Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dear Kejriwal, who is paid media now?

Nobody could have put this better, than Sadanand Dhume (@dhume) in summarising the results of the elections 2014.

AAP & Sikkim Democratic Front may be similarly placed in Parliament. Hope TV studio graphics will show Chamling beside Modi & Rahul Gandhi.
With AAP getting less than 1% of Lok Sabha seats, will the media finally give up the absurd conceit of projecting AK as a national leader?

The only reason Dhume says this and not any of out big talking journo tycoons and their lesser known minions is because Dhume is not a part of India media that created a hero out of Kejriwal.

A short history is in order. The AAP - borne out of the India Against Corruption movement had a chance to rule Delhi - which it did and transformed Delhi in 49 days. And they decided that the 49 day transformation was enough and decided the transform the country without even governing. This, they would do, they decided, by contesting in some 200 odd seats (forget the numbers, they are not important). Why wait for the messy process of governing when the country can be transformed by simply campaigning? And so they did.

Exit polls suggest that they would win 1% of vote nationally and in some pockets may win about 3-5 seats. The polls suggest a complete loss in Delhi where the above mentioned transformation happened.

All along, the media - which Mr. Arvind Kejriwal routinely accuses of being 'paid by Ambani or Modi or whoever catches his fancy' depending on what they say about him and his minions in his party - has flashed pictures of him and the other two as a potential Prime Ministerial candidate. So, most intellectuals (see previous post) believed that Kejriwal was a potential Prime Ministerial candidate too - alongwith the dynastic incumbent, Rahul Gandhi and the only anointed Prime Minister candidate from any party - Narendra Modi.

Opeds upon opeds were written about how the AAP would win seats - and I remember one insane piece on the front page of a leading advertisement supplement with a newspaper about the AAP would sweep (pun intended) cities - about how Kejriwal would make a difference, even though his government made did very little in Delhi in those 49 days - other than an interview and dharna a day. There are many links - which I intend to put up - once the results are up. But all throughout, as Dhume says, the media continued to project Kejriwal as a potential Prime Ministerial candidate. And that is something - considering that the vote share of Kejriwal would fall in the league of Sikkim Democratic Front headed by Chamling. Chamling who you ask? Then why not Kejriwal who?

Well, because Kejriwal was a media creation. A creation that ruled television sets. A creation that feasted on interviews. With each interview, the Kejriwal bubble grew and grew until Kejriwal himself and many of his followers believed it. Except the unwashed masses did not watch TV - they probably did not have electricity. Or did not buy newspaper - the dolts. Or perhaps, they did both and watched those interviews like one watches a Teleshopping ad - watch but dismiss it right at the outset. (If there is a parody to be made, here is one.)

And hence, this question to Kejriwal. Who is paid media? The media which projected you as a Prime Minister - despite the party projected to win 1% of vote? That is not the tail wagging the dog, but the flea on the tail wagging the dog.Why did they do that?

While I am reasonably sure they did not do out of money, most likely out of intellectual love emanating from a blow to Modi perspective - it is a question worth asking. Why did the media project Kejriwal as a potential PM and not, say, Raj Thackeray or even Chamling? 

Note: Putting this post where my mouth is. So that if the exit polls are proved wrong and AAP wins a massive, landslide victory, I can be called a paid blogger or even an Ambani agent.

(Slightly edited version cross posted at IndiaFacts)

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