Poverty is the flavour of the season. Everybody’s in a rush to define poverty. Everybody wants to define who is poor. Congress is trying to feed all of them. Food, glorious food! Made me nostalgic! Many years ago some friends and I were chatting with a small group of American exchange students (at Gujarat Vidyapith) and we were talking about poverty. Yes, we were talking about poverty then too, as we are today. Some things don’t change, do they? We were explaining what “our” poverty was and they were explaining “their” poverty. One of “them” gave us a definition that has been permanently etched in my mind. She said: “Umm… In America you’re poor if a guy can’t take his girlfriend out on Saturday night or a husband can’t take his wife out to a great restaurant at weekends”. If you go back to the wicked days of Charles Dickens’ England you’d reconcile to the fact that poverty is a “process”. Except that in India it seems a permanent process. There’s Oliver Twist in an orphanage and his inmates starved for food. Oliver was made into a movie multiple times but there is one line that any hungry Indian will forever identify with, especially, if it’s Rahul Gandhi. Watch the video (1.09 mins)
Please sir, I want some more! Whaaaaaatttttt? Mooooorrrrrrrre? That’s exactly what I want to scream at Rahul Gandhi and Congress like the evil guy in the video. Why? I have a good reason. There was this 2-day Media conclave by the Congress conducted by Rahul Gandhi around July 23. I can understand a starved orphan like Oliver wanting “some more” food but why would a fat, over-weight, over-fed, Rs.8000-Thali glutton like Congress want to buy some more journalists? Many reported this, including the Congress’ own kitchen called Hindustan Times in their report: “Congress poll strategy: Hiring pro-Congress journalists”. Like it or not, this is the toughest challenge that RahulG has taken up in his life so far. Let me quote edited excerpts (in blue) from this report.
Hiring “pro-Congress journalists” for its research team is part of the new Congress plan to spruce up its media strategy ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Ha! Hire pro-Congress journalists? RahulG will really have to find a giant flashlight to find a few journalists who aren’t already pro-Congress. I forgive you if you laughed at all this but this is serious stuff from the Congress.
A long time ago I posted an article titled “Flanking The Queen & Protecting Her Secrets”. A huge majority of journalists were already doing this for the Congress. Have you in all your life ever heard of a “Blow to Sonia” or “Blow to RahulG” from the media? A Twitter friend converted a circulated image to suit the Indian context and this is how it looks:
Is there any news channel that doesn’t already flank the Congress heads and protect them? So what’s the complaint? The whining can easily beat the mumbling of MMS. Let’s look at the reason.
Citing reasons for setting up a research cell at the AICC, the document states, “Media has never been friendly to us (Congress), hence we need to be pro-active and give our inputs…We in the Congress have always been slow in talking about ourselves.” Pushed on a back-foot by a series of scams since UPA-II came to power in 2009 which were highlighted by the media in a big way, the Congress is of the view that the “unsubstantiated allegations only helped in the opposition mud-slinging” virtually going unchallenged. ‘The opposition propaganda borders on untruths, is relenting and the media picks up what it is fed. Our opposition (read BJP) has always been efficient and trained and planned in manufacturing information, twisting truths and facts and in spreading propaganda,” the document that was part of the presentation – Research Methodology and Linkages with the AICC – made by national spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit and his team.
Media has never been friendly to Congress? The media highlighted scams? I quote a dialogue from Scorsese’s “The Departed” again: “we are in the business of deception, not self-deception”. That’s right, the Congress has now entered the phase of self-deception and I wonder who the wiseguys advising them are. Now the party is playing “victim”. Great! Not a single scam was brought out by the major media. Even 2G was brought out by small-time newspaper Pioneer. Most of the other scams were picked up from CAG reports. Is there any scam that NDTV broke? Is there any scam that CNN-IBN broke? Is there any Congress scam that Tehelka broke? Even the CWG scam brought out by Times Now is alleged to have had other motives to it than exposing Congress members. Everyone knows the reasons behind the Times campaign. Here are some media celebs that appear on TV or write in some paper regularly. I will offer a special reward for anyone who proves that any of these journalists are anti-Congress and pro-BJP.
To the journalists in the pic I have also added an alleged Economist to comfort the Congress. I had to limit the pics as the image would have consumed the whole post. Are any of these people even remotely anti-Congress? Have they ever exposed any wrong doings of Congress? Have another laugh! And Congress says “Please sir, I want some more”. Who else is left? Let’s see; Shiv Aroor, Ashok Malik, Gaurav Sawant, Swapan Dasgupta, Kanchan Gupta, Navika Kumar, Rahul Kanwal? Well, Kanwal seems a bit iffy but the others may not be on the shelf. Talking about iffy I am reminded of a tweet by Sunil Rajguru who writes for Sify on what the media has been busy with in the last 11 years and more so in the last 3 months. Here’s what Rajguru tweeted:
That’s right, all these 11 years and since Narendra Modi was made BJP Campaign head the media has been busy with Puppies, Burqas, Hindu Nationalists so where do they even find time to slam the Congress? Is this party really reading the pulse of the people? I doubt any of their policies are made with any sense of ground reality. If you think Rajguru was exaggerating in his tweet then this image circulating on the net should amplify it even better.
The way the media morons fall over each other to cling to Modi’s words or phrases like nags can’t be missed by anyone. So where do they find time for exposing the Congress as the party whines? Even in the previous post about RailGate I have pointed out how Dainik Bhaskar quietly pulled a report that exposes a lot more about the case than the CBI would have us believe. And Congress still wants more. Mooooooorrrre? Some journalists have been a media advisor to the PM which doesn’t seem to be working for any govt. That a political party wants to “hire” journalists for their campaign as the HT report headlines is a collective shame for the entire news media. Not surprisingly none of them have discussed this pathetic move on any TV debate. So now people have all the more reasons for calling many media celebs “paid media”.
But in all this there is one inevitable truth that RahulG has acknowledged. It seems he stated in the media-conclave of the party that “people are angry”. Why shouldn’t they be? RG himself is not sure what India is. He is on record saying he’s ashamed to be Indian, that India is an idea, India is a bee-hive and the latest is, hold your breath: “India is a thought… youths make it, you make it”. So if he or the Congress doesn’t “make” anything why the worry about hiring more media-cronies? Madhu Trehan of Newslaundry had the best answer to RG’s problem with angry people. She tweeted sound advice for him. And all this is coming after long years of RG going on a ‘Discovery of India’ tour. He has stated in no uncertain terms what he discovered and made of India.
So people are angry it seems as RG says. So what does he tell his party-men? He wants them to show more anger and mindlessly protest at venues where Modi is scheduled to speak. This is cowardly politics at its worst and then this same RG claims his is a party of Mahatma Gandhi. I don’t think the word irony was ever explained to him. Not having guts to battle Modi on the political front RG and his Congress wants to buy media, buy journalists, provoke unwarranted protests against political speeches… he will do everything but stand up and show some leadership. This is the guy who sets the social media agenda for his eNREGA team, as they are called, without himself being anywhere on the SM. And now the Congress wants to hire so-called journalists for their campaign. I tried but I found it difficult to make them a shopping list. They’ve already got most of them. Try if you can.