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Why not make Arnab Goswami Prime Minister?

Saturday, 18 February 2012 - 8:00am IST Updated: Saturday, 18 February 2012 - 2:10pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Nobody, not even the BCCI, which denies everything, can deny that Arnab Goswami is the only person in the country to whom every Indian is answerable.

No, I am serious. I don’t watch his debates every day, but whenever I do, I am struck by his absolute and unimpeachable commitment to national interest, his love for the people of India, and his fearless examination of every issue to its last possible TRP.

Nobody, not even the BCCI, which denies everything, can deny that Arnab Goswami is the only person in the country to whom every Indian is answerable.

Our politicians, at any rate, hold him in higher regard than Parliament. Which is why you will see them in his channel’s studio more than you see them in Parliament. Whether or not they take part in parliamentary debates, they dare not bunk the debates conducted nightly by Arnab Goswami. And no matter how provocative the questions posed to them, they won’t dream of staging a walk-out from Arnab’s chambers like they do every 13 minutes in the Lok Sabha.

Besides, India today is a nation full of outrages — inflation, malnutrition, scams, rapes, the Indian Test team’s ridiculous performance Down Under, SRK becoming brand ambassador of a state whose name I can’t spell anymore, a minister watching porn in a country where nobody watches porn — the list of outrageous phenomena is endless. And Arnab has mastered the art of being outraged. He is the only person I know who can be more outraged than outrage itself.

And that is a talent that our current crop of politicians sorely lack. Nothing fazes them. Poverty? Nothing new. Corruption? Ho-hum. Army atrocities in the north-east? Nothing new. Inflation? Well, let them eat soap. But Arnab? He can extract outrage from a dead cockroach. “Who is responsible for the mysterious death of this innocent cockroach, Mr Prime Minister? The nation needs to know. Was the cockroach really a member of the Indian Mujahideen, as is being claimed by intelligence agencies, or was he another loyal follower of my TV show who spontaneously combusted in uncontrollable outrage?”

Besides, if not Arnab Goswami, who else? Sachin Tendulkar, you say? Well, Sachin is not a bad choice for Prime Minister. His impressive selfishness, his distinguished track record of putting his own interest above that of the collective’s, and ability to amass massive personal milestones will gel perfectly with the prevailing ethos among our Parliamentarians. But one thing that may not work is his voice — sweet as it may sound to his trillion fans, it will get drowned in the well of the House before he can say ‘100’.

My mother thinks Rahul Gandhi should become PM because he is less ferocious and more handsome than Arnab Goswami. But honestly, looks aren’t everything, are they? After all, who does the PM have to woo? Only foreign investors, not Sunny Leone. And foreign investors hardly go for looks, and neither does Leone, on available evidence.

In any case, what are Rahul Gandhi’s credentials? His biggest achievement to date is to grow a beard, which, to his credit, he has done with superb skill, foresight and political acumen.

His beard is a metaphorical representation of his profound grief at the plight of India’s malnourished millions, the Dalits, the adivasis, and the suicide-committing farmers, all of whom have been waiting for 60 years for the barest essentials of life, like FDI in retail, lower taxes for corporates, and fiscal discipline, which any day are more important than utopian, outdated, commie ideas like food, health and education for all, even for those who can’t pay for it.

But the other, much-discussed alternative is also a beard, but one attached to the face of a man named Narendra Modi. This year — this month, next week, in fact — marks the tenth anniversary of the singular event that propelled Modi to power, and today has him being spoken about by respected industrialists and journalists-turned-party intellectuals as the ideal PM for India. To be sure, Modi would be no more communal than the Congress worthies who kept Rushdie out of the Jaipur Lit Fest and presided over the 1984 Sikh riots. But still, if you are a pseudo-secularist, you’d expect at least appearances to be kept up, and Modi’s track record, combined with his calculated, unrepentant, humourless anti-secularism is — I won’t deny it — infinitely scarier than even Arnab Goswami at his scariest.

So that leaves only Rajinikanth, who, with his newly acquired six-pack abs that you surely could not have missed in all the Kochadaiyaan posters, is more omnipotent than ever before and can demolish every obstacle in India’s path to superpowerdom with a flick of his little finger or a click in Photoshop, whichever applicable.

All said and done, he is the only real contender that Arnab needs to worry about. I would settle the matter by calling both of them to a duel on Juhu beach one Sunday morning. But the duel will be fought using only words and gestures, without bodily contact. Whoever wins will, I am sure, be the best Prime Minister India’s ever had.

While Rajini might vaporise Arnab with his laughter, Arnab might pre-empt it by unleashing on Rajini his finger-wagging verbiage of infinite outrage. In which case, Rajini, whose compassionate heart melts at even the tiniest, teeny weenie injustice, would collapse instantly into a heap of sand, and Arnab would emerge the winner. But it would be a close call.

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