Move over saas-bahu serials, it’s time to cede ground, or airtime in this case, to the political heavyweights of the country. After West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee decided to launch a dedicated television channel to send out “correct” news (her version, of course) to the people, it is the turn of agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, rural development minister Jairam Ramesh, culture minister Kumari Selja and human resource development minister Kapil Sibal to demand separate television channels for their respective ministries. Their grouse: the common man is not getting adequate information about the “people-friendly”policies they have launched.
So what about old faithful Doordarshan? After all, it has been sitting on a pretty pile of cash and an army of producers, technicians, anchors etc. Surely it can come up with some super-exciting stuff on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, new agricultural techniques or even Manipuri dance forms. But alas, our politicians do not believe in utilising what is available: like children in a candy store, they always want the better, the brighter, never mind the cost. In this particular case, the multiple television channels would cost Rs.200 crore a pop. Or maybe, they fear that keeping to tradition, Doordarshan will come up with some sleep-inducing programmes and ruin their people-friendly policies. Or is it that Doordarshan has suddenly developed a mind of its own and is not too happy to go along with the government line anymore?
None of this may be true, we ultimately figure out as our eyes fall on the calendar. Two more years to go before the mega elections in 2014. But Didi and the others really don’t need to try and showcase their achievements this early. The early bird, as we have always suspected, does not necessarily catch the worm.