Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Freedom from Babas, Banerjees and Bakwaas….

On this 65th Independence day, I pray the country gets freedom from frenzied babas, despotic Banerjees and the non-stop bakwaas of politicians, TV anchors and misdirected activists. The country has been hijacked by these neo-colonizing forces and all right thinking people must get together to liberate the country….

I mean just imagine where we are headed. We have a baba who is personally accused of black money and money laundering and it is he who is leading a protest against black money? Instead of answering questions on his “gifted” foreign island and his thousand-crore empire built by dubious means, he has the audacity to ask questions of an elected government. So intoxicated is he by his mystical hold on his followers that he swings from one extreme position – I have no political intentions – to another in a rather tipsy state – Vote the Congress out of power. Such babas are best confined to the backyards of orthodox India – yet they grab prime real estate at Jantar Mantar and Ramlila grounds in the national capital?

Look at how grotesque the picture is. Ramdev – fighting corruption and black money – is funny enough but look who he is flanked by. Nitin Gadkari and Sharad Yadav. Isn’t Nitin Gadkari the leader of the party that had to remove its CM in Karnataka because of corruption charges? And even after removing the CM, what did the party do? Install another CM who is a known puppet in the hands of this ex-CM? Isn’t he also of the same party which had to throw out its CM in Uttarakhand because of corruption? Maybe he’s not there to fight corruption. Maybe he’s there only to pay reverence and to fall at the feet of the yogi. After all, the party he heads is surely most comfortable with the likes of babas – many of whom elect his partymen to the Parliament. And what about Sharad Yadav? Wasn’t he the one who rubbished the Anna movement to shreds just a few months back? Isn’t he the author of some really colorful language seen in Parliament? And now what’s he doing? Sharing the stage with the Baba? Look who else is on the same stage…..BSP and SP, both claimants for the “most corrupt” tag in UP. Unbelievable!

And what about the other “Baba” – Anna Hazare? The one who believes people who drink should be tied to trees and beaten with belts? Who cannot prevent himself from being manipulated by some really smart-alec followers. Those who have their hands in the cookie jars of their employers but are advising others to keep their hands out? Those who abuse their powers of authority to get their daughters admitted into medical college but are advising others to remain upright? Those who are “lucky” beneficiaries of large parcels of land but are accusing others of holding benami plots of land? The Anna movement fortunately has met its deserved end…..and the country its deserved freedom.

But what about all the bakwaas that we see on our TV channels every single night? Anchors who behave like Lokpals as they judge and decide cases every 10-15 minutes. If India stayed away from the American jury style judicial system, the decision is proved right every night when one watches news TV in India – the “jury panels” that these channels put up every night are worse than the Taliban courts mocked around the world. And yet it is all allowed to pass off as freedom of speech.

If you read the Wikipedia definition of yellow journalism, it’ll tell you all that I mean: Yellow journalism, or the yellow press, is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers. Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism. And it goes on to further quote
Frank Luther Mott (1941) who defines yellow journalism in terms of five characteristics:
  1. scare headlines in huge print, often of minor news
  2. lavish use of pictures, or imaginary drawings
  3. use of faked interviews, misleading headlines, pseudoscience, and a parade of false learning from so-called experts
  4. emphasis on full-color Sunday supplements, usually with comic strips
  5. dramatic sympathy with the "underdog" against the system.
The Wikipedia definition may be intended for newspapers, but in India, it is more appropriate for TV channels. When will we get freedom from all this?
And finally what about the Banerjees of our political system. Those who make a living by just blocking things. In the old world, the Bong was joked about as starting every reply with “Hobe na” (Cannot be done) but things would eventually get done nonetheless. But with the likes of Mamata, things now end at Hobe na. Nothing can move ahead because Ms Banerjee doesn’t like it. So there cannot be any foreign investment into pension funds, banking, airlines and of course multi-brand retail; but when she deems fit, FDI should be allowed – like in the railways sector that her party manages. Mamata is not the only banerjee in politics today. There are many – permanent as well as opportunistic ones – all around. The country, if anything, needs freedom from all such types.
The real truth is that on the 65th anniversary of our independence, we need to pray for the removal of all such things. Till that happens, India will remain a slave….this time not of foreigners, but to itself….


  1. Very appropriate thoughts for the Independence Day.

  2. Very appropriate thoughts for the Independence Day!