BENGALURU : Amidst the worst health crisis to hit us in the past few decades, a section of people have been questioning our Prime Minister’s decision not to address the media about the extent of the risk, or the steps being taken. These doubting Thomases keep quoting self-help books by Western authors - ‘Addressing the problem is the first step to working on it’ - they say! These sort of questions are the EXACT reason why the Prime Minister has decided not to address the media! So on behalf of the higher powers, I shall choose to explain to you heathens why the decision was made.
The problem with the Press really, is that they take their jobs too literally, by asking pressing questions. But the truth is that the Prime Minister was elected by the people, not the press. But we are a modern democracy, you argue? Well, the definition of democracy is - ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’. Not by the press, for the press, by the press.
And if you want an example of practicing what one preaches, may I kindly draw your attention to the last monsoon session of the Parliament. The ‘no-question’ hour ensured no questions or arguments were raised by anybody. But these critics, saar! They will complain, no matter what. The Prime Minister did conduct a few interviews, where the interviewers were exemplary.
No cross-questioning, no questions that might upset the ambience of the proceedings. In fact, we also had popular actor Akshay Kumar (who represents 130 crore Indians) ask detailed questions on the important subject of mangoes. Mangoes, as you know, are the pride of India. And Mr. Kumar asked a lot of pertinent questions - What kind of mangoes the PM prefers, and how does he actually eat them - by cutting them with a knife or using only hands, as our ancestors preferred. But the critics will never talk about all this, saar.
They only want drama! They say that not engaging with the Press is undemocratic. But the scriptures instruct us not to argue with fools. Nobody complains when rishis go on decade-long maunvrats - where they don’t speak for long periods. Why are they complaining when a democratically elected Prime Minister chooses to do it? People are hypocrites. As kids, when we had a fight with a friend, we would not speak to them for many days. In fact, two of my friends - Mukesh and Raghavendra - didn’t speak to each other for two years. A cold war that ended when they watched Lagaan and couldn’t hold back their emotions. Didn’t we all do it as kids? Then why are people complaining when the elected leader of the world’s largest democracy does it? The real problem, saar, is that we are an emotional people.
We all watched that film Nayakwhere the journalist questions a minister. We love drama! If people really wanted to know the PM’s opinion, they could easily tune into Man ki Baat - available for free across media - TV, radio, Internet. Where our PM expresses his thoughts on a range of topics, uninterrupted by a free press in a democratic nation. We need to question ourselves before we question others, dear reader. Remember - when you point one finger at someone, there are three fingers pointing at you. May I also gently remind you all to implicitly agree with all the contents of this column. Else, I shall never write a column again. And then, don’t come complaining like how you do with our leader. Thank you!
(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own)