A majority of party spokes persons, still don’t believe in this age old but popular Hindi song– “Yeh jo public hai, woh sab janti hai.”
Most party spokes persons who appear in prime time TV debates of various reputed channels need to realise that the Indian viewer has matured far beyond their imagination. And heart to heart they hate this growing wisdom of the Indian public. As it makes their job even more difficult. Which is quite apparent if you attentively watch these programmes.
Today’s mature TV viewer can clearly make out when the party spokesperson is lying or trying to defend the indefensible, by blindly following the party whip. And that, he or she has walked in, with the solemn pledge to defend the party at all costs. Where, one can glaringly make out from the screen. Whenever, they try to abide by those intermittent instructions that keep trickling into their mobiles in staccato rhythms. Basis, the intensity of the debate resulting in who is losing and who is winning through these frequent text messages or Whats-App. When, each time their eyes dip below, to read those crisp instructions.
The debates on TV have become more issue based than mere political pragmatism. Generally, trying to open each other’s ‘dhoti’ to score a brownie point. Just to stay ahead. This is what competition teaches you. Where, politics is no different, even when it has strange bedfellows. One can possibly consider the stale political rhetoric emanating out of TV screens coming all the way from the studios as mere gap fillers something like a comma or even a full stop. Often the panel comprises of spokes persons from BJP, Congress, AAP, SP, BSP, Akali- Dal, Janata Dal, Janata Dal United, TMC, NC, PDP, NCP, CPI, CPM, AIDMK and the DMK, to name a few. They all jostle to capture sound bites. The competition is mostly between political parties on one end, and journalists, lawyers, individuals- in-question or any other luminary from any other field, on the other end. All, trying to score a point over the other.
Most spokes persons are, boastfully well-to-do. Apparently affluent, refreshingly articulate, and from the front ranks of political India. Who, while performing in these vibrant debates, quite often amalgamate a concoction of lies just to defend their party, come what may. But they cannot hide the disconnect between their pumping hearts, agitating minds, guilty eyes and tethering tongues and at times even their wavering hands and fingers, while confronting the camera. For, in a heated and not ready to give-in debate when the tongue tells a lie your eyes naturally look down, is when the heart sags, the throat chokes, the mind beeps and the hands and fingers balance between the heart and the mind. In all of this I guess the conscience is left behind, quite intentionally at a place where you can’t readily find. This irritates the viewers which the party should realise. In fact the party would gain more by accepting its mistakes if any. Than by stupidly arguing about it, as it is only human to err. One must not forget you have a new generation viewership now, that likes transparency.
So, then why is it that no spokesperson can ever accept his party’s mistake openly on a TV debate? Perhaps, because, you require guts to do that. But then one must realise, by accepting mistakes you raise the bar of integrity. Recently, a new phenomenon has come alive. That is, to block co-panelists in debates from talking, by talking over them. I have seen this happening quite often in recent times. The latest was, what I saw the other day in Timesnow. When Arnab Goswami was debating the AAP debacle. The official party spokesperson of AAP, Preeti Menon was not allowing her own party M.P. to speak. Preeti Menon must have thought. She is doing a great job for her party, by not letting her own colleague to speak, just because he was critical about the establishment. But in such a case. The viewpoint of the viewers is quite different, where, she looked and sounded quite shallow and frivolous. As truth crosses all human boundaries. For make no mistake you can’t scuttle the truth by merely talking over it or by blocking it on a TV debate. Because, truth is much closer to the viewer’s heart than one can even imagine.
Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi
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