The Great Indian Tweet
Once in a lifetime you come across something so meaningful and so on-point that you feel you’ve been waiting for this moment all your life. All of a sudden all the dots connect and you realize that all this while every single event in your life was happening just to make sure you walk in this direction and discover this truth that solves all the mysteries of life.
For me that moment happened when one of the greatest Indian twiterrati, Shashi Tharoor, tweeted this great Indian tweet, “Exasperating farrago of distortions, misrepresentations & outright lies being broadcast by an unprincipled showman masquerading as a journalist”.
To discover the ultimate truth, we need to dissect macro into micro.
Let’s start with the, “Unprincipled showman masquerading as a journalist”. This self-proclaimed voice of nation and now of the republic; has been single-handedly responsible for making people be glued to prime time news bulletin as well as swearing off the TV news for good. I’m part of the latter group of people. But, to give the devil its due, he has given the nation a “loud” voice. I was just wondering why these tapes were not released earlier when he was the voice of the nation on another news channel? What was he waiting for? Christmas? Or shall we say, “Republic” day?
One of the pioneers when it comes to Indian politicians on twitter, Shashi Tharoor, has given the nation some of the most iconic twitter moments. Remember, way back in 2009, when he tweeted about travelling in cattle class? The series of tweets when his account was hacked just before the sad demise of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. The sudden, unnatural death of Sunanda Pushkar seemed to have all the ingredients of a whodunit for a common man.
Ultimately it may be exploitation of someone’s personal tragedy for personal gains and TRPs by a showman masquerading as a journalist; or Justice for Sunanda Pushkar. But we need to detach ourselves from this aspect and let the law take care of it.
My focus is this one line, “Exasperating farrago of distortions, misrepresentations & outright lies”. The nation knows how much meaning this one line holds. For me, it’s the answer to every deep question I’ve ever encountered in my life. The answer to every helpless WHY; is this one sentence.
Don’t believe me? Here you go!
Every time your maid told you why she didn’t come to work. Every time you were told drinking tea can make your complexion dark. Every time you opened the cookie tin-box to discover needles and threads inside it. Every time as a kid you asked how babies are born.
Every time HR explained you your Gross and Net Salary. Every time your boss explained you your appraisal.
Every time someone broke up with you. Every time someone cheated on you. Every time you said to someone, “It’s not you, it’s me”.
Every time you opened your lunch box to find dudhi ki sabzi in it. Every time an autowallah shamelessly refused a ride by telling you, “khali nahi hai, bhada hai”. Every time you discover dal makhni and various forms of paneer ki sabzi in the name of, “exotic vegetarian spread”.
Every time you fell for those annual online sales. Every time you thought this SRK movie is going to be a different one.
Every time you explained to your parents why you came home so late last night. Every time you told yourself you’ll go to gym regularly. Every time you told yourself you’ll diet from tomorrow.
I can go on and on. I dare you to pick up any situation and this one sentence will fit in as the explanation.
To borrow from our mythology a la The Great Indian Novel, Krishna said to Arjuna, “Everything is in me but I’m not contained into anything”. Maybe the truth and lie are both part of the same construct but nothing contains the ultimate truth or ultimate lie. Because Whatsapp tells us what all UNESCO has declared on a regular basis. Breaking news on every news channel tells a different truth and thus a different lie about the same story. How is it news if it’s fake? But there is Fake News. There are so many facts out there that it certainly makes a case for, “Stranger than fiction”.
Bottom-line is there are so many truths out there that ultimately everything is a lie. That’s the curse of our times; when allegiances, opinions and verdicts have replaced plain and simple reporting. The pressure of TRPs has taken the edge off the search for truth and only truth and shifted its weight to story-telling.
My dear, respected, esteemed news folks; if no two of you have the same truth to tell then all of you are part of the same lie. As fourth and the strongest pillar of democracy, you owe us the truth. One and only one truth. Till then every news can be fake news. Till then, every story is going to be, “Exasperating farrago of distortions, misrepresentations & outright lies”.