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OffStumped For All Things Right of Center, Bringing a Right of Centre Reality Check to Indian Politics, News Media Reporting and Opinion now in Hindi अब आप के लिये हिंदी मे.
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BJP President Rajnath Singh announced the re-organisation of the Parliamentary Board and the Election Committee. While Yashwant Sinha was brought on as Vice President, Sanjay Joshi was dropped as General Secretary responsible for Organization. The late Pramod Mahajan’s brother in law Gopinath Munde was brought in as a General Secretary while Arun Jaitley made way for Rajiv Pratap Rudy as the party’s spokesperson. Arun Jaitley however had the responsibility of Secretary of the Party’s Parliamentary Board thrust on him. The Rajnath rejig also saw Jaitley, Ananth Kumar, Vinay Katiyar, Thwarchand Gehlot and Om Prakash Mathur retained as General Secretaries and Jual Oram. Kalyan Singh, Bal Apte, Shanta Kumar, Saheb Singh Verma, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Kailash Meghwal retained as vice-presidents.

And so the list goes on and if you were wondering what the fuss was all about well it was not about who was in the rejig but more on who was out of the rejig. The media headline circus says it all. While one called the omission in the rejig as “Rajnath’s bombshell” others called it “cutting to size”, “clipping of wings”, “showing the door”, “losing the top job”, “giving a shocker”, “wiping the past”, “second line war”, “snake and ladder BJP style”.

What takes the cake however are these 2 headlines about 8 hours apart “Dropped Modi Livid” and then “Dropped Modi Not Livid”. So once again what was the fuss all about. If you didnt already know, Narendra Modi was denied the most cherished and vaunted political hot seat that leader’s across the BJP ranks live and die for if the mainstream media were to be believed. So what exactly was Narendra Modi denied

– the Presidency of the BJP ? well think again

– the General Secretariat of the BJP ? well think again

– the Vice Presidency ? well you still dont get it

But then you are not as smart as the eager beaver media political hacks so you could be forgiven for not knowing that a seat in the Central Parliamentary Board of the BJP is such political hot property that the media has been fretting over for the last 48 hours on Narendra Modi’s exclusion from it.

So what explains this Obsessive Compulsive Disorder of the mainstream media when it comes to the happening within the BJP. Offstumped will lay out what the mainstream media never bothers to tell you.

When was the last time you saw the media obsess over who gets appointed to the Congress Working Committee or whatever they call it these days. The very fact that we rarely hear about CWC or its post-Sonia re-incarnate speaks volumes about how the rest of the Congress Party Organization pales into irrelevance in deference to the one woman show the Congress has been reduced to. In fact the AICC Website bears testimony to this fact with Sonia Gandhi splashed all over it.  Again when was the last time you saw the media obsess over how Prakash Karat grabbed the top spot in the CPI-M edging over Sitaram Yechury or some of the grass roots leaders from Bengal or Kerala who have really been responsible for keeping the communists in business. The absolute silence on the intrigues of the CPI-M that go on in smoke filled rooms is testimony to how closed the CPI-M party organization is to outside scrutiny and how irrelevant these intra-party intrigues are to the politics of the CPI-M.

So what you have here is a media starved of political masala to fill up the gossip columns and manufacture sensational headlines. And to this sensation famished media the openness and the first among equals tussle within the BJP is ready fodder. Hence you have all of these figments of a lone journalist’s imagination spiced up with loose talk from a multitude of disgruntled out of work politicians of who the BJP has an abundance of supply.

Whether Narendra Modi is losing sleep over his exclusion from an arcane and marginally significant Central Parliamentary Board, the sensation starved journos are unable to contain their insomnia. You see the same Obsessive Compulsive Disorder on display on a range of issues – be it the BJP not commenting on the Saddam Execution or the BJP’s lack of reaction to a flippant Thackeray remark on the President’s hairdo. It is no longer about the substance of issues which if the media had really cared would have invited debate on Sonia’s equating of Strategy with Compulsions. Instead all we have is nit picking on just about anything about the BJP. In fact one begins to wonder if these journos ever really troop out of their smoke filled offices to collect any real facts about news events anymore. Most of the analysis on the Rajnath Singh rejig is replete with empty speculation and ludicruous observations none of which is ever attributed to any source.

Offstumped Bottomline: The media needs to get over its obsessive compulsive BJP disorder and look elsewhere to manufacture sensation. The media coverage of the Rajnath rejig is a welcome reminder to us on the public good in Big B having Aishwarya Rai for a daughter in law and Shilpa Shetty having a Jade Goody for a house mate. Imagine where a media deprived of the inanity of celebrity gossip would go next – Narendra Modi’s bachelorhood ?

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