(This is a reprint from NewsBred).
This was Friday. Hostages, a web-series thriller on Hotstar, is disrupting my home. I keep running to the door whenever the bell is pressed because my wife is glued to the screen, watching one after another of the eight-episode series of five hours. “What if in the end you are told it was only a dream of the protagonist and nothing of the sort happened. What if she wakes up in a sweat and says, sorry guys and gals, it was just a dream,” I blurted to my wife at the end of my patience.
“What if” in entertainment is the password for $100 million business. A viewer is hooked: “What if” the villain succeeds; “What if” the girl chooses her boyfriend over her husband; “What if” the panchayat forces the girl to marry her rapist; “What If” our hero is unable to save his family as tsunami hits his town.
Rarely are we disappointed with outcome. The end never betrays our expectations: Girl does remain with her husband; the villain never succeeds, rapist meets justice and our hero miraculously survives tsunami with his family. Even though movies are predictable, we spend money and hours and watch it again and again.
Politics in a way is also entertainment. More so in the Season of Polls. Politicians and Media are like its’ producers and script-writers. Events are created, star-cast assembled, emotions are heightened and the suckers again are the consumers—in this case readers and TV watchers.
Star-cast choose themselves on their own. With Rafale issue on the edge, and The Hindu turbo-charged by god knows who, country was on the edge. Heroes are villains and villains are heroes. Those for Modi know he is clean. Those not for Modi know he is corrupt. How the end would play out in Supreme Court? On its judgment—“What if”– rests the fate of 2019 General Elections.
Rafale, The Hindu, Supreme Court,
Then comes the sexual assault charge against the Chief Justice of India. Again hero is villain and villain is hero. Those for Gogoi, know it’s fabricated. Those against Gogoi, know he is framed. The country is hooked: “What if” the CJI’s office is deactivated? Won’t it affect Rafale?
For years, the matter of Rahul Gandhi’s citizenship issue is in public domain. “What if” he indeed was a British citizen? The matter acquired political tones when Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sought an official explanation from the Gandhi scion. He was given a fortnight to reply—months have passed on since then. The nation again had its heroes and villains: but it was a joke.
Or Sadhvi Pragya. She utters words in praise for Nathuram Godse. The secular forces give a lesson in ferocity to Islamic State (IS): To hell with her. Bury her. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visibly hurt on national television. “I would never be able to forgive her,” says the anguished Prime Minister. The party seeks an explanation from the firebrand leader. Heroes and villains play out again.
Nathuram Godse, Islamic State, Mediation, Ayodhya, Ram Mandir, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Balakot,
I am sure you haven’t forgotten the “mediation” team on Ayodhya. Would this team be able to succeed or thwart the attempt on Ram Mandir? Media and secular forces see one of the mediators, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar , as potentially dangerous. Those in favour of Ram Mandir see hope in him. Again, cardboards of heroes and villains are cut.
Think about 100s of scientists and cinestars coming out in support of one or other political ideology; the debate on whether 300 terrorists were killed in Balakot or not; whether Supreme Court would favourably rule on the re-petition on Sabrimala – all had the nation divided in its heroes and villains. Pure entertainment, wasnt it.
Now the elections are over. Why bother if Rafale was corruption or not; if Rahul Gandhi has replied on his British citizenship issue or not; if Sadhvi Pragya has explained satisfactorily to the letter served on her. Ayodhya can wait till 2024. Sabrimala? On the backburner till 2024.
I tell this all to emphasize what the sucker they make us out to be. All this looks so stage-managed. Outrage. Anger. Despair. Democracy in danger. The secular fabric of India torn to shreds. Elections over, everything over. Wait till the next elections. Again, the recorded events are played out.
So relax. Make friends and not enemies for that’s exactly what politicians and media want us to be: at each other’s throat. Have a laugh on the concocted issues. They mean nothing to them so why lose your sleep? Wait till the bugle of Delhi assembly elections start blowing in February next year. A few seasonal new issues would emerge and fade with the same monotony. Democracy you said? I call it entertainment. Okay, black entertainment.
(This is a reprint from NewsBred).
Please don’t move on only because theSupreme Court has dismissed a “fake” petition stating that Rahul Gandhi has been a British citizen in the past. The matter is hot as coal.
Why do I call it a “fake petition”? Use your brains. The Supreme Court order states “we cannot rely on a paper note to call Rahul a British citizen.” Why would anyone go to court with just a few lines scribbled on a “paper note”? I mean no backgrounder, no facts, no arguments put forth? Petitioners Jai Bhagwan Goyal and CP Tyagi might have been driven by nationalist spirit but like poor surgeons picked up cucumber instead of a scalpel to dissect their object.
But let’s not waste our energy on this sideshow. Let’s look at the ground reality and why I say it’s hot as coal. Congress President Rahul Gandhi has to reply to a letter of Ministry of Human Affairs (MHA) by next week (May 16) on his alleged British citizenship in the past. The MHA is acting on the basis of a letter by Dr. Subramanian Swamy in this regard. Dr. Swamy, the bete noire of Gandhi dynasts, has done more than just scrawl a letter—he has a petition pending in the Supreme Court on the matter.
So what should Rahul Gandhi say in his reply to MHA?
Assuming he says YES, he indeed was a British citizen in the past. It would open up a can of worms. How could he then have been an Indian citizen, a Member of Parliament and at a cruder level, does it imply that he was staying in India without a valid visa? And does for violations of visa regulations, a jail-term looms?
Assuming he says NO in reply, did he seek FCRA (Foreign Contributions Regulations Act, 2010) clearance from the relevant authorities? If not, isn’t it a misrepresentation/hiding facts in his election affidavit? Can’t it be termed as money-laundering done through a foreign company?
No wonder Dr. Swamy chuckles at the prospects of Rahul Gandhi’s impending reply. He has tweeted: “Buddhu is in a classic Catch 22 situation and between a rock and a hard place.”
So please don’t be lulled into believing that the Supreme Court, in dismissing the “fake” petition, has also given a verdict on MHA and Dr. Swamy’s efforts to get to the bottom of the truth.
Typical of Lutyens Media though in drooling on the verdict in favour of their patrons. Shreya Dhoundial, an anchor with CNN News 18, pressed the buzzer in no time in declaring that SC has junked Dr Swamy’s petition on Rahul Gandhi’s nationality. But the CNN News18 anchor and her fraternity in Lutyens Media in their eagerness—most had the news on their front pages today—missed a very critical point in their coverage.
And the point is that neither Congress nor Rahul Gandhi nor for that matter his master’s voices in Randeep Surjewala and Sanjay Jha have made a single tweet in celebration of Supreme Court ruling. I mean, come on, the Congress camp had a very good opportunity of rubbing BJP’s nose on the ground. Why let go of the moment? Doesn’t their silence speak of the tremors under their feet?
Yes, Rahul Gandhi’s British citizenship issue isn’t dying any soon. You can read the entire background to his alleged association with a British company here. I am not a clairvoyant but my guess is he would miss the deadline of MHA letter or submit a blank page in response. By then, the 2019 General Elections would have only one phase (May 19) of polling left. As they say: A drowning man would clasp even at a straw.