A few years back I noticed a Post-it on a school principal’s desk with “CBSE HOTS” scribbled on it. I had no idea what it meant but I laughed inside and wondered what CBSE, a school education board, had to do with “HOTS”. So I asked the principal and she told me it stood for “Higher Order Thinking Skills” which the CBSE was introducing in schools and she asked me if I knew any teachers who could teach it. Naturally, I had to ask why a school with 70 odd teachers would have to search for someone to teach ‘thinking skills’. Aren’t school teachers supposed to possess thinking skills and be teaching it through regular subjects like Maths and Science on a daily basis? That is half the story. What CBSE or schools don’t teach about is ‘Perception’. The world outside schools operates on the principle of perception, yet it’s never taught in schools. It’s not taught as a specialised topic even in business schools. The entire marketing world operates in creating, sustaining and exploiting perceptions. This is just as true for politics and politicians. It is even truer for our media. Their entire game of the media is built on perceptions. The entire flow chart of some media debates concerning Gujarat can be explained as under.
This is a flow chart that is a rough indicator without going into greater details but is a fair sample of how some of our media’s political programmes are delivered. You could even call it “Inception” after the famous movie. Yes, that’s the job of media: “Inception” of “Perceptions”. This is a template for all major Dynasty-friendly media. Just before the Gujarat elections in December 2012 someone from the Congress party remarked “Narendra Modi is sending invitations for Vibrant Gujarat 2013 as if he is going to win the elections”. You can guess that the TV anchor hosting the debate won’t point out the stupidity in such a statement. Supposing Congress had won the elections are they suggesting they would scrap the Vibrant Gujarat summit? This loose flow chart I explained is the template for channels like NDTV and CNN-IBN, the masters at “inception”. While they will pick holes where there aren’t any when it comes to Gujarat and Narendra Modi, they will provide platforms for CMs like Sheila Dikshit to appear as a saint. The latest programme by Barkha Dutt in which she hosts SheilaD for an interaction with youth on NDTV is what I call classic “inception”. The brutal Gangrape that had Delhi protesting had tainted SheilaD but trust Barkha Dutt to try and alter the image and perception.
Unable to digest the success of Vibrant Gujarat 2013 (VG) NDTV predictably comes up with a debate to rubbish it. Vishnu Som brings up issues of malnutrition and famer suicides. The one independent panellist on the show, Ron Somers, the American head of US-IDC a development council, finished off the debate in one single sentence: “In the end we wish there were more CMs like Modi who were moving their states forward like Gujarat… the problems you mentioned and that of poverty exists in all states of India and even in the US”. Not a verbatim quote but that’s precisely what he stated and meant. Now, is VG supposed to handle issues of malnutrition and farmer suicide? Is VG the single-window solution to all problems of society? Only idiots like Vishnu Som and his colleagues in the media would imagine so. VG is a programme for investments and if those are coming in and creating more opportunities wouldn’t they solve many problems? Then they lament that all the MOUs signed at VG summits don’t materialise. What’s their problem? Even if 20-25% of the MOUs materialise the value in absolute terms is phenomenal. Do these morons ever sit down and analyse how many of promises in manifestos of political parties materialise in terms of delivery?
NDTV has to be categorised as a bunch of morons who don’t seem to get even the basics of VG. It’s an “investment and business” summit and more than that it opens up a state to a wide world that can bring opportunities to its people. So too CNN-IBN! The editors of both these channels follow a predictable flow chart and template when it comes to discussing Gujarat and Narendra Modi. Their anger and hatred stems from the fact that they weren’t able to destroy Modi with the perceptions they tried to create with the Gujarat 2002 riots. They are stuck there while Gujarat and Modi have moved far ahead. Gujjus know it and visitors to Gujarat know it. James Bevan, the UK High Commissioner, was moved enough to say “I too am a son of Gujarat”. But NDTV would like to compare Gujarat with Somalia.
As it happens, prodding them in their agenda are two Congress ministers. First KapilSibal says “People from foreign countries have come to India for business and then became rulers of the country. Today, they are again coming to do business here and divide us. We must be careful of them”. That’s a real laugh and it comes from a party that fought tooth and nail to bring in the FDI policy. Perhaps Sibal even forgets his party is the only one that is indeed being “ruled” by a woman of foreign origin who, according to public information, still holds her Italian citizenship. Of course, he also forgets other foreigners like Quattrochi who escaped Indian law for the Bofors scam. He also forgets his party allowed a safe-passage for Warren Anderson of Union Carbide which is responsible for the Bhopal tragedy. He forgets something else too. We will get there.
If Sibal is uttering nonsense can the other guy who could run a university of nonsense be far behind? Hell no! Manish Tiwari goes one better. He compares Narendra Modi with Hitler’s Nazi regime for corporate houses lining up at VG. This is the guy with both his feet permanently in his mouth. Who can forget his famous “corrupt from head to toe” statement for Anna Hazare? But his sound-bites are meant to be hints for NDTV and CNN-IBN to set their flow charts in order and carry out more ‘inceptions’. Here is a pic of Manmohan Singh, the SoniaG-appointed Prime Minister, with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian President. This Iranian guy is famous for denying the “holocaust” under Hitler ever happened. This guy is also famous for his statement of “wiping Israel off the map”. This guy’s regime is one of the “axis of evil” countries in the US book and a terrorist state. The wiping Israel off the map is a misquote by media though. Ahmadinejad wanted to make “occupiers of Jerusalem” (meaning Israel) a page removed from history and time. What a loveable couple they make, don’t they? They hug and shake hands and are all smiles. Now, by the logic of Sibal and ManishT, the GOI, the Congress party and Manmohan Singh support Ahmadinejad in denying the “holocaust” under Hitler. Because MMS hugs him and shakes hand they also agree to his wiping off the occupiers of Jerusalem.
All one has to do is replace MMS with Modi in the pics above and the Congress, NDTV and CNN-IBN would be left very confused. They wouldn’t know whether to call Modi a Nazi like Hitler or to call him a ‘holocaust’ denier. Remember, denying the holocaust is banned in many countries and in some countries it’s a crime. By the stupid logic of Manish Tiwari, many countries would have to prosecute MMS for hugging Ahmadinejad implying he supports his ideology and theories. By his logic Congress too would be an offender in many countries. Such is the moronery of some ministers and media channels. We do have a breed of politicians, activists and media channels that are now in the same league as the ‘holocaust’ deniers. They are busy in attempting to create perceptions of Gujarat being an evil state with an evil leader.
In “Gujarat – Breaking Rules” Part-1 and Part-2 I had tried to explain what works with Narendra Modi and Gujarat. The media lives in denial. As with many other criminal, illogical activities of the media, their dishonest programmes on Gujarat or Vibrant Gujarat are not worth dealing with by logic or truth. They are, like the holocaust deniers, the “Gujarat Deniers”. Their hate and loathing of Gujarat may someday come to haunt them.