Mr. Prime Minister, You've Disappointed Us Again
I was fortunate that this phenomenal event occurred in a working day and more so at a time I and many current affairs buffs like me are busy in their respective offices. The watershed event which finally took place after a long wait of six years turned out to be sheer torture of 1.5 hours for many who were unfortunate enough to sustain the torture on TV. Spare a thought for those helpless seven hundred odd journos present in Vigyan Bhawan to take on the torture head on.
Honestly Dr. Manmohan Singh might not get a better opportunity to set many things straight for once but opted otherwise. Many had thought Dr. Singh would have truck loads of information to share since he last interacted with the media some six years back. Even if we can forgo the amount of information that was expected from him, the least expectation was some excitement, energetic and thumping reaction from him. But as usual he choose to go with his trademark monotonous, emotion and expressionless narration of some pre-decided stanza, which many thought was only copyrighted by Tushar Kapoor. When the brilliant minds of different media houses struggled to come up with a decent headline to publish Dr. Singh's press conference, it is easily evident how non starter the whole thing was. Hang on - I guess I am going away from the topic. I am not disappointed for Dr. Singh's Tushar Kapoor act but the nature, quality and honesty of the response he delivered that day.
There were many questions hurled at him, but let's analyze a few which have some interest for us. Certainly we are not much bothered on the PID issued to foreign journalists on which our MEA and I&B ministry are at loggerheads. When asked about A. Raja's brilliance and his uncanny ability of stocking government booty at his private bungalow, the answer was far from being termed as an answer even. 'Investigation is on and culprits would be dealt with iron fist'. What's new on this, Mr. PM? If we leave apart the investigation, then the second part is very well authorised by our constitution and we definitely didn't need an assurance from you on the authenticity of our constitution for an answer. Rs. 9000 crores for 2G auction and Rs. 70000 crores for 3G. Isn't there a glaring loss for the government in 2G auction? A 2nd standard student can tell this, if he has got some idea about numbers then what and why on earth is some investigation needed to figure this out? The bizarre statement of the culprit would be punished, should go unsaid. The whole answer suggested nothing is going to happen to the culprits as the most visible culprit happens to be a big ally of the running government.
Dr. Singh was at his monotonous best when asked about the security of our country. The same age old dialogue of trust deficit with Pakistan was his agenda. Forget about the deficit or surplus, the idea of associating Pakistan with the word trust is laughable. The example was promptly provided the very next day when Hafiz Saeed was let off before anything could even start. What significance really happened post 26/11 that our whole machinery are running all around with Olive branches and proposal of talks is beyond my comprehensions. If someone asks me on what grounds we scaled in terms of security, I would reply with silence. Many of our states are under Maoist mayhem, our brave Jawans are getting killed on daily basis, railway tracks are blasted almost every alternate day and what our response to all those - A top Maoist leader goes off the hook in West Bengal due to lack of evidence. It is strange, we are ready with our Air force jets to bomb our own people but run around like a bunch of school kids behind a US-sponsored lollipop and go on a hugging and kissing spree at Thimphu. Irony I must say.
His answers on our economic growth are insignificant to me. Touting the upcoming malls, shopping junctions and international airports means nothing when still 40% of our populace struggle to get hold of a decent square meal per day. Don't believe me, then better ask Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who is expecting 2 lakh more families to be inducted into the latest below poverty line list. Is this the 8% growth that we were talking about? All these statistics are jargon best kept in books and reports and go on a chest beating exercise on global platform, giving a scare or two to China and some envious punch to Pakistan. At grassroots they mean nothing.
The only time Dr. Singh was seen excited when asked about Rahul Gandhi's prospect of becoming the prime minister. Come on, sir, ours is a democracy, isn't it? Let the people decide whom they want to lead the country. The very question seems out of context, as the whole press conference was there to discuss the gains & losses till the last general election. When the PM has to say that he would continue his term to completion before a certain Rahul Gandhi can take over or worse is ready to forfeit his post if the party and it's chief wants in between, is quite bizarre. Being an astute politician, you must be aware that it is you whom the country has voted to power not someone whom your party prefers or for that matter your party's chief prefers. Aren't you answerable to the country also, other than your party chief?
Torture or no torture, the whole media briefing needs to be forgotten in a hurry. After a One and half hour circus, nothing significant seems to come out of it. All the issue and the clarity on them remains as docile as they were before the press meet. If not for anyone Dr. Singh could have shown some aggressiveness and settle the tag of him being weak and possessing a media phobia, as attached by the opposition, for once. But instead it all turned out to be a big torture like a One and half hour long Yawn. Don't believe me? then try taking the yawn first.
Mr. Prime Minister, You've Disappointed Us Again
- » Published on May 26, 2010
- » Type: Opinion
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