By Sushil Kutty
There is this transfer from zee to ‘news’, an anchor who has a unique style—he coaxes “guests” into committing themselves, with questions that cajole them into admissions— that they are either anti-India or anti-Hindu. This journalist’s TV shows are a hit with folks in the Hindi-viewership category. You ‘zee’, that is the reason why the ‘news’ poached him.
There is this other anchor in the same stable who used to be a shriek in earlier days. Then, it is said, the Supreme Court called him over and had a tete-e-tete with him and he has since mellowed to sheep from shriek. Otherwise, it was always ‘aar-paar’ with this fellow in the hot-seat.
Those of us who watch TV with avid interest in news happening before our eyes, we know that there is never a week gone when it is without a live spectacle. Most of the programme titles are macho, even those anchored by the fairer of the species. The more loud include ‘Danke Ki Chot Par’ and ‘Taal Thok Ke’ apart from ‘Aar Paar’ and ‘Dangal’, and others that slip the mind because they are shouted rather than spoken.
But, while the anchors take shouting to another altogether stratospheric level at which even the silent sufferers of Tinisitis break out in loud protests, the “guests” to these television ‘ho-halla-bol’ don’t disappoint.
The guests—most of who are politicians and the reminder, ubiquitous “political analysts”, the majority of the politicians electorally-challenged—can take “conversations” to absurd heights, their one shared knack being that some of them can talk non-stop for minutes on end, till the viewer is fit to throw a fit on the drawing room floor, in full view of the anchor and the “guests” inside the idiot box.
Of course, TV viewing has only increased with time. At the turn of the millennium, there were just a handful of private television channels. And, then, they multiplied like rabbits! Today, there are hundreds of TV news channels which liken themselves to “national TV”, poor DD cast aside like a soiled kerchief.
Apparently, the hullabaloo on television tips the scale to slender victories in tight polls. At least that is the belief. But it is what to believe and what not to believe which casts doubt on the TV channels. These are pretty scary days with fringe elements of all political hues shrieking their views on TV while acting them out in real life on the ground.
December 24, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi addressed a rally in Uttar Pradesh and warned the “UP Police” of the days to come when “Modi and Yogi” wouldn’t be there to “save you”. It took nobody by surprise. But BJP spokespersons wouldn’t and couldn’t take it lying down. “BJP national spokesperson” Sambit Patra warned Owaisi, promising a fitting response to “Jinnah’s stooge.”
Other junior BJP spokespersons trailed in Patra’s wake, including the ‘firebrand” Kapil Mishra. Owaisi’s warning to the UP Police came the day after a clutch of “Hindutva”, including a Muslim convert to Hindutva, gathered in Haridwar and vowed to “finish them all (Muslims) before a Muslim Prime Minister is installed in Delhi in 2029.”
The year is set, 2029. Means that in 2024 there will still be a BJP Prime Minister, most likely Narendra Modi? But why is 2029 being cited as the year when a Muslim Prime Minister will take over? Will Narendra Modi be a third-time flop as a PM? Or, is it to prepare Hindutva for a long reign at all costs?
Yatti Narsinghanand, the priest of the Ghaziabad temple at the forefront of Haridwar’s anti-Muslim rant, and key scaremonger about the “Muslim Prime Minister in 2029”, along with Waseem Rizvi – now named Jitender Narayan Tyagi – a former Shia Waqf Board chairman, are leading the Hindutva, as opposed to the Hindu, against the Aurangzeb-esque forces of Asaduddin Owaisi.
And Owaisi has company in the form of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Navjot Singh Sidhu, who for his own reasons is painting himself into the Pakistan corner.
They say “before 2014” there was another India. And after 2014, there is another idea of India—this one in the making, and shaping. Why was the Haridwar ‘Dharam Sansad’ held? Does it have to do with the 2022 assembly elections? From what can be read, it appears like the Hindutva forces are bracing themselves to rule for a long, long time, the idea of the New India cannot be sacrificed to a paucity of time. (IPA Service)