Channel Surf – Aaj Tak
Every now and then I sit in silence contemplating life and try and answer some serious existential questions like, “What is the true purpose of life?”, “Why is Sharad Pawar corrupt?”, “Why does Arnab even speak!”. The great Douglas Adams in The Hitchhikers Guide to Galaxy wrote that the answer to every question is 42. (I’m sure he wasn’t aware of Sonia-ji that time.)
But a certain individual recently celebrated his 42 birthday.
His organisation gets many crore in donation, he has millions of followers, he has many critics, there are shows about him on TV, and if he puts his hand on you, you are blessed! No I am not talking of Nirmal Baba, but our very own Rahul baba.
When such an illustrious personality celebrates his 42nd birthday our news channels have to make it special. India’s fastest (SabseTez) and probably one of the most viewed channels Aaj Tak telecast a special 20-minute show at prime time. It was the story of a boy who wanted to be an engineer but ended up giving up his dreams to help his mother pull his family’s ailing organisation out of its mess. (Who wrote this? Ekta Kapoor??)
The makers of this program didn’t seem to be clear on what they wanted to convey. There was a major mismatch in content presentation, but that’s not all. It claimed Rahul Gandhi wanted to be an engineer but ended up joining politics. Right! The story began with snippets of Rahul Gandhi playing with his grandmother and moved on to talk about his education. So here is what was wrong with it. He started with St Columba’s and then moved to Doon School and finally returned home to be home-schooled. He then went to Harvard to complete his education. Wait a second! Where did the St Stephens bit disappear? Wasn’t that supposed to be the first college he attended?
The show then informed the viewer about him leaving Harvard and moving to Rollins. What they failed to mention is that it took him five years to get an undergraduate degree, which usually takes three. Anyway, according to the show, he worked for a while and then returned to India to start his firm. Now, how does one miss the biggest star on his resumé? The MPhil in Development Studies in 1995 from Trinity College.
The second half of the show was almost like an ad campaign for Rahul Gandhi, with constant comparisons made between him and Rajiv Gandhi. Why?
Both of them are clearly very different individuals, both in terms of functionality and mannerisms. As one of the prominent news channels, we expect some sort of credibility from Aaj Tak in what they show. And definitely don’t want to watch a fictitious documentary made on a person. With un-verified facts. It looks like a by-product of Rajiv Gandhi Sarkar Ko Makhan Lagao Pariyojna. (Buttering The Rajiv Gandhi Government Scheme). We expect better from our news channels. For such shows we always have our GECs.
As for now I shall get back to understanding why Arnab speaks. Till next time, adios!