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A 'biased' commentary on Republic Day parade
This is not the commentary on our just concluded Republic Day parade where we saw tableaus or jhankis, which had a lot about Pre-Islamic culture of India but nothing about Muslims. I understand after reading these lines someone will jump to declare that I am biased. Facts: The temple of Odisha where entry for others is prohibited (according to the commentator) was on display to enlighten viewers about the cultural heritage but no tableau was there to tell that India has a big non-Hindu population, which also has a rich culture and heritage.

Being a proud Indian, I love to watch the Republic Day parade. Television gives me a better idea about traffic en-route Rajpath, but the timing of the parade makes it difficult to reach there. With the galore of channels and the usual team of all-knowing commentators you can’t pick the one who could have been the best. Time runs fast. You just stumble upon what pops up on the screen.

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Unfortunately, when I pushed the remote button, it was Zee News that I started watching. Chitranjan Sawant, Vedic evangelist, and a retired army man, had graced the commentary box. His commentary was in chaste Hindi, and at times I’d think of asking my friend the meaning of the Sankritised words of his commentary.

Gone are the days when we used to listen on radio the sonorous voices, polished but simple language and objective analysis of Indu Wahi, Devki Nandan Pandey, Jay Narain Sharma, Chakrapani and Devraj Puri. They were there to share and enjoy the occasion, and not to churn out bulletins of Nagri Pracharni Sabha.

The job of a commentator is to enlighten the viewer and not to spew out the ‘venom’ of his malaise or prejudices against someone by intertwining and hiding the facts. Furthermore, being biased is not big an issue than distorting and enjoying that distortion. Omitting the complete information and presenting it in a way that the viewer is led to draw a negative conclusion is a journalistic sin.

View the Republic Day commentary of Zee TV, and then read on:
The tradition of paying homage to ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’ was initiated by Indira Gandhi at India Gate. Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru had not offer any homage here. (Was our first most loved and respected PM averse to do that?) Could the commentator answer what was the logic behind that comment about Panditji? Shastriji preceded Indiraji. He said nothing about Shastriji. He added the unnecessary comment to show Panditji in a different light by using Indraji’s name. This was the hidden agenda.

He was so delighted to inform in advance that “girls from Birla Institute of Pillani would not play the song ‘Sarey jehan se acha Hindustan hamara’ this time.” Most probably they used to play that in previous years. Who had asked him to announce it in advance? What was the reason behind this announcement? This beautiful patriotic song is still hugely popular among Indians and it was once in competition with ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Jana Gana Mana’ for the place as national song. This time, the girls played ‘Hum Honge Kamyab,’ which is a poor translation of the famous American song, “We shall overcome…” The biased commenter was delighted that Iqbal’s beautiful work is replaced by anything! This was a hidden agenda.

Paying tributes to late Babu Rajendra Prasad he said, “Babu Rajendra Prasad graced the august office for 12 years. No other President reached that position. Now they are knocking at the door of powerful…for another term.” What was the need to insult and demean the most revered office of the Indian Republic? Couldn’t he do without these comments? His via-Cape of Good Hope comment was delivered to insult the presidents who belonged to Congress Party before assuming this august office. Here was his hidden agenda.

Then he recited a line of a poem and went all out to remember Atal ji. “This was the favorite poem of Atal Bihari ji.” He forgot to mention Lataji’s: “Ay mere watan ke logon” - a song written by Pradeep that burst led to Nehruji bursting into tears. Here lies the devotion and loyalty of the commentator.

Last but not the least, the remarks that demand serious analysis of his judgments: Describing a submarine of Indian Navy he said, “We can’t bring OCEAN (to show the real submarine) to Delhi to show the real one. What will happen to all of us (if ocean comes to Delhi)?” Does it sound a balanced comment?

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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