Ever seen the fine print in a public contest advertisement? There is always a clause that reads somewhat like this: “The following persons are not eligible to participate in the contest: (a) employee(s) of any company in XYZ Group and close relations of such employee(s), and (b) the employee(s) of companies that provide direct sponsorship of the contest”. This is to prevent any malpractice through insider information in the contest. This clause should be applicable to some aspects of the Summits and Conclaves that our media often holds. This is where I consider the recent India Today Conclave 2013 (ITC) quite shameful in its process. If the purpose of debates and discussions in these conclaves is to bring out new ideas and thoughts then ITC is a major sham. I cannot list even one new idea it has brought forth from any of its participants, except Narendra Modi. But then Modi doesn’t need ITC to throw up ideas anyway. All that the rest of ITC does is peddle more of the same mindless crap and nobody is any wiser.
What is worse is the less than honest conduct of the event by Rahul Kanwal and Aroon Purie. Pathetic! And we’ll see why. I’m not going to discuss the scratch-my-back type discussions or the Bollywood masala that is usually part of such events. Let’s cut straight to the panel discussion on March 15. The topic was something like ‘Future of democracy and youth’. Participants were Manish Tiwari, RPN Singh, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Aaditya Thackeray, Smriti Irani and Arvind Kejriwal. All are politicians so they are on the same page. The panel discussion was fine but it’s when the Q&A session started that I had to be suspicious. Naturally, a bit later I tweeted a single word: “Fixed”.
In a democratic debate I personally consider it a crime to bring in a communist as a questioner. The ideology of communists does not fit into the democratic philosophy at all. It’s therefore that I consider it our country’s unique misfortune that much of our media is controlled by commie ideology. But why in the world would ITC get an absolute Commie like Kavita Krishnan to ask questions of a democratic discussion. The dishonest part about ITC and Rahul Kanwal is that they passed her of as a social activist. The introduction should have clearly mentioned that the woman is a member of the CPI (ML) and therefore her contempt and disgust for Hindutva and Right-wing parties must be seen in that light. KavitaK had questions for none but Smriti Irani and Thackeray. The CPI (ML) of which KavitaK is a member of the central committee is a known supporter of violent movements, Maoists and separatists. I called it “fixed” but I’m not the only one to see the deception. There were many as this tweet of Smita Barooah shows.
True to form KavitaK peddled nonsense like suffering at the hands of YuvaSena (to Aaditya Thackeray) when such a unit did not even exist in the time period she was referring to. But well, it didn’t stop there. It started all over again after Narendra Modi finished his speech. Whether you’re a BJP supporter or not only an extreme fool will deny that NaMo is an extraordinarily inspirational speaker. He speaks extempore with facts and figures at his finger-tips. He makes sense. What was the topic? It was supposedly “Namo Mantra for India”. What should the questions relate to? What’s the job of the host or moderator? This is where both Rahul Kanwal and Aroon Purie failed miserably and conducted themselves shamelessly and most unprofessionally. (Watch the video)
In the opening para I mentioned that members of the host organisation shouldn’t be allowed to participate in the process of an event. However, considering this is not a contest this too is fine. So who is the person allowed to ask the first question to Modi? PunyaPrasun Bajpai, a guy who has recently returned to the IndiaToday group. Modi immediately asks if this is some kind of press conference and Kanwal laughs and denies and even denies there’s any “fixing”. Aha! No match fixing? So what was the BS question by Bajpai? It was about what’s holding Modi’s license to the road to Delhi. Now, does the question relate to the topic or Modi’s speech at all? Nope! So the moderator should have said “Sorry Bajpai, don’t fool around, stick to the topic”. Although Modi answered and even ridiculed the moron, the hosts should know how unprofessional and incompetent they are to allow such foolish questions which don’t even relate to the speech, topic or agenda of the conclave.
So the IT group people got to ask the most questions. Sandeep Bamzai asked another one and then the worst to come was from a moron who passes off as editor at IT. His name is Javed Ansari. What does he ask? He goes back to the 2002 riots and the apology theme. This is criminal “fixing” by Rahul Kanwal and Aroon Purie. If it wasn’t “fixed” they should have honourably disallowed the question stating it is “off topic”. If calling Modi to every event on a different topic and then allowing questions to invariably lead to the 2002 nonsense is the agenda, then it is nothing short of “fixing”. Modi was naturally forced to retort that he knew and had seen the “games” of the media many times over and is not bothered about the hidden agendas of the media insiders asking these questions.
Remember, even in the Hindustan Times Summit of 2007 Modi was called to speak on State & Centre relations. There too Rajdeep Sardesai who was the host and anchor veered from the topic to disgusting comments about Modi. Since then Modi has won more elections and grown in stature while Rajdeep has now degenerated into a full-fledged troll and hate-monger. If these morons wanted to talk about PM candidate and 2002 their topic should have read “NaMo’s PM candidature & 2002”. Was that the topic? There were many important points that Modi made in his presentation and speech that have high value and relevance for India and her future. But do these hate-mongers and gossip-mongers at IndiaToday care about India? Their questions had no relevance to the topic and the speech. They really don’t give a damn about the future of India or NaMo’s or anybody’s mantra for India. Do they? If I were to ask Rahul Kanwal or Aroon Purie how India benefited from this Conclave in a single paragraph, I guarantee you they won’t be able to answer. Because they really don’t give a damn!
I would not be wrong in considering Rahul Kanwal, Aroon Purie and Javed Ansari continuing the trend of others in the media of “fixing questions” and “planting questioners” to fuel hatred for Modi and his party, while living off the crumbs that the TRPs his presence and speeches generate. While Smriti Irani, Aaditya Thackeray and Narendra Modi came off with flying colours from the event the IndiaToday group came off a shameless “fixer”. The joke of it all is Kanwal tweets that they had invited RahulG too but he had declined. IT and other shameless media groups forget that it takes courage to do what Modi does. These same people crawl and lick the ground on which RahulG walks and catch the spit of SoniaG before it hits the ground. If they had any decency or morals left in them they would ask many questions of the Gandhis. But the cowards will not. IndiaToday’s conduct of these two episodes in the event was most unprofessional and far from honest. Shame on the whole group!