Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sagarika Ghose never ceases to surprise!

I wanted to be part of this chat to ask some uncomfortable questions to Sagarika Ghose, but I could not attend this chat. I come back to see the transcript and my feelings kept changing from awe to ridicule.

Just for information, Sagarika Ghose is a journalist and a TV news anchor on CNN-IBN ( partly owned by her too ).

If you look at the transcript
here, it is very clear that Sagarika is taking the whole thing to heart. Why? Well, that's the million dollar question my friend!

One poor gentleman asked her, "... but don't you think some national figure should be spared from frisking". Madame Sagarika goes bonkers here, and shrieks at the top of her voice "There IS NOTHING WRONG OR HUMULIATING about frisking. NOTHING. ZERO. NO.NOTHING. "

Fine. So I have this question for you Sagarika. Who made this an issue? Who ran headlines saying, "Kalam Frisked", " Kalam Humiliated" ? Who ran this whole news for two full days as if this is a national security concern? The media right? CNN-IBN also right? Why did you hype it up to this extent, and then ask why we are taking this so seriously?!

Ohh, by the way, Sagarika, Heads of State do not ride bikes, for obvious security reasons, so there is no need to worry if they are going to break that rule. Maybe you should get your comparisons right. They are either simply naive or plain stupid. What was going through your mind when you said this - "If all former heads of state were exempt can you imagine what would happen if a tin pot head of state from say, Somalia, boarded a aircraft and proceeded to hijack a plane--hypothetically speaking." A tin pot head?! I am more curious to know what was going on in your head at the time of saying this?!

I also see that you have a penchant liking to make comparisons with leaders of other countries, saying we need to learn from them on how to stand in queues. I liked your line of thinking in this matter, and so am taking the liberty of comparing your journalistic style with some greats that I have seen right here in our country and also take the freedom to suggest that you might want to learn a thing or two from them. Remember one gentleman called L.V.Ramana who used to read Hindi news on Doordarshan. Calm and composed? No dramatics? Or even the English news readers at that time. Ok, let's come to contemporary journalists because times have changed. They are no legends, but if you see a Rajdeep or a Barkha interviewing, they will let the other person talk a bit. I am from Hyderabad and watch this show at 7:30 on a local show on TV5. The anchor talks so little and allows the panelists to talk for about 20-25 minutes in a 30 minute show!
The trademark of your show is that you are the person that talks the most! And almost all the news anchors in this country will not make mistakes like "...those players who hit all those boundaries and fours", "Arjun Singh's time was all about quotaaaas, and..OBC quotaas". Which journalists asks, "Ok, so why don't we talk to ISI?" I am sure I would have picked more, had I not stopped watching your show!

And I am amazed at your knowledge of the world when I read this line. "(The US Senate is arguably the most privileged club of 100 people in the world.)" Really Sagarika? Maybe the senators will all be pleased to know that someone thinks of them in this manner, and that too while discussing about frisking of VIP's in India. What amazes me more is that line appears in an answer to this question - "what are the rules for former heads of state in other countries?" I still wonder what connection the answer and the question have.

If you knew Mulayam's security was increased because of his support to UPA last year, why did you not make a big issue of it then? Did it not matter to you that totally unethical means were followed to win the trust vote? Why did you let that news cycle die down so quickly? If you feel "incredibly embarrased" when you see Robert Vadra's name, why don't you do something about it Sagarika?

The whole chat bothered me so much because you seem very desperate to take the moral high ground on an issue that deserves no more than a passing mention. You got the choice of the topic wrong, your comparisons wrong, and more importantly you priorities wrong!

PS: Answer to me this - How can you guarantee that the employee who frisked Dr. Kalam is not a security threat to him? As much as Dr. Kalam is a threat to the airline, an outsider bodily touching the former head of the world's largest democracy is also a serious security breach, so what about that then?!


Dirt Digger said...

Great questions Sudhir. Wonder if Sagarika would read this article, probably her head would explode :)
Problem here is that most of the talented, intelligent people go to fields where they can make money, which leaves a lot of chimps in the journalism business. There are a few good ones who produce quality stuff but they are an endangered species.

I, Me, Myself ! said...

You're right DD, quality jouranlists are a rarity today, especially in TV. They are just becoming a joke, as each day passes.

btw, I sent a copy of this to .. I am hoping she gets to read this!

- Sudhir

SysErr said...

Sagarika should set aside her crack pot while chatting. Some of her points are valid, for a change. But to a large extent, she definitely sounded like Sagarika :-)

Arun said...

Though I agree to her point, what you pointed out is absolutely correct. She is contradicting herself. In one way they create all these MASALA news (For their shake), and then criss-cross their own actions in chats/blogs.

Even today, when I watch DDnews, I feel they are THE best in terms of journalism, for they dont show drama in a news episode.

Swabhimaan said...

I read this and then wrote the pot head comment on Kanchan's blog :)

I, Me, Myself ! said...

Ohh :)

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