Anil Thakraney: Badly needed: Prime Ministerial debates

08 Oct,2012

By Anil Thakraney


If we can freely copy ideas on television programming from the West, why not do ditto with the US Presidential debates? The Obama/Romney show was not just a hugely watched TV spectacle. It gave American citizens a very good idea of what these gentlemen stand for on various important issues. This helps them make informed decisions when they go to cast their votes. There is a view that politicians play to the gallery during such debates. That may be true, but we still get to read their minds.


After all these years of his being India’s PM, I still have no fricking clue on what Manmohan Singh really stands for and what exactly goes on in his head. The nation’s large political parties should be made to name their PM hopefuls in advance, and they need to be compelled to debate in front of India’s janata. For example, I would love to watch a debate between Manmohan Singh and LK Advani. Also, Narendra Modi and young Rahul Gandhi. The nation needs to be made aware of their stand on important issues concerning the country. Like economic growth, terrorism, poverty alleviation, farmer suicides, communal conflicts, Kashmir, infrastructure development and so on. I am aware that a vast majority of Indians cast their votes for reasons not related to merit but still, we would at least get to know our bada netas a little better. If these people will decide the destiny of a billion plus people, we need to know their agendas for sure.


Yes, the chicken-hearted desi netas will not agree to participate in such debates, because they will get exposed. And one single TV channel on its own won’t be able to persuade them. Which is why I think this needs to be a collective effort, a collaborative campaign. The various Indian media companies should, for once, set aside their rivalries, come together, and make this happen. They must put enormous pressure on the politicians to take part in such television debates. The media owes this to India and its future.




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