Friday, October 07, 2011

I recently saw this video where AR Rahman was interviewed at the GQ Man of the Year Awards 2011.

(Roll over to 0:50)

: Sir. Welcome, Sir. Who will become the man of the year for you ?
AR Rahman: Man of the year for me is Anna Hazare.
Journalist: ok … [awkward pause]  Also, sir. "Rockstar" is coming up. We really can't stay away from asking about "Rockstar" …

The funniest part about the above exchange is the awkward pause of the interviewer and that all he could mutter was just "ok …" before quickly changing the subject. The journalist seemed truly taken aback by the Rahman's answer of Anna Hazare. Of course, the answer has an unmistakable cynicism and (probably) deliberate sarcasm. Now, I don't want to have a discussion on whether Rahman truly meant it or if it's a good PR strategy. Either way, that's a move of a frickin' wicked genius, as far as I am concerned.  I mean, to have the nerve to bring up some over-the-hill social worker fighting for rights of the middle class on an awards night sponsored by an up-scale fashion magazine is classy satire.

Of course, Anna Hazare was not even nominated. What do you expect? He has no chance. First of all, he wouldn't look good in a suit, so they wouldn't have let him into the club anyway. Forget the six packs, this guy doesn't even have the basics of hygiene right. He wants to stop eating for country's sake.  Simply put, that guy is nuts. After all, it was a night when the rich and the beautiful have promised to remove themselves from all reality and dutifully fist-bump and congratulate each other for being consistently awesome every day for one full year without taking a single break. It's hard to awesome. Ok ? Normal people like us may not understand. That's where the media is constantly trying to help us country bumpkins be better in life.

Seriously, the way journalist dismissed away Rahman's answer is incredible.  It's really sad that he had nothing to acknowledge. I mean it was the most interesting answer of the night. Check out this video to see how every other celebrity awarded themselves to be the "man of the year" proving the lameness of their big fat egos.  Rahman sir's answer did bring tears into my eyes. The  media just doesn't care. Forget articulating a decent response, they don't even feign a passing interest in the issues of the common man if they cannot make them any money. Wanna know a simple reason why the media has no reason to care? The poor and middle class is not good-looking and photogenic for the camera. Ok? The media is usually all about masking their intentions with pretty faces. So, we are all useless that way. Moreover, the poor have no jobs and consistently represent all sadness and misery of humanity. It's all negative outlook and disruptive of a perfectly happy day they are having by selling cell-phones and cola drinks.

This somehow reminds me of what revered journalist P Sainath said once:

For media leaders, the lives of ordinary people make no sense in their economic calculations and rationale. They can't buy the products these people are selling. So what interest is their life to the media owners. We had this fantastic spectacle last year where a gigantic fashion show is going on with 500 accredited journalists were covering it for a full fucking week. If you went there, you'd see the journalists and cameramen fighting for space threatening to hit each other - "this is my space" - because they need to get the girl coming down in their clothes at just the right angle.  512 journalists covering a fashion week !!! The percentage of people using designer clothes, according to the industry … according to the industry … is something like 0.2% to 1%. You had 512 journalists to cover that. It's not the journalists' fault. It's what their media wants.

In the area that Nagpur is the main city, more than 5000 farmers have committed suicide in the last 6 years. According to the Government of Maharashtra, 1520 committed  in the year 2006 alone. In just one year 1520 committed suicide - you work out how many per how many hours that is.  Those 1520 farmers who committed suicide, the cotton farmers. Don't you think that’s news?  While the fashion show shows models displaying cotton garments. The guys who grow the cotton are killing themselves one hour away - not just guys, the guys and the girls the  husbands and wives and daughters and sons are killing themselves because the price of cotton has been destroyed by Indian government on one hand and American and European Union subsidies on the other hand.

We do not have a single correspondent in the national press whose full-time job it is to cover poverty in the country which has the largest number of poor people in the planet …

[Please watch the complete video. This man's a goddamn hero]


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