India, Politics, Television

Man is by nature a political animal

For the longest time, I tried to be non-partisan where an attempt was made to be indifferent to Indian politics. Turns out I am not. On the contrary I have the strongest inclination towards India’s grand old party. I identify with what they claim to be- liberal, non communal and pro-development. This in no way means that I label anyone who doesn’t support them a “Bhakt” or worse still “Feku”. Political discourse in India and I suppose world over has sunk to its lowest level- name calling and slander. Whilst politicians themselves lack the dignity of the office they occupy, it is also the lay person who becomes hostile if one doesn’t subscribe to their political views. There are no balanced opinions on anything. If one disagrees with the ruling party, then automatically you need to start filing visa papers to relocate to Pakistan. If one disagrees with the Congress, then you become this minority hating, Hindutva touting zealot. I assume people always felt strongly about politics but social media has created lunatics with no regard for facts or logic. I can support the Congress while admitting that Sushma Swaraj is doing a phenomenal job as an external affairs minister. Pity her she hasn’t crossed Indian airspace since she took office. I also believe that the Congress should cut their losses (also known as Robert Vadra) and focus on 2019.

The Congress has made massive mistakes-the emergency for one. But then again, they also gave us liberalization. I don’t entirely love the idea of the fact that there isn’t as much democracy in the oldest party in the world’s largest democracy but I’m just going to come out and say this- I like Sonia Gandhi. Not because she’s Catholic and this is some Catholic Catholic bhai bhai or in this case behen behen. She runs a tight ship and despite what her detractors say has the political acumen not very many have. Rahul Gandhi took some getting used to, he isn’t the best orator nor does he have his mother’s or sister’s charisma but  he needs to be given full marks for trying. In the last few months, he has been open about his party’s misgivings and shortcomings and maybe I’m naive but that’s the kind of leader I would vote for. Someone who is ok with making mistakes, admits to them and learns from those mistakes (hopefully). No country needs to be run by a megalomaniac who takes himself so seriously that any dissent is crushed (not a reference to anyone living or dead). I think a lot of credit has been taken away from the man because he was reticent almost bordering on being visibly reluctant for the longest time. In recent interactions with the public  he has been intelligent, open and dare I say it- charming. India’s collective obsession with the fact that Gandhi takes a holiday has got to stop. On the one hand it is ok to have a leader that is so air borne that he has contributed to global warming with the miles he’s clocked but for some reason Gandhi taking off for a week on a personal visit needs a RTI to be filed. This is the same country that was A-OK with an ex-President flying her entire family abroad if they had the afternoon off. Then there is that fateful interview with Arnab Goswami- On every Rahul Gandhi hater’s most watched Youtube playlist. Goswami himself has the attention span of a sparrow and the reasoning power of a hysterical toddler (no offense to toddlers). He will poke holes in the theory of relativity and Shashi Tharoor’s English as long as he has a slot on the TV. Logic and knowledge be damned. Also in Goswamiology, the root cause of all India’s problems is Pakistan. Sridevi dead? Pakistan. Onion prices shot up? Pakistan. So to take such a man whose hormones regularly run berserk seriously and form an opinion of another based on it is pure silly.

Then there is the constant GDP comparison between then and now. The GDP calculations changed and what was 4.7% in 2014 changed to 6.9%. Now no policy makers can perform miracles in months to affect this type of change. So we need to stop attributing the 7.2% growth to magnificent economic reform.

I also tend to admire people who have earned degrees from the Ivy Leagues. I’d also just like to point out that a 2 day certificate issued by Yale is vastly different from a 4 year degree. It might also save face if some of our ministers are able to make this distinction. Just saying.

Personally though, I’m a Sachin Pilot fan girl. Because, just look at him. Now if he becomes Prime Minister, that’s Arun Jaitley’s billion dollar tourism problem solved right there. Because, just look at him.

 

 

 

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Television

The nation really just doesn’t want to know..

I cannot be the only one feeling agitated with palpitations just watching Arnab Goswami gesticulate and foam at the mouth during his daily scream off with a panel of equally highly strung people.  I wonder what happened to Goswami as a child that damaged him so much that he has to take it out on an entire nation every day. To give Goswami credit, it takes real talent to hand pick the most volatile, mis-informed panel and yell them into submission. I don’t think anybody would notice if there wasn’t anyone else in those small boxes where the panelists disapproving faces should be. Goswami’s banshee like hollering is so captivating that I very rarely even pay attention to the topic or the rest of the people on the show. He always seems like he’s about 2 decibels away from bursting a coronary. It’s a wonder how his brand of journalism hasn’t made its way to journalism schools across the globe-imagine wasting all those hours studying a subject, getting facts correct, being, or at least trying to be objective, traveling to war torn areas when all you need is a pen to wave around frantically, a blank A4 size paper, and a larynx that that can make amplifiers blush.

I wonder how this keeper of India’s conscience unwinds after getting off his moral high horse each day? Surely one’s bp cannot go from 310/200 to 110/80 the minute the cameras are off. If anyone in his place has to work off all that frustration at the gym, they’d look like poster children for the World Bank.

A good business plan would be to set up cochlear implant centers and unleash Goswami onto an unsuspecting public. Ka-ching.