The Cybernag has got great ‘breaking news’ from sources which are roaming incognito in Gujarat getting the feel from the ‘ground’ and ‘grassroots’ as the CM Narendra Modi cheered on by the BJP top brass is fasting in the air-conditioned conference hall of the Gujarat University and Shankar Singh Waghela is sitting on his counter-fast outside Sabarmati Ashram all hot and humid, sans any Central leader from his party.
For both this is perhaps an only chance to hog TV time. So what if both are playing politics — one to try desperately for an image change if that were ever possilbe and the other to use it to finally nail his errant ex-chela? And above all, what does it matter to the TV channels whether the reason for the fast is a noble or expeditious one, as long as they get their TRPs?
Now read what the Cybernag unearthed:
All saas-bahu serial makers including Kekta Kapoor have taken a vacation, as TV channels have found their new formula for TRP. After the hugely successful coverage of Anna’s fast at Ramlila Maidan they have zeroed in on this formula for success. Yes folks the flavor of the year is fasting and several channels are promising their viewers 72 hours non-stop coverage of the fast, not one but two – that is going on since this morning in Gujarat.
Wait! My source is calling from Mumbai with more Breaking News. ‘Ekta Kapoor has announced a mega serial called, ‘Khoob kiya Anshan aapne,’ and others are following suit!
Listen to what is happening in the newsrooms of the various TV channels.
‘Sir our reporters are protesting that they want to cover Modi’s fast. The cameramen have joined in too!
‘But why? We already have a girl covering Modi’s fast, don’t we?’
‘Yes, but it is too hot and humid at Waghela’s venue and they want to go to the AC hall where Modi is fasting.’
In one of the offices the producer is heard yelling frantically, ‘Fire them! Don’t we have stringers there? Get one of them!’
‘Sir but the stringers are all saying the same thing.’
At the UPA Chairperson’s office the phone rings. Someone is calling from Waghela’s camp outside Sabarmati Ashram.
‘Waghelaji is very upset at this stepmotherly treatment from Mum..sorry, Madam. Look at the BJP turning out in full strength to bolster their ward. And Waghelaji is sweating it out all alone, leaving us also to sweat and faint!’
The source didn’t hear the entire reply but caught the words ‘backend support from the party HQ,’ as the security guard got suspicious and shooed him away.
Back in Gandhinagar two young boys are talking on a street-corner: ‘Did you know that we are all going to get yummy stuff to eat today? Mallika aunty is distributing packets of food to all children and in the evening we will get khichdi and sweets!’
‘But why? Eid is over and Dushera is still far away.’
‘Arre buddhu! Didn’t you know that our leaders are fasting? So Mallika aunty wants to feed us. I heard that other aunties are going to feed the poor children too.’
‘I wish more leaders fasted every day!’ the younger boy says wistfully, licking his lips in anticipation of food.
Heard in the corridors of the Finance Ministry, ‘Did someone call the CAG’s office? Modi is apparently using state funds and machinery for his fast. What blatant misuse of public funds! Get them cracking there, will you? We will cook his goose this time!’
Elsewhere the Central Govt. is in a tizzy. They can’t find a spokesperson to condemn the fast of Modi and praise Waghela’s.
‘What happened to all the spokespersons? Get someone quick? The BJP brass is hogging all the eyeballs!’
‘But sir, our star spokespersons are in the hospital where surgeons are working hard to extricate their feet from their mouths.’
‘But I thought they had the surgery done sometime back.’
‘It has recurred again, sir. Doctors are unable to fix the problem from recurring.’
‘Oh, excuses, excuses!’ Get me someone, anyone! And while you are at it, get me the round the clock, round the week news channel.’
‘Which one sir? They are all RTC, RTW channels…’ the assistant is at his wit’s end.
‘Now you want me to spell it out for you? Get me the original RTC RTW channel, you fool!’
The harassed assistant runs helter-skelter trying to find someone. He is not used to searching for spokespersons. Why, he had had an army of them literally crawling out of the woodworks as recently as August when Anna had gone on fast.
Back in Gandhinagar at a home in a Muslim locality: ‘Aslam, why are you going without your tagiyah? Aren’t you going to the masjid for noon prayers?’
‘Yes ammi, but party workers of Congress and BJP are crawling all over the place and dragging anyone with a tagiyah to their respective leaders’ fast venues. I am carrying it in my pocket,’ replies Aslam.
In the meanwhile the harassed assistant has managed to get a spokesperson. Someone thrust a sheaf of papers in the clueless man’s hand. ‘Go quickly. I have asked the RTC RTW reporter to wait for your statement,’ said the Minister.
‘What is the reaction of the UPA to these twin fasts?’ asked a cub reporter trying to imitate her idol. ‘I hope she is watching me,’ she thought as she preened. Then realizing that she had omitted the all-important question, she added hastily, ‘How do you feel about it?’
The spokesperson began reading from his papers, ‘This fast is master-minded by the BJP-RSS…We will not allow the saffron brigade to hijack the movement..’
‘Someone stop that moron! Which of you imbeciles gave him the statement prepared last month during Anna’s fast? This is a BJP fast! Did you get him from the Ministry of External Affairs?’ screamed the Minister and the TV screen went blank.
How the Minister wished for his regular foot-in-the-mouth artistes Manish Tiwari and Diggy! At least they would have known how to call names and this time they wouldn’t even have to ‘regret’ their statements. After all wasn’t Modi everyone’s favourite whipping boy?
Outside Sabarmati Ashram: ‘Sir, have we taken permission from Team Anna to put up Anna’s poster?’
‘Shut up! Haven’t they themselves said that he is the second Gandhi? This is Gandhiji’s Ashram. Let them come and object. We have new leads on Kejriwal’s misuse of his office to collect donations and something new on Sisodia and Kiran Bedi as well!’
Waghela looks woebegone in his Gandhi cap, which he had had to hastily change because someone had given him an ‘I am Anna’ cap in his hurry to reach his fasting venue before Modi started his fast!
At the conference hall in Gujarat University where Narendra Modi is surrounded by his fawning ‘family’ of the BJP led by the PM in perpetual waiting L.K.Advani. The latter was praising the younger leader reluctantly acknowledging the fact that he might not be a candidate after all in the next elections, rath-yatra or not.
A spectator is heard whispering, ‘Do you know why all this show is on? After the endorsement of Modi as the model Chief Minister by the US, the party is trying to project him at the UN.’
‘I got it straight from Wikileaks,’ the first one says in an offended tone. ‘See the papers tomorrow if you don’t believe me.’
That’s all for now, folks!
For latest updates just switch your TV sets on. All channels including sports channels are telecasting the two fasts live, since the latter channels have nothing to talk about with India dragging its injured players from England after their defeat in all the three versions of cricket. Besides, with no political reporter covering the Waghela fast, the sports reporters have been perforce pressed into service.
Disclaimer: The post is the product of the Cybernag’s imagination and all situations are creations of the same source. Resemblances if any, are coincidental. 🙂
Pics courtesy – Top: IBNLive.