Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Why Kiran Bedi....?

I attended one of the most satisfying book launches of my life. The first time author? The frail but sprightly Sidney Pinto, a charming 85-year-old who has penned a delightful novel titled 'Louis Puttichenna - The Servant Boy from Mangalore.' Not only is it a swift read, it is a bloody good story, full of passion and intrigue, with as many twists and turns as a rivulet in the author's 'native place'' - the one he has written about with such flair and panache. The book is well observed, detailed, and dare I say it, even erotic! Sidney has created some wonderful characters, and like I mentioned at the launch, I can see a movie in the book. As for the star of the evening - Sidney himself - he was dressed in a fancy kurta pajama ensemble and busy flirting with all the pretty girls fluttering around him. When one of them asked solicitously whether he needed extra oxygen from a cylinder that was kept in readiness for him, he replied, " Of course.... the sight of so many beautiful women is making me breathless!" I am looking forward to his next novel. And I'd be more than happy to publish it!
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This appeared in The Week....

Why Kiran Bedi….?

It happened to Barkha Dutt. Now it’s Kiran Bedi’s turn. At this point in time, ‘Crane’ Bedi, India’s most high profile, female (ex) top cop, has talked herself into a corner, going by the widespread hostility she has generated on the internet during Anna Hazare’s 13-day agitation. Since she was one of the key players of the Anna Campaign and visible on tv screens 24x7 during the period, there was just no escaping the Bedi onslaught. Whether energetically dancing with the tricolour, giving regular updates on Anna’s condition, mocking parliamentarians or just being officious, Bedi, clad in her trademark, macho salwar-suits with matching jackets was the tough talking spokesperson everybody loved to hate. Her ‘Anna is India, India is Anna’ declaration did not go down too well with critics, who kept urging the over eager former cop to calm down and take a break. Or, at least give poor viewers a break. That is Kiran’s personality – you either love her or loathe her. Ignoring Kiran is not an option! Well, now that the Ramlila show is over and everybody has gone home, it’s time to deconstruct the event ( for it was a carefully structured event, with highly capable event managers, make no mistake about that) and get a sense of the personalities behind Anna’s rise to superstardom. Let’s be honest, we live in intensely image-conscious times, driven more by perceptions than reality. Anna’s fast turned out to be a made-for-television protest – whether it was planned that way or not. People across the length and breadth of India, watched a 74 –year-old man taking on the mightiest in the land, fasting for his one-point mission, which is to root out corruption through the Jan Lokpal Bill. A mission that found countless takers in a nation that had reached boiling point dealing with venality and graft on an every day basis and at every level. But for Anna’s mission to succeed, he needed a crack team to push his agenda forward. His Gang of Four, included top brains ( Arvind Kejriwal, Shanti Bhushan, Santosh Hegde and Kiran Bedi). Kiran must have been allotted the ring master’s portfolio, for that is how her role appeared, as she shepherded Bollywood celebs to the dais and kept up a non-stop entertainment show against the backdrop of India’s two Gandhis – the original and the freshly-minted one - Anna Hazare . The visual alone was photogenic enough, but Kiran’s full-blooded performance was electrifying!
Given that a victory ( albeit, qualified) has been declared by the Anna Camp, why then does Kiran continue to attract so much flack?Perhaps it has something to do with her appearance and attitude. Compare the crowd’s favourable response to Medha Patkar ( brought in at the tail end of the sensitive negotiations), who held the stage clad in crumpled home- spun sarees, ill- fitting blouses, her unkempt, undyed hair in a careless braid. Her speeches were strident and uncompromising, forceful and fierce. But she refrained from nautanki ( reference: Kiran’s infamous mimicry act) preferring to concentrate on getting valid points across, as emphatically and swiftly as possible. She exploited TV time to her own advantage, without once inviting ridicule. That’s smart. Medha is brilliant at what she does, but this was the first time that she was given such a gigantic platform to air her views on a subject that found universal appeal. Anna’s protest against corruption had many more takers than Medha’s contoversial Narbada Dam campaign. If some viewers felt uncomfortable with Kiran Bedi’s hectoring style, it was Medha who restored the balance and brought in the required gravitas. Even though both women were on the same side of the fence, their respective styles were entirely at a variance. Medha’s was more cerebral as she attempted to educate the masses, Kiran’s more playful as she took the showbiz route to entertain, rather than inform the restless crowd. The rather unfortunate message Kiran sent out was that of a publicity hound hogging all the limelight, hamming it up on camera, while colleagues did the real work outside the glare of the spotlight. Kiran’s folly should act as a lesson to all those supporters of worthy causes. There is something known as overkill. And a little restraint hurts nobody. Manish Tewari will no doubt agree!

