FM Radio takes a dramatic step

If you were tired of watching those rona-dhona and saas-bahu soaps on the Indian tele there is no immediate respite because Star's Radio City is soon going to air radio-versions of few of its long-running soaps like Saans and Kyonki Saas bhi kabhi bahu thi. Radio is not cognitive and the Vividh-Bharati's Hawa Mahal listeners may readily vouch that it is more potent a medium when it comes to drama. While FM radio has been doing well being a novel medium the players are still concerned by government's sky-high license fee plus there are several restrictions like the channels cannot air news based programs. The soaps would surely need some rework and adaptation but it surely would be an interesting event to watch err..listen.

Walking straight in muddled waters

Seasons change, people change, mentalities change but these politicians, they never ever change. Come election times and you can see a wide array of gimmicks from them. They talk talk and talk but you can be sure that they won't talk any sense. Take Madhya Pradesh (MP). BJP has been vociferous in blaming the Chief Minister (CM) for the power crisis, yet it has never declared any concrete plan as to how the party would improve the dismal situation if it comes to power. Taking the janata as utter fools, Digvijay Singh, the CM has shamelessly promised free power for farmers while BJP is planning pay-for-what-you-actually-used and bill-waivers for electricity subscribers, steps which would bring the already dissolute MP Electricity Board to shambles. Congress manifesto has designs to make the state “self-sufficient in terms of energy” but when? The CM uncannily states, by 2007.

TV savvy politicians are a sought after commodity now a days and many have been challenging others for TV debates. Unlike America such debates are untrodden territories for Indian politicians. Funny side is, while you would expect a debate to be organized between equals, here each one is demanding a debate with a seemingly weaker contender. BJP is very keen to ask Congress's Prime-ministerial candidate Sonia Gandhi on a TV-debate with eloquent Atalji. What makes them confident is perhaps the fact that Sonia still reads from prepared speeches and was an ordinary housewife till recently. She would presumably be shattered to pieces without the backing of advisers and ghostwriters. However, when it comes to their own candidate Uma Bharti, contending for the post of CM of Madhya Pradesh, having a debate with Diggi raja, every one in the camp becomes numb. For Digvijay they will only stage the suitable-boy Arun Jaitly, an advocate by profession with considerable TV-presence and known for his gift of gab. Now, is there something called eligibility or are the NDTV guys just dying for TRP?

Whatever the election commission may say or preach, the only eligibility for fighting an election in India is Money-power (that being equivalent to muscle power) or descent. You cannot even dream of ensuring that civilized, good and educated people will ever contest elections. Coming to the point of personalities, Sonia might be educated but she is not Indian (BJP has strong objections to that but wouldn't Atalji have congratulated and felt proud of Bobby Jindal had he won at Louisiana, considering his Indian roots. Hypocrisy galore!). I agree that Sonia is not fluent in Hindi but she can speak better Hindi than our ex-PM Devegowda might even dream about. Devegowda has been on records saying he would master Hindi in 4 months, ask him now and he may faint speaking Namaste. More deviations? Uma Bharti is a so-called sanyasin, but owns gold-ornaments worth Rs.5 lacs and fosters ambition for a power-position. Digvijay is an Engineer while Uma is a 6th grader (this is also an issue in the print campaigns). NDTV rejected this comparison recently saying education alone cannot promise you an honest politician. I am not talking about honesty here, but will a less-educated Minister (and Uma is vying for the post of CM) be able to do justice to the post. Wouldn't he/she only remain a signing authority dancing on the tunes of the beurocrats. Doesn't education improve decision-making?

One cannot find the right-mix of best qualities in a candidate. A leader might be ripe but wicked, might be educated but naive, might be poor but possess discernment. How do the common man know? The Election Commission ( EC) must do more work to ensure that the minimum of the right-mix exist in any candidate. I agree that everyone has a positive or a negative side, but individuals can hardly be trusted in elections, unless they come with an ISI certificate. I would certainly vote with the party in mind not the candidate; so perhaps the point is also that EC must technically consider the capabilities of the party before it starts with their candidates.