Then, TV channels cleverly introspected on the media coverage itself! And currently, the rage is all the citizens’ protests across the country. In Bombay, many who’d gathered at Gateway Of India got to speak on national TV. Anchors always praise the role of the Web and mobiles in organizing these. They manage to find some blogger, or Orkutter or something and get him to talk about it. IBN is seeking action plans on its website and will submit the best suggestions to government as a Citizen’s Charter. In the evening, SRK was being interviewed. Currently, Preity Zinta and Raveena Tandon are having a go at the issue. Can Tendulkar be far behind?
Not since the reservations debacle has the young urban Indian been so anti-establishmentarian about anything. And the English news channels have been quick to soothe their core demographic.
I believe that almost everything that’s happened is largely symbolic. No amount of changing CM’s and heads of agencies can curb terrorism. But the cathartic impact on the psyche of the nation shouldn’t be underestimated. If the government creates a new federal agency, we will have more people to rotate (god forbid) next time. And a mayor for Mumbai would have ensured even the CM’s safety.
Now, just imagine for a second if there was no institutional or media space for so much drama. Imagine if the media hadn’t egged on the people to vent all their emotions against the political class. And imagine if our political leaders had felt that the people are on their side but still demand some action. What would have happened? Instead of going on the back foot, they’d have aggressively focussed all attention on our old enemy: Pakistan
Even now, the Indian government is attempting the really hard task of getting at the Pak military/ISI without losing the goodwill of their nascent Parliament and frightened civil society. Pakistani commentators might be carping about the biases of Indian media, but we here know how much they owe them.
For once I am honestly grateful to Barkha Dutt, Arnab Goswami, Rajdeep Sardesai, Saagarika Ghosh and all the rest (regional media too). Now let’s hope they have the guts to stand up against our government if they start beating the drums of war. That will leave CNN and BBC in a comparative dustbin.
Our ex-Finance Minister Chidambaram remarked that the attack was a threat to the “idea of India” itself. But at times like these I worry that an idea of India as a monolithic political entity will strengthen, having New Delhi as the main power centre and an enemy we can all unite against.