The following article was written for Niti Central. Pasting it here for reference:
Last evening, Times Now aired an interview of Rajnath Singh with Arnab Goswami. Arnab asked authoritatively, “There is this perception that the BJP has become a one-man party.” Rajnath Singh nods his head indicating that this is false. Arnab continues, “Everyone is saying so; every single newspaper in the country and every single news channel in the country. Is everybody wrong?”
Arnab Goswami will find it hard to believe that ‘everybody’ of his ilk can be and have been wrong. ‘Every single newspaper in the country and every single news channel in the country’ told us that Modi cannot be the Prime Ministerial candidate for multiple reasons. But ‘every single’ such reason stands invalid now, and the surge we are witnessing right now is unbelievable. The arrogance of likes of Arnab in raking up such arguments merely to grab attention instead of focussing on real issues is simply astounding! Why is this argument being peddled now? Because, a few seniors have been snubbed! At one point of time, journalists of his ilk even demanded that the people beyond a certain age should not be allowed to contest. And today, when the BJP is exploring such options to achieve the same, they find it questionable?
Couple of days back, I was watchingCNN-IBN. The promo of ‘Talking Point at 9 with Rajdeep Sardesai’ was on air. The ‘talking point’ for that day was about fissures in the BJP. Why are there talks of fissures? Just because Rajnath Singh tweeted, saying, “Time for change, Time for BJP.” He did not tweet the exact English translation of ‘Abki baar, Modi sarkar’. Haww! There is no mention of Modi, so it is a blow to Modi! How is a vote for the BJP, not a vote for Modi or vice-versa? The Hindi ads of the BJP also ask us to vote for the BJP. Does it mean that even those ads expose the divide in the BJP? When will our media get real? When will they stop peddling such unadulterated crap to the viewer/reader in the guise of reporting with analysis? I thought that this was an aberration limited to IBN. But this was The Hindu’s front page story next day.
Why there is this desperation in the Indian media to indicate that the BJP is screwed up big time? It is simply astonishing to note that our media invents a non-issue and makes it the ‘talking point’ of the day. Speaking of talking points, we must discuss the entire Pramod Muthalik episode that dominated media space. Pramod Muthalik shot into fame in 2008, when the organisation he heads, Sri Rama Sene went to a pub in Mangalore and beat up some women in the pub. The visuals were quite shocking, and the police arrested Muthalik et.al. The dirty tricks department of the Congress and the media started associating Sri Rama Sene with the BJP. The fact was that Sri Rama Sene put up candidates against the BJP in the 2008 Assembly elections.
Let’s fast forward to 2014, Pramod Muthalik was admitted into the BJP by the Karnataka State unit. Within minutes, there was widespread outrage. Not just in media, but even on social media platforms. Various supporters of the Party expressed their displeasure with this act of the BJP. Within few hours, the feedback went to the national headquarters of the BJP and the induction of Pramod Muthalik was set aside by the central leadership. This incident also proved that many vocal supporters of the BJP are also quite vocal in opposing decisions that will affect the Party. The central leadership was receptive to this feedback and within few hours, this crisis was resolved. The outrage was justified, and the resolution ensured that the Party is not affected.
So far, so good but the very next day, another accused in the same pub attack case and a former counsel to the same Sri Rama Sene party joined the Congress. The outrage in the main stream media was nowhere close to what it was when Muthalik was induced into the BJP. The Congress too reversed this decision within hours, but it was astounding as how they took him into the party even after the Muthalik fiasco. And even more astounding was the dull reaction of the main stream media!
If you follow the Indian media, you will find that there are only two major players in this election, the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party. According to the media, the BJP is plagued with so many problems that it is unimaginable as how it will manage to come to power but the AAP is simply awesome; there are absolutely no issues with it. Even if there are, media finds them routine issues which happen in any party. For example, if leaders vie for tickets in the BJP, it is a blow to the BJP but when same thing happens in the AAP, it is portrayed by the media as a normal practice. There is little or no focus on the misrule of the Congress party! Why there is too much focus only on the minor problems within the BJP? Why only in case of the BJP, there is so much made out of nothing?