Friday, 25 April 2014

GMD & the MSM

Surfing the news channels for the 9pm inanities today (25 April 2014), I chanced upon the headline “Gujarat Model : Solution or Curse?” on Headlines Today with Karan Thapar as the anchor. I couldn’t take it for long, and switched to the Discovery channel. It tended to legitimise the relevance of the nonsense on the GMD (Gujarat Model of Development) spouted by the Dynasty-trio.

Kindly go through my previous post “Modi & the WCs” here—I have dealt in it with the questions on the GMD  and “inclusive” growth. I am not repeating those arguments.

But, I am amazed at such discussions. Why haven’t Karan Thapar  and other media people themselves taken an intensive tour of Gujarat, studied all the relevant aspects, and reported to us the ground-level facts first-hand? That’s their duty as media-persons. Especially, when it is such an important issue. Why must the TV audience depend on the “views” of the participants in the discussions whose only agenda is to contradict one another? Or, is the purpose to simply muddy the water and create grave doubts on the GMD—not to really enlighten the audience?

MSM (Main Stream Media) seems to have become a gossip shop—gossips based on guesses. 9pm news and discussions on most news channels seem like post-dinner prattle and time-pass. Most TV debates are as pointless and predictable as the Saas-Bahu serials.

Incidentally, here is a gem from Karan Thapar—published many years back: “...Priyanka Gandhi will be Prime Minister of India one day. ...My hunch is we are going to see a messy outcome of the present elections...And the pain of endurance will determine the outcome of the next election. That could be as early as 2011...the process that brings Modi to power will fracture or shatter the NDA. ...And I’d say his government will probably serve its full term...So it’s seven years down the road that Priyanka Gandhi will step on to the political stage. It will be the shock of the Modi victory...that will overcome both her philosophical distaste for politics as well as her emotional reluctance to replace her brother...Convincing Priyanka won’t be easy and it won’t happen quickly. In fact, she’ll have to convince accepting, but perhaps never admitting, that Rahul, the brother she adores, cannot restore the Congress fortunes or India’s self-image and self-respect. She’ll have to convince herself that her party and her country need her. And now, why do I believe if Priyanka steps into politics she could end up as PM? Because she has a magical spark that makes her compelling. It’s a combination of charm, charisma, presence, appearance and intelligence. You see it on TV, you sense it in her interviews and, if my colleagues are correct, it captivates the audiences she speaks to. She has one further quality which is particularly rare. She understands herself and is comfortable with who she is. It’s a sort of Buddhist self-awareness and it’s reassuring to encounter. It makes you want to believe in her. Yet this is why she will struggle and agonise over becoming a politician but, when she does, this is also why she will rise to the top...”

Do you notice what this senior journalist thought were her credentials to become the PM: ‘charm, charisma, presence, appearance, intelligence... Buddhist self-awareness.’ The first four ‘charm, charisma, presence, appearance’ are all related to looks; ‘intelligence’ ...this he senses; and finally, having run out of any further attributes, you have the mystical ‘Buddhist self-awareness’. The critical and the most vital attributes for becoming a PM do not seem to figure at all: experience, proven achievements, competence for the job, thought process, views on matters of national importance, ability to deal with complexities,... Only trivialities seem to matter!

But, still, how amusing! Beautiful people deserve to be PMs!! The only catch is, if it is the looks that matter, why not Priyanka Chopra, why Priyanka Vadra? She beats that Vadra-Shadra hands down. Besides, Chopra is a self-made person. She is beautiful, smart and intelligent. It is not a cake walk to win a world beauty contest, and it takes guts and stuff to survive the Bollywood. And hard work and talent to reach the top. What has the other Priyanka proved herself in?

Incidentally, who was it who said, “Let the others have the charisma, I've got the class.”

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