We are over the moon with joy. After years of rowing around in the backwaters, at last someone has thought us important enough to be managed. And not just any old body, mind you, but the almighty government itself. Stung by the negative publicity it received during the anti-corruption campaign by Anna Hazare and gang to bring in a Lokpal Bill last year, the government has decided to take no more chances. So it is packing off senior officials of the information and broadcasting ministry to Britain for lessons in media management. The officials will participate in a two-week course at one of the world’s leading media training agencies. It appears that all this is being funded by the vast resources available with Prashar Bharti.
Now in recent times, parts of the popular British media have made waves more for hacking than ethical practices, but never mind all that. Now you will wonder, do our people have to go all the way to Britain to learn how to handle the media here? We have media and media, from small vernacular papers, family run television channels, gigantic newspapers, a plethora of websites and so on. How will our lads, for example, come back and address the Muzaffarnagar Gazette, if such a paper were to exist on playing by the Queensbury Rules? Will they pop around and tell the staff ‘look here old chaps, this is not cricket’ when faced with a negative report? Will they be able to manage the vast number of experts who appear on various channels 24/7 offering their opinions? You get our drift?
The discerning among you will note a hint of bitterness in our views. Our real complaint is that if there was so much money to splash around, could they not have approached little old edit writers like us who know a thing or two about the game? We could have given them tips on how to manage the media. The first lesson would be that managing the media is a bit of an archaic concept in a burgeoning democracy. In fact, we could have told them for free that this just won't work. But it is a nice feeling to know that we still have the ability to unsettle the government a bit.