Friday, December 20, 2013

Neo-liberal TV channel takes over India's Rashtrapati Bhavan!

Neo-liberal TV channel takes over India's Rashtrapati Bhavan!
I avoid news on India's corporate controlled TV channels which are celebrity and trivia obsessed. The so-called panel discussions on these channels are a roaring joke with the same usual suspects or empty heads or party spokesmen mostly lawyers repeating old otiose arguments without coming to core of the subject. The anchors are compromised, garrulous, shrieking and posing as if for a matron's role in family opera TV serials popular with bored housewives.
So I was surprised to see a function being held at Rashtrapati Bhavan by NDTV channel, a private TV channel about whose fat cat financial masters little is known but it is certainly controlled by robber baron corporate houses.
It is shameful if not disgusting that the august residence of the highest constitutional office in the Republic of India was taken over by a private TV channel. It is well known how the Prime Minister and the Chairman of the planning commission, who are IMF pensioners are so beholden to the neo-liberal and uncivilized state of America and its side kick IMF, but I fail to understand how the honorable , experienced and politics savvy President  of India , who has held all portfolios in the cabinet except of PM ,allowed his official residence to be used by a privately owned channel for its program thus giving highest official recognition to choices made at the behest of a private TV channel .
Any enquiry should be held about who advised on this decision for the Rashtrapati Bhavan to be exploited by a corporate channel.
I had noticed some years ago, Vice President MH Ansari, giving awards on a private TV channel. Mercifully such an exercise has not been repeated.
Election of president Mukherjee and role of Maulana Mulayam.
During the elections for the President's office last year Sonia Gandhi's preferred choice was VP Hamid Ansari and then Pranab Mukherjee. Ansari's candidature was opposed vehemently by Maulana Mulayam Singh Yadav of SP party. Mulayam claims to represent the interests of Muslims and has been elected and re-elected on that basis. So it was surprising that Mulayam, who had first proposed the name of a Muslim for the post of president after KR Narayanan and finally succeeded in getting Abul Kalam elected to the office. But this time Maulana Mulayam publicly opposed the candidature of Mr. Ansari for the highest office. He said that he does not want a bureaucrat as the President.
Intellectually many members of the SP are not of particularly high level and do not know what they are saying. In the recent case of the suspension of a young lady SDM in UP doing her duty in accordance with the Supreme Court directive, one of them, another Yadav from the family akhara (wrestling pit) said that' we are the Sarkar '(as in totally decadent Mogul empire end era) and claimed that he could do what he wanted (like it was during the end Mogul era.) Unfortunately Indian polity has reverted back to that medieval, heterogeneous, caste, sub-caste, parochial and regional era.  The electoral law is a joke and the outcome is not even representative democracy .Mulayam's party with 29% votes based on Yadav and Muslin support won a thumping majority
So it was surprising that Maulana Mulayam opposed Ansari's candidature. Because Dr Abul Kalam whom Maulana had proposed was only a technocrat, whereas Mr. Ansari after a brilliant career in the diplomatic service, had held the office of the Vice Chancellor of Aligarh University, with great distinction where many well-known Muslims appointed to the post had come a cropper. Mr. Ansari was also successfully headed the Minorities Commission with the rank of Cabinet Minister.
So why Maulana Mulayam did publicly and vehemently opposed the candidature of Mr. Ansari.
The political gossip mongers were saying in New Delhi and Mumbai that a number of corporate fat cats had made an arrangement (not difficult to guess) with Mulayam to oppose Mr. Ansari so that Mr. Mukherjee could become the president. It was believed that Sonia Gandhi would not make him the Prime Minister .The corporate lobby felt that Mukherjee a seasoned politician for many decades was not giving in entirely to the whims and fancies of robber barons of this country, in spite of many allegations against one of his advisers.
 I understand many Muslims leaders in Uttar Pradesh were very unhappy with Mulayam 'false grandstanding' .Mulayam whose son was educated in English medium schools and in Australia is a disaster. But Mulayam keeps on repeating that English should be banned and people should use Hindi. It shows his obscure and limited mindset. He should remember that in mid 1960s when an attempt was made to impose Hindi, southern states in India had revolted. 
Coming to the abuse of the august Rashtrapati last week for one of the corporate channel, was it to express gratitude to corporate houses in general who had helped Mr. Mukherjee to be catapulted to the highest office of India.
Below is a media report;
Education, innovation needs reform: Pranab
Twenty-five legends honored for outstanding contributions
To become achievers we need courage and determination, said President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday while presenting India's 25 greatest global Indian living legends awards at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.
The awards, instituted by television news channel NDTV as part of its 25-years celebrations, recognize and honor 25 individuals for outstanding contribution in their respective fields.
Presenting the awards, Mr. Mukherjee said India must take its rightful place among nations and invest in education and innovation to build a world-class education system. Commenting on the achievements of the awardees, the President said a lesson that can be drawn from the lives of these 25 awardees is that there are no shortcuts to success. Full article below