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Hurt by exit polls, Salty Sudhir does a ‘DNA test’ to shame Delhi’s voters
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Hurt by exit polls, Salty Sudhir does a ‘DNA test’ to shame Delhi’s voters

The Zee News editor calls the capital’s residents lazy, smartphone addicts who only want free stuff and don’t care about his pet issues of Pakistan and Shaheen Bagh.

By Meghnad S

Published on :

The most profound expression of disappointment after seeing exit polls predict an AAP victory in the Delhi Assembly election came from Sudhir Chaudhary of Zee News. He was so disappointed he made snide remarks about the capital’s voters, their character and their habits.

Throughout this election campaign, pro-BJP journalists such as Sudhir constantly talked about Shaheen Bagh, connecting the protest there to Pakistan, misleading their audiences, inventing enemies, deriding students, and forcing Kashmir and Balakot into the conversation. Every. Single. Day.

TV anchors insulted the intelligence of their viewers by not talking about Delhi’s pressing issues during the campaign. And now that the exit polls aren’t exciting for them, they’re blaming their audiences. Sudhir’s snarky tone, telling Delhi’s voters they didn’t know any better was infuriating to say the least.

So, here’s a DNA test of his bizarre DNA test, running into 42 minutes, of the exit polls.

Delhi just wants free stuff

Sudhir minced no words trying to prove his point that Delhi’s voters only wanted free stuff from the government, nothing else. He asked, “So, the question is: which issues mattered in the Delhi election and which didn’t.”

He answered his own question: “Delhi’s people still want to choose parties that give them offers for free stuff...You must have heard that Delhi people always want to buy things during a sale, they don’t want to pay full amount. But when it comes to elections, they don’t want to pay at all. Meaning, in Delhi, the issues of free electricity, free water and free rides matter more because people don’t want to pay.”

This tired argument was used by several TV channels in the run-up to the election. It rests on the assumption that people should pay for even basic services. What Sudhir and his fellow travellers conveniently fail to explain to their viewers is that the whole point of a government offering subsidies and free services is to cover basic human needs of food, shelter, education, healthcare, and mobility. These are essential needs that governments have to ensure so that citizens can start paying for goods and services which are non-essential, driving up economic growth.

In Delhi, even the BJP’s manifesto promised free bicycles and e-scooters for girls and women in school and college. This is a good thing since it would improve the mobility of girls and women. Someone needs to tell Sudhir that his favourite Modi regime is providing a host of subsidies and freebies. From toilets to LED bulbs to cooking gas connections, the Modi government understands it is important to provide basic needs to the people of this country so that they have the money to spend on other quality-of-life-enhancing goods and services.

Sudhir, however, was not amused. He was rather derisive about it, in fact. And no, Sudhir’s statement that I have quoted wasn’t the only instance of him chiding Delhi’s voters for wanting basic social services to be free. Salty Sudhir wanted to prove a point.

He pulled up the capital’s per capita income figures and prattled on. First, he said, matter of factly, that Delhi’s people were lazy, an assumption that was just thrown in for effect. “Delhi has a lot of educated people, Delhi has the most number of cars and two wheelers but they still did not show up to vote,” he continued. “People just participate in polls on social media, keep trending issues but don’t want to vote. Delhi’s people want everything for free...Delhi’s per capita income is Rs 30,000, which is three times that of the rest of the country, but they still want everything for free.”

The “polls on social media” part was apparently informed by Sudhir’s own experience. In December, Sudhir had put out a poll which went something like this.

Hurt by exit polls, Salty Sudhir does a ‘DNA test’ to shame Delhi’s voters

The poll caused much drama. To begin with, ‘Yes’ votes were far fewer than ‘No’ votes but it finally ended up neck and neck after over 6.6 lakh votes were cast. Sudhir seems to be still holding on to that trauma and cursing Delhi’s folks for voting on polls like the one he had put out, but not come out for actual voting. Doesn’t matter if his poll was actually accessible for the entire world, to all of the population on Twitter, but since he’s so hurt by the exit polls, Sudhir my man is gonna get salty about it.

Delhi’s people are lazy

Sudhir kept pointing out how the people of Delhi were lazy. At one point he asked, “You know who doesn’t turn up to vote? The middle class and upper middle class voters.” According to him, these are “the people who complain the most, they want services for free the most, these are the class of people who discuss politics the most during parties at their homes. But when it comes to voting, they are found in the back of the line.”

