Gandhi at a press conference|Picture by @INCIndia It outsources opposition’s task to the media and taunts it for cannot do it. A political party needs to do its task first. And, for paradise’s sake, display some hunger and tough work, not lazy entitlement.A t the release of P. Chidambaram‘s latest collection of essays, Speaking Reality to Power, the very first concern was, strangely enough, an indictment ofthe media. Why is it not doing anything to” oppose”the BJP government? Why has it prostrated itself before the BJP? Is it due to the fact that of worry, or greed, or both?There may be some fact to all these, however the bigger
reality is various: can the Congress outsource its task of opposing the federal government to the media? Congress leaders criticise the media typically enough for”not doing anything”. The most noteworthy was Rahul Gandhi himself teasing journalists throughout the Gujarat project. On 16 November, he asked a reporter:”You ask me many questions and I answer you effectively … Why do not you ask the PM about the Rafale offer? He altered the entire offer for the advantage of one entrepreneur. Why don’t you ask questions about Amit Shah’s child?”So here is a question for the Congress: How does a major political force in opposition, with
concepts of going back to power as early as 16 months from now(in May 2019), anticipate the media to play its role of opposition? Many of its own leaders, who will then line up to constitute this future cabinet of their dreams, live on a prolonged sabbatical, or focus on their businesses.We the media have lots of defects, although all of us can’t be characterised by a couple of commando-comic channels.
These, I do not know of lots of significant– or brand-new– organisations that will hold back a story since of fear. Pressures on the media are a truth, and nobody knows that better than NDTV, which is relaying this conversation on Chidambaram’s book release. I am one hundred per cent sure, nevertheless, that none of this makes the channel keep back on any fantastic, adversarial story its press reporters may bring.S o, let’s state the first concepts first. The thought that the media is letting down the opposition.
The media needs to question the federal government for sure. It isn’t anticipated to do the opposition’s job for it.In some ways, usually, it is the other way around. Opposition leaders mine information and information(often through Parliament and its committees where they have gain access to), or from their own networks, particularly if they have actually been in power, or through the unions as Left MPs (notably Gurudas Dasgupta)typically do, and bring these to the media. I have actually modified a newspaper during long spells of BJP/NDA and Congress guideline. I can say with certainty– and specific examples– that the BJP made an immensely better celebration in opposition than Congress. Sharp, hard-working, fleet-footed, focused, and most significantly, humble. Constantly bringing journalists the one present they really value: a story, or a minimum of a tip-off. Unlike the Congress, which is oozing privilege, bumbling, bitching about its own, self-centered, lazy, and many arrogant.Or you can find milder descriptions for a concept as touchingly imperious as to ask why is the media not doing its (read: opposition’s)job?
Somebody bring out the violin please, and tug at all our hearts a little more.W hen Vajpayee was in power, the paper I modified broke the greatest rip-offs: NHAI engineer Satyendra Dubey’s murder in Bihar, the “plot” scam (a long series of exposes on
how the federal government was offering plots of institutional land to Sangh Parivar affiliates), an unlimited series on usual suspects of business India failing their loan payments to federal government banks, lots of with political connections and so on. The something that characterised these was the half-heartedness with which the Congress responded.Several Congress leaders contacted us to say”be kind to this debtor”or the other, some stated”employer, so-and-so is my customer, yaar, jaane do”, some also attributed their buddies ‘bad fortune in business to NDA policies.
Another story, on tribal and minority Gujaratis being denied MGNREGA incomes (a story rejected by the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat ), brought a totally unanticipated reply from the Congress leadership: let it be, our MP and leaders from that constituency state things aren’t so bad.How much commitment did the Congress party program to the fight for justice of the Gujarat 2002 victims? It “outsourced”it completely to activists– Teesta Setalvad, Tehelka, Ashish Khetan and so on. The media and the civil society all did
their job.For the record, The Indian Express, which I then modified, won the very first of its three International Press Institute(IPI) awards for its protection of the Gujarat riots. The Congress? Forget outsourcing its function as the opposition to the media, it also outsourced its politics in Gujarat to a fried-in-desi ghee RSS guy, Shankersinh Vaghela. Its own leaders were, meanwhile, running their own “peacetime “lives, some notables happily cutting offers for their own companies with the federal government, a reality Sonia Gandhi had kept in mind with anger and pain.The BJP? Within days of losing resoundingly in 2009, it was on fight stations, with a brand-new plan. Corruption was picked as the weapon of the UPA’s mass damage. Within a year, we heard the name of Anna Hazare. An outreach was made to civil society activists as well as UPA’s own key civil servants
in key positions. Jantar Mantar and then Ramlila Maidan were filled with swayamsevaks. The outcome was a most incredible turning of tables.There is much wrong with the media today. However it cannot be such a concern for the Congress. It needs to do its own job first– finding realities and issues to oppose the federal government of the day, rebuild its platform and celebration organisation and, for paradise’s sake, show some selflessness, aspiration, not entitlement.I do not know of a current case where a hard-working, committed Congressman talented with some intellect approached anyone in the media stating:”Hey, we discovered this out, this will truly embarrass this federal government. Will you have the ability to run it?”The message is more like,”Please don’t trouble me, I am on sabbatical, with my books, my legal practice and my services
. Obviously, keep my number for when I return to power.”BJP in opposition is sharp and focussed, Congress is lazy and entitled