one hundred !
Well, in what is a severe castigation of the Congress in which LKA estimates less than 100 seats for them in 2014 the interpretation of his blog by some is quite interesting. Have to start with that BCCI guy, also a Congress MP and spokesman, Rajiv Shukla, who thinks with a ‘ball’ instead of brains. Shukla concludes: “LK Advani has conceded defeat in 2014 General Elections”! And like a faithful dog, without questioning their master, CNN-IBN reproduces that quote as a headline as if that represented the exact content of LKA’s blog. Not only does CNN-IBN ‘misunderstand’ but also hopes to mislead viewers and readers through such deceptive headlines.
That LKA has predicted Congress will be decimated in 2014 is not the headline but BJP has conceded the 2014 election is the headline. Shukla can be forgiven being a Congress-man. But how do you explain the “Numero Uno” political analyst’s channel that misunderstands? Take the earlier headline from CNN-IBN: “Non-Congress, non-BJP Prime Minister feasible in 2014: LK Advani”. Once again CNN-IBN while quoting the text correctly twists the meaning to suggest a third alternative seems more feasible according to LKA. Mildly, this would be deception and harshly I would call it lying to readers and viewers.
Fact is, LKA was responding to apprehensions by Congress Ministers that a third front govt in 2014 may be harmful. CNN-IBN and others have reproduced LKA’s response to these apprehensions without stating the context. Even Times Of India produced the same headline of a non-Congress, non-BJP PM being feasible as if LKA was ‘Predicting’ such a scenario. Again, a misleading and deceptive headline! No harm in calling it another lie by TOI. To their credit only NDTV reported LKA’s post and content quite accurately with their article: “Congress' score may come down to double digits in 2014 polls: LKAdvani”.
In summary, LKA has predicted a decimation of Congress in 2014 with less than 100 seats for them. In response to apprehensions by Congress ministers of a third front PM he has only stated that is feasible but going by history such govts do not last. His views are neither misplaced and do not in any way concede a BJP defeat as Rajiv Shukla or CNN-IBN would have the world believe. LKA probably needs to craft his posts in much simpler language for the morons in our media to understand, especially CNN-IBN. CNN-IBN media celebs were probably taught in journalism schools to misunderstand what is obvious to the world. They seem to relish misunderstanding simple posts and compose misleading headlines. But then sometime back #CNNIBNLies had trended strongly on Twitter. I guess there must be a strong reason for that tag!