They were waiting. Waiting to commence their orgy of hate and venom. Nothing said it better than Sreenivasan Jain’s opening lines on NDTV last night: “Let’s quickly run you through the events which led to Balasaheb Thackeray finally breathing his last”. Yeah! You see, the scavengers who were hovering around Matoshree, the residence of BT, and in TV studios finally heaved a sigh of relief. BT finally breathing his last? Hmm! It’s as if for over 2 days the man was threatening to die and kept crying wolf. He finally breathed his last so that our TV anchors who had kept a script ready over the last 2 days could finally release their hatred and venom. Bal Thackeray died around 3.30pm on November 17 and gave the signal to people like Sreenivasan Jain, Rajdeep Sardesai, Shoma Chaudhury to vent their pent up disgust for a long time. Girish Karnad holed up his hatred for Naipaul for 10 years but hard to tell how many years these media crooks had holed up their hatred for BT. They were ready! They were prepared! They even knew who to call. I can’t help recalling this one from Robert De Niro in the landmark ‘Taxi Driver’:
“All the animals come out at night,Whores, Buggers, queens, fairies, dopers, junkies.Sick! Venal! Someday, a real rain will comeAnd wash all this scum off the streets”
November 17 was the night of the scavengers. They had waited patiently for over 2 days with their claws sharpened and their teeth waiting to bite into their prey. Today is just as special. November 18 marks the 2nd anniversary of Radiagate. It’s the day when the tip of the underbelly of our media was exposed. This time around the media celebs didn’t wonder “Oh God! So now what? What should I tell them? Tell me what should I tell them”? They were prepared with the script. It was being prepared since the evening of November 14.
The ‘Breaking news’ specialist, Bhupendra Chaube of CNN-IBN, stayed late in office on November 14 hoping to break the news. He wasn’t sure it will actually break. But hey, hope is a good thing, isn’t it? Nothing wrong when your boss is an inspiring character. So Chaubeji was taking a cue from his boss, Rajdeep Sardesai, who had to probably stay back even after his goodnight kiss. I wonder why Rajdeep frequently complains life isn’t easy as a journalist. I guess that probably comes from hallucinating that he’s a journalist. I’d have to say he may have been a journalist some 200 years ago, now he’s more of a BT’s caricature that passes for a journalist. And if he whines so much about even imagining he’s a journalist he does have the chance to quit and follow his more respected pursuit of…. you know what. BT will not be counted as the greatest of politicians who ever walked this holy land. Like all politicians he had his good bits and his bad bits. For a long time he was more of a trade union leader than a regular politician.
That CNN-IBN was desperate to see BT die was reflected in the haste with which they are reported to have flashed his death at 7.12 am on November 15. A very observant viewer caught this flash and tweeted about it. And someone else picked up that flash too. Who could it be! Oh.. the ever-loving Digvijaya Singh indeed. Naturally, at 7.23 am November 15 he tweeted about BT’s demise and expressed condolences. Rajdeep responds to him stating BT is still alive. Although Digvijaya claims some friends informed him the news I have little doubt where he or his friends got that news from. Diggy can be forgiven for the goof up. But the media moron who clarified the facts to him or his channel didn’t carry the slightest bit of apology to viewers for flashing a wrong news item. Where in the world would one see such enthusiasm for death of a person? Only Indian TV news channels I guess. Rajdeep Sardesai, Sreenivasan mostly got the panellists they like and who can be expected to be harsh on BT’s political life. You had the pompous Dileep Padgaonkar (who once thought his job was the 2nd most important after the PM’s as he repeated an earlier TOI editor’s claim) and, of course, the ever foul-mouthed Shoma Chaudhury of some Tabloid. To rephrase the line from a famous song; they stabbed it with their steely knives and hoped to kill the beast.
In contrast to the raucous anchors at NDTV and CNN-IBN the usually noisy Arnab Goswami was quite sedate and sensitive given the occasion. He replayed some of his interviews from the past with BT (2007 and 2011). In both interviews BT made some very valid points:
On why all Muslims were being tarred as terrorists BT responds with the question that if Godse was the killer of Gandhi why houses of many Brahmins were burnt. That’s right! Merely because Godse was a Brahmin; why should other Brahmins be killed? In response to the Bombay riots of 1993 BT raises a very pertinent question: Babri masjid was in UP and was brought down in UP, where was the need to unleash violence in Bombay? And if that happens, BT is typically the person with the party that would retaliate. As recently as August 2012 a Muslim mob carried out acts of violence at Azad Maidan just over fake pics of killings of Muslims in Burma. BT is right! What entitles these people to riot, kill and destroy property in Mumbai for something happening in Burma or in any other corner of the world? This is a constant problem that Indian society faces. The brand of Hindutva that BT practiced was in retaliation to the govt and the spineless media covering up such crimes. But BT wasn’t always a Hindutva guy. I am not a great admirer of BT, his party or their methods but the kind of delightful orgy that some in our media went into over his death only strengthens the belief that these are the really uncouth, uncivilised ones in our drawing rooms.
BT’s politics and methods aren’t those that were ever meant to or will have permanency. These were responses to situations that confront societies or regions frequently and the Hindus too. This is situational politics, just as Arvind Kejriwal’s movement against corruption is not meant to be permanent. Regardless of what brand of politics he practiced it is undeniable that BT had a strong influence on Maharashtra and also national politics. So if not his Bimbo deputy editor, Rajdeep takes it upon himself to ask the stupidest questions in a bad time. He pollutes the airwaves with his ignorance and suggests when Netas die a city doesn’t shut down. Someone pointed out that when YSR died the whole state of AP had shut down. Of course, Rajdeep only talked about Delhi not shutting down. It seems fine with him if instead of shutting down, a Delhi Neta’s death can result in the death of over 3000 people. After all,for the moronery of Rajdeep and his ilk, a savage blood bath is not exactly the ‘shut down’ of a city, is it? People were out in Delhi in 1984 being busy with killing. No? That was a night of scavengers too.
So one hopes the scavengers had their fill and will have a great Sunday. Only one problem! This Sunday also happens to be the second anniversary of the Radiagate expose. How did our media fall to such lows in their discussions, debates and their hatred? Well, quite a few people deserve the credit for that. It is only appropriate that I quote someone who wonders about the same question too. Seriously, I don’t really think the “nuance” is quite lost on people. Reminds me of David Bowie: “Year of the scavenger, season of the bitch... (There's gonna be sorrow) try and wake up tomorrow... They call them the Diamond Dogs”.