The Guest Becomes The Anchor

"No, no, no, no, no!" Sounds like Arnab Goswami's signature tune? It was indeed Times Now on Thursday but Goswami was away gargling or something and BJP frontman Prakash Javadekar had stepped into the breach. He had taken the helm on the pretext that RTI activist Anjali Damania was trying to take over and the young lady anchoring the show was all at sea. With forefinger aloft and awag, he was teaching her the elements of anchoring. Which consists in recognising that Javadekar speaks the truth and all others prevaricate. He's on the Press Council of India. Maybe he knows better than us working journalists.

The issue was Damania's allegation that she had met Nitin Gadkari for help over the Maharashtra irrigation scam and was told that he was compromised on account of doing sit-ups with Sharad Pawar. In Hindi, unke saath hum uthte baithte hain. Damania has no proof of this communication. The only evidence is an SMS sent to Gadkari, which he ignored, so the specific charge that the BJP has links with the NCP is only an allegation. At this point, she poses no threat to the BJP and Javadekar could have loftily ignored her like his master, who replied only with a legal notice.

But no, no, no, no, no, Javadekar had to play his master's voice. Of course, first he played hard to get: "I do not know the gentlewomanÖ" One would have thought that in his sixties, he'd had enough time to get over parental injunctions against talking to strangers. But thereafter, he just lit in. "The media is giving credibility, Anchor!" Since Times Now often depersonalises anchors by denying them bylines, one can only address them as Anchor. But to her credit, the said Anchor had actually mentioned that Damania was short on evidence.

... contd.

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