A ‘revolutionary’ video was released recently about relations between the media and political leaders. This video of the media fixing between Arvind Kejriwal, the convener of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and a news anchor has gone viral on YouTube. Within 24 hours of its release, it had been watched by five lakh people, and it has received tremendous response.
The question arises whether this 55-second video clip is merely a video, or whether it poses serious questions about the credibility of media and politicians.
Let us talk about the media and media personnel first. A cordial relationship between journalists and political leaders is quite normal. But should the values of journalism be compromised to build such relationships? Journalists and politicians are like two parallel railway tracks. They move and work side-by-side but can never meet.
A journalist’s job is to ask the questions that people want to ask their leaders. But, if questions are fixed to please leaders, then it does not remain journalism anymore. Because of this fixing factor, leaders want to and have begun to visit only those media houses that ask the questions they are comfortable with.
In reality, it is essential for media personnel to maintain a balance in their relations with all politicians. There is a thin line between the two, and this is what can be called the ‘lakshman rekha’, the limit for all journalists, which they should not cross. We can see that limit being crossed in the video of Kejriwal’s media-fixing.
Let us now talk about Arvind kejriwal. This video raises more questions on his part because he has always blamed the media, which he claims is being financed by capitalist groups. He blames the media, claiming it ignores him and runs false news about him, and that all of this is done at the behest of Narendra Modi. He crosses the limit because he claims the entire media industry is biased without any proof.
The reality is that Kejriwal fixes his interviews himself. At the very least, he tries to do so. In the recently released video, it is clear that Kejriwal is playing the role of a part-time editor and advising the journalist on which part of the interview should be played up more.
Limits are crossed once again as there is a portrait of Bhagat Singh hanging on the wall behind Kejriwal, so that it sends the symbolic message of he himself being a sort of patriotic martyr. This is despite the fact that he does not have even have accurate information about the date on which Bhagat Singh’s sentence was announced!
Kejriwal resigned as Delhi’s chief minister on February 14. Someone informed him that was the day Bhagat Singh’s sentence was announced. Without verifying the accuracy of this information, he had his backdrop prepared around Bhagat Singh and also built an environment such that he would be asked about Bhagat Singh in that interview.
Surprisingly, even though this idea may have occurred to Kejriwal, he was in fact asked questions about Bhagat Singh. As in the news anchor bowled him a full toss ball so that he could hit it for a six.
Watch the video:
Sudhir Chaudhary is Editor, Zee News.