ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Archive for February 2016

The Future of Main Stream Media

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media_politics.jpgLast 5 years have been really tough for Main Stream Media (MSM). MSM has always reveled in taking moral high ground and driving their agenda. It got TRP’s by maligning the political class. It fought for the injustice and got public support. “Media Pressure”, it was called. It reaped results and people were happy. In India, advent of AAP was also attributed to the unprecedented media coverage.

This emboldened MSM further and it began to think itself as king maker and agenda setter. However it was able to maintain the veil of neutrality. In reality everyone was driving their own beliefs and policies. Growth of Social Media removed this veil. MSM was found in bed with the same politicians whom it once stood against. People were left aghast.

So where does MSM go from here? Well, as far as I think, globally it has survived by becoming more political. And this should be the case in India too. We will see more and more news channels aligning openly with one or the other political party in lieu of patronage.

We will see political beliefs of media persons coming out in open. They will start flashing it more openly and not under the veil. This is what they have to do. This is what they will do. Social Media has called out their hypocrisy. Currently MSM is in denial and anger more. It is calling people names in return.

Soon we will see the Bargain/Depression stage, which will soon lead to Acceptance of the truth and coming out in open. MSM can survive only by shedding the tag of hypocrisy. The sooner they do the better. MSM will was/is/will be never neutral. Soon it will accept it.

Written by arpitgarg

February 15, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Posted in Media, Political

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How do Right Wing win when their policies are unpopular?

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left_right.jpgFirst of all, to the uninitiated, what is right wing and left wing? Right wing parties are for open economy, no Govt control, no subsidy, no freebies, all private. They believe competition is better for economy. Work hard and get reward. Left wing parties are for equal distribution of wealth. They believe Govt should take control and provide help to the poor. Basic human right to food and shelter. Top 1% should not get all.

If you see Left speaks for the lower strata of economy, which makes the majority as wealth lies in the hands of top 1%. This makes Right wing beliefs unpopular, correct? Only prosperous people should be supporting them. By this logic Right wing parties should never be able to win any democratic election. But as you will see over the years, they do win. How are they able to get popular vote with their unpopular policies?

This question has confounded me too. But as always, there has to be an answer. Below is what I think. Right wing parties can never win a democratic election with their governance and economic policies. So they downplay these policies during elections. All Right (or center-Right), have a secondary poll plank, which they use to win election. It is either Security or God or Morality. Let me give you an example.

In United States, Republicans are the Right wing. Their secondary plank is Fear of Terrorism. They promise to keep the country secure with heavy hand. They stand for anti-abortion and anti-gay (they say it is anti-God). They have been able to drum up support on these issues over the years and have carried out their economic policies easily.

Even in India if you see, BJP, the Right wing, plays Hindutva card (their secondary poll plank), without which it will not be possible for them to win an election. Widespread corruption has also helped them as of now, to drum up support for their economic policies. However it will be tough in the long run.

I am not questioning either Right or Left economic policies here. What my intention is to understand how the Right has withstood the democracy. This has been the case historically. With time the anti-gay and anti-abortion rhetoric will subside. But playing on fear and immigrants will remain.

In last 200 years or so, with the advent of democracy, Right and Left both has started to move towards center. In my opinion they will become identical in due time. BJP’s decision to continue MNREGA and Food Security points to that. Advent of Liberal Donald Trump as frontrunner Republican in US is another classical example.

Written by arpitgarg

February 15, 2016 at 3:18 pm

Good to have the right Enemies

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Best-Of-Enemies-Movie-Poster.jpegI recently read an article as to how Donald Trump’s rise has been aided by “the right set of enemies” he has. Sounds a bid weird right? Enemies are meant to take a person down, how come they aid in taking him up. Let’s explore.

I would also make a reference to Indian PM Narendra Modi who I feel too attribute his rise to “the right set of enemies” he had. Both are considered strongman right wing personalities. Because of these traits, they have been labeled by their enemies as dictators, anti-minority and what not.

They both have been known to be against radical islamic terrorism, something that people including media don’t want to talk about. They both bad mouthed media at every given opportunity. They promised jobs and development to the nation. They both talked about things which are not part of main stream discourse anymore.

Their enemies were busy berating them on what they say, how they say, their speeches, tone of their sound etc. When a person talks about helping common man and an increasing set of well off people say bad things about him, common man tends to sympathize. This is what has happened with Trump and Modi.

When enemies themselves don’t have public credibility, their words backfire. There is a lot of class resentment with an increasing income inequality. The enemies are part of top tier of wealthy people. Whatever they say people despise. It is like, “This well off person is against someone who is promising us job and security. Sure, he will have some vested interests”. And as always media, which itself is part of top 1%, was called out on hypocrisy.

