ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Fourth Estate That Vanished

Was it an independent media or an extended arm of the Modi campaign that we saw ahead of the polls?

Humbert Wolfe’s early 20th century epigram on the British journalist serves just as aptly in capturing the shenanigans of our celebrity tribe of television news journalists and anchors this election season. Wolfe’s satirical verse went like a ditty, thus:

You cannot hope
to bribe or twist,
thank God! the
British journalist.
But, seeing what
the man will do
unbribed, there’s
no occasion to.

The same honourable assumption of implicit integrity can, of course, be made of the familiar screen faces whose elaborate performative manner is that of being frontiersmen and women of our independent, commercially-run electronic media. There was, surely, no larger plot scripted and directed by their corporate bosses or benefactors which impelled them into their collective Narendra Modi frenzy in the run-up to and through these nine-phase, over a month long, polls. Could it then be that they just lost the plot, and their professional sense of direction, and were carried along, and away, with the rest into a Modi leela?

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