Monday, June 6, 2011

Dear Arnab Goswami,

Congratulations to you and your team.   

You and your team have been doing a great job in presenting, reporting news and conducting debates. You try your best in striking max balance in your debates and get opposite views to balance the debate. We can see your skills in keeping it fair. And that is why we feel you are just too good professionally..

But Arnab, with all due respect, today one thing struck me about selection of people on the panel and I thought let me add my perspective about it. Here it is. 

The same faces of elite class, and so called intelligentsia from the same society (no offense meant to anyone personally) like Vinod Mehata, Suhail Seth, Nalini Kumari, Patchi Karkria have hardly any positive perspectives to offer in TV debates.   

A- They are not rational and balanced in their views, 
B- They think when they are asked to express their views, their views are of the majority people. Certainly not so. Ground zero realities are not reflected in their opinions. 

I am sorry to say this , I am saying this from the expressions they often use in the debates on the national TV channels. 

Making comments like... 

Cronies of Anna Hazare, trying to hijack constitution and parliament house, it is a tamasha, Drama, Navtunky, comments by Suhail Seth and Vinod Mehata are outrageous...  

Their logic, thinking is bizarre and irrational. They all and others like them are entitled to enjoy their freedom of speech, I respect it too. They can have their personal views. But certainly not on televised debate on national TV where serious issues are discussed and debated. Where civil society is looking for balanced, rational and impartial views and inputs. Where common frustrated man on the street wants to know who is fooling around with him or her for the last 63 years. 

People like Suhail Seth, Ranjana Kumari, Vinod Mehata or Vinod Sharma have hardly anything to add to intellectual debates and discussions and also have more questions than answers or solutions to issues being debated on national TV Channels.  

Have they ever tried to listen to common people? I think they need to be good listeners. 

Sitting in London, New York or their Air conditioned rooms, they will not know the pulse of common people on the street who are totally frustrated, disgusted today with dishonest, corrupt political class. It is none of these who are suffering but the common man. 
All politicians, and people from elite society, like Suhail Seth, Vinod  Mehata, Vinod Sharma, Ranjana Kumari have no clue why common people, young and old came on the streets to support Anna Hazare who led lakhs of people with Gandhian approach. Non-violent, peaceful protest  against miss rule, poor governance and corruption.

It was a spontaneous support by ordinary people and therefore it soon became people's movement because citizens of this country are fade-up with the corrupt political system and corrupt governance.

Dear Arnab,  

Honestly,  wouldn't it be better to get the cross views from civil society members who are non political, not attached to any political party and can present views of the large population? The thinking people who have balanced, rational views ?
We don't really want to listen to same people over and again because we can see they have no new views to offer or subscribe to.  Their elitist comments are fine in their cocktail circuits but not on TV debates because we are serious today after 63 years of looting going on. 

Listen to this, why do I say what I say.

Ranjana Kumari, Suhal Seth, Vinod Mehata, Vinod Sharma asking...    

It is a job of the parliament to make laws, not of civil society.  

Yes, they are right,  we know that well, but their questions are wrong. they need to ask  parliamentarians ...these questions...

What have been they ( elected members to parliament ) doing for the last 63 years? Why have they not made strict laws in the last 60 years which could have booked the culprits, the corrupt politicians who are let lose to loot this country?  

Let them raise these questions in public forums instead of discrediting people like Anna Hazare or Baba Ram Dev.  That will be a positive contribution to make things look better. Or else, we know the political minds will keep playing politics.

What are these questions thrown by so called intellectuals in the TV debates? 

What is Yoga Guru doing in politics? He should be teaching Yoga.

Why?  Yoga teacher can not protest? Is he not a citizen? A man on the street, a teacher, professor, worker, housewife, a student, a doctor, have no rights to protest against government? What kind of a logic is this?

If you apply the same logic, Suhail Seth should be only talking about his advertising business, Kapil Sebal about Law, Vinod Mehata about journalism.  I think, it sounds like, only these few people who think they belong to intellectual class have the right to voice opinions. Others can not.

I was annoyed when a very high positioned, senior person like Mr Padgaonkar of Times group (Managing Editor?) said,  Baba Ram Dev instead of going on hunger strike and fast, he should ask his one crore followers not to pay bribes.

Can a Managing Editor of Times Group say such a thing on national TV debate?

Mr Padgaonkar, with all due respect to you, pardon me for asking this question but because I have not understood the logic of your suggestion to Baba Ram Dev, I am asking you...

Do you mean to say, if one crore followers of Baba stop paying bribes, Corruption and scams in this country will stop? A Raja, Suresh Kalmadi, Qutorochi, Hasan Ali, Adarsha, Lavasa and many such scams where crores and crores of tax payers money is looted by politicians, government officials, bureaucrats would stop? 

Seriously, with what logic and rational Mr Padgaonkar is saying this in a serious debate on national TV ?

Mr Padgaonkar, it is the common people who are suffering because of corruption on lower level when going to police stations, ration office, passport office, electricity water dept, RTO office, at customs, at octroi, at all government offices, at Sachivalaya. 

Now you will say, stop paying bribes and go to court. Fight against corruption legally. Stand up for your rights. You are right, we are doing it now. Standing up for our rights collectively. Because, we know well, it is a huge task to do it individually on a personal level. It is easier said than done..

Today if civil society is asking these questions by coming on the street and supporting Anna Hazare and Baba Ram Dev, Don't blame them. Stand with them. 

To lead civil society,  you need to have an honest, sincere leader with a vision and a plan, a leader who can mobilize masses on national level like Mahatma Gandhi. Today, ordinary people found that leadership qualities in Anna Hazare and Baba Ram Dev. And that is why it has become a mass movement, people's movement. People who just have drawing room discussions and debates are really not the people who can change things and make any difference. Because they have only questions and no answers.  

Dear Arnab,  

You are doing an excellent job of exposing these fake politicians. It is a kind of people's crusade and movement you are leading by using your channel. But to make it more effective, please invite civil society intellectuals, from various fields who are not attached to any political party on your debates. That will be real reflection of the civil society views.  

Of course, this certainly does not mean all participants on your debates are irrational, I must name those who are very balanced. Ms Suhasini Ali, Chandan Mitra, Aupam Kher, Nalini Singh, I have heard are absolutely balanced. Especially views of Nalini Singh and Miss Ali were totally rational in their intellectual analysis about present political situation in India. And how it needs to be viewed rationally in the total context. 

Dear Arnab, finally, the civil society would be happy to see new faces of people who can add to our perspectives. Fresh views, new thinking from different professions. Like IITians, Medical professionals, Senior advocates, Businessmen of integrity. teachers, professors, Principals and many others. From the real civil society. And your viewers will know the mood and sentiments of civil society. 

Once again Arnab, great job done by you and civil society deeply appreciates your contribution.

My best wishes and regards,  

Ajay Angre
Author, Writer,Publisher