It was a horrendous tragedy in Lakhimpur Kheri which first grabbed primetime attention. But the fact that the cameras have stayed on Priyanka for so long eventually helps the channels and Narendra Modi.
Why does a media owned by industrialists and controlled by the ruling party, heap such generous attention on the Gandhis? Because they are no threat. Anything of a Leftist hue, with the capacity to mobilize the people on a platform of roti, kapda, makaan, healthcare, universal free education, must be thwarted. By this criteria, the Congress is no threat.
By not moving out of the way, the Nehru-Gandhi family is holding up political movement, a churning, shuffling by which the regional parties will have a stake in an accommodative central unit which is not obsessed with the unrealistic desire to revive “on its own”.
I want to cite in this column the number of stories or instances of how ethics is ceasing to be a factor in the functioning of India’s national media (TV, print and social). The media is getting increasingly partisan, its main focus shifting from pointing out facts to building perceptions.
It is the early days, but then there is an unmistakable impression that is gaining ground all over that Modi is fast emulating Indira Gandhi. In her days of glory, Indira Gandhi was simply unchallengeable. Modi seems to be in a similar situation today.
There is an expression in Hindi, “Soney pey suhaga”, suhaga being the powder which makes gold shine. In a volatile social situation, where communal polarization is an electoral requirement until key state elections are out of the way, the Zawahiri slogan may have some short term advantages for the ruling party. It is perverse to say so but that is the way it is.
The controversy surrounding Rajnath Singh and his son being called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and confronted with evidence of “improper conduct” is refusing to die down. The details of the rumoured incident were already being discussed in the power circles even before the media started reporting about it.
The greatest security for the Gandhis, one which will keep them on their perch, is that there is no life left in the rump to ask questions. Those who could have asked questions, like Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia, have been kept outside the paddock. The simple principle of dynasties is: the crown prince must not have a challenger. The queen must never be upstaged. Even for the job of the President of India she could only settle for the lackluster Pratibha Patil.