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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

the indian touch

Some time back there used to be a popular TV show where the anchor would dream up fancy names for the participants of his show. Whoever was the hero or heroine of the day, became the butt of his jokes. Nothing serious and no one seemed to object. Freedom of speech is guaranteed in our Constitution and, granted it was. I remember when he brought on stage an episode where the sponsor was an entity called Tonikchand! And, the event was an annual prize distribution ceremony. That serial was a tiny speck of light humor in our day to day routine lives. The time was before the ‘saas-bahu’ episodes usurped all time slots with their series of ‘Kay’s and umpteen clones.

There used to be another popular serial, also hosted by the same anchor, where he would have his audience in splits with visuals depicting the original version of some foreign cinema which was rechristened into a Hindi version without any acknowledgement of sorts to the original. Frame for frame, one could see the similarities – plain cheating to the ordinary viewers but termed as inspiration by its makers!

We Indians love to leave our mark on the sands of time – all political parties bask in the glory of their mascots identified with film personalities and, in rare cases, with TV personalities but drop them like a ton of hot bricks when we discover their hidden links with unwanted elements. That is a true Indian for you. We never go into anyone’s credentials before identifying him as an idol worthy of emulation – we presume everything to be above board and swallow the charisma hook line and sinker, only to repent on our folly at a later date.

In India, Politics is also an extremely complicated game.

Its all about equations and one-upmanship. If a CM is cornered, he or she looks around for diversionary tactics. With Political parties being created at the drop of a hat, stability is something that appears to have lost its meaning. A recent news report indicated a CM asking her team to be in readiness to face snap Lok Sabha polls next year. Another ex-CM, while trying to play the act-tough game, suddenly discovers that a case that she was trying to push under the carpet is again raising its head. And, of course, the greatest ex-CM of them all, while chewing on a twig of the neem, asserts with confidence that he will keep coming back, no matter what exit polls may suggest!

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