The eerie silence among journalists over a debauched political loudmouth calling them ‘presstitutes’ is not just tragic but even frightening. The irrepressible Hariharan Sharma Raja, who goes around by the name H Raja, has once again struck by opening his stinking mouth. This time he called media persons presstitutes. It is not hard to coin a term like ‘political prostitute’ to describe unscrupulous and dishonest politicians like him – that he stole all the money that was given to him by his party for the election campaign and built a house for himself was a charge made by BJP functionaries in Karaikudi – but we don’t want to do it since we consider sex workers as dignified human beings when compared to H Raja.
The word “Presstidude” was first used in India by another motor mouth and former Army Chief VK Singh. The former General was accused of fudging his date of birth to extend his service term as Chief of Army Staff. In spite of his questionable regard, Modi made him a Minister in his cabinet.
So, it is not the word per se that is objectionable but it is Raja’s inherent contempt of the media. True the media has not been kind to him. But then who among the media persons can be as depraved as the director of the latest Tamil film ‘Ruthra Thandavam’ to find something worthy in Raja? That director Mohan G screened his latest film –should be another heap of shit if one were to prejudge it from his earlier venture, Draupadi, that was a favourite film of the father-son Mango duo (the Ramadosses) of State politics – to Raja and a host of internationally renowned scholars and laureates like Arjun Sampath and Dr K Krishnasamy.
As the august gathering of men of eminence emerged out of the cinema hall, they sat down to speak into the microphones that were extended to their face and it was where Raja called media persons ‘presstitutes’. There was not a whimper of protest at the press conference, which can be understood given the kind of menacing creatures that were standing behind Raja and the other eminent persons. But why has the media persons not come out openly to condemn it? Why has no complaint filed against him with the police? Why has no association given a call to boycott Raja and his ilk? Why has Raja’s party not disassociated itself from the offensive remarks and also not yet taken action against him?
While I have no answers for these questions, I know for sure why Raja speaks like this. Because he knows that he can get away with anything. Like that K T Raghavan and many others like S Ve Sekar. He knows pretty well that the ‘thread’ that binds them all will protect him. Of course, in the press conference he also took swipes at Naam Tamilar Katchi founder Seeman – by saying that Seeman’s mother was a Malayali – and director Pa Ranjit. Let Seeman’s thambis take care of that – we know they will just ignore it for obvious reasons – and perhaps Pa Ranjit’s fans would reply in their own way. But who is to take up the cudgels on behalf of the media?
In fact the media has become a punching bag for most of these windbags who pass of as politicians – those like Raja and Arjun Sampath. Their disdain for media persons arises from their inherent inability to field questions from the Press and due to journalists’ penchant to not take the lies that they seek to propagate unabashedly.
To put it otherwise that is the way in which the entire Hindutva brigade treats the media. Be it Narendra Modi or Amit Shah or K Annamalai or Arjun Sampath. Their contempt is always perceptible as they always find fault with the media and attribute motives to questions posed to them.
Motor-mouths like H.Raja and others take inspiration from their Supreme Leader. Modi follows most virulent trolls who are abusive of journalists and whoever oppose the ideology of the right wing. To understand what sort of vile persons Modi follows on twitter read this piece by AltNews here.
That was what happened at the press meet after the screening of Ruthra Thandavam. That the mainstream media chose to ignore the incident is not a healthy sign. Though there were some noises made on social media, Raja is still having his last laugh after abusing journalists openly in a press conference. Even the organisers of the press conference have not apologized for the unsavoury remarks. True, Raja is not a politician of consequence. He may not win even a village panchyat ward election. But he was allowed to take the centre stage of the press meet, where he barked like a mongrel in front of a slew of whirring cameras because he knew that he has the support of the BJP and RSS and that no force on earth can touch him.
Even for openly abusing the courts, he has not yet been hauled up. He has not been held accountable for his regular mocking of real political leaders even when he shamelessly lied. Remember him saying before the elections that he had checked with astrologers and that M K Stalin cannot become the Chief Minister? Now he is getting away with denigrating the media once again. This signals the weakening of Indian democracy. It’s time we wake up and strengthen our democratic institutions by putting decadent characters like Raja and Arjun Sampath in their place.
(The author suffers from delusions of grandeur, which is evident from the nom de plume, but has his feet firmly on the ground while keying in drivel like this)