Perhaps what I have suggested in the headline is unfair, but I had expected our news channels to go to town over the Digvijay Singh-Amrita Rai affair and the pictures that were found in the social media.
I am not sure whether it’s because of the special relationship that Singh has with the media, or whether it’s because Amrita Singh is one of their own, but I thought prime time news would dig further into the matter.
Does she have any kids? Was she partial to Singh on her news shows? And what did she ask Singh in her interview with him — the visuals of it I saw on JIA News last night.
I guess to an extent the excitement would’ve been dampened given that both Singh and Rai spoke and tweeted about the relationship and the intent to get married after Rai’s divorce is formalised.
A friend asked me if the media would’ve treated the issue in the same way had it concerned a BJP or AAP leader. He mentioned how the TV media was full of discussions based on Narendra Modi admitting to being married in his nomination papers, as also giving out his wife’s name, possibly for the first time in public.
Well, for one, Singh is not a Prime Ministerial candidate of the Congress, so he doesn’t attract as much attention. But had Modi’s wife been seen at official functions, perhaps we wouldn’t have seen so much of a hullabaloo about it.
By talking so very freely about it, the message to the media was simple: it’s no big deal. Yes, we are in love, and we’re going to get married. It was a PR masterstroke and neutralised the entire gossip quotient in the news.
What Singh didn’t do is leave the opportunity to take a dig at Modi. “I don’t hide my relationship, which Mr Modi does. I am absolutely clear in this. I am not a coward, which Mr Narendra Modi unfortunately is,” he said (source: IBNlive.com).
He’s stretching it a bit, but guess all’s fair in love and the polls.
Pradyuman Maheshwari is a senior journalist and editor. When he’s not chasing news, he’s watching it. Twitter: @pmahesh