What the Idiot Box does to our votes

Despite all the corruption brouhaha that's dented the Congress party perceptually, I still believe the party will emerge unscathed at the polls when they happen. Ascribe my belief partly to the TINA factor, and the rest to the 'screen' factor. the TINA story is about opposition parties that appear as rag-tag bunches, and who seem clueless about governance. But what compounds the problem for the opposition bereft of ideas, is the 'screen problem'.

Let me explain. The Indian voter's connect to politics comes via the screen on their idiot boxes. Broadcasters currently are basking on those screens. Their news anchors belt out cacophonous political analysis every evening. and the only party that emerges from such din looking a bit composed is the Congress. Consider their screen stars. The older lot comprises the likes of Abhishek Singhvi, Kapil Sibal, and Jayanti Natarajan. The younger litter has in it Murli Deora, Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia. Together they come across as sophisticated and measured enough for governance. Contrast them to the opposition and you soon understand what I mean by the screen factor digging graves for the opposition. You see, the likes of Gadkari and company aren't made for TV. Their belligerence on the tube only makes matters worse.

In politics as in business, packaging matters. Political packaging today folds and unfolds on TV. A buy at the ballot is as much about the package as it is the product. In fact I bet the package beats the product. The Congress Party has messed up on the product but is acing the package. The rest in the fray can't get either right.

Pity.

Comments

nikhil said…
i thought the same thing when i saw nitin gadkari first time on tv being choosen as head. i thought BJP is doing blunder who will vote in favour of BJP after seeing his physic.

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