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Thursday, May 14, 2009

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Aaj Tak's Ram Sethu

I must digress from usual Cricketing fare to another story which is related to India and Sri Lanka - specifically to the mythological bridge between India and Sri Lanka which Lord Rama's Simian Army built so that Rama's righteous might could descend on Ravana's Lanka. The Government, fresh from its bruising victory in the trust vote (i have no clue what to make of the cash for votes spectacle since all the MP's involved on all sides of that issue seem to be of dubious repute), is all set to revive the SethuSamudram Project.

While surfing the vast sea of TV Channels available to us as cable subscribers here in Bombay, i came across coverage of this story on NDTV as well as Times Now, and both used shipping related visuals, or satellite images of the Ram Sethu. Imagine my surprise then, when i came across Aaj Tak. This channel coolly produced visuals of individuals with tails and crowns and Gadas milling about, some industriously working away at constructing Rama's Grand Bridge to Lanka! It took me a while to realize that the Aaj Tak Channel was using visuals from one of the many Ramayana television production that we have had in India (minus the music!). Im posting this in part to confirm that my eyes were not playing tricks with me, and that this was indeed the visual accompanying Aaj Tak's coverage of the story.

It is not surprising then that the government has shelved Science and found a version of the Ramayana which says that Lord Rama actually destroyed the Sethu himself in order to pave the way for the project. Naturally the BJP is up in arms.

Maybe Aaj Tak has it right. Most news in India does deserve this kind of irreverent treatment (even though Aaj Tak's particular brand of irreverence may strike some as extreme). In the spirit of Aaj Tak's creative leaps, maybe the next debate should address the following question: What might Lord Rama have to say about the proposed Shipping Sethu? It might actually be less fractuous and infinitely more interesting, in the same vein as Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav's vintage effort in Parliament during the Trust Vote debate.

Please tell me that Aaj Tak did actually have snippets of the Ramayana Serial accompanying its Sethusamudram story.