Aug 062012
 

The column in today’s DNA

The TV business, explained a very senior member of the fraternity over a decade ago, is like fire. It needs to be constantly fed with more – more shows, more content, and more money. And, the more you feed it, the more it consumes. If you look at the media landscape today, one realises that statement to be more valid than ever before..

Every TV channel has seen an increase in cost of content – not just in producing it but marketing and distributing it. Channels have to do more to attract and retain audiences. Bigger Stars, more chutzpah, more on gloss and glamour, the newest films, breaking news, – everything geared towards grabbing the attention of the viewer for that split second, and keeping it for as long as possible. There are costs – not insubstantial ones – attached to doing this.

Channels hope that their revenues will offset these costs. There are traditionally three sources of revenue. Worldwide, TV channels earn their money from advertising; from subscriptions to households; and through licensing their content to other channels. In western countries apart from a handful of terrestrial (usually under 10) channels that are free to the household, the rest are subscription based. The free to air terrestrial channels carry a mix of programming – and is paid for by advertising; while the subscription driven channels tend to be far more focussed on a certain kind of content or audience – cookery channel, golf channel, religious channel or a children’s channel; adult channels, old age channels, pet lovers’ channels and more. These are evolved and sophisticated markets that are structured and transparent in their functioning.

In India the market is still evolving. According to TRAI, there are 800 channels and 160 of these are pay channels. Out of 24.7 crore households in India, there are 14.7 crore TV households out of which 9.4 crores have access to cable TV and the rest only receive Doordarshan. Conditional Access – where you pay for the channels that you view and only those – has been promised for a decade or more, but not delivered. The cable lobby is simply too strong. Channels earn a fraction of the revenue that is collected by the cable operator from the household. The rest is not declared. In addition to under declaring the number of households in their locality, cable companies also demand a fat carriage fees for carrying the channel. The world of cable operators is still the proverbial ‘wild west’ – they rule their roost with an iron hand. Channels that push too hard do not get seen.

Most channels rely on advertising as the main source of revenue. The rates they can command from the client is dependent on only one metric – the TRP that is monitored and reported by a monopoly agency TAM, owned by international giant A.C.Nielsen. They monitor 8150 households across India and the viewership ratings are based on these households. In each of these households a meter is fitted to the TV set. The family is given a remote control. Each family member is identified by gender & age by a button on the remote. While watching TV, they are supposed to push their button followed by the channel number. If it sounds complex and unintuitive, it is. Not only that, it relies too much on manual inputs and prone to error. But, it is the only system we have for monitoring viewership. The advertising budget that is spent on various TV channels is determined by ratings..

There have been murmurs and sporadic raised voices for over a decade on the system of monitoring. There have been questions asked about the sample size, about large states being left out, about representation. There have been accusations of fudging the ratings. It was rumoured that for certain large sums of money you would get a list of households that form the sample. In turn you would give money to these households to indicate on the remote that they were watching the channel or programme that you represented.

Ratings always mattered, but, as competition grew, every fraction of a rating point counted. The agencies are squeezing channels on advertising rates. It is estimated that over 80% of all Channels are making losses. It is against this background that NDTV has taken on AC Nielsen in a court case on fudged ratings. And this has opened a floodgate of complaints across broadcasters.

This is an opportunity for broadcasters, agencies & clients for creating a robust rating system that is comprehensive, representative, allows for customer choice and is trusted by all industry stakeholders. It is about allowing niches to be created that can be targeted with appropriate content. It is about allowing diverse voices to be heard. And, that can only be good for the industry as a whole.