26 comments:

Chintan said...

Hmm...I wouldn't like to accept the dress code point there but it doea make sense up to an extent....Kiran Bedi went too far this time. There is a way of presentation which is taken seriously and hers was completely opposite.

maglomaniac said...

Substance is one word I would associate with Kiran Bedi.Many things don't go well with the public.It doesn't mean thy can be written off
Was just reading her autobiography= It is possible.
Respect

~Harsha

goodluck said...

Kiran Bedi and her antics were highly distasteful and looked boorish. The way you analysed both the ladies is really very good. One of your better blogs.

Mélange said...

It was a nice and comprehensive one.Regarding Medha,yes she is the cerebral kind and what makes a difference is that the 'cerebral' kinds of the country always acknowledge her.Then may be the victims for whom she fights.But Bedi may be knowing this country's psychology better,the way it's people are obsessed with 'show's.In a way,she made a good use of it.But I think bringing Barkha Dutt there can's help.She is just dropped out of genuine minds.For sure !

S. Immanuel said...

The "Gandhian" anna's brigade is after a bunch of civil service renegades. And what kind of civility could you expect from them. It is India's tragedy that such a noble campaign has been hijacked by sages, and scoundrels. anna's fast is more of a farce than a Gandhian Fast. Gandhi did not drink water while on his fasts, but our man anna subjected himself, at regular intevals, to the privilege of water with some electrolytes under cover of steel tumblers. And all his tribe cheered him with nationalistic fervour as his campaign slowly got morally corrupted.

Theyoginme said...

Great post!

EQcoachindia said...

The analysis is little premature....firstly Medha's protests so far has not moved anything, she herself admitted that...secondly, Kiran has worked in the system and knows it inside out, nothing else would have moved these slimey politicians...
I think its good to sit back and keep analyzing but I prefer people who take things in their own hand and try to make a difference. I dont think there is anyone in the world who isnt criticised, including yourself, buts its the cause in the end that matters. I dont think democracy can be applied to those living below poverty line because they havent seen any good coming out of it for them or for those having billions in swiss banks because for them they know how to play with it...for rest, keep chanting democracy! Esp Intelligentsia can continue celebrating democracy.

Just one point, keep barkha out, she is one corrupt and creepy so called journo, the whole world knows about it now, in one of the polls she has been votted as the most corrupt journos. You cant even mention it with the likes of Kiran and Medha.

A gentleman also pointed out about Anna drinking electrolytes, sir, even if he had been eating chicken, it doesn't matter! To move these slimey politicians nothing else would have worked. SO stop criticizing and preaching if you cant get out and do something about it, atleast dont pull each other down like crabs in a can!

ashwini said...

M'am,
I was waiting for your Kiran Bedi article-it came bang on time!Well it is only showmanship which gets messages accross these days-doesnt it? When you talk to the 'crowd' you have to know how to 'connect' to it- if you are in charge of publicizing a cause- and crowds consists of all kinds of people- even in the govt debates we see live on TV!
If Kiran Bedi has done something embarassing- then the whole crowd which was there should be called for a breach of privilege motion-right? So what if she did something which was OTT- dont cricketer's abuse when they are all fired up? Mrs. Kiran Bedi has done a lot in her life to be criticized now! Dont you remember how she led a lathi charge against a crowd holding swords? I think we should just forget what she did and get on-Just the way you and I have rights to a voice- she does too.

Desi Babu said...

