There are times when the media desperately seeks the interview of a politician or a celebrity. At other times it’s the reverse. We are now used to a trend where before release of every Bollywood movie the main stars go on a channel-hopping spree doing the same mundane interviews and chats. Make no mistake, all these are “paid” promos. There are PR firms who “install” these interviews. Sometimes politicians also go channel-hopping, especially when they have screwed up badly. They usually run to “friendly” channels.
Indians aren’t the only skin-colour-conscious people. America has long known racism and prejudice against blacks, Asians and Hispanics. Our Fiberals complain of Muslims being stereo-typed as terrorists but it is nothing like the way blacks are stereo-typed in the West. But Muslims don’t get killed in India routinely as blacks are in America. There’s another difference; it’s the frequency at which blacks get killed by the Police for silly reckless misunderstandings. A commenter in the previous post says “Nigerians are famous for drug business”. Such blanket prejudices can have dire consequences as we can see in this video (6.24 mins):
Michael Moore puts it across with humour but blacks have been killed for policemen seeing guns when they were actually wallets, key-chains, spatulas, hair-clips and even chocolate bars. So when people see blacks (Nigerians or Ugandans) you can understand why some people in Delhi make a general categorisation of them as prostitutes or drug-pushers. Somnath Bhartia is one of them and he wanted to behave like the NYPD and deliver instant justice. I agree with the part where he and Arvind Kejriwal say cops have been irresponsible and insensitive. There is no police force in India that is seen as friendly with people, same goes for Delhi. But elected ministers don’t go around in the middle of the night with TV crews to make a show of their dare-devilry. In this case an FIR has been ordered against those who manhandled the African women and I hope they are prosecuted for the misery and humiliation caused to some women. AK even defends this nonsense by stupid rhetoric like “we aren’t sleeping under comforters (Rajaais) in air-conditioned rooms like ministers of other parties”. What kind of silly logic is that? Our media won’t ask; especially not if the minister is on his home-channels like CNN-IBN or NDTV. That’s what CNN-IBN with Rajdeep Sardesai and NDTV with Barkha Dutt did for Arvind Kejriwal on January 18, 2014.
It’s not just the Africans. Bharti is also reported to have raided a restaurant in Delhi past midnight and created a ruckus. This guy seems punch drunk with power and, like a bad vehicle, shouldn’t be on the streets at all. TimesNow released CCTV footage showing Bharti had invaded a hospital and forced the doctors to conduct tests on the African women. This is no different than street-goondas that Delhizens are already worried about. This is what AK is defending through his self-sought interview. I have every reason to believe this interview was sought by AK to wash his sins and proclaim himself a victim. If CMs want to make grand announcements they hold pressers, they don’t run to their home-channels. Rajdeep was woken up on a Saturday looking ragged and talked like an uncle of AK and Barkha too turned up like a teenage fan-girl of AK. You can watch the CNN-IBN interview on Youtube and the NDTV on their site. So let me summarise what the interview was and what AK really wanted to say:
“What Somnath Bharti did was right. I have done more in 21 days than any other govt in India since Independence. What have Rajasthan, Chattisgarh and MP govts done in 21 says? We have mapped 946 schools for sanitation and grants”. Then more of the repeated moronic nonsense “I am not doing anything, the Aam Aadmi is doing it all. I am not the CM, the Aam Aadmi is CM. I don’t want to be CM or PM, it’s the Aam Aadmi who wants it. We are not contesting LS elections; it’s the Aam Aadmi who is contesting elections. We are the only honest party in the country”. And all this garbage and wordplay with “Aam Aadmi” passes through both the media celebs without challenge. AK reeled off some 10 points of great achievements in his 21-day stint as CM. Frankly, do CMs go to media to brag about anything in 21 days? Then he wonders what the other new govts have done. Neither Rajdeep nor Barkha had the honesty to tell him “We don’t have their list and they aren’t here to answer, so your question is meaningless”.
Rajdeep and Barkha did ask him questions about Somnath Bharti, Prashant Bhushan’s referendum, other controversies and the daily “TV drama” of AAP members. But they don’t seem to realise that they are fuelling the same drama that they grandly question. Just like those movie promos, AK’s statements were identical, his answers were identical and even his cough was identical. So this was an opportunity created by AK himself to announce how he has been wronged and justify his silly idea of going on a “Dharna” on January 20. AK made some more bogus claims of how AAP is nationally being demanded by people and that there is an “Aandhi” (storm) across the country. Well, their meetings in certain places showed us what kind of storm is brewing.
Forget the protesters from East Delhi in the bottom row. In all the other pics the AAP meetings have received a luke-warm response. So this constant drumming up of “nation’s aam Aadmi wants us to contest elections and go national” is empty rhetoric with no substance. An honest statement would have been “WE want to go national and play kingmaker in the next LS”. The news reports from Tamil Nadu (where there’s a fight on about who owns AAP) and Prashant Bhushan’s Hyderabad darshan are not very different.
