Sunday, June 08, 2014
Why call it a debate when in reality it is a monologue?
The 2 back to back debates anchored by Arnab Goswamy on Times now every day.
You are very talented Arnab, there is no doubt about it. You have done your homework, you are spontaneous, you don't let people get away with nonsense.
But you are too noisy.
The debates when you had Pakistani folks on your show, for instance.
I wanted to hear what they had to say. Even if it was offensive, outrageous, I would have liked to hear them. But you wouldn’t let them talk. The minute they opened their mouth, you started shouting at them.
One of them got up and left. I think he did the right thing.
The other kept trying to make themselves heard. But you were belligerent.
Why invite them to the show if you are not going to let them speak?
This is what you do. You have a viewpoint that is politically correct. You have a few people on the show that endorse the view. And it is these people you allow to speak. During the short breaks in your monologue, of course.
Do you know how it bores your audience?
Because your viewers already know what you have to say. It is the devil’s advocates that we are interested to hear.
Besides, defending the politically correct is not a big deal. Anyone can do it. You and those you allow to speak.
Being the devil’s advocate is the challenging part, the unpredictable part and therefore the interesting part of the debate.
And we are deprived of that, thanks to your menace.
The debate where the Sikhs were talking about the mob inside the golden temple and 'operation Bluestar'. I kept straining my ears to hear what they were saying. In vain.
“Is Bhindranwale a terrorist or not?” That was the question you were stuck with and bullied your guest to answer.
What if they don’t want to give yes/no answers?
Why does it have to be black and white? If things were black and white or binary indeed, why would anyone need a debate?
You kept saying ‘why should we probe into a matter 30 years old? Let's move on’
May be you were right in this case. I am not aware of the ‘Sikh’ issue in detail.
But that argument in itself is very much debatable. How much past is past enough? One week? one month? One year? Ten years?
Those crimes in UP against women – they are also 2 weeks old. Would you say, they are past, move on? No you wouldn’t. Because, justice has not been dispensed yet.
So is not justice the criterion and not the time period of the crime, when it comes to deciding whether one should pursue a case to it's closure?
These are the kind of exchanges that make a debate interesting. Asserting a politically correct point a hundred times till the show ends is ‘being pushy’.
We need to ask if the Congressmen who burnt 10000 Sikhs on the streets of Delhi have been punished. What did Rajiv Gandhi do about it? Even if a few of the perpetrators escaped law and hushed up the matter, the case must be reopened or at least, it wouldn’t be entirely wrong to argue so, isn't it?
If the Indian State won’t help, why shouldn’t anyone appeal to the UN? You may, in the end conclude, after weighing the pros and cons that the Sikhs are wrong.
But one makes a judgment after hearing both the arguments, to be fair. In your show, the jusdment is already made, and the accused doesn’t even get to speak.
And that debate about the Loose Cannons, the Yadavs’ stand on crimes in UP.
Let me first must admit I liked the way you caught Rita Bahuguna Joshi of Congress and told her that the Congress did not say a word against Mulayam’s ‘Boys will be boys’ statement, when they were together before the election, and now that the elections are over, they were distancing themselves from him, there being nothing for them to lose.
But then again...
There were 2 women on the show from Samajwadi Party. I was most curious to know how they would defend their leaders complacent/indifferent attitude towards women, being women themselves. But alas. Just seconds after they had finished their preamble, you drowned their voice with you cries of ‘I am ashamed of you”.
You know what? If you would just let them speak, they would lay bare the truth of their depravity before the whole nation, put their foot in mouth and that would do them much more injury than your insults.
Arnab, a debate is held so that people may express the many different viewpoints, not to affirm and reaffirm the one viewpoint that is already accepted by most.
Please let the devil’s advocates, the antagonists of the drama, speak. We want to hear what they have to say, how their minds work, how backward or corrupt they really are, how they justify themselves, what makes them the way they are, where lies the cause of their oblique mind? And hence what might be the most appropriate solution?
Or, do they have a point? Have they been labelled and judged unkindly?
Thursday, June 05, 2014
2nd July 2010
My father chose to rest in the room.
I and my mother stepped out.
The Gompa, the hills, the stream, the bridge and hundreds of stupas.
I had during my last visit climbed up the narrow path to the top of one of the hills, guided by the lad at the guest house.
But not this time.
But then, how did I take the pictures of the hills? The poplars, the trees, the electric wires all seem beneath me.
My memory is blurred.
One thing is for sure. A lot of things in this world are charming simply because of their novelty to us.
That’s not really disillusionment. That’s the realization that one must go on travelling. And one must rest sufficiently so travel itself does not lose its novelty!