Tathagata Bhattacharya is Editor, Special Editions, at Network 18. Having worked for well over 10 years with leading national and international media organisations, he is as enthused by newsbreaks and analyses as he is by single malts, Jazz and military aviation. You may come across this man listening to John Coltrane or reading Yasar Kemal on some obscure Himalayan tract though work pressure reduces the statistical probability of such a chance encounter.
Singhvi CD lessons: get ready for more
Posted on: 07:45 PM IST Apr 24, 2012 IST
Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi had to resign from all his official positions in wake of a certain video footage which started doing the rounds on social networking sites. The footage allegedly shows Singhvi getting physically intimate with a woman lawyer who was reportedly in line to become a judge.
Singhvi claimed that the footage was doctored and morphed and got a court injunction preventing a particular media group from broadcasting the footage on its channels. But the social media phenomenon, which has led to considerable democratisation of information and has loosened the stranglehold of the official media outlets on news and opinion, became his undoing.
The rich and the powerful in India as well as in the rest of the world are finding it rather hard to control information flow on the social media. It was easier when they only had to deal with government and private media, the latter also owned by the rich and the powerful and very often friends with the political elite.
So, assuming that the power elite in India would not deny the citizens access to social media platforms and without being judgmental about this particular episode, what we Indians need to brace for in future are a barrage of such revelations.
Technology also has become simple and affordable, enough so for a driver to buy a spy camera from Delhi's Palika Bazar for under Rs 2000 and installing it in his master's chamber without much difficulty. The conjunction of this ready access to technology (spy cams can be purchased online or via teleshopping) and the power of the social media platforms will give sleepless nights to the rich and the powerful who indulge in activities they might not like to surface out in the open.
From JFK to Bill Clinton, even the most powerful men on planet have submitted to the fatal attraction of the Marilyn Monroes and Monica Lewinskys. Closer home, BJP's posterboy Sanjay Joshi's political career came to a grinding halt in 2005 after some footage showing him in reportedly compromising position with a woman started circulating.
Till there are men and women and a free mixing society, such things will happen. And as the reach of technology and social media increases, we should get ready for more such exposes.