It’s always good to have right enemies than no having enemies at all.

Written by arpitgarg

February 12, 2016 at 7:49 pm

Posted in General/Society

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What is happening at JNU is not education

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Students-College-And-Politics.jpgWhat is happening at JNU is not education. Students are being exploited for political gains. Students with political ambitions and teachers with an agenda, are destroying this temple of education.

I don’t remember any political activity happening in my college, leave aside such anti-national rallies. I remember once a pro-swadeshi speaker addressed a talk and the organizer students were cautioned soon after that no such things will be tolerated in the college. I was angst then but now I understand the importance of that reprimand.

I think its time to take a stand. What should the colleges stand for in our nation? Should they be the research wagons taking India forward or should they be ring of political slugfest. It saddens me to say that I see no solution to this epidemic. This situation is going to go grave.

Democracy which was meant to bring power to the people, hasn’t served its purpose. Not just in India but across. What it has done is progress such illicit activities by people wanting to gain power for themselves. Let’s not be too naive to fail to see this is all to win elections one way or the other by all and sundry.

Rule of law has become just an after thought amidst all this conundrum. We can only hope this goes away. However I highly suspect that.

Written by arpitgarg

February 12, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Posted in Political

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Population Explosion: Root cause for intolerance

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population.jpgThis is a clear case of looking at the wrong place. Right wing extremist ideology was blamed for intolerance by self proclaimed liberals and leftists. Then these liberals and leftists themselves went overboard and came out as more intolerant. People kept hurling abuses at each other amidst a polarized atmosphere. But what is the real reason?

Well, the reason behind such confrontations is the population explosion. The root cause! Imagine if India had population of say 2-3 crore. Everyone was wealthy with lots of food, good education and what not. Would we have seen such issues? I think No!

People want more attention and larger piece of the pie. Hardly anyone wants to do social service. Everyone has an agenda. There is no other fight other than the fight for more resources.

The biggest act of intolerance people commit is denying food/house/respect to the poor. But since poor have no voice, there is no talk about these intolerance’s. Instead we see people with full stomach crying from their rooftops that no one respects them anymore, no one likes them anymore. People evoking controversial issues on facebook/twitter and then crying wolf when trolled by equally useless full-stomach people.

We are sick and tired of all this. If you want to help, give all your money to poor. And then we can talk. But I know you will not as I for one will not. I am too selfish. I might cry intolerance to get more attention and bigger piece of the pie. And I will be a hypocrite and not admit it. Even the trolls opposing these cry babies are the same. They hate to see others trying to hog limelight and thus berate them.

Mind you they also do nothing for the problems that ails our country. Just sit in an AC room, eating popcorn, on their macbook and tweet tweet tweet, as I am doing right now. And I can tell you why they like it.

Written by arpitgarg

February 5, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Trump and Cartman: The Super Trolls

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cartman_trump.jpgThose who have seen animation series Southpark would be able to get what I am referring to. I am big fan of Southpark which is a satirical animation series about a bunch of school friends. It is a big time satire on anything and everything. And the most famous of its character’s is Eric Cartman. I just love this guy.

He is the epitome of satire. He has no filters on his mouth. He can insult anyone and everyone at the drop of a hat. He is so witty and so awesome. Best part is he speaks the truth. To some, Eric Cartman is a racist, anti-semetic kind of guy. But in real what he portrays is the ‘not politically correct’ person.

It’s a humorous show and Cartman is super funny. Not unlike Donald Trump. Now I am no one to discuss the politics of Trump. I want to touch the similarity of Cartman and Trump. I love them both for the entertainment they provide.

Cartman also has the Trumptantrum as they are calling it now. In an episode, Cartman fakes verbal Tourette’s and throws such damn good insults on all and sundry. He is a character much before social media came into vogue. But he is the original troll. And Trump is well regarded as the king of trolls.

Not sure which way USA will vote, but my wishes are with Trump, not because of his politics (which I not know much about), but because he personifies my favorite animation character, Cartman.

Written by arpitgarg

February 4, 2016 at 6:51 pm

Posted in Funny, Political

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In Gandhi’s India, Why the fuss about Kejriwal’s attire?

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kejriwal_chappal.jpgSo, I read that a person has sent 364 bucks to Mr. Kejriwal to buy a pair of shoes. A lot of similar minded individuals have opined the same. “He should have known to wear better. After all he was attending an official function.”