May 132012
 

My Column in today’s Lokmat 

Yes the Force will be with them

A mother is the cradle of civilisation. We are what we are because of them. And, in Indian cinema, they are the scene-stealers. And, also the cause for your samosa and popcorn getting oversalted, as your tear up in the comfort of the dark watching gung-ho males quivering their lips and warbling: “Maaaa!” Harini Calamur peeps into her bioscope to rewind Bharat”s history and Indian cinema”s solid theme on the special day and for Lokmat Times” continuing series on 100 years of Indian cinema

Aai! Maa! Mom! Mother. The term that is laden with emotion. An emotion of security and safety. An association of being well-loved. A memory of being scolded for doing wrong. A taste of your favourite meal. The comfort of hiding your head in her lap and wailing. The sensation of being protected, comforted and safe. A flash of her sitting next to you when you study. The vision of her bringing you a glass of piping hot tea, when you used to wake up really early to study for your board exams. And yes, a flash of her disapproving, which translates thus: “Look at something you have done!” All these memories are distilled in us as various threads that we can call on when we need it the most. These memories are indeed special. Almost every culture in the world has one day in the year dedicated to celebrating mothers, motherhood and the love that is showered on you. The logical question is why only one day, what about the remaining 364 days. And, the answer is quite simple — one day in a year helps create an ‘event’, sell cards, market chocolates, and create a warm & fuzzy feeling around motherhood.

 

In India the cult of worshipping the  mother is as old as time. The Mother Goddess, Mother Earth, Birth Mother, Adoptive Mother, Step Mothers, Mother of the heart – the epics had them all. The ancientIndusValleycivilisation had depictions of the mother Goddess. Hindu theology is replete with stories of the Mother of the Universe destroying evil and saving her children. The epics, the puranas have given us some fabulous role models as the epitome of motherhood. And, till today those ideal types  endure. Indian cinema has given them a lease of life and converted these to stereotypes we all know and love.  So, on Mother’s day –here is looking at you, mother!

 

The Mother as one who endures. The child gives birth to a mother, goes a popular saying. It is almost as though a switch is turned on. The moment a woman becomes a mother, her tolerance for all things increases exponentially. She endures for the sake of her child or children. She tolerates almost anything, until such time an invisible line is crossed. When that happens she takes action that is fairly final, including taking action against a child who disturbs the lives of her other children. . In legend this is the role played by Bhooma Devi or Mother Earth.  She who endures till she can endure no more. Movies have tried to build this epitome of motherhood through their narrative. All movie mothers built on this stereotype don’t necessarily have to kill their kids, but they definitely endure all sorts of travails and troubles while being good ‘marg darshaks’ for their children. The most famous of all Indian films based on this role model is Mehboob Khan’s film Mother India – starring Nargis. From the word go the movie is about a woman who endures everything that the universe throws at her. Death of a husband, extreme poverty, a salacious money lender, being a single mother, having to manage on her own – everything is taken in her stride with equanimity . The iconic poster of Mother India wielding a plough to farm on her meagre land and provide for her children reinforces this image of the Mother. And of course, the final scene in which she shoots her son to maintain ‘dharma’ is a hark back to the most ancient narratives of the mother. She has to do what is right for the good of the social order.

The Mother as the Guru, the teacher of values. A mother is the guide who forms the child’s character, teaches him between dharma and adharma. And, in this regard there is no mother greater than Kayadu, the wife of Hiranyakashyap and the mother of Prahlad. This tpye of mother is a pillar of goodness and decency and will stand up against her husband and disown her son, if need be, if they deviate from the path of righteousness. Indian films have honoured this form of mother in many movies. One of the most enduring Marathi Movies is Shyaamchi Aayi, based on the book by Sane Guruji. It is the story of a mother who teaches her son, through personal example,  the importance of values. Till today, the movie and its message resonate with audiences. Another mother in the same mould is Nirupa Roy in Deewar. She brings her sons up, with great difficulty –enduring poverty and manual labour to give them a chance at a better life. When her favourite son – Amitabh Bachchan (Vijay)  in one of the most powerful roles in Indian cinema – strays from the path of what is right, she disowns him and goes to live with the good son – Shashi Kapoor (Ravi). When Vijay taunts Ravi, in the film, with his wealth and possessions and asks Ravi what he has,Ravi’s retort “Mere paas maa hai” is a reminder of the values most mothers expected us to follow, and the acute disapproval when we didn’t follow those. The same is the case  with both variants of Agneepath. The mother’s disapproval of the wrong path chosen by the son is evident, as is the need of the son to be accepted by the mother. All three films end with the death of the errant son in the lap of the mother. As symbolism it can’t be greater – Motherhood will not accept wrong doing by the child and the imparting of values is as important as feeding or giving love.

