» Election » Dr Singh must send Anees Bazmi flowers

Dr Singh must send Anees Bazmi flowers

By Chandrima Pal
May 17, 2009 13:37 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
On May 16, as television anchors, pollsters and venerable editors split hair on who should the UPA thank and the BJP blame, they all seemed to have forgotten someone who has played a critical role in shaping Dr Manmohan Singh's political image. Albeit unknowingly.

Filmmaker Anees Bazmi.

The unapologetically populist director known for his mass and often crass comedies is now the unlikeliest part of Singh's political life, thanks to his 2008-blockbuster Singh is Kinng.

The title of the film starring an OTT Akshay Kumar (Happy Singh in the flick) bashing baddies and romancing a leggy lass in Australia, has now become an universally acknowledged sobriquet for the Oxford-Cambridge educated economist who leads the nation.

What would hamming television anchors, tired copy editors and brain dead video editors at the n-th minute have done without Bazmee's winning punch line? Singh is King seemed to be a particular favourite with CNN-IBN, where a beaming, ecstatic Rajdeep Sardesai sort of appropriated it.

Compare it to Gandhi Ka Aandhi (Aaj Tak), Priyanka Ka Jadu (Aaj Tak again), and you see why there's hardly any competition.

A huge bouquet of flowers should be dispatched immediately to Bazmee I say!

And while we are at it, let's not forget Pritam, whose music has pepped up the election coverage considerably. Channel after channel resorted to his hit tracks from Jab We Met, Singh is Kinng, Kismet Connection to fill airspace with slow-mo clips of victors and vanquished as the case would be. Pritam-da, take a bow.

Whose defeat was it anyway?

For once cricketers and film stars had to concede defeat to our netas who are much ridiculed through the year by the former. Every news channel studio and OB van was dedicated to those kurta and saree clad men and women, who perhaps had the largest captive audience of their lives for almost 24 hours.

Camerapersons did not even give us a decent close-up of Sanjay Dutt as he hovered around a dismal Amar Singh.

IPL TRPs must have been the lowest while the only film stars who hogged some media bandwidth were those contesting elections. The lone cricketer whose face kept popping up was Sachin Tendulkar, thanks to the cement brand he endorses.

NDTV's drawing room banter

Dr Prannoy Roy and his band of men and women held court in a stunning, hi-tech studio. NDTV as usual had a rather glamorous bunch of guests including Vir Sanghvi, Soli Sorabjee, and huge touch screen with Google map-powered graphics. It was fun watching the boys with their toys as they analysed the numbers.

While talking about Bengal, Vikram Chandra zoomed in on Calcutta, as the iconic bridge over the Hoogly popped up in 3D. "Is that the Howrah bridge?" Dr Roy beamed. "Wow!"

There was much leg-pulling (Jyotiraditya Scindia was hell bent on embarrassing Barkha Dutt over a statement she had made earlier), in-jokes about Doon School (Roy shares an alma mater with the likes of Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Congress MP Kamal Nath among others), and spirited pot shots (DMK's Dayanidhi Maran accused Barkha of 'cutting' his 'flow' leading to loud guffaws among the panelists, and unwittingly giving them a weapon to needle him with whenever he popped up) and a kind of bon homie that you get in a typical bureaucratic cocktail party.

The men even joked about camera angles focusing on the bald pates (there were quite a few, including a very unflattering one belonging to Vir Sanghvi and Shekhar Gupta's famous one). At that rate they could have even discussed the weather!

Quotes of the day

Word play, verbal duel, repartee... call it what you may, but anchors, panelists, editors and politicians were at their sharpest, wittiest and acerbic best.

-- Vir Sanghvi retorting to CPI's D Raja's contention that India has lost moral authority in the world because of its US leanings.

"Next time come to our office, not elsewhere"
--Dayanidhi Maran's potshots at NDTV for allegedly having relied on a rival media group's pre-poll analysis.

"The PM's chair is Rahul's whenever he wants it!"
-- Congress MP Prithviraj Chauhan (As if India is a monarchy!)

"Hum ne Congress ki laaj bachayi"
-- Amar Singh to the media on how the Samajwadi Party had bailed out the Congress during the nuclear deal.(What he meant was, "Take us back, take us back!")

"I think Vinod forgot this is not the BJP parliamentary board"
-- Sitaram Yechury reacting to Vinod Mehta's statement (to Arun Jaitley) that it would be disastrous for the BJP if Advani stepped down as Leader of the Opposition.

"Young jerks of BJP"
-- Vir Sanghvi on the BJP's next line of leaders.

"I was a boxer, my father, grandfather, were all boxers"
-- Yes, that was Prannoy Roy's big confession.

"Is Rahul Gandhi going to be the prime minister?"
-- Every anchor worth his/her 2-seconds of fame.

What you missed

Election results had edged out some other important news of the day -- the first confirmed case of Swine flu in India in Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians exiting the IPL and Michael Jackson being diagnosed with skin cancer.

Most importantly, we missed out on a cosmetic giant's important clarification on why Sonam Kapoor was not allowed to walk the red carpet with Aishwarya Rai at Cannes. Gosh!

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Chandrima Pal