India is not losing its magic; let us tell The Economist magazine cover story!
But beware foreign media’s clever portrayal of India!
There is not one word about Indian’s successful IT revolution, you know?
Indian media is also ambivalent!
There are corporate interests and other vested interests!
So, independent opinion must be carefully assessed!
Yes, this much is conceded by everybody, foreign media and also the Indian mainstream media. India is doing well. India is no more a case of basket of bad apples. Indian poverty is declining. There is no doubt about it. One can just see with one’s eyes!
The very many schemes, from the 100 days job guarantee scheme or other many populist schemes have delivered results.
The actual quantum of people under poverty line declined, says the latest issue of The Economist magazine in a special cover story is as much as the entire South African population. Good!
The Economist by the way is a cleverly written smart weekly but it has its own hidden agenda. As a British media outlet that had been there on the historic scene for over two and a half centuries, from the old colonial days to the present times is after all a media from the now fast declining Britain. So, how can it swallow the reality of seeing India becoming the big power? So, it never stops short of double talk.
India is big but poor. This is its theme song throughout the many pages of smart writing.
One doesn’t know how many Indians read it but surely, the New Delhi based political class, it means both the bureaucracy as well as not so well-educated(educated enough to read The Economist regularly)might be tempted to believe what is in cold print is gospel.
I*t is not.
So too we hasten to add the Indian media.
The Indian media, as they say, is now becoming fastly a corporate industry in itself. No more, the struggling editor or the owner had a civilising mission.
It is now money and money and more money. So the Indian media is now seen more as a fast-buck earning venture.
The paid news syndrome has come to haunt the Indian mainstream media and so you see there is wide gaps in what a big newspaper reports in it’s dally front page news.
We don’t want to name the names of individual newspapers.
But you can see that the Times of India often rushes to print all news, good bad and indifferent. The Anna Hazare’s third attempt, now the latest at Jantar Mantar fast, was of course a resounding success. But the names of the famous (or infamous?)14 tainted ministers are reports with due disclaimers by the TOI, while the more pro-establishment The Hindu reported the names in the midst of a dense text!
But the electronic media is really dead scarred. Only the Headlines Today reported live the names of the tainted ministers as Mr.Arvind Kejriwal was speaking at the Anna rally but no other channel dared to report the same!
Why? What else mortal fear from the government machinery.
Who knows the inside story. An angry Ambika Soni might cut off the ads!
She in fact did it on a previous occasion!
So, India, though being a big democracy, it is run by a rather immature set of people.
The trouble with Indian democracy is that it is really a big democracy. The counts a Sonia Gandhi’s favourites with no merit! Free, as you can see from the Vodafone case, the media is free, no once an editor of a newspaper or an anchor was sent to jail, unlike min India’s neighbouring countries. Where in Sri Lanka or Malaysia with all their properties, the media is near zero!
Yet, there is now the disquiet in the government.
After the Congress was beaten so badly in the five-state Assembly elections, more importantly in Rahul Gandhi’s UP state, the Congress party is shell-shocked and it has not been heard for the past few days of this defeat.
Of all the media, it is the conservative Hindu group publication, the Frontline, of all the newspapers and magazines, has dared to report ,it seems a secret decision or secret wish that in spite of the defeat of the party, Rahul Gandhi be appointed straight away as the Prime Minister before the next general Lok Sabha elections!
What else, but paranoia of power.
There is somehow a deep-rooted Indian psychology that only the Nehru-Gandhi family is entitled to rule the country.
There is obviously a great deal of nervousness in the corridors of power in New Delhi.
The Prime Minister is also not sure of things.
That is why he, on his departure to South Korea on high diplomacy, hasnt nominated any senior minister to preside over the government affairs.
This is unlike on the previous similar occasions.
No newspapers did make any intelligent guess.
As the Economist has written in the latest Indian reports, that Rahul Gandhi is somewhat like Britian’s Prince Charles. A many with no job!
Pity, Rahul. He is really to be pitied for what he chose not to make his career of.
Everybody knows and convinced but don’t show it out. The innermost fears and conviction that Rahul Gandhi is after all not a natural choice for the high job of the Indian Prime Minister, however hard you try.
This may be a difficult truth to swallow for his mother first and next the coterie.
So, there is this commonly felt deeply rooted uncertainty about everything about India.
Policy making? Policy paralysis?
Yes, these are all true but much more damning are the creeping fear that the Anna Hazare movement is sure to dent the left-over prospects, if any, of the Congress party’s chances in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Mulayam Singh’s new aggressive agenda.
Now, as expected, a victorious Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Samajwadi leader, has sounded the mid-term election bugle, as the media reported and this ominous sounding call for early elections would only further damage the self-confidence of the Congress party.
So, there is the growing public disenchantment with the Congress party. The fight against corruption is sure to come back with renewed vigour, given the signs at the Jantar Mantar crowd.
So, Anna Hazare can’t be written off.
So too the threat of the regional parties.
Much more ominous is the behaviour of the allies, Trinamool and the DMK. Trinamool is really unpredictable at any time, more so as the elections near. As for the DMK, it is now a curse for the Congress party that it is really handicapped to cultivate new allies or revive its own party in Tamil Nadu.
Sonia Gandhi’s 14 long years of the Presidentship of the Indian National Congress is now a total misjudgement. She had been badly misadvised by vested interests. Now her own corrupt ministers won’t let her dispense with them.
So too the ageing Prime Minister who at 80, is really, is a wreaked man.
His writ doesn’t run.
So many critical decisions proved disasterous. The first was 2-G scam, now Coalgate and one doesn’t know what next would hit his credibility.
Of course, all these negative signals don’t add up to negate the gains, economic and social gains achieved under Dr.Singh in India’s momentous historic span
Image Source : thehindu.com