The Unwed Mother – Happiness mana hai -  Ever since Kunti invoked the power of Surya – the Sun God to have a child, and then abandoned that child, Indian stories have had the motif of the unwed mother. The unwed mother will know no joy in her life. Her life is one of struggle and tears. Her overwhelming guilt at breaking societal rules and at abandoning her child cripples her actions, and allows her to believe that is her only fate in life is misery. The  Tamil film Dalapti, is a modern day interpretation of the friendship between Duryodhan and Karna – but the tragedy of the Mother is as much a pivot of the story as is the friendship. Sri Vidya plays mother to Rajnikanth (Surya) the son she abandons at birth, and Arjun, (Arvind Swamy)  the son she brings up. Her character, throughout the film, only expresses various degrees of acute unhappiness. The Hindi film Aaradhna and its Tamil Remake Sivakamiyin Selvan- have the lead female protagonist going through hell for act of having a child out of wedlock. However, the bonds of mamata are stronger than anything the universe can throw at the woman and she (Sharmila Tagore in Hindi, Vanisri in Tamil) stands like a rock to protect her son. In Paa, the heroine Vidya Balan, decides to be an unwed mother, and while society and her family is kinder to her, her child is afflicted with an illness that can only lead to tears all around. More modern films like Kya Kehna do not heap so much unhappiness on the unwed mother, but they are exceptions and not the norm.

Annapurna – the mother who feeds. Annapurna in Hindu theology is the goddess of food who takes great joy in seeing her children (all of us) fed. In Indian films. Maa ke haath ka khaana is one of the most oft repeated clichés. The mother is for ever making and feeding her children with the choicest of dishes. It is almost as though the love with which the mother makes the gaajar ka halwa or the garma garam phulke gives the hero a suraksha kawach with which the bullets of the bad guy are deflected. A mother, in Indian films, can look at her child and know his hunger. It has almost ruined most Indian children’s diets. The mother looks at her child, decides he is hungry and stuffs him with the most cholesterol ridden food. After all, if you cannot show your love through food, how else will you show it?

The Adoptive Mother – ever since Vasudev let  Krishna with Yashoda, on a dark and stormy night, motherhood implies the woman who nurtures and brings you up – not just the mother who gives birth to you. Movies like Naam, Parvarish, Amar Prem – talk about a feeling of ‘mamta’ that is beyond birth pangs. Her maternal instinct can embrace the whole world and still have enough maternal love left over for some aliens. In the film Anari(1959), Mrs.D’sa looks upon Raj Kumar (Raj Kapoor) as her own son, and he reciprocates that deep affection and feeling. Salma (Waheeda Rehman) brings up Sunny (Rishi Kapoor) with the same love that she had bestowed on her biological child Iqbal (Amitabh Bachchan) in the film Coolie.  In  Karan Johar’s film Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham – Jaya Bachchan’s character loves her adoptive son (Shah Rukh Khan) just as much as she cares about her biological son (Hrithik Roshan) . Movies  such as Mani Ratnam’s Tamil film Kannathil Mutthamittal (a peck on the cheek) deals with adoption in the modern era with a lot more sensitivity. But, it is an exception. By and large the old hindi film dialog “aaj se tu mera beta aur mein teri maa” (From today you are my son and I am your mother) holds more true than taking a nuanced look at adoption.

