Newsbytheway's Blog

January 2, 2010

Sex, lies, videotapes and media

A head of state, 86-year-old politician, served as chief minister of two states, at one time he was a serious contender for being the Prime Minister. And he is caught on camera having a foursome.

Times of India Frontpage

The perfect reason for media in any country to go berserk.And why not? The story has all the right ingredients. He is so old that he can barely walk but was in bed with three women, one of them who is 7 months pregnant! He can’t even deny it since it’s all on tape.

Expect sensation. Expect controversy. Expect dirt from the past. Expect some more skeletons tumbling out of the closets. Expect confessions.

Wait a minute, I almost forgot, it happened in India. He is N D Tiwari, an Indian politician. Zip. All Indian public figures are saints.  Even if they get naughty at times, the media act as a tolerant parent, hit a stick or two on the knuckles and moves on.  Hence the top-selling Indian english dailies came out with the blandest headlines possible-

Times of India: N D Tiwari denies role in sex tape. (Obviously he is going to deny it)

Hindustan Times: Andhra guv battles sex taint (Makes him  sounds like a hero almost)

Only Indian Express showed some courage by having a sarcastic headline “His sexellency?”

But imagine if something like this would have had happened in UK or US.  Actually you don’t need to imagine. Think Bill Clinton or Tiger Woods more recently.

I bet Tiger wished he was an Indian.  If he were, the entire incident would have only appeared as an accident in the papers.  Bribe the policemen and they will say what you want them to say to the media.  And the media will accept it wholeheartedly. Say ‘no comments’, and they won’t bother you.  No interview from past girlfriends. No smses or voice mails to worry about. Public apology on the website? Are you crazy ?? God doesn’t apologies.

Media-celebrity nexus in India

Celebrities are untouchable in India.  They are literally stars. Be it actors, cricketers, politician or industrialist.  You can admire them from a distance never knowing what happens when they not acting, playing or doing they respective jobs. There is no concept of paparazzi. I am sure many came to know the term ‘paparazzi’ in India only when Lady Diana’s death hit the headlines worldwide.

But then we don’t want paparazzi in India.  What we want is a courageous journalism where spade is called a spade without any fear. Not in the name of sensationalism but truth.

December 15, 2009

Berlusconi: The New Bush

Filed under: Politics — Rabea Khan @ 7:39 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

A cathedral’s replica replaced the shoe but the outcome was the same. A world leader embarrassed in front of the entire world. And the attacker hailed as a hero.

Source: Wikipedia

Silvio Berlusconi is the latest join the list of world leaders who have faced the wrath of a common man. His unpopularity is evident in the support for the attacker, Massimo Tartaglia. Tartaglia’s page on facebook page has attracted over 80,000 fans so far. Comments like “Tartaglia uno di noi” (tartagalia is one of us) are dominating the page.

Unlike Bush, Berlusconi is no instigator of wars. He hasn’t committed any crimes against humanity. But he is alleged to have committed an equally serious crime if not greater. The crime of breaking trust of his people. And he does draw many parallels with Bush junior.

Both are more hated than loved by their countrymen. Berlusconi is a media mogul and has quite a controversial life full of sex, scams and mafia. He was entangled in a sex and politics scandal for allegedly offering a seat in European parliament to an escort. He is been tried for tax fraud. Berlusconi also has been accused of having links with the mafia.

Bush has been the most hated American president in recent history not only in America but in the entire world. Many doubt his rationale for attacking Iraq. Weapon of mass destruction have become a universal joke now. Micahel Moore’s controversial documentary Farenheit 911 points at a hidden personal agenda behind the Iraq war and even connects Osama Bin Laden with the Bush’s family.

They even share a common interest in sports. Berlusconi owns AC Milan, Bush jr co-owned the Texas Rangers baseball team. If a contest for Mr World most hated leader is held, it will be close competition between Bush and Berlusconis. Bush junior might just clinch the title in the end, scoring points for universal abhorrence.

But both do have the same policy for the world at large. Here’s a special song dedicated to the two leaders we love to hate.

December 5, 2009

I’ve a right to vote in UK… But WHY??!!

A phone call has never been so significant in my life.  It gave me a right. It was from the British Electoral Registration Office.

Copyright: Mongo; Source: Flickr

A woman asked for my details to update the electoral list.  Surprised I told her, I don’t think I am allowed to vote. I am not British. She ignored my ignorance and replied impatiently,

“ Yes you are allowed to vote, you are from a Commonwealth    country. Can you please spell your name now.”

