WHEN NEWS ANCHORS COME A-CRAWLING

Rupa Gulab

The verdict is out. The BJP is set to govern the country for the next five years with a prime minister some of us are so frightened of that we’re toying with the idea of running away to other continents. I urge people not to leave in a hurry, though. Be patient—don’t forget BJP leader Giriraj Singh’s nasty threat of banishing critics to Pakistan. Let him pay for our one-way tickets! We’re aware that the BJP got big money from greedy corporate India for the elections, I’m sure they can part with some loose change.

Well, congratulations, BJP, and be responsible for a change. I underline the word responsible, because the vote share grimly tells us that 69 per cent of Indians did not vote for you. Analysts have also informed us that 31 per cent is the lowest vote share of any party to win a majority. Think about that.

Meanwhile, Indian citizens have other important things to worry about. Like getting decent watchdogs in place—just in case. This is crucial because there is no strong Opposition in Parliament. And as for the media, sigh. Admittedly, there are still a few good men—okay, just a handful of journalists with integrity. They have already delivered their advice to the new order—mainly passionate lectures on India’s plurality and how the BJP will fail miserably in the eyes of the entire world if it doesn’t carry all of us along. I have another piece of advice to add to all that serious stuff: Oye, BJP, will you please let Parliament function, for God’s sake? Ten years in Opposition gave you the freedom to disrupt proceedings and deprive the nation of badly needed legislation. Adjournments happened on the silliest of pretexts, perhaps because some of you wanted to do something more enjoyable like get a facial, watch cricket matches, etc. It’s time to work, lazy sods!

Now on to another serious matter: How should we deal with the sort of people Giriraj Singh will definitely not send to Pakistan: spineless journalists (including some very senior news anchors) who have been bowing and scraping for scraps of affection and perhaps juicy bones from the BJP throughout the election campaign? I have two suggestions:

1. Since the spineless journo brigade seems to be blown away by the BJP’s presidential style of campaigning, I’m thinking of getting a good tailor to make those cute cheerleader skirts Betty and Veronica (Archie comics) wear. But I must warn the female members to go on a strict diet first, or they may be mistaken for footballs—heck, did you see how many laddoos Barkha Dutt and Sagarika Ghose ate while ingratiating themselves with the new order? There were enthusiastic tweets about their laddoo-eating sprees, photographs of laddoos crammed messily into mouths and other
fangirl rubbish.

The men must not be left out. I’m so looking forward to seeing Rahul Kanwal, Rajdeep Sardesai and Arnab Goswami in skirts as well—it may even send a strong message for gender equality. I’m sighing as I type this, though. I’m afraid none of them will come close to Brad Pitt in his Troy miniskirt. Arnab, however, may well look like Dharmendra in Dharamveer.

2. My friends groan and moan that the spineless journalists have been crawling for so long that spinal surgery may be required to get them into an upright position again. Personally, I am opposed to spinal surgery—the results are not always encouraging. I recommend physiotherapy instead. I do have the names and numbers of some fabulous physiotherapists in Mumbai and Delhi, and I will be happy to pass them on.

Am I being mean to the spineless brigade? I think not. Some of them showed great integrity during the 2002 Gujarat riots, exposing the very same person they’re fawning over today. Fear/greed/orders from corporate India have made them change their stand. And we should recognise them for what they are now: pretty much useless.    

 

This story is from the print issue of Hardnews: JUNE 2014