Vantage point

Monday, June 28, 2010

English Media Lobs a Full Toss at Raj Thackeray....Again!

Last year, I wrote about how the national media, particularly the english media, errs in their shallow coverage of Raj Thackeray -

The media never goes down to the granularity of the points he raises and instead goes after him with a hammer, when a scalpel would be much more appropriate. They don't exactly build a strawman, but take a legitimate target and dump so much straw over it gratuitously that the original point gets lost. What that does is, gives him lots and lots of material (and watch any rally or speech by him and you'll see how he comes equipped with printouts and citations) to go to his base and say - see, these national media people are misrepresenting me and demonizing me and are anti-marathi-manoos.

It's happening again. Yet another strawman argument. The media is obsessed over what medium of instruction Raj's son will choose for his bachelor's degree. The implication being, Raj talks about the importance of Marathi so much, but his own son will pursue a bachelor's course in English. Double standards, they think.

Slam dunk point by the media against Raj? Or cheap shot? In my opinion, neither. It's a full toss. Another example of the incredibly stupid and lazy manner in which the mainstream media covers Raj and ends up playing into his hands.

Correct me if I am wrong, but when has Raj Thackeray ever argued for doing away with English and making Marathi the compulsory medium or teaching? For that matter, has he ever urged people to send their kids to marathi medium schools? Has he made it his party's official agenda, like Mulayam Singh Yadav or Yedyurappa, to oppose english medium education? If he has, then these attacks are valid, and this post is null and void. But if he has not, then here's what will happen.

Raj will use this as yet another example of the national media's anti-marathi-manoos attitude. He will say, "see, yet again, they misrepresent me and demonize me". He is asking for use of marathi in day to day life, and they are attacking his son's choice of education. Classic strawman, which achieves no purpose other than give a lazy talking point to the barely-literate media people, much like the silly "where was Raj Thackeray during 26/11?" campaign. And this distasteful campaign focusing on Raj's son's choice of a college degree, will serve as fodder for the folks herding around Raj like cattle.

In the end, I guess both the media and Raj win. And common sense loses.