I obliged reluctantly, still not sure why am I allowed to vote. Is it because Britishers ruled India and now they are returning the gratitude by letting us vote? But I seriously doubt that the guilt feeling has anything to do with it.

Not only does it sounds strange, it’s dangerous as well.  I have been in this country for only few months. Before I landed in London, I didn’t even know who David Cameron was. I still don’t know much about Nick Clegg. (It’s a different story that he is non-existent for many Britishers as well.)

I am not aware of the history of the political parties here.  On what basis am I expected to decide whom to vote for?  It’s not a beauty contest where I can just pick someone on the basis of his or her cuteness. If that’s the criteria, David Cameron will win my vote, hands down.

And it isn’t a local council election where I can judge the candidate on the basis of his development plans for the county.  It’s a national election for God sake’s! My vote will decide who will the next PM of United Kingdom. The man will play a crucial role in international politics for the coming years.

Bias on nationality basis

And why exactly I have been given the right to decide? Just because I am a UK resident for a year belonging to a Commonwealth country I would have enjoyed the same right if I were from one of the European union countries.  But not USA. That means if one happens to be American, and has been working here for even 4 years, he/she can’t vote, unless he is a UK citizen.

Why such partiality? What are the basis for allowing some countries and not the others?  I am yet to find a reason. To have good relationships with these countries can be an argument but not a very good one. Will you give the ownership of your house to a guest who has just come for a night stay? No sane person would.

No other country gives this right to outsiders, unless they have the citizenship. Residency can’t be good enough.  Not good enough for me at least.  That’s why I am yet to cast my vote on whether I should be voting in the elections next year.

October 24, 2009

Dr Strangelove of British Politics

Filed under: Politics — Rabea Khan @ 2:29 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Jack Straw couldn’t have put it more aptly when he called Nick Griffin, Dr Strangelove of British Politics during Question Time on BBC. It was undoubtedly one of the most interesting panel discussions I have ever seen.

For the record, I simply abhor the man called Nick Griffin, for his archaic ideas and hate politics. But while watching Question Time, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. You could see he was jumpy, facing a hostile panel and an even more hostile audience.

One woman called him ‘wolf in a garb of sheep’. Another man began his question by saying “My question is for Dick, beg your pardon, Nick Griffiin…”.  They both got a huge round of applause from other members of audience. It was evident, he was alone in there and he had no option but try answering all the allegations as coolly as possible.

He denied any association with the Nazis or Ku Klux Klan. When pointed that there is video footage of him rubbing shoulders with Stephen Black, he said he was merely sharing a platform with a ‘non-violent’ division of KKK. What a joke!

He should take a cue from the show and accept that Britishers are not with BNP. One cannot win on grounds of racism, anti-semitic views and pure hate for those who are an integral part of the social fabric. He should pack his bags and go to Mumbai, and for sure he will find his soul mate in Raj Thackeray of MNS.

Both Raj and Nick share similar views about immigration, sex education and Islam. It could have been Raj Thackeray sitting there and he would have answered the same allegations (only difference is that he would have spoken in Marathi, as it is against his ideas to use Hindi/English or any other foreign language). They are so alike that it’s not even funny. It’s a shame that they both are against homosexuality; or else they would have a perfect couple.

October 12, 2009

Of MPs and their expenses…

Filed under: Politics — Rabea Khan @ 1:28 pm
Tags: , , ,

If you happen to be a MP in UK, this might not be the best time for you… or how a brit will put it.. you are in trouble, mate! The Prime Minister is  not spared, then you can imagine, what will happen to the rest.

And it is the gardening and the cleaning expenses thats drawing Sir Thomas’ attention the most. Besides, Gordon Brown, it’s Ken Clarke, the shadow business secretary, who is in love with his garden. He is been asked to cough up £4133. Economy may not be blooming, but democracy is certainly at its best.

Such a contrast to what happened in the biggest democracy in the world last month. Indian MPs went on an austerity drive, following the flak recieved by two MPs for living in a 5-star hotel for 3 months.  To silence the blazing media and the opposition, many Congress leaders including Sonia Gandhi, flew economy class!

Something that maybe British MPs can learn from. But one thing Indian MPs must learn from their English counterparts, is the queen’s language. See this and you would know what i mean…

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