The Step Mother – ever since Kaykeyi moves into the kopagruha (the room of anger) and demands the exile of Ram and the coronation of Bharat – the role of the step mother has been looked at with suspicion. One of the earliest films from Kerala – the movie Balan dealt with a boy and a girl exploited by the evil step mother. They run away from home to find love elsewhere. In the Hindi film Beta – which is based on earlier Tamil (Enga Chinna Rasa) and Kanadda ( Mallammana Pavada) films deals with a step mother out of hell. Anil Kapoor’s character loves his step mother (Aruna Irani) and would move heaven and earth for her. She on the other hand wants him out of the way so that her own son can inherit everything. More recent films such as ‘We are Family” based on the Hollwyood film “Step Mom” take a more sensitive look at this issue – but frankly, it is far more fun to see an evil step mother on screen than have watch a much nuanced film on the same.

The Single Mother  – The prime example of a Single Mother who brings up her children with the best of care and nurtures them is Sita. She brings up her children alone, after her husband, Shri Ram, exiles her.  When they grow they take up the issue of their mother’s humiliation with their father fairly effectively. Kalidasa’s Shakuntala touches on the same theme. The woman rejected by her man and her fight for her child’s patrimony. The boy is Bharat – the emperor after whom this country is named. What greater tribute to a single mother.  Indian films are full of stories of women who are abandoned by their men because of social pressures. For example, in the film Trishool – Sanjeev Kumar abandons Waheeda Rehman. She moves away – into exile – and brings up her son. The son grows up to be Amitabh Bachchan and settles the score on his mother’s humiliation.

The Conflicted Mother – The bond of the mother and the child (son), as portrayed in legend so strong that it can sometimes threaten the authority of the man as the head of the household. One of the earliest example form the epics is the story of how Shiva decapitates his son for following his mother’s (Parvati’s) instructions .It takes a unleashing of Mother’s powers to get the Mahadeva to restore his Son’s life, albeit with an elephant’s head. That family lived happily after. But, most women have faced the conflict of choice between the two most important men in their lives – husband and son. In the film Moghul-e-Azan we see the depiction of the fight between Akbar (prithviraj kapoor) & Salim (Dilip Kumar). But the most imporatnat woman there is not Anarkali (Madhubala) but Jodha (Durga Khote) – the wife and the mother who is put in a position of having to choose. A similar predicament is faced by Rakhee in Shakti – her husband (Dilip Kumar) a cop and her son (Amitabh Bachchan) are estranged – and that takes a toll on her. She does, in both these cases, choose the husband – but the cost of her choice is high.

And finally even nature cannot compete with the power of motherhood. Death bows before her. As is evident in films like Karan Arjun – where Rakhee’s character wills her dead sons to be reincarnated to take revenge on those who wrecked her life.  The power of motherhood is a magic wand, it so impacts those who see it that even the wicked transform. In the film Dada (1979) gangster Fazlu (Amjad Khan) comes across the abandoned wife Tara Dharamdas (Seema Deo) and the way she brings up her son (Vinod Mehra). He is so moved by the power of that love that he turns new leaf and becomes ‘good’. The song “’Allah Karam Karna Maula Tu Reham Karna’ tells of the point of transformation of the bad into good through the power of mother hood. magic of motherhood is that it recognises ‘its blood’ even through blindness and does not need complex DNA tests. The line “meri mamta yeh keh rahi hai ki woh mera beta hai’ epitomises the woman’s link with her child. In the film Amar, Akbar, Anthony –a sightless  Nirupa Roy gravitates towards all her three lost sons without even realising that they  are hers. Motherhood sees no religion, no race, no looks. It just loves without questioning.

Indiais a young country – our median age is 26. In such an era film makers are tending to make films about the lives of 26 year olds and their trials, tribulations and coming of age. The mothers too have become more modern. Less traditional and more ‘cool’. However, when a film comes along that harks back to the traditional mother – the mother with the gajja ka halwa, the mother who soothes your brow, the mother who waits up for you to get home, the mother who yells at you because you are doing the wrong thing – it still resonates with the audience. Nothing stops us from celebrating Mother’s day all year long, but today is extra special. The day, that maybe, you tell you mother about all the little things that made your growing up years so very special.