As people in the news media, it is surprising that both Rajdeep and Barkha allowed AK’s bluster to pass without as much as a question on these flop shows. AK keeps repeating that he didn’t ask for any support from Congress and they supported AAP on their own. This clever nonsense can pass studio specialists but not people. It is quite well known that Sandeep Dikshit has had many meetings with AK and perhaps continues to meet him. Dikshit himself admitted this. So claiming there was no discussion or dialogue with Congress is another lie being peddled by AK. Here’s what The Hindu writes:
Certain things tend to be forgotten amid the din. An impression has been created that the Aam Aadmi Party enjoys the support of 2.2 crore Delhiites. It got only 29 per cent of the votes. That means 71 per cent of voters rejected it… Mr. Kejriwal is yet another politician who has resorted to politics as his last refuge. I wonder if Meera Sanyal, V. Balakrishnan and Captain Gopinath have done their due diligence before joining the AAP.
The loud screams of entire Delhi or country suddenly wants AAP is a fallacy that both the TV channels and AK are busy tom-toming. These lies are meant to distract from many important issues and wilfully so. Nothing is an accident. The much-respected MJ Akbar writes:
Populism is a dangerous temptation. It is not limited to offering free power to those who refused to pay bills. It extends to vigilante behaviour in which any complaint is always valid, police is always wrong, and officials are morally bankrupt. Overheated rhetoric can take you perilously close to boiling point very quickly. When Kejriwal threatens to sit in public protest against his own state's police, then there are only a few stages left to chaos. Delhi's citizens voted for change, not anarchy. The Delhi police have dozens of faults, most of which those living here have experienced in one form or the other. But can you replace them with party volunteers?... The Aam Aadmi Party is encouraging street radicalism without possessing the courage to become Naxalites. Its tendencies [one cannot quite call it a manifesto, since no one has put it together into an intelligent, logical framework yet] are towards socialisation of the system and nationalisation to increase the power of the political class over both bureaucracy and private sector. It has become so holier-than-thou that when its minister is exposed by a judge then it is the judiciary that must be wrong. The party cannot be mistaken. Lenin and Mao would agree.
Monday, January 20, during peak hours AK & Co. does a “Dharna” in front of the Rail Bhawan. Seriously, is this the route that a CM takes within the first month of office? And that too just to get some cops suspended because they didn’t do the illegal bidding of Somnath Bharti? To top it all AK claims that AAP is in power despite the media and not because of it. This is another big lie. He quotes a sting against his party which was by some channel but all the other channels, including the entire group of CNN-IBN and their employees, were rooting for AAP. One of the fake journalists, Ashutosh, even joined the party after the elections. So who is AK trying to fool? What becomes more and more evident is that AK is neither interested in governance nor is he well-equipped for it. He doesn’t have the talent and skills for governance. He seems to only have the talent to agitate, create ruckus and enjoy anarchy. His Dharna made the lives of Delhizens miserable but he grandly and proudly announces “I am an anarchist” to the world. To cover up for this weakness he is into some gimmickry or another and 24X7 on TV. AAP managed to fool about 30% people of Delhi but I doubt people are going to be fooled by his theatrics anymore.
Given what Somnath Bharti and Rakhi Birla have done there is no way that a police force can be given in the hands of monkeys. I have found every justification for Delhi police to be under Delhi govt but after seeing the comedy and nonsense of AAP I am very clear they cannot be given charge of a police force. If the police haven’t acted in the past or in the present there is a way to resolve this in a democracy. Ministers are not supposed to go around raiding and attacking residents. This implies that if they suspect someone is a rapist or a murderer they might not only raid him but also deliver instant justice by hanging him. Delhi is not Somalia or Afghanistan (even those countries have some sort of hearing). All that Barkha, Rajdeep did was to attempt putting lipstick on the foolishness of AK. Media also has the responsibility not to allow a CM to use them to peddle lies and nonsense. Here’s what Rajdeep and Barkha managed to do:
On his part AK is now trying lipstick on the crimes of Somnath Bharti and the utter lack of governance in Delhi. To add more lipstick to the failures the other extreme Commie Yogendra Yadav held a presser and waved a fake letter claiming it was from an Ugandan official mentioning Ugandan women are lured and misused and sought help. But the Ugandan govt has simply denied any such letter. It therefore appears these extremists are now even resorting to outright fraud for their anarchy. AK is neither interested in governance nor in govt. He just wants to be arrested or his govt sacked to generate some sympathy for his next venture: LS elections. I doubt anyone misses this trickery. When asked about Congress support to AAP, AK grandly stated “you watch, they will regret it in a few days”. Nothing is an accident; AK knows the path of anarchy he has set for himself and his party. I have also stated earlier that AK has a history of not finishing any task undertaken by him. He keeps hopping from one agitation to another as a media-survival lifeline.
AK has now gone far enough to ask the police to shed their uniform and join his protests. This is the ultimate signal of a revolt and anarchy. Governance is not about announcing a few schemes or doles. It is a much larger responsibility and I doubt Arvind Kejriwal understands it. My bigger doubt is if AK even understands democracy. You see, most of his party’s senior members and newbies are Commies who relish a system of disruption and chaos. It is one thing to want change and act for change and altogether another one to be disruptive and anarchic. This is the guy who said dharnas don’t work so they formed a political party and are now in govt. Now politics and govt don’t work so he’s back to dharnas. A CM or his ministers behaving like street-goondas certainly reflects poor understanding of democracy. This street nonsense is what AK proudly touts as his Swaraj. Barkha and Rajdeep put lipstick on AK; that may be the usual media job. But a CM using lipstick to cover up crimes of his Law Minister and for his lack of vision or any idea of governance is a dangerous proposition.