Between BJP and the nuptials

The three-part BJP farce carried on interminably. Or, there was the perpetual wedding

More and more, television news resembles Hollywood Squares. In that American game show, nine squares were occupied by celebrities who answered questions when asked by the host and the contestant had to decide if the answer was right or wrong.

On TV news, the squares are occupied by guests who are supposed to pop out and speak when spoken to, but they often do not follow the rules of the game and speak out of turn. For the remainder of the time (one hour, two hours), they're supposed to pose like Madame Tussauds' waxwork versions of themselves. Some of them deserve a Padma Shri for doing just that: imagine being motionless, expressionless for 10 successive minutes. Bizarre.

Others like the actress and BJP member Kirron Kher, who nowadays figures frequently on news discussions, are posed questions and have struck a pose back. It's like she's on the sets of a movie she blinks coquettishly, she pats her hair into place, a slight smile playing on her lips as she offers her left profile to the camera. That's not all: these ordinary mortals like you and me, turn into magicians the moment they are on air: how else can you explain their ability to appear "live" on three different talk shows simultaneously? What do they take us for fools? Yes, that's probably what TV news thinks we are. Which says everything about TV news' Hollywood Squares there is so much posing and posturing and pretending during what passes for serious discussions that you cannot believe what is said. And perhaps you are not meant to.

You saw all of this and more during the three-part farce of the BJP on Sunday they anointed the crown prince, forcing the elderly monarch to retire; on Monday the monarch abdicated all responsibilities but 24 hours later, he had returned. But wait on: Tuesday evening, news channels like NDTV 24x7 announced that L.K. Advani, that old charioteer of the BJP, would address the media at his house and for at least an hour we looked at a room of empty chairs, awaiting his entry, wondering, what will he say?

... contd.

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