“Why is it that the mainstream media (MSM) displays, what can only be termed as pusillanimity bordering on the obsequious when it comes to Sonia Gandhi?” is the question that bounces around inside my head quite often. Occasionally it lights up my amygdala.
There is a certain docile, rebarbative and delightfully ludicrous air about the MSM each time Sonia Gandhi (or one of her family members) is in the middle of a controversy. I will not get into the impressive range of controversies that have cropped up over the years, but suffice to say that each time things came to such a pass, either the clouds blew over in wondrous haste or they rained elsewhere.
A dripping wet
poodle Prime Minister is what you occasionally get, as evidenced by the recent developments surrounding Ashwani Kumar and Pawan Bansal.
After years of peddling the Our-PM-is-the-most-honest-of-them-all-in-the-entire-galaxy balderdash the MSM seems to be finally catching up with the meaning of words like integrity & accountability, as they get busy aiding and abetting - quite reflexively - some dark, unknown and easy-to-guess forces to bury the
non-performing nightwatchman Prime Minister six feet under.
But the Queen continues to escapes their collective gaze. Blame Proxy-o-cracy!!
To give credit where it is due though, over the last few days, there has been a sprinkling of articles that at least attempt to ask – meekly so - a few pertinent questions along the lines of if-Sonia-is-the-fount-of-executive-power-then-should-the-buck-not-stop-with-her-on-India-becoming-a-Scamrashtra. Laying the axe to the root, if you will.
The most scathing commentary yet…
“Should Sonia Gandhi, ruler of the Congress party, be congratulated for finishing 15 years in Indian politics? It is not a sign of expertise if an heir becomes king. So why should it be different with her?” asked Surjit Bhalla in an The Indian Express piece titled 'Evaluating Sonia, the black box leader' (March 23rd, 2013) before he drove the screw deeper: “Every political leader has been pilloried in India, and in most democracies. Pilloried for being stupid, unfit to rule and worse; yet, such questions are not raised with regard to Sonia. Our free press can make mincemeat of even decent politicians (Manmohan Singh has been variously described as spineless, a night-watchman following orders, Mumble Singh and worse) and yet the press has never even demanded that the chairperson of the Congress for 15 years hold a press conference in a language of her choosing — English, Hindi or Italian”.
Ouch! In his follow-up piece a week later 'Message to Sonia: Reform of Perish', he concluded his incisive commentary thus:
“Recall that Annie Besant became president of the Congress party in 1917. If Sonia Gandhi does not change, then she risks the following obituary of the party she heads: It took a white, European, socialist, woman to help create the Congress party — and it has taken a white, European, socialist, woman to destroy it more than a hundred years later."
Ouch ouch ouch!
I acknowledge that the 7 aspects that I will now touch upon briefly – three in this Part, and four in Part 2 – are by no means either completely unknown, or constitute all that needs to be debated, discussed and perhaps put under the journalistic scanner. The purpose of this 2-part series is to act as a gentle reminder to the Indian MSM (especially TV) that the citizens are not fooled by their attempts at silence on issues surrounding Sonia Gandhi & family. Or as M.J.Akbar noted:
“That purr in the ear isn’t the music of your back being scratched, darling; it’s the crackle of your slim wallet being emptied of ethics”.
The poor little powerful Queen
Is it really true that Sonia Gandhi’s financial assets are a mere 1.37 Cr [2009 affidavit]? Let me strive for a little more exactitude, so that I am not accused of crude approximations. Take a look at the table below (source – myneta.info):
I leave you and your powers of incredulity - which I am certain are immense - to decide if this matter warrants further enquiry. You can access the affidavit details by clicking here. While we are on affidavits, it may well be worth your while spending a minute or two examining the affidavits of Rahul Gandhi, with special focus on the educational qualifications. The matter was discussed in greater detail by me a few months ago in a piece titled 'Rahul Gandhi: PM-in- waiting despite all this?'
One set of rules for the slaves, another for the suzerainty
In August 2011, India Today ran a small report titled 'What Gandhis don't tell the Lok Sabha', and I quote:
It's common courtesy for MPs to inform the secretariat about trips abroad, even if they are of a personal nature. But since June 2004, the month UPA came to power, the Congress president and her son have not bothered to inform the secretariat about any of their foreign trips.
Subsequently, two applications were filed under RTI seeking details on foreign travels of MPs and foreign travels of Sonia Gandhi – what followed was a merry-go-round involving the Lok Sabha Secretariat, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Central Information Commission (CIC), Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and National Advisory Council's (NAC) Central Public Information Officer.
"It is disturbing that institutions that run the government have no knowledge of the authority that can furnish details of Sonia Gandhi's foreign travel," noted an exasperated RTI activist. (You can read the full report here)
The curious case of Dr. Subramanian Swamy’s blog
Most of you would be familiar with the content of Dr. Swamy’s blog; those of you who have not made your acquaintance with it yet, please fire up your search engines. Whilst it is nobody’s case that every word in there is the gospel truth - and some of Dr. Swamy’s utterances on other issues may be a tad jarring to some of us - the following 2 points merit some thought:
1) If the matter presented in his blog-post(s) is untrue and borders on libel, why have the concerned parties not sued him?
2) On the other hand, if the matter holds some truth in its folds, why has the MSM never gone to town with it? Why the silence? Or is it a case of the unutterable refusing to chase the uneatable, with apologies to Oscar Wilde?
... To be continued. Part 2 will be published here tomorrow.
Updated Date: May 16, 2013 14:38:07 IST