It was once again a dramatic discussion that took place on one of the news channels' (a marathi news channel). And, once again it was targeted toward the anti-Raj opinion (that the said news channel itself forces me to believe). The discussion that took place today made me think about the slogan that this channel carries 'Achuk Baatmi Tham Mat'. I do not want to comment whether they carry Achuk Baatmi or not, but after watching today's discussion, one thing I can say firmly that the channel undoubtedly (tries) to imprint its Tham Mat on its viewers.
The topic of discussion was - Has the Chatt Puja been Politicised?
After watching the discussion, I felt that the channel actually wanted to ask - Has the Chatt Puja been Politicised by Raj Thakray?
Whatever the reasons have been behind this whole issue about being politicised, it is definitely to some extent being media-cised. Today when the anchor (someone who has been a journalist for 30 years) and the show's guests were discussing about the issue, someone pointed out that when Chatt Puja was started in Mumbai by Shiv Sena, even Raj Thakray was a leader of that party. Why then had he not opposed the celebrations of this festival being conducted in Mumbai? This was asked for the following reason:
According to some excerpts of the discussion, the motive for this festival to be started in Mumbai was itself due to political reasons. And, in today's press conference, Raj Thakray mentioned that he has nothing against the celebrations, but the politicising of it. Due to this statement of his, there was this question raised in the discussion that why had Raj Thakray not opposed to the commencement of the celebrations in Mumbai itself when its very foundation was a political motive of his then party? To this, the guest who was been called from MNS said counter questioned that how does the (anchor/channel) know that Raj Thakray had not opposed to it before even asking that question? The way the anchor reacted to this, clearly showed how he (a journalist since 30 years!) was hurt deeply to have been counter questioned on his own channel. When the MNS guest on that channel said that Raj had expressed his opposing views in person to the Sena chief, the anchor automatically got fuel to his self created fire against MNS/Raj. He went on to say that just like he has nothing to do about what Raj Thakray expresses in person to anyone, he has nothing to do about what the MNS guest had to say against (?) him (may be because he has been a journalist since 30 years). Throughout the show the anchor kept repeating this before furthering the discussion. At many occasions, he even interrupted the MNS guest from making a point and then even concluded that the MNS guest does not want to answer his questions properly.
In the second half of the "show" it was being discussed about what can be done to stop politicising the issue. The MNS guest was given the honour of speaking first about this! He said that just like how leaders of other parties in another state came together for a particular issue, the same way leaders from Maharashtra should come together and fight against it. To this the anchor (who was really very deeply hurt about the comments made on him) said that if you yourself say things against a senior Marathi journalist on the show, how do you expect the leaders to come together? (why was the anchor overshadowing the whole issue by his personal views?) When the guest who was speaking on behalf of Congress was asked whether how could all this be put to an end, he just discussed the whole issue again without mentioning any solution. and when another guest, Yuvraj Mohite was asked, he just had to say that MNS should ask its people to stay calm (was he trying to say that it was MNS who is the culprit behind the whole thing?), to which the anchor had to express his anger still by saying that MNs should also ask its leaders to behave themselves (indirectly pointing toward the MNS guest on the show who dared to counter question him).
The whole discussion sounded as if it was only meant to make a point against Raj Thakray or MNS. The channel also asked few other leaders about the issue, and they all said that Chatt Puja celebrations should not be politicised, which is exactly what Raj Thakray had mentioned in his press conference! I wish to question the people of this channel - Was there any such discussion about the Chatt Puja being politicised or not, when the very celebrations had started in Mumbai? (to which they themselves say so firmly that it was started due to political motives!)
I firmly believe that this issue has been highly media-cised, whether or not it has been politicised. This discussion was not a surprise though, especially after Raj's press conference, because media behaves in a very predictive manner these days. Such media behaviour was anticipated. I again say the same thing what I had mentioned in the previous article, that media has no right to imprint its opinions on the viewers and that it has to be unbiased. Media has no right to dictate its verdict on the viewers.