That’s not all. To prove his point, he pulled out figures on mobile phone connections in Delhi. According to Salty Sudhir, since every person in Delhi, on an average, has three phones, they are most clued in with the news and follow politics keenly. “They give their opinions on national issues,” he said. “All of these people are experts but they don’t want to go vote. Meaning, Delhi people have told us that they just want to give their opinions on smart phones but they don’t want to come out and vote like this.”

Hurt by exit polls, Salty Sudhir does a ‘DNA test’ to shame Delhi’s voters

That’s right, he put up his finger to show that he wasn’t one of these lazy smartphone addicts, he was the true protector of democracy who did not believe in opinionating during parties and on social media.

*Cough*

*Cough cough*

*Coughing intensifies*

I mean, of course, Sudhir is a different kind of a Dilli resident. He votes and cares about all the things the governing national party cares about, helps them propagate their line of thinking and helps in the development of this great nation.

Unlike other scummy Dilliwalas.

Delhi doesn’t care about Pakistan

Salty Sudhir seemed to complain throughout the show that Delhi’s folks didn’t care about “national issues” and insisted that their voting patterns proved this point.

“Delhi people only care about freebies. Now they are trying to get other things for free as well,” he rattled off. “For this, they don’t care about the rest of the country, they don’t care about Hindustan-Pakistan, they don’t care about Kashmir, they don’t care about Ram Mandir. If there is any other national issue, they don’t care about it.”

Genius. Seriously, someone needs to sit down and explain basic civics to Sudhir. All the issues he mentioned were those the central government is supposed to handle, and is handling. This election was not about national security. It’s not like Delhi has a border that Arvind Kejriwal or another CM would have to protect from Pakistan. Moreover, even if Delhi’s CM wanted, they could not interfere because the home ministry has jurisdiction. So, by raking up matters that are within the central government’s purview, Sudhir displayed utter ignorance about how government in this country functions. Each level of government – central, state, local – has its specific jobs that it must deliver on.

Sudhir’s other major complaint with the people of Delhi seemed to be that they offer opinions on national issues on social media, that they pretend to be experts on every issue, only to grow “lazy” when it comes to voting at a polling booth. Clearly, Sudhir does not understand how governance works. He seems to think Delhi’s voters don’t understand either, but the exit polls tell a different story.

In Sudhir’s universe, a person is allowed to offer an opinion publicly only if they have an indelible ink mark on their finger. Otherwise, they do not have a right to express their worries, give suggestions, criticise the government.

On the same show, towards the end, Sudhir also mentioned that Delhi’s people were sensible. Sudhir is like, “Here are the terms that were used during the elections, but it had little effect on the voters of Delhi.”

Did Zee News analyse every speech given by top political leaders to come to this conclusion? I highly doubt it because who cares about analysis and sources, eh?

Enter, a bouncy word cloud.

Hurt by exit polls, Salty Sudhir does a ‘DNA test’ to shame Delhi’s voters

“The one good thing about this is that Delhi voters are very sensible,” Sudhir continued, “They are very aware. They are able to distinguish between what is correct and what isn’t. This is why Delhi voters didn’t get distracted. Instead of Pakistan, it was free water. Instead of biryani, it was free bus rides. Instead of gaddar, it was free electricity…they know what issues matter and what would make their lives better.”

Thanks Sudhir. After 32 minutes of calling Delhi’s folks lazy and entitled, you threw in this observation about how they knew exactly which issues mattered to them. But then, that’s Salty Sudhir for you. It was almost as if he wanted his audience to hate Delhi’s people for not voting for the BJP.

Compare this show with what Sudhir did when the BJP won the Lok Sabha election last year. When the exit polls came, Sudhir had this to say, “Today, Modi supporters must be very happy. On the other hand, people who are against Modi must be in mourning. The one line that must be in the heads of those against would be, ‘Tell me this is not true.’”

And when the results came in, Zee News literally had songs such as “Azeemo Shah Shehnshaplaying in the background, while showing celebratory images of Narendra Modi and his supporters.

There’s a reason Sudhir’s DNA test of the Delhi exit polls has these stats on YouTube.

Hurt by exit polls, Salty Sudhir does a ‘DNA test’ to shame Delhi’s voters

Essentially, those are some pissed off Dilliwalas and Indians “voting” on his video. They have a right to be angry after Salty Sudhir’s DNA test. Hope Sudhir doesn’t do another DNA test about how he’s being downvoted on YouTube, too.

Bonus: This episode of DNA cursing Delhi’s good folks was sponsored by Sensodyne, Amity University, Polycab, Super Shakti Cement and Tata AIA. Congratulations dear companies, you just sponsored a show insulting your own potential customers!

Hurt by exit polls, Salty Sudhir does a ‘DNA test’ to shame Delhi’s voters