Published on August 27th, 2014 | by Sandeep Patil2
Silence of the crooks
The most dangerous things are not just the ones which cause extreme damage. But more lethal are those which conceal their existence until they strike, or in some rare cases even after they strike. This applies to the predators, weapons, human-beings and software bugs all alike. Recently there were by-elections in various states, and though the results gave rise to new conclusions (or misinterpretations), the most noteworthy thing escaped unnoticed.
As the results of by-elections broke out, many news-programs, talk-shows, party spokespersons and outspoken journos – true to their shallowness – spent their time and energy in cross-checking if there really existed/exists that hypothetical thing called “Modi wave”. (This after NDA has already bagged 300+ seats and have moved on to governance). Some asserted “resurgence” of Congress. Some went ahead by predicting the newly formed Nitish-Lalu “Duo” is going to “emerge” as the new challenger to Modi in “2019” based on “the by-poll results”!
Now you may laugh at these things, ignore them, or counter them – but does the by-election story end with such trivial and superficial analysis? (if you call it analysis at first place). Wasn’t there a better takeaway? Or was it totally lost in the chaos. Wasn’t there a clearer writing on wall which nobody (chose to) read?
Did we forget that in the last years “corruption” was an important issue? Wasn’t a party found recently based on its’ anti-corruption agenda? Didn’t the party cried foul on the issue of “Criminalization of Politics”? Didn’t it compel all parties to give clean candidates in the LS elections? Didn’t our media played the chorus and told us with grave seriousness how dangerous it is for democracy to have “candidates with criminal background” in field? Wasn’t it the same media which, few years back used to shower praises on a certain railway minister for his newly found “managerial acumen”? Didn’t we hear everyday in news how this minister converted Railway losses into profits – the stupidity went so far that even IIM invited him to “address” the students? Wasn’t the same legendary Rail minister later convicted by Supreme Court of India in the infamous Fodder scam and sentenced 5 years term in Jail? Isn’t he now out on bail? Isn’t he one who has led his party’s campaign in Bihar for the by-elections?
Connect all these points and we make a full circle – a circle full of hypocrisy, double-standards and dishonesty. Yes, I am speaking about Hon. Shri. Lalu Prasad Yadav ji, and the ease with which the Media, the political parties, the opinion makers are trying to whitewash the fact that he is a convict.
We have this Ambani Adani Party which was calling for ‘sanitation’ of politics until yesterday. Now a convicted leader is leading party campaign in by-elections. But looks like for these sentinels of sanitation, an issue is not an issue unless they can trace it’s path to Ambani-Adani (read Modi). There is our expressive, eloquent Media which never falls short of adjectives to describe anything – Dalit, Muslim, Extremist, Braveheart, Eminent etc. etc. It would have been only natural to add “convict” to their list of adjectives to describe Lalu, but they didn’t. Or perhaps they could have taken a clue from their coverage of Gujarat Riots and related topics. For any article that used to be published on Gujarat Riots in past 10 years, I used to unmistakably find this line “… more than 1000 people – mostly Muslims – were killed”. On the similar lines, it would have been prudent of our Media to add “… Lalu Prasad Yadav is convicted in the Fodder scam and presently out on Bail” in articles about Laluji. But somehow they missed. We have these news channels who are willing to waste their prime-time on utterly bakwas issues like Ved Pratap Vaidik, Dinanath Batra, Rehan Gandhi(?) etc. but nobody has shown maturity, willingness or prudence of discussing this dangerous trend where deeds of people like Lalu are easily forgotten. That too simultaneously preaching about “Be the change you want to see” etc.
Those of us who want to live in a better India, who want to bring about a change, first need to contemplate a little what really needs to be changed! What are the most crucial problems, that would have to be fixed at priority. How they can be fixed, whether they can be fixed is the next question; but the first step is what needs to be fixed! Looking at the way of the Main-stream Media’s coverage, we can be pretty sure that they will point us at false problems when they gloss over more dangerous ones. Their job is supposed to be the other way round.
PS: Thanks to the twitter handle @mediacrooks for coining the term ‘crooks’ in context with Media persons (AFAIK). Comes in very handy!