Kejriwal’s TOI article: same old same old

06 Jan,2012

By Ranjona Banerji


Arvind Kejriwal has reached out to fellow Indians in a plea in The Times of India today. The front page of The Times of India says ‘Team Anna confused, does not know the way forward’. It quotes from an article which Kejriwal has written for the paper. But while the front page report talks about the “apparent” confusion in Team Anna, especially after it has been attacked for going after the Congress while being soft on other parties, Kejriwal’s article is, in fact, the same old same old. He does not talk about the Mumbai debacle; he adds a throwaway line about the BJP and corruption but concentrates the article on the perfidy of the Congress.


Anna Hazare’s ill-health, he conjectures, had more to do with the bad Lokpal bill presented by the government than anything else. If one can venture an opinion, it is this single-minded insistence on attacking only the Congress which has worked against Team Anna. If it loses media sponsorship, it might find the way forward a tad tough. Kejriwal has asked concerned citizens for ideas on how the movement should proceed. It will be interesting to see those suggestions.


Meanwhile, Hazare’s health remains a matter of concern, with most newspapers and channels focusing on it. TV continues to target members of the anti-corruption movement. The BJP is not the flavour of the week at the moment and if you do not come out strongly against it, then TV will not forgive you – this week at least. This leaves the leaders of the anti-corruption movement floundering a bit since they have not had their core committee meeting to decide on what to do yet! Till the triumvirate speaks, all are lost!


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The Indian traders who were detained/ tortured/ attacked in China got so much play on TV that newspapers have started giving the incident more attention. Of course, newspapers have the advantage of setting aside nationalistic outrage and looking at the larger picture. Which includes: other traders not wanting to stop going to that part of China since stuff there is cheap and China requesting Indian traders to follow their laws! This makes for a much larger and more complicated story.


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Inflation is down the newspapers tell us and interest rates may be cut as well. Presumably, this is good news.


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Will Friday night and Saturday morning be all about slamming the Indian cricket team for its dismal performance so far in Australia? I’m not a fortune teller but my crystal ball says that heavy weather is approaching for MS Dhoni and company!


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