Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Elections 2014: Media inquisitions and Ullu Banaoing

Its elections time once again and a rather elongated period. Our politicians are now facing increasing scrutiny from media and the common man. Journalists are not afraid to ask the rough questions or relay popular resentment in interviews with new or powerful seasoned politicians (except Modi, Sonia and Rahul - which is not unexpected - even Arnab Goswami's interview of RG was rather tame, compared to his usual inquisitions).  Remember they still face accusations about choosing sides, biased opinions and paid news. But have our journalists come of age.

Despite the above accusations, I believe that the biggest failings is their ability to questions the replies they get, to get past rhetoric and not allowing these politicians to escape with jingoism and get real answers. Eg  Q. Why haven't you apologised for the riots that happened in the year AAAA?  Answer: Why does our oppositions not answer for XXX, YYY and ZZZ.  More people died in the these three. They were in power at the centre at all these times including in AAAA.

The journalists are happy at this point. Content that they have got the answer to the questions that were handed to them by their editor. They tick off this question and move to the next one. Politicians have realized that that they can side step difficult questions quite easily. Notice the reply, does not even attempt to the question asked and easily sidesteps it. The interviewer mentally ticks off a box in his list of questions and moves on to the next one. Headlines next days would say MMMM asks opposition party to atone for their sins.

This gets repeated for issue after issue. This "Ullu banaoing" continues. Everybody is happy.


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