Apr 302012
 

My Column in Today’s DNA

The last few months  have seen social media set the agenda as far as main stream media, and even political parties are concerned. A whole bunch of dedicated cyber gureillas are fighting virtual wars on behalf of the parties that they support. The last week has seen two such cases.

 

Sachin Tendulkar, the man called the God, got nominated to the Rajya Sabha. In a completely polarised world, it was an act that was welcomed by all sides and all Political Parties. After all,  the biggest lament about the Houses of Parliament is that there isn’t enough representation from the young, aspirational, non dynastic, self made achievers. There were a few jokes, on the lines of God being called in to save the UPA, but much of this was in good humour. But, for a small vocal minority of self styled patriots on twitter Sachin’s acceptance of the Rajya Sabha seat was abject betrayal. They believed that his entry into Parliament was his entry into politics on the side of the Congress. A shrill fringe tried to hijack the agenda by converting their ignorance into anger, and their anger into a flurry of tweets against Sachin.There was a strong unfollow Sachin campaign. But, this was Sachin. Not a politician. The fight back was instantaneous. Even those who aren’t cricket followers or great Sachin fans went out to bat for Sachin.

 

Earlier in the week social media had seen another flurry of activity. This time against Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi. He had been allegedly caught in flagrante delicto on camera with a lady lawyer in his chambers in the Delhi High Court.. Mr.Singhvi got an injunction against the main stream media from carrying the contents of the CD. But, social media is not mainstream. It is individuals dispersed across the globe. All you need is one person to upload the video on a file sharing site and pass on the link, which is further shared. This is what happened and the video went viral. A small bunch of motivated opponents of the Congress Party found a way to set the agenda. The Main Stream Media that hitherto had been prevented from reporting about the contents of the video reported the leak of the video. The Public heard about the alleged peccadilloes of Mr. Singhvi, who had no choice but to resign. We can wring our collective hands and say ‘invasion of privacy’, or irresponsible behaviour on part of individuals to release the video, and we wouldn’t be wrong. It is a terrible precedent and is going to have repercussions in the years to come. Every political leader, business leader, opinion leaders are going to face what their western counterparts have been facing for decades. The rise of reporting sexual sleaze aimed at destroying reputations while titillating the audience.

 

The system is coming to terms with the repercussions of the democratisation of communication. The fact that everyone not only has a view, but the medium to express that view is just sinking in to those who hitherto had controlled the agenda.  In an interconnected world, everyone has an agenda that they can put forth with equal ease. Expertise and Opinion are no longer hierarchical, flowing from the top to the bottom. Instead it is multiple strands of peer to peer communication. One of the things about social media in general and twitter in particular is how quickly an idea or a link can get picked up and go viral. More than any other social network, Twitter can work towards building up support or destroying reputations possibly because engagement is quick and fast. There is also another reason, and that is most on twitter are engaged in more than conversations. It is made up of narrowcasters – people of all hues and persuasion putting out links and opinions that are aimed at furthering an agenda in a free flowing, unmoderated space. Often it is a whole bunch of Chinese whispers in an echo chamber. False is true, if it suits the ultimate agenda.

 

The question then is how do you prevent a small bunch of dedicated zealots from setting the agenda? How do you prevent the poisoning of discourse and spreading of hate? Do you need to control the net ? The answer is that the net cannot be controlled and any attempt to control it will back fire. Ideas and opinions can only be countered by other ideas & opinions and the way to prevent zealots from taking over and setting the agenda is by ensuring that more people have access to the net. The more agendas that are set, the more the extreme agenda will be diluted.

Mar 072012
 

My column in Monday’s DNA

Have you ever been woken up by a ringing bell when you are deep in slumber? Have you experienced a dry mouth, pounding heartbeat, disorientation and confusion? Or felt a kind of inexplicable fear? It happens when people come out of deep slumber all of a sudden.

