After all India’s greatest spinner was a Gandhi

25 April 2007

Do sections of the Indian media live in their own unique world, far removed from the one its readers, listeners and viewers inhabit?

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi‘s “road-show” in the Uttar Pradesh election campaign has, by most accounts, been a rank disaster. The turnout has been so feeble that the “future of UP” has been seen berating his team of advisers in public and wagging a finger at the rows of empty seats.

But is that the view that the media is giving?

The Daily Telegraph‘s Peter Foster says the next morning’s newspapers in Lucknow painted exactly the opposite picture. One paper said Rahul had received a welcome the like of which had not been seen in ‘living memory’ except for the former Indian BJP prime minster Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lucknow’s most famous son.

It’s interesting how the Indian media has jumped onto the ‘son-rise’ bandwagon, even though Rahul is a rotten public speaker and, compared to firebrand polulist politicians of Uttar Pradesh, like Mayawati or Mulayam Singh Yadav is about as engaging as a slap on the face with a wet fish.

All of which means there are two parallel universes out there. The one in which Rahul, a product of the international educated classes, stumbles round rural India looking faintly bewildered—and the world of the newspapers where he’s the coming saviour of Congress.

Read the full article here: Fact vs media spin

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