There is a saying: Flattery will get you nowhere. But for many in the political circles of India, the lesson in this idiom is as useless as telling Garfield not to laze around.
This, perhaps, also applies to our media.
Take for example this story on the performance of Lalu Prasad Yadav’s sons Tej Pratap and Tejashwi. The headline of the story published in Times of India reads:
‘Lalu sons’ performance proves sceptics wrong’
Yes, that above should be the reaction of those who do not bend their backs over for their mai baaps.
The headline itself sounds hilarious. Performance? But they have barely arrived in office!
Tejashwi is the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar in the Nitish Kumar-led ‘secular alliance’. Tej Pratap, his elder brother, is the Health Minister. Both were sworn in on November 20.
In less than 30 days, the paper was able to judge the performance of two inexperienced leaders. The best way to analyse a government’s (or a leader’s) performance is to wait for at least one year. That is a fact.
And how do they support the headline? By quoting an RJD leader.
“The way Tejashwi showed composure even during the assembly proceedings recently and spoke on different political issues, he certainly silenced his critics. Now, even opposition leaders see Lalu’s potential heir in him.”
If “showing composure” and “speaking on different political issues” could silence critics, there is need to analyse the brains of those critics themselves.
Even a 10th class pass can speak on India’s political issues, and let us not forget that the Yadav brothers are sons of a seasoned politician like Lalu.
In India politics makes up the DNA and flows in arteries of the sons and daughters of politicians. Composure comes naturally to them.
The report also informs us that the bureaucrats believe that Tejashwi’s performance is better than people’s expectation.
We are not surprised. It is obvious that a bureaucrat will speak highly of the Deputy CM.
So, based on the praise of the RJD leader and some bureaucrats it is surprising how the paper reached the conclusion that Lalu’s sons are performing well.
Are we forgetting something?
What about Tej Pratap twice bumbling a simple Hindi word during the oath-taking ceremony? Tejashwi said that corruption won’t be tolerated – an oft parroted statement by our political leaders. Is his father listening? And merely becoming active on social media cannot be the yardstick of performance, can it?