Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Three Events

Three recent events in India have significance.

First was Colors challenging I&B Ministry and going to court. I&B Ministry had asked Imagine and Colours to shift their 9.00 p.m. programmes to a time slot between 11.00 p.m. and 5.00 a.m. Imagine obliged. Colors went to court. It got a stay order.

Second was Jaganmohan Reddy’s revolt against Sonia Gandhi. He called, through a TV programme, Manmohan Singh a rubber stamp and Sonia Gandhi’s leadership a failure.

Third was B. S. Yeddyurappa’s defiance of BJP central leadership. No chief minister of any national party had done that and survived as chief minister.

These three events show challenge to central leadership, whether of government or party. TV channels had submitted to the I&B Ministry. Colors has set a precedent. I&B Ministry acts arbitrarily based on the complaints it receives. A programme that is regressive and glorifies something illegal is allowed to continue because there are no complaints. A programme is in trouble when some people find it indecent and complain. I&B Ministry did not act against Balika Vadhu which glorified child marriage which is illegal because the serial was popular with some sections and there were no complaints. Indecency is subjective. Some find a programme indecent, others not. Some programmes claim to be reality TV but how much reality is there in those programmes is questionable. There are many channels. People who do not like a programme do not have to watch it.

In a parliamentary democracy it is for MLAs to decide who should be the chief minister. People sitting in Delhi deciding who should be chief minister of a state is not democracy. Many times MLAs go through the motions of electing chief minister. Sometimes they pass resolutions authorising the party president to select the chief minister. In some cases the person selected is not MLA or MLC.

Jaganmohan wanted to be chief minister of Andhra Pradesh after his father’s death. Many Congress MPs, MLAs and other members wanted him to be the chief minister. Sonia Gandhi chose K. Rosaiah. At first it appeared it was for a short time. When he continued Jaganmohan and supporters created trouble. Jaganmohan defied party leaders. Attacking Sonia Gandhi should have resulted in expulsion. Instead of expelling Jaganmohan, Congress leadership asked Rosaiah to quit.

Yeddyurappa had trouble from within and outside BJP. He survived. BJP and independent MLAs who withdrew support were disqualified. When central leaders wanted him to quit he went on a show of strength. BJP had to say Yeddyurappa will continue as CM.

Interestingly, 24/11/2010 was a day of twist. Reporters were waiting for the announcement that Yeddyurappa will resign. Instead came the unexpected announcement of Rosaiah’s resignation. By night Kiran Kumar Reddy was selected as chief minister as Andhra Pradesh.

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