A Media Monster!

I am fed up seeing one particular picture daily in The Times of India. I am fed up seeing one man making statements left, right and center- any topic under the sun, he has a comment on it!

From being an unknown commodity a few months ago to being a celebrity who is called in for his opinion on anything in the country, he is the perfect example of a media created man- a nuisance in this case.

The Times of India, with its tremendous reach in the country, decided that it isn’t just enough to provide news and views to the citizens. They decided to go on a co-creation mode- work in partnership with the common man and influence opinion and decision making at a political level. This need to create an opinion bank of a set of educated, well to do, opinionated middle class led to two campaigns – Refresh Bangalore and Lead India campaigns.

Refresh Bangalore ended with people sitting over tea, talking and analyzing issues with the outcome to the common man being a predictable zilch. Forgotten and forgiven as yet another attempt by the generally unconcerned middle class Indian’s effort to better the society, refresh Bangalore has had a natural death. Nothing happened from the exercise apart from the fact the TOI group cashed in on self created hype and increased their circulation figures (Or did they?)

Then came in the Lead India campaign – ‘Lead India, offers the most deserving a shot at active politics while cutting short the regular long-winded, and often extremely frustrating, path up the political ladder. It is a new twist to Reality Television. It is a hunt to identify new leaders for a new India, men and women with the vision and ability to empower India with the kind of political leadership that is so conspicuous by its absence’ (Wikipedia). Lofty ideals for sure if it is more than just a publicity gimmick.

The story starts here. After rounds of debates, tasks, group discussions and a lot of campaigning, Bangalorean R K Mishra emerged victorious. Well educated and with global exposure, Mishra floored the judges as well as sms voters. The woes start now.

Being the Lead India Winner, TOI has been trying its best to pitchfork him into the forefront, projecting the image that he is the Man who knows everything that ails the society’. There is no event in Bangalore that does not have RK Mishra as a guest speaker. There is no panel discussion that happens in the city that does not have RK Mishra as a panelist.

So what’s my problem? I should say that I have never met the guy, have never heard him speak and have never interacted with him. But I know a lot of Bangaloreans who have and are irritated about the “I am RK Mishra” attitude he carries around. What I strongly dislike is the way he makes preposterous statements made at a public function in full attendance of the public. If he means to be witty, he has failed miserably in his effort.

Most importantly it looks like the success (?) and the media limelight has gotten into his head!!

Its high time TOI Unlocks Mr. Mishra from Bangalore!

PS: I myself am from the media fraternity!

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