October 21, 2007

MODI : Of “image problem” ,“perception” etc

From offstumped
I’d like to take Offstumped’s analysis further.

Karan Thapar claims that Modi has an “image problem”, and that there is a “perception” that he is “anti-Muslim” and a “mass-murderer”.

Whose “perception” is this? Sure, Hindu-baiters do have such a “perception”, because they want to push under the carpet the fact that a fourth of those killed in the Gujarat violence were Hindus, not counting those burnt to death at Godhra.

Congress party would definitely like to give currrency to such a “perception”, because its communal, vote-bank politics always depended on creating a Hindu ogre that minorities could be frightened with. (During 1999 election campaign in South Delhi, Manmohan Singh went to the extent of blaming 1984 Sikh killings on Hindu organizations. Sikhs turned out in large numbers to elect his BJP rival.)

Communists and their allied “NGOs” (the Gujarat High Court called them “anti-national elements”) also depend a great deal on creating and perpetuating such “perceptions”, because it is not merely politics for them, but is also a money-making venture.

Well, then, the “media”. The “media” is full of “perceptions”. It runs and thrives on its “perceptions” that run counter to commonsense. And since it has channels of communication under its control, it will try and push these “perceptions” as popular perceptions, by cleverly censoring out any questioning of those “perceptions”. Rajdeep Sardesai, the anchor-person of CNNIBN that hosts Thapar’s show, worked for Times of India during the Bombay Blasts of 1993. Soon after the killings, Dawood Ibrahim’s name figured as the culprit. Our anchorman propmptly published a leader in ToI, arguing that Dawood cannot be the bomber because he had cheered the Indian team at Sharjah and therefore there was a “perception” that he was a patriot. Ergo, the less said about the “perceptions” of these types, the better. At any rate, an objective, professional journaists brings to the table public opinion, not his own pet theories and prejudices.

In other words, Karan Thapar was trying to needle Modi with claimed “perceptions” which are just so much hot air; whose origin is dubious, and was not revealed.

Let us for argument’s sake assume that such “perceptions” about Modi do indeed exist. Then arises the question of being civil. There is also the perception that our PM is a weakling, that he is a failure all-round, that he is a sycophnatic loyalist of the dynasty keeping the seat warm for the price. Can you imagine Thapar putting the following question to MMS:

“Dr Singh, you have an image problem. You are seen to be the Sikh face of a party that murdered Sikhs. People are openly saying that you are spineless. They say that you are a family retainer whose job it is to protect the property till the legal inheritor takes over. How do you respond to these perceptions?”

You can bet your sweet bottom that Karan Thapar is not going to act that loutishly in front of MMS or Sonia Gandhi. Why is Modi fair game?

IBN and their brand of “journalists” have for long been trying to establish that abusing Modi is acceptable “journalism”. Modi has acted smartly by walking out of Thapar’s interview. By doing so he has not only made the point that abuse is NOT legit journalism, but also denied Karan Thapar some brownie points.

Some of these points have to do with Thapar scoring with his channel and the politicians that it roots for. Everybody knows CNNIBN’s poliitcal leanings.

More importantly, Thapar wanted his ego massaged. He suggested to Modi that if the latter would just “regret” 2001 violence, then the alleged “image problem” will go away!! Thapar is not a dimwit to seriously believe in this piffle, but he wanted to force Modi to say something that he can put down in his resume as a “confession” he “extracted” from a recalcitrant politician. Modi denied him that opportunity too.

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