Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Open Mike Syndrome

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

The constant media attention to grab headlines from every politician has become a laughing circus rather than newsworthy reporting. A lot of TV channels all vying for eye balls are doing whatever they can to attract more people to tune in, and the extent to which they are going to get a few minutes of attention has been driving the politicians to grab any mike they can and blurt out seemingly intelligent verbiage which almost all times becomes statements made without any intelligence or information. The words are dramatic in impact as they often make people respond with gasps, and often wonder what are these people saying and why are these people representing general public.

How did they get there to represent a democracy, and what is that they have in their gray matter that makes them constantly say outrageous and often misstating the facts, all the time pretending to be authority on the matters that are of great importance to the nation. Some of these folks are so far off they will out right make statements that they believe that are factual, without any background information to even verify the matter of fact. The public themselves are also very gullible and tuning into these elected representatives, start to believe the atrocious details being fed to them as facts, as often times the voters themselves are quite removed from the reality of what is fact verses fiction.

India does have a very media and communications savvy prime minister leading the nation. Modi is a master of managing his communications and his public and personal profile, he personally updates and communicates just about every aspect of not just his administrative decisions and undertakings, but also personal meetings and events on a regular basis and almost everyone following can share the moment of decision making or a personal story with the head of the Indian government, and even before assuming the PM office in India, he was an excellent media manager and excellent communicator with the general public. Weather you like it or not, the skill to communicate with a billion people is not simple, and the audience is so large and so complex, it is almost impossible to say something stupid and get away with it. Once you have said it, whatever it is is out there and recorded for posterity. The problem with posterity is that typically we want to be remembered for something good or something that helps future generations or words of wisdom, not some dumb comments that are absolutely nonsensical.

Many of our elected officials are educated, some with degrees that have value. For some reason they seem to be in a cocoon and not aware of the facts of life and also the history of the nation and its people. Although a seemingly intelligent statement might have great sound bites, it can be totally inaccurate and come back to bite you in the back. Since the division of AP and also the new party in Delhi, our politicians have constantly getting the open mike syndrome, and getting caught for blabbering nonsense. The latest is one to make outrageous comments on Hyderabad and Kashmir. While it provides no practical purpose to make outrageous utterances, it might have felt the few minutes of open mike was providing a platform for national audience, but it has become a national disgrace. What can be achieved by making statements that are against the interest of the nation? Nothing really, except people starting to look at the person with disdain. It also deeply divides the people and their sentiments towards each other. No one gains by divisive and ignorant statements, except that they build mistrust and misunderstanding in people, and further divide already conflicting minds of folks who look up to their leaders.


India is a country of great contradictions and also great diversity. The greater Hindustan is a case study that will take many life times to research and study, and it still will continue to yield treasures of history that has no parallel. Though many centuries of occupation and abuse and eventual independence in 1947, along with breaking the country prior to the newly independent India, which was no longer Hindustan, the country has survived with the constant internal conflicts and external pressures. With more than a billion people in 2014, it needs a vision for caring or its people and a future for the young ones. The country doesn't need politicians who have no appreciation for the integrity of the country and the importance of the republic. With open mike's all over it is difficult to stop anyone from making any statement they choose to, but we can better choose who should represent us. The only way the country can weed such people out of the electoral system is by education for everyone and appreciation for its history and integrity.

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