Thursday, May 7, 2009

Left is left and right is right?

I rarely watch TV, but yesterday I ended up watching an NDTV programme about Rahul Gandhi's latest comments on keeping alliance options open. The programme seemed to have the sole purpose of stirring up excitement over this non-issue: fair enough perhaps, the media need something to occupy themselves with given that election results are still over a week away.

I found it amusing to compare the two veteran newspaper editors whom they interviewed on this programme: Shekhar Gupta of the Indian Express and N. Ram of The Hindu. Gupta is politically right-wing in the sense of being strongly pro-capitalist and anti-communist, while N. Ram is politically left-wing in the sense of exchanging pro and anti in the previous phrase. Remarkably they were in complete agreement on the present issue, both concluding that the Congress party is promiscuous and willing to ally with just about anyone except the BJP (of course you didn't need to be a veteran editor to realise this).

What struck me powerfully, though, was the difference in the way they made their point. N. Ram looked dour and sanctimonious and spoke in a venomous whisper -- as if he was the king cobra that a rabbit called Rahul Gandhi had stirred up from his sleep. Shekhar Gupta on the other hand came across as an affable, relaxed and humorous person who could examine politics dispassionately and make insightful observations about it. At the end both editors declared themselves pleasantly surprised that they were actually agreeing with each other, but N. Ram looked as if he had swallowed a bitter lemon while Gupta made his comment with a light-hearted chuckle.

Perhaps Mr Ram lightens up (and even chuckles) only when he goes to China to praise their excellent Tibet policy?


Ramanan said...

You rarely watch TV .. you are missing out on lot of fun! The news channels are real fun to watch, especially Rajdeep Sardesai & Barkha Dutt. Even Arnab Goswami is fun, because he really rags some people.

Ashim said...

shekhar gupta may not be as right....he may be centre of right but N.Ram is definitely left and he certainly is truly scathing in his articles...ty for the article