Dear Mrs. De,

I find it rather strange that Ms. Bedi's nautanki act is being seen as an attack on the parliament.

In that case, how should be look at what Mr. Amar Singh is alleged to have done in the cash-for-votes scandal? Was that not an attack on India's sovereignty?

If you want to find out my take on this, here is is: Sedition or Treason?

Peace!

Jyostna said...

I wld say u n kiran seems to know how to connect with the crowd/readers very well :)

Gunda said...

Would you allow anna and leave upon him to decide who is good or bad in his team? Team anna along with him are fighting for the same cause. Then howcome, views and actions differ (as stated by you)

And if you can't respect efforts made by others, please stop commenting uselessly on your blogs, come out of your homes and see how much effort goes in to gather such large crowds. It's your own failure that is reflected by commenting on our honourable Kiran Bedi.

RESPECT and SALUTE are the words for her. Hope it's clear!

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चंद्रमौलेश्वर प्रसाद said...

You've compated Medha and Kiran with the same measure without taking into consideration the time factor. Medha was there for a limited period and had to say what she has to say. Whereas Kiran had to stay all day & night and conveying the message to elite as well as the masses who understand `nautanki' better than sophisticated language.

Divya Virmani said...

I dont know why but I didn't like this blog of yours. Maybe because these days you have swore to bash up every genuine person who tried to fight for our country. You started with Anna, now Kiran Bedi and I guess the next victim would be Arvind K and Manish S. True?

Btw, you must be very happy that the next blasts were in Delhi. I know how much you hate if Bombay gets under attack...not India just Bombay... Anyhow, will await your next blog on Delhi blasts!

i dont have a name..but this is me.. said...

why so venomous Divya Virmani ?

Jogeshwar said...

I remember Kiran Bedi as chief guest at our convocation. We were instructed not to shake hands with director on receiving degree instead do a namaste from far away due to risk of spreading swine flu.I think it was a ludicrous show to show how much the institute cares about hygiene. Kiran Bedi stood up from the dais and shook hands with each and every student with great enthusiasm. She stood there for four hours and shook hands energetically with everyone. This shows her resolve and eccentric nature.

lawyerjourno said...

This old fag is still writing some nonsense.

glimpses said...

@lawyerjourno y read if dont like

Sudhir Kekre said...

@lawyerjourno sorry but didnt you mean Hag?

websitedesignerdelhi said...

I admire Kiran Bedi for her courage and outspoken attitude. There is nothing wrong with what she did in ram lila ground. It was much more restrained from the usual antics of our MP's in parliament.

Anil Kumar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Anil Kumar said...

I am glad you didnt compare Kiran Bedi with Rakhi Sawant. The way you did soft character assasination by comparing Anna with Salman Khan and Ramdev with Rakhi Sawant few months back was indeed CHEAP stuff.

Both Medha Patekar and Kiran Bedi are REQUIRED to sustain this kind of movement and BOTH are equally important even if I don't agree with your observations. As I said before, Hazaare movement is MUCH BETTER than DOING NOTHING and complaining on the blogs ills in the Indian system.

Did you write this post to gain some losing ground in response to my comments last week when you compared a bollywood bastard with a man of simple life - Anna Hazare.

Coconut is other food which is good as the time passes by.

=======My comments from last week worth 2 cents ======
It raises serious questions on the state of her mind. I think she is used to do these cheap comparisons and she has done it before for Baba Ramdev also. My feeling is that when a person loses logical argument, his/her ego comes in play and they will do these kind of cheap stuff to discredit someone.

I would suggest her to eat blue-berries which is considered brain food and helps both young and old people.
=====================

authorharb said...

Fully agree with you about Kiran. Reading I even wondered if you have read post http://bit.ly/mPV6mp on my blog. A good-natured woman, Kiran overdoes it sometimes and I am afraid the opposite may also come true some day. If she is scolded by the powers be and her camp even though for a while seems to be getting defeated she may take the loss too much. At least I saw it when for a while it transpired that some Minister had scolded Kejriwal and Kiran after which I saw Kiran unable to stand on her legs while Kejriwal was more calm. Good that soon the things again turned their way.

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