Tuesday, January 21, 2014

AAP, Kejriwal and Media Sensationalisation

The new smart-phone and internet era has really changed the world tremendously. Sitting in my hostel room, most of my time is spent either in front of my laptop surfing on the internet or on my phone replying to those messages on whatsapp or looking at the twitter notifications therein. (For my family members who still are bothered about my studies, I must make it clear that this time that I just talked about is exclusive of what I spend with my books.) When at home, thanks to the limited availability of internet, passing time on the television remains my favourite. Writing blog used to be one of the better pass-times that I ever had but due to some reasons or the other, it was discontinued. I wasted a whole post (in my hindi blog) on why I am not regular on my blogs and hence, am not going to bore myself with same thought again.

Surfing the internet or following the twitter trends, recently, I have been brought much into the current affairs. I was never a big fan of current affairs, especially, politics. I already started hating the news channels some 5 years back or even more due to their repetitive sensationalisation of issues and the ongoing race for TRPs. Since the time the news channels have started following the trends in TRP, I think the decline in their credibility has started and till date has reached at a level from where the return back is not possible at all. Be it a real important news or just the trend of TRP, each and every forum of news distribution is following only one thing these days, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Arvind Kejriwal. (I purposely left the 'Mr.' before his name as I thought it might bring him into that VIP list that he has always had aversions with.) 

As I am writing this post here, Kejriwal and his AAP is busy on the streets of Delhi with his dharna and the news channels are even more busy capturing it with all the angles possible. There are reports going on, interviews running, panel discussions on roll, articles flowing, and everything else that can be shown or written is being done. All of a sudden AAP is the rage of the nation, a new voice, a new face. Only time will tell that the dharna going on in Delhi is a real political breakthrough or just a gimmickry of some self-righteous people. Whatever it comes out to be, it is too very clear that it is a result of that same over-sensationalisation of issues and facts that I blamed the news channels for. Just would want to put one question here. Would this chaos that is going on in the streets of Delhi had the same magnitude had the news channels opted for a simple news-telling rather than the over sensationalisation?

Last month when I was at home in my vacation, AAP had secured the historic victory in Delhi assembly polls. I had some arguments with my cousins on AAP's impractical promises and about my skepticism regarding the ability of this bunch of newly elected legislatures. My cousin sister named my skepticism, my cynicism. Looking at the chaos that these people are creating in Delhi, I think my doubts are now transforming into my beliefs. I doubted their inability to govern, they are making me believe that they really can't.

Any of their efforts towards governance is being hindered a great deal due to the media that just propels anything or everything that anybody wearing the aam-aadmi-topi says. The assembly polls were held in five states. The perennial negligence of the media towards news from north eastern states led to a total invisibility of election news from Manipur. The other four states got almost equal footage till the time AAP came up with as many seats as they got in the election results. The moment after, everything was AAP and only AAP. Delhi was seeing a change in governance so did Rajasthan. The news from the other three states died. After the swearing-in drama that was played in Ramleela maidan in Delhi, my cousin brother came to me and just informed me that Kejriwal has kept home department with himself and Shishodiya got the education. I smiled and asked him, when did the swearing-in of new government in other three states took place. He couldn't answer.

Why this overhyped coverage of the Delhi election results and the proceedings thereafter by the media is something to think about. No doubt, that the spectacular debut by the AAP in electoral politics in India is commendable but the fight-back and return of Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan that too after she was almost ousted from the party is also no less. For that matter, even Shivraj Patil managed to score another point in his race of good governance against Narendra Modi by securing another victory in MP. That too could come into limelight but no, media chose Kejriwal and AAP. Kejriwal took the credits for his idea of Janta Darbar in Delhi (that failed due to ill-management on its very first day) but everybody forgot that Nitish Kumar is doing it every week in Patna right from the time he has become the CM of Bihar.

The overhyping of facts that the media is doing these days is the main result of all the chaos and drama that is overshadowing the good deeds of this new government. The janta darbar is a wonderful idea and must be continued with better management and the media must help in maintenance of those management protocols rather than indulging in sensationalisation. Media must believe in the fact that Arvind Kejriwal is just a man and no super-power. Having said this, I must also say that this fact should be agreed upon by Kejriwal also that he is not a super-power, that he is not working in a Prakash Jha film. This is real politics, real life. He has to be practical in his promises and must give time in getting these promises fulfilled.   


Vishwam Prakash said...

First of all I should make it very clear that I am not Pro-AAP.But here I would request you to look beyond the functioning of Kejriwal's Government for a second and question yourself on how many times you have heard of netas being chors.Isn't it atleast appreciable to see democracy being reinvented where people have once again started beleiving in Politics.

Aashu said...

@Vishwam Prakash: Well, yes it is really commendable, and I do appreciate it also, what change this party rather this very movement has brought into the minds of Indian youths. Public had lost faith in elections and voting but now more and more people are turning up to vote for their choices. It is wonderful for Indian democracy. But the problem starts when this same party starts believing that it is them only who are right in this democracy. There have been other people in the past and maybe some in present also who have conducted themselves righteously. So, it's not true that everybody in AAP is totally honest and all others are simply corrupt. This is something that, it seems, Kejriwal & co are thinking these days. They mustn't forget that it is this very public that has created them and they are under strict scrutiny of these crores of eyes.
Anyways, my post was not basically against AAP (although I would like to be called 'anti-AAP' than a 'not pro-AAP'). It was against the mis-conduct of our media these days.