Politics, Media and WhatsApp Chats

By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal

The leaked chats of Republic TV’s boss with Partho Dasgupta, a former CEO of the tv rating agency BARC, was a shocking revelation of a secret everybody seems to knew. The greed and politics in this country is a dirty and vile mix that takes precedence over national interest. But rather than explaining BJP and the government have chosen to remain silent on the matter. Even the friendly media channels are tight-lipped on the contents of the chats, no debates, no drama, nothing.

The picture that these chats paint is an ugly one, it flies in the face of the government and PM’s claims of openness, transparency, and nationalism. If, and I am using if, these chats are to be believed, the government did a strike across the border in Balakot, Pakistan, so that people are elated and it can gain mileage in the Loksabha elections. The TV anchor in question is obscenely rejoicing on the deaths of 40 soldiers in the Pulwama terrorist attack and the all-powerful in New Delhi is fine with it. How did this person get to know about a top-secret military operation? What other secrets of national importance have been shared with him and who shared them? These questions need answering but then again who will answer?

The chest-thumping anchor comes across as an insensitive, cutthroat businessman who foul mouth the very people he so vigorously defends on his shows. In fact, this anchor does not seem to have a high opinion of anyone, not the actress he called on his show, nor the BJP leaders, not even the government. In fact, he acknowledges the fact that the economy has gone down the drain. So why did he not discuss these issues on TV? The anchor claims to have ministers in his pocket, one of these ministers had apparently squelched a complaint against his channel over nonpayment of fees for allotment of slots on free to air channel band on DTH, will such claims or the ministers named be investigated?

The sad part is that political fixers like these have unfettered access to power and they can game the system to their advantage. The former BARC CEO is asking favors for appointment in PMO and from what it looks like, it seems to be an easy job for the boss of Republic TV. This anchor, BJP, and the government should come out clean in this scandal, their silence is all the more affirming the claims that are being made about these chats.

PM and other BJP leaders often bash Khan Market and Lutyens elite in their speech but these chats reveal a whole different side of these leaders. It seems they are not very different than the elites they so “publicly” despise. The irony of our country is that people are not at all perturbed about these revelations. I highly doubt that questions raised from these chats will be answered; it will all be swept under the carpet and it will be all corruption and collusion as usual.

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