Monday, September 03, 2007

The “national consensus” among the SMS-sending crowd

People's Democracy (Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Vol. XXXI No. 35 September 02, 2007 “TWO NATIONS” Prabhat Patnaik 11:54 AM
And the media at its command, the opinion-forming devices it controls, work overtime to obliterate the marginalised, to present the “nation of the rich” as the “true nation”. The la dolce vita of the former is passed off as “India shining”. The economic bonanza reaped by the former is passed off as the “nation’s progress”.

And nowhere has this role of the so-called “opinion makers” manifested itself so clearly as in their response to the Left’s rejection of the Indo-US nuclear deal. One commentator was simply amazed how anybody could reject such a relationship with the US, when “our children” go there! One newspaper (The New Indian Express August 23) editorially commented: “the Left’s knee-jerk opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal again suggests a lack of empathy for the national consensus, and a sympathy for China’s position on the issue.”
Obviously, since no sample survey covering the entire country has been conducted on the issue, the “national consensus” referred to in the editorial is the consensus among the SMS-sending crowd! The nation apparently consists of those whose children go to the US, and those who send SMS messages to the questions accompanying the so-called TV “discussions” where the audience is drawn from the same crowd. The “nation of the rich” simply appropriates for itself the mantle of the Indian nation!

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