Since the usual Arnab Goswami turned polite and decent while interviewing Modi the still anti-Modi media reacted to this sharply and vociferously as planned, rehearsed, avoiding difficult questions which was expected. Arnab has written in a newspaper about being trolled this way and what he has to say for that. However the real story has unfolded a little later and that is what we want to explain.
The ball started rolling on 28th June 2016 when the first part of the interview was barely over or while it was going on. The interview broke all records on social media. The figures given are gigantic and fantastic. No one imagined that something like this will happen but it did. Even the ‘who cares’ Arnab apparently was overwhelmed and bogged down by it so much that he was even unable to express his happiness. He was modest, extremely thankful and polite about it.
Then after a few days, there was a panel discussion on NDTV about the Uniform Civil Code. One can easily imagine in “Normal” circumstances how NDTV would have conducted the same. But this time both the anchors had full-throated assertions to make about it before the debate began. They both were saying that this is a bill for civil matters. The lady even quoted Modi that this will not be a Hindu Code Bill being thrust upon all minorities and majority. It is a constitutional mandate that all citizens should have an equal status before the law. The anchors repeatedly asserted that this is NOT a religious interference with anybody. It is a civil law being referred to the LAW Commission. It is made clear that all the concerned people, organizations will be consulted. Then why in that case should there be fear and resistance and politicising the whole issue. Why this nervousness and shouting etc.
This was not just the preamble but they repeatedly crossed swords with all the Muslim, Christian debaters and the patent rabble rousers like JDU and Congress made up or pent up anger by repeating these items of their preamble.
Then there was Cabinet Expansion. Karan Thapar, the rude, insulting, venomous and unbearably shrill person with no decency required for a public discourse had almost mellowed down to ask the first question. The tone had a bearable decibel. The question was – what does this expansion mean? Does it carry the imprint of a Prime Minister’s way of functioning and the authority he exerts? This was shocking. Then as an afterthought came the usual vitriol in a much-diluted form, tone, and decibel - or does it show the dictatorial tendency. He even allowed each one to talk, including Sudhanshu Mittal, the spokesperson of BJP for all the time allotted to them. This was even more shocking.
In the last few months, the media has mellowed down. Their ‘anti-Modi-ism’ does not have the force it used to have and it is more out of the reflex habits they have cultivated against any Hindu matter for years together. The question is – why this change?
Has the NDTV changed because they want to cosy up with the government to somehow escape from the hundreds of crores of rupees they have been fined by the government? Is Karan Thapar ill enough to not able to shout? Here are the reasons, notwithstanding the fact that this was the first ever interview the PM gave to any channel at such length and that too for ‘Times Now’.
The fantastic figures on social media tell us that people want to / love to hear Modi and about Modi, what he is doing and what is happening in India. They have a positive attitude towards everything about Modi and they dislike the current high-decibel shouting routinely carried out in the media. They want to hear a polite, positive discourse because they think good things are happening. They are tired, irritated and angry about all the anti-Modi bogeys. And when they hear these things they get overwhelmed with joy, going almost berserk on social media. The fun or the tragedy of this happenstance is that the media did not realize this till such an interview went viral. When the NDTV anchors shout that common civil code is required, no government in the last 60 years did anything about that, this government has done the right thing, it will be discussing this with all concerned they are acknowledging many things – either unconsciously or are unaware of what they are doing. They are voicing the overwhelming opinion of India, not just Hindus and making it their voice. Which means they have cause to give up which was earlier to them sacrosanct; that pet prejudices and haranguing anti-Hindu, anti-nationalistic inflammable statements are not going to work for THEIR TRPs TO GO UP. Their TRPs will go up if they voice the common sentiments of people. That they have TO give justice to the Modi style of functioning based on consulting, dialoguing and so on.
Since TRPs are so crucial and the effect it can produce if things are done the way Arnab did, on the TRPs we will hopefully see that the media will change for better. Since TRPs were under question, while the media was finding it impossible to do away with their reflex hateful attitudes, not knowing what could be the answer for extricating them from it for TRPs sake. Even if things are done this way for TRPs I am sure the media will see the light at the end of the tunnel. It will be good for them and good for India.