New Delhi: Prime time debates Sunday, for a change, displayed remarkable variety — from pigs roaming freely in a Karnataka hospital to rainwater gushing out a hospital’s roof, from the floods in Assam floods to actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Times Now‘s Athar Khan came down heavily on the quality of healthcare in two BJP-ruled states — Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh — by saying Covid has exposed India’s poor medicare, while Aaj Tak wanted to know who was to blame for Delhi’s heavy four-hour spell in which houses were destroyed and one person died.
But first to Republic TV where, Arnab Goswami, was for once distracted: his target was not the Congress and the Gandhi family, nor was it the coronavirus — it was the existence of a #BollywoodLobby. Following actor Kangana Ranaut’s interview with Goswami Saturday in which she accused the industry’s top brass of ‘systematically’ killing Sushant Singh Rajput, Goswami decided to capitalise on this — also, Rajput’s movie will be released posthumously next week.
Film critic and author Mayank Shekhar said, “It’s not a country, or a government department or hotel. It is a loose federation of artists who get together to make films. In that situation there’s no PM or President of Bollywood.” But when he said he agreed with Ranaut but there was “a larger idea” at play, Goswami pounced on him: “Don’t talk like Rahul Gandhi — an idea. I’m talking substance. India is an idea, poverty is a state of mind — what is this? Speak sense.”
Over on Times Now, anchor Athar Khan showed videos of pigs roaming about in a Karnataka hospital and of rainwater bursting through the roof of a UP hospital in Bareilly, before grilling his panelists.
He asked Harish Bijoor, a brand expert, whether the pigs incident has “blown the lid” on Karnataka’s poor health infrastructure. Why it became an issue of branding, we aren’t sure, but anyway, Bijoor pointed out, “You might find this occurring literally every other day. It’s now coming to the fore because all eyes are hooked on Covid.”
BJP spokesperson Anila Singh was reassuring: “The state governments are doing their job…this has happened due to laxity of hospital management”. Clearly, a case of whose pig is it, anyway.
Mirror Now‘s Afrida Rahman Ali travelled, metaphorically, to Assam in a debate that questioned if the state government had learnt anything given that the floods are an annual occurrence.
Guwahati journalist Sushanta Talukdar pointed out that the Assam government hasn’t changed its way of dealing with floods in decades. “The flood-affected people have been held hostage by the faulty approach to the problem,” he added.
Assam-based environmentalist Rituraj Phukan explained that the roots of the problem are interconnected. Changing rainfall patterns combined with deforestation “make the floods become more and more intense,” he said.
On NDTV India‘s ‘Hum Log’, Naghma Sahar started off with the scoop of the century — the news that MLAs of Ashok Gehlot camp in Jaipur’s Fairmont hotel are spending their time watching Mughal-e-Azam and Lagaan. “However, the political game of Pilot vs Gehlot is still on”, she added.
Newly-elected party chief in Rajasthan Govind Singh Dotasra assured her that Congress had the numbers and the BJP’s “political conspiracy” would not be fulfilled, while political analyst Shubhrastha said that the Congress party is imploding and exploding, and if the BJP is being blamed for the same, it only shows the immaturity of the Congress.
Meanwhile, Delhi finally got some much-needed rain, but it proved to be too much for the city’s infrastructure. On Aaj Tak’s ‘Halla Bol’, titled ‘Gayi Delhi Pani Mein’ (Delhi got washed away), anchor Chitra Tripathi landed a punch with her comments, “When we are talking about Aatmanirbhar Bharat, we’re aspiring to go on Mars and the Moon, a person died and homes were swept away due to heavy rains!”
Political analyst Ashutosh said the Delhi government is directly responsible for this. “If the government is saying that everyone was busy with corona and that is why the situation couldn’t be handled, it is an excuse,” he added.
Congress leader Alka Lamba termed the situation shameful and asked why the drains were not cleaned despite the lockdown being lifted on 1 June itself.
Former BJP Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari said that the AAP government is fully responsible for the situation, and shifted the blame from the BJP-run MCD. “The road is of PWD (Public Works Department). Small drains are of MCD while big drains are owned by either PWD or flood department, which comes under the Delhi government”, he stated. Very draining, this argument.
And finally, TV9 Bharatvarsh, out of nowhere, came up with a Sunday feature it called the “world’s first tele series on the US President titled ‘Donald Trump —Don of the World’’’. The show’s episode titles included ‘Meri Marzi’ (‘World in Pocket’) and ‘Dil Bechara’ (‘Playboy’s Open Secret’) and ‘Dhadkan’ (‘The First Lady’).