All my life, even when I was a kid, I wanted to know every thing about politics. I am 30 by-the-way and therefore my experience mentioned here is that of late 80s, 90s and later. Now ‘politics’ is a loose sort-of-a-word which is used to basically term the entire cohort of politicians across party line. It was definitely my father’s influence since he had been very active during the 1970s, the golden era post independence, of free thinkers and communists.
I had grown up in two cities, primarily the heart of Indian politics- Lucknow and Delhi. My earliest memory of politicians is that of Rajiv Gandhi meeting Benazir Bhutto as Prime Ministers. I had seen their photograph in the newspaper. Yes, I remember his assassination, we were on our way to my cousin’s place in Madhya Pradesh in our brand-new Ambassador Nova for our summer vacation and thats when we had heard about it in a roadside dhaba. I remember how everyone was so quiet all through the journey, as if someone had died in our own family.
I remember the coverages on Newstrack during Babri Masjid incident, I remember the elections where we used to have people like Madhav Rao Scindia, Rajesh Pilot, Pramod Mahajan, Sushma Swaraj coming on TV and putting their points forward. Aajtak was in those days led by Shri S.P.Singh, finest journalist and news reader ever and there used to be Pranoy Roy and Vinod Dua. There used to be this elderly woman, Mrinal Pande, who would come on news, and absolutely amazing in hindi journalism. English and Hindi news were alternated every hour on the same channel unlike today where you have to skip channels for only english or hindi news. It was not like it is now, where unknown faces of different parties come on National Television and believe, not in healthy discussions but on how they can outdo the co-panelists, loudly and with vulgar display of attitude.
The news coverage used to be extremely well investigated where unlike today, ‘real issues’ were discussed. In the name of cover story, I see- why did Dhoni change 7 different hairstyles in past 6 years or Why Advani did not look at Narendra Modi during some rally or why some lawyer thinks he will kill his own sister, if she decides to get married against his wishes or what was Asaram’s modus operandi…
One after the other, the ‘breaking news’ has become torturous and there is now something called as top 100 news or top 20 news, which doesn’t cover any International news! I am still dying to hear something from our Indian news channels on Syria.Also, interestingly, now you can simply make out which is pro-congress channel and which ones are pro-BJP channels. So there goes my desire for unbiased news. The problem is not so much with the current generation but more with what it is served in name of news, or food or clothes or life.
I crave for those days to return but like everything else in life, those days have passed, those moments have passed and I just HAVE to learn to move on and listen to some news anchor shouting on top of his voice about something irrelevant that INDIA WANTS TO KNOW!