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.

So what is with the Indian media and this political non entity called A.B. Bardhan. Starting with CNN-IBN which has been giving undue front page attention to what it calls an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN’s Karan Thapar on Devil’s Advocate, to a PTI story on it within hours of this hitting the air it has become comical.

Why all this news around Bardhan ?

He is the first Left leader to come publicly to Pratibha Patil’s defence.

Now let us put the importance of the CPI that Bardhan heads into perspective by revisting End of the road for CPI. and TVR Shenoy’s point on the electoral decimation of CPI  where even the Forward Bloc and the Revolutionary Socialist Party garnered a larger share of votes than the CPI in West Bengal.

So here you have an electile dysfunctional leader of a party with a vanishing base receiving far too much credibility and prominence by our naive mainstream media.

So what does Bardhan have to say in defense of Pratibha Patil apart from his cliched Communist Doublethink on “fascism”.

“It so happens that so many banks fail, so many cooperatives fail. It only shows that she was not a very great executive director in all these economic affairs,” he said referring to the closure of the cooperative bank headed by her.

Despite being the communist that he is Bardhan conveniently ignores that the Bank was not a commercial venture with Patil’s sweat equity or large insitutional investment at risk. Instead it was the hard earned wages of the poor working class. Kind of ironical coming from a veteran Communist.

Asked about allegations that Patil’s relatives benefited by obtaining loans from the bank intended to empower poor women, he flatly refused the charges saying ‘this is neither corruption nor is it nepotism.’

This one is hilarious. Bardhan believes that when a Co-operative which is called a Mahila Sahakari … setup to help women by loaning them money starts to loan money to male relatives of Patil that is not “nepotism”. In the alternate reality Bardhan lives in that perhaps is charity and hence noble.

Beyond no particularly great insights from the media darling and eminently redoutable Bardhan except for this cliched communist doublethink

He trained guns at the BJP and its senior leader LK Advani for leveling allegations against Patil saying ‘it is only a fascistic trick to throw sufficient mud at a person, so that, some of it might stick.”

Offstumped Bottomline: It is about time the media got over its Bardhan obsession and spared us his doublethink. That it cant get a Prakash Karat to come on camera and defend Pratibha Patil speaks volumes about how far the CPI-M is prepared to go here. We dont need to hear his politically irrelavant surrogates.

The case against Pratibha Patil is not one of personal corruption. It is one about moral and ethical standards and the kind of leadership this country deserves. Each and every one of the issues against her involve ethical violations by institutions directly linked to her during a time period when she was personally at their helm. That goes to reflect the moral and ethical yardstick by which she measured herself and she measured the institutions which were meant to be a reflection of her public persona.

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