Fortunately, or unfortunately, this week has been a lot of TV watching for everyone. Daily soap lovers meanwhile had a tough time trying to wrestle the remote away from those who wanted to watch the news, for clearly it has been a big news week.
Though we aren’t entirely sure if lots of news is good or bad – while it means overtime for media houses, it means ample food for thought for the audience and great TRPs for news channels. Pick your side.
For starters there was the long awaited Food Security Bill, long awaited in the context of the time it took to be passed while BJP and Congress raged their pitched battle for ages. The government decided to cover 67 per cent of the population under the Food Security Act, well in time before the impending 2014 elections where the odds seemed to be stacked against the current rulers.
The bill aims to provide cheap foodgrains to 82 crore people in the country, ushering in the biggest programme in the world to fight hunger.
As idealistic as the plan seemed, the debates raged on and on across news channels as to how feasible this would be, how would the government make sure that it is implemented and would the UPA government manage to pull this off. The NDA of course thought otherwise.
Next came the Land Acquisition Bill, it was passed on Thursday and the deluge of questions continued.
This bill replaces the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, and was been aggressively pushed for by Rahul Gandhi. According to the bill, developers need to get the consent of up to 80 per cent of people whose land is being acquired for private projects and approval of up to 70 per cent of landowners for public-private partnerships. Also the compensation is four times the market value of land in rural areas and two times in urban parts. The debate on the bill could only be initiated post noon, because when it was tabled the opposition benches had demanded an answer from the Prime Minister on the depreciation of rupee against the dollar.
Which brings us the scarily depreciating Rupee. This horror has been on for long enough, enough graphs have been shoved in our faces, enough comparisons. Then there was the arrest warrant against Asaram Bapu for sexual molestation and as the news goes, the Jodhpur police said that they would arrest him if he cannot provide proper defence. His request for extra time has been turned down.
And how can we forget the sensational Yasin Bhatkal arrest, he has apparently said that the Varanasi blasts were carried out to send a message. There were the water-logged Kolkata streets and fingers pointing at the ill-prepared municipal corporations across the state; there was Sonia’s ‘feeling weak and shivering’ in Parliament because of which she could not vote for the Food Bill; there were the continuing investigations into the Mumbai gang rape case – thankfully none of the culprits are minors. Yay!
And just before one could call it a day - Kailash Vijayvargiya calls the man with many questions (sometimes too many questions) - Arnab Goswami a ghinona aadmi on his show. Hear hear! Next week threatens to be worse – watch Satyagraha for a breather, but then again, don’t! TV was more entertaining this week.
(When Jhinuk Sen is not procrastinating on Twitter, she is changing channels)