I am sure there will be debates all through the week on this topic. It will involve a lot of name calling and what not. Today I don’t want to touch the politics of it. I just want to touch the stupidity of all this.

Couple of years back Congress, who put Anna behind bars for his fast-unto-death, totally forgot that it was such fast-unto-deaths by Gandhi which were instrumental in the freedom movement. Now it is such people who totally forgot that simplicity is what Gandhi taught us.

I wonder what such people would have said to Gandhi when he went to round table conferences in Britain wearing almost nothing.

Maybe Kejriwal is doing all this for publicity. But he is doing what Gandhi taught us and is the foundation of our great nation. People, who can’t digest this, are well within their right to digress. But they should not be celebrated. They should be ignored.

Written by arpitgarg

February 4, 2016 at 6:33 pm

Posted in Political

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Best way to tackle Ban on Woman in Religious places

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religion-praying.jpgBan on woman at a number of places of worship has been in the discussion lately. Women have come out both for and against the practice. When one group of women wants it to be abolished right away, other group wants not to tinker with the tradition.

Both have their arguments. Pro-abolition cites right to equality enshrined in the constitution. Pro-tradition says it has nothing to do with gender discrimination, just a part of tradition like Karwachauth (where women fast for their husband’s long life).

What is the best way to tackle this? I think long lasting traditions (albeit wrong ones), take time to go away. And we should give them this time. It will eventually vanish. If we try and change it forcefully in an instant, it will cause more problems.

Slow reform would be best to junk such traditions. Spread awareness about it. Not forcefully. Women should take lead and make their families aware about these injustices. They can teach their children to junk such traditions. Till will make them go away smoothly.

Another option can be to boycott. Women can persuade their families to boycott such places altogether. Slowly law of economics will catch up and gates will be thrown open to all.

There are a lot of ways we can do it. Traditions should be handled carefully. They have grown up slowly over centuries. They will take some time to go away. And we should give them this time.

Written by arpitgarg

February 3, 2016 at 7:10 pm

Right to Religion: Wrong to Religion

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right_wrong.jpegWhen I was born, my religion was pre-decided. I never asked for a religious identity, yet it was bestowed upon me. Society expected me to show solidarity with the people of my religion. Society expected me to marry within my religion. Society expected me to make friends inside my religion.

As I grew up, I came to know more about my religion via books. I was enlightened about the long running feud between my religion and some other religion. I was expected to join that feud. When I reached college, I was expected to speak up for/against my religion. ‘No opinion’ was laughed at.

When some one spoke against my religion, I was expected to defend it and go ballistic against the other religion. By that time I was conditioned to do it. I saw merit in my religion and called it the best. Other religions were cause of historical bloodsheds.

Then they told me, I have a right to practice any religion. Yet I will be called a ‘convert’ if I choose some other religion. I will be called ‘agnostic’ if I opt for no religion. I will be someone different. An alien!

I wonder what is natural, practicing a religion or ‘not practicing’. Man is not born with a religion, yet ironically he has a religion by birth. Too complex.

I find myself reacting when someone speaks against my religion. And then I end up asking why? I find myself praising my religion. And then I end up asking why? I find myself friends with people of my religion only. And then I end up asking why? I find myself marrying within my religion. And then I end up asking why? I will for sure bestow my religion to my offspring. Just keep on asking why?

Written by arpitgarg

February 3, 2016 at 5:06 pm

Posted in General/Society

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Khichdi Govt in 2019?

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khichdiHow the cycle of mistakes repeats can be a research topic in itself. If we remember during the Anna movement or Ramdev agitation, Congress committed one self goal after another. They obviously thought ignoring and rejecting them as motivated struggles, would make them go away. But it was not to happen. The movement got further impetus by each suppression.

Similar mistake is being committed by current dispensation. I am not questioning their intent at this point. But the way student suicide case is being handled, is bound to backfire. Blaming the opposition, calling student protest as motivated, questioning student’s caste, doesn’t all this seem familiar? It’s what UPA used to do. And it failed. So why is NDA repeating these mistakes?

I can only see arrogance and nothing else. As I have said before, the smartness of Vajpayee is missing. India is but a democracy. You have to win elections to keep doing good work. How hard would it have been to take some action or to apologize? I didn’t see any apologies coming in from Government, leave aside some action.

You won’t be able to win elections by calling everyone else motivated. I think, Modi need to guide his ministers, how to win over junta. What they are doing is antagonizing people. This will chip into good work of Modi and will be sad to see a ‘khichdi’ Govt. in 2019.

Written by arpitgarg

February 2, 2016 at 12:36 am

Posted in Political

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