Campaigning in Gujarat; Decoding Mangaluru blast; Go well, Tabbassum

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Opinion Watch

Campaigning in Gujarat

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi finally hit the Gujarat campaign trail. He seemingly took a two-day break from Bharat Jodo Yatra to campaign in Gujarat. His Yatra is slated to enter Madhya Pradesh.

The Pioneer in its Editorial has sough to dissect Congress’ low-key campaign in Gujarat. Even in Himachal Pradesh, Congress had gone low-key, with Rahul Gandhi missing the show. The Noida-based daily questions Congress strategists for giving away short-term gains for long-term, as envisioned in the Bharat Jodo Yatra. The daily also contrasts Congress’ low key campaign in Gujarat with high voltage blitzkrieg of the Bharatiya Janata Party. It added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is owning up the Gujarat election campaign with his intense involvement, including chiding the rebel candidates of the party.

The daily also takes note of the likes of Medha Patkar joining the Bharat Jodo Yatra, and reminded that activists like her had discredited the achievements of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government at the Centre. Congress is indeed attempting to wear a new cloth with Bharat Jodo Yatra. But the party still appears struggling with narrative and communication. The counter-narrative against the Modi government lacks orator to communicate with the people. Wont of Rahul Gandhi to dive into history such as his comments on VD Savarkar was without context and plausible explanation. In the age of internet and short viral clips, election rallies shouldn’t be stages for learning, but delivering.    

Decoding Mangaluru blast

Radicalisation of Muslim youth in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Telangana must worry all. The Mangaluru blast is another reminder that the government must work to counter radicalisation, which flows cross-border with ease due to internet and smart phones.

The Hindu in its Editorial has taken a grim view of the Mangaluru blast and suggested that there could be a linkage with the Coimbatore blast. The Chennai-based daily argued that the coastal belt of Karnataka is becoming a fertile ground for radicalisation, which also needs a social prescription.

The daily claimed that the “India under a Hindu-majoritarian government has an Islamist challenge”, while decrying political rhetoric over the Mangaluru blast. The tone and tenor of the Editorial predictably is that of beating around the bushes. There can be no rationalisation of terror. The social victimhood card is too stale. The government must crackdown against all sources of radicalisation, online and offline, and simply eliminate them. That is doable if Centre and states have a common outlook on terrorism.    

Go well, Tabbassum

When you watch television, the shrill hits you. One who shouts loud is more popular. That gentle voice with smile on the face which would help you smile has surrendered to the dog-shouts on television. We all miss the sweetness of voice and that indulgence of eyes which would make the audience an integral part of radio and television programmes.

Tabbassum, born Kiranbala, has passed away, and we pay homage to her for she was the face of everything that was good about television and radio. The Indian Express very deservingly has paid rich tributes to late Tabbassum. She had made her film debut in 1947 in Nargis at an age of three years, the daily stated, adding that her skills to make the guests to drop their guards were followed by Simi Grewal and Karan Johar. The daily does a disservice to late Tabbassum by making mention of Karan Johar, who at best is a cheap copycat.  

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