Open letter to Sagarika Ghose on her Blog “Big Boss syndrome ‘

Dear Sagarika Madam

You are bemoaning  the Indian TV  channels’  preoccupation with political leaders’ repugnant personal attacks on their adversaries than bringing to fore the real issues confronting the Nation. You are accusing the TV channels of recasting the entire electioneering coverage to that of a TV reality show that goes as “Big Boss”. However one really wonders if there is any substantive issue in this election for the opposition which has reduced the entire election theme to “Modi Hatao– Desh Bachao” campaign.

Let us begin to address your gripe that real issues in the 2019 election coverage have been allowed to be brushed aside and obscured by media channels preferring to focus on our political leaders’ proficiency to unleash personal attacks on each other. The pertinent question that needs answer is did the opposition have any real issue that would have mobilised public support around it. Let us examine what possible issues they could have brought out except holding on to failure to deposit Rs 15 lakhs in people’s bank account as was mentioned by Modi in one of his election rhetorics (which never appeared in their official manifesto).

The intolerance issue had gone stale because by and large the minority population lived peacefully without having to face any communal clash. All govt. welfare schemes were applicable to one n all without any discrimination on religious or cast lines. The stage managed lynching faded out of news in view of strict laws introduced. The ever exploitable farmers cause was not available for renting because dragging it would have exposed the congress party’s own vulnerability in the states it is ruling, where it is struggling to keep up the promises it has made to the farmers. There was no issue concerning Law and order situation. With the success of surgical strike across Pakistan to tame Pakistan and with china endorsing UN resolution on Assad Masood, there was no scope for exploiting foreign diplomacy short comings.

Most importantly there was not a streak of corruption in the ministries. The so called job crisis and unemployment was not finding any takers except in academic debates and op-ed pages. The political parties could not make the jobless people  a big election issue because the most affected category of population in the age group of 18 to 25 were found to be the most vociferous supporters of Narendra Modi. None of the issue had  potential nocuous impact to exploit public antagonism.

Having failed in their quest to rent an issue the opposition settled upon the most pertinent issue which threatened their survival in politics. They euphemistically termed it as save democracy. Stop Modi to save democracy failed to appeal to the common public from peasant class to the middle class who form the major voting bloc. The educated class found the stop Modi and save democracy narrative very bemusing as they found- no one’s right being infringed upon, judiciary was functioning normally, no unlawful arrests were being made, the media continued to publish articles disparaging the govt and its leader as freely as ever.

It soon dawned on the public that the democracy that the opposition was hankering after had some unique features. A Democratic system where it was guaranteed that- Political leaders would not be pursued by investigating agencies for corruption charges and disproportionate assets case, Mallayas and Chowksis could continue to remain in India without getting arrested for failure to repay their huge bank loans, Demonetisation version 2 would not be brought in to cripple political parties ability to finance nefarious activities, hundreds of Benami firms used for siphoning black money would continue to thrive without any clamps on them. As it was impossible to expect these guarantees under Modi govt they wanted to save their democracy from Modi.

Rahul Gandhi’s preposterous admission that since Modi’s strength happened to be his image, therefore congress had devised their campaign strategy built around chipping away and eroding his impeccable image, made it abundantly clear that personal attack on Modi was to become the main election plank. Under the circumstances it is really shocking that you have scandalously chosen to describe Rahul as that  love sage who is hesitant to  let lose personal attacks on Modi, when as a matter of fact for more than a year he has been calling him chor.

Despite the charge in Rafael deal getting countered and nullified on various occasions the congress think tank continued with the “Chowkidar chor hai“ campaign. People attending his rallies were dragooned to chant in chorus “Chowkidar Chor hai“, even the children were not spared and they were allured to chant this derogatory slogan. The personal attack on Modi was carried out by one and all and they were covertly encouraged by Rahul. Many in the congress trying to impress their leadership competed with each other to excel in name calling. Suddenly in the fag end of the electioneering out of now where the obnoxious congress veteran who was sacked for his derogatory remarks on our PM few months earlier resurfaced to audaciously insist that he was right in his earlier remarks about PM. Even ultra lightweights and non entities in politics like Manish Sisodia, Kanhaiya, Jignesh Mevani took it upon themselves to echo “Modi Hatao – Desh Bachao“ theme.

In the absence of any tangible issue to take on Modi the opposition simply relied on personal attack on him while hoping for the minority votes and caste votes to see them through. The TV channels cannot be blamed for making the election coverage the “Big boss“ reality show, it is not for them to raise the issues which the opposition themselves did not have.

It is very unethical on your part to bracket PM’s diligent and righteous remarks on the former PM Rajiv Gandhi with other third rate below the belt personal attacks hurled at him. No one can find fault with Modi’s reasoning that if one was keen to seek votes in the name of one’s families’ contribution to the Nation then he cannot insulate himself from his family’s misdeeds being pointed at him.

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