– by SANJAY JHA
The Sanjay Dud-Mayawati fracas over the “jhappi and pappi” stuff provided comic relief from the never-ending venom, vitriol , Varun and vehemence on constant display during this summer-time election. Almost everyone has had an EC warning, and the standard pretext has been the ” context” in which the happening sentences have been gleefully uttered. Either way, what has been conspicuously missing in this election has been a sarcastic exchange laced with biting humor. For instance, just why hasn’t anyone from the Congress yet said about Narendra Modi that he is always trying to save both his faces??????
The electronic media has had a field-day as most political parties have appointed spokespeople for dedicated channels on permanent standby. So sound-bytes are completely underwritten, and it is a win-win proposition on both sides, which is a fair deal . But what has been particularly noticeable is the almost condescending manner and ” judgmental” overtones of some senior editorial types from well-known TV channels. Absolute no-no, if you ask me, and defying basic norms of studio hospitality. One of them was openly damning the spokesperson of a political party, passing his own personal opinion with vigorous body language to boot , and sounding like a pompous, self-righteous indignant judge. The job of an anchor is to create an animated debate and ensure fair-play in the time allotment sphere, and let the best man( men ) score the points. But when anchors behave like football match referees, we have a serious problem. Worse, some of them come across as a Pope.
President Zardari in Pakistan does not believe in a ” body of evidence”, which given the Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab affair should hardly come as a surprise. But his rather outrageous statement that Osama bin Laden was dead, was an incredible shocker. Of course, Mr Zardari added that that was his personal assessment, as he had no ” evidence”, which must have given the US plenty to introspect on , given Zardari’s arbitrary interpretation of ” proof”. Promptly, the US President Barack Obama contradicted the fictitious tale, but one wonders where is all the new tranche of USD 400 million military help for Pakistan headed for if the head of state is as clueless as I am when solving trigonometry for high-school kids. Besides Zardari’s foot-in -the-mouth disease, Obama should seriously worry as unaccounted US funds could be actually be invested in a dubious portfolio, some of which could boomerang ( pun intended) on the US itself.
Today my very famous Malbar-Hill flavored South Mumbai constituency has gone to vote, and I shall soon find out if some of them were holidaying in the snowy Alps, doing a lazy brunch , or those who are the recession-conscious kind , taking a long week-end break at Alibaug. It’s possible that others just chose to avoid the insufferable surly weather as it would mean an appointment with the dermatologist. Either way when I voted this morning, the crowds looked thinner than Kareena Kapoor in a size zero or whatever, although the general expectation was that once the afternoon sun set in, they would troop by in dark glares covering three fourths of their prized beauty to press the buzzer. In a few hours we will know.
Till such time, let us watch a 7 over IPL match with a 7.5 minutes of a strategy break. Enjoy!