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The Fact Of The Matter

The fact that Hina Rabbani's Birkin bag and designer sunglasses got more coverage than her talks with S. M. Krishna shouldn't surprise us. After all, our media has reached a stage where it just doesn't care, says Gursimran Khamba.

india Updated: Aug 08, 2011 14:57 IST
Gursimran Khamba
Gursimran Khamba
Hindustan Times
HINDUSTAN TIMES,Gursimran Khamba,Hina Rabbani's Birkin

India's foreign policy was aptly codified in the 90s by the hit Akshay Kumar - Saif Ali Khan song "Ladki dekhi muuh se seeti baje haath se taali - Main Khiladi Tu Anari". So when Pakistan's first female foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar (Secret Service codename: Maal) touched down for another round of pointless confidence building talks with her counterpart S.M. "personality of an almirah" Krishna last week, the fact that our nation lost its collective shit did not come as a surprise to anyone. How else do you expect people to react when the only daily exposure to female politicians is Jayalalitha, Mayawati and, er, Hillary Clinton?

What did come under scrutiny however, was how our media only seemed to focus on the Birkin and her looks (personally, I found Shah Mahmood Qureshi much hotter) instead of political agenda points. I wasn't surprised that people were outraged, but I was surprised that people were still surprised at it happening. While a part of me thought that this was also done on purpose as psy-ops to make her look like a political flyweight, our media has reached a stage where it just doesn't care. How else would you describe the amount of coverage Rakhi Sawant's comment about wanting to marry Baba Ramdev got? It's not like our media doesn't know that it is a publicity stunt - they do. What we see instead is tacit complicity between the media and (I use the term loosely) "newsmakers" because they're only too aware of their symbiotic relationship.

And so while we outrage, discuss this phenomenon academically and write term papers on it, the juggernaut will carry on, knowing a bulk of the audience is more than happy spend time debating, arguing, talking about and watching morbidly lives of characters they themselves have created and put in those positions of power. Only now, the characteristics we created them with stand amplified.

As for Khar, I'm just glad Krishna didn't accidentally end up reading her speech and pronouncing Kashmir as an integral part of Pakistan.

Gursimran Khamba is a pissed off writer, stand up comic, podcaster, social media junkie and lover of all fried foods. Except bananas. Follow him on Twitter at!/gkhamba

First Published: Aug 01, 2011 15:00 IST