 

The police know that. World over, the time to arrest dissidents was in the wee hours of the morning. The midnight knock was most associated with the Secret Police working for a dictatorial regime in a far away country. The dreaded knock would occur way past midnight, when most were in deep sleep. The poor disoriented person would then be dragged away to a secret dungeon where nothing was heard of them again. For many of us in modernIndia, the midnight wake up is usually a phone call; a sharp ring that breaks into our deep sleep waking us up with a start. Our thoughts are jumbled, our response sluggish and the fear that someone near and dear has suffered some unspeakable harm.

 

There is something about being woken up from deep sleep that is terribly disturbing. Once woken up, we find it difficult to get back to a restful slumber and often, that impacts the way we function the following day. Sleep is essential for the body to recharge and a person deprived of sleep is prone to stress, illness, carelessness resulting in accidents and fatalities. Therefore for well-being, it is important that we get uninterrupted sleep.

 

The Right to Sleep, declared the Supreme Court last week, is a Fundamental Right. They were ruling on the midnight crackdown at Ram Lila grounds, when supporters of Baba Ramdev were rudely awakened by police action. Justice B Chauhan said in his judgement “Deprivation of sleep has tumultuous adverse effects. It causes a stir and disturbs the quiet and peace of an individual’s physical state… To take away the right of natural rest is also, therefore, a violation of human rights. It becomes a violation of a fundamental right when it is disturbed intentionally, unlawfully and for no justification.”

 

 

The judgement can have a tremendous impact on society the way we know it. Let’s just look at some of those who intentionally and, possibly, unlawfully disturb slumber and therefore our human rights

 

At the top of the list would be places of worship. InIndia, we want the world to know that we pray. And we want the world to share in that prayer. Preferably by blasting the sound over a loudspeaker. Every morning, across the nation, countless people are woken up by someone or the other praying or playing religious music and blaring it in the neighbourhood, for all to hear, using a loudspeaker. Often this goes on for a number of hours at a stretch, ensuring that people who have been jolted out of sleep cannot go back to it. We may argue that it is Right to Religion but surely the Right to Sleep is equally important Another habit that can violate the right to sleep is celebration. We want to share our joys with the whole world – through loud fire crackers and even louder music. Be it a win in cricket or a marriage in the family, be it the birth of a child or great marks in an exam, loud crackers and film music will permeate the neighbourhood

 

The instances described above are those of everyday societal thoughtlessness. People in our neighbourhood intrude and violate our Fundamental right to Sleep. This can be rectified with a bit of sustained civics or community education. But for millions of Indians, the violation of the fundamental right to sleep is not through crackers or loud music. It is even more basic. It is the deprivation of food, shelter and a sense of security. Gnawing Hunger prevents sleep. It is estimated that around 273 million people (or a third of the world’s hungry) live inIndia. The fundamental right to sleep may not be possible unless chronic hunger-related issues are tackled.  Having no home and no permanent place to reside can impact the fundamental right to sleep. It can also be argued that slum dwelling or shanty homes are not conducive to maintaining the fundamental right to sleep. And finally, unless people live in security and peace, it may be impossible for them to have restful sleep.

 

The SC’s judgement and its upholding of the Right to Sleep as a fundamental right, is a call for ensuring that the State ensures food, shelter and security for all its citizens. But, then isn’t that the fundamental role of the State?

Aug 232011
 

My column in today’s DNA

The events unfolding in Delhi are fascinating. Battered by scam after scam, with some of its ministers in jail, a punch drunk UPA 2 looks like a shadow of a government. Its other ministers and spokespersons have an uphill task: explaining to a hungry media and an increasingly irate TV viewership the reasons for this criminal mismanagement. Day after day, hour after hour, members of the UPA are asked about 2G, CWG, Adarsh, and other issues.

Needless to say, not many believe these ministers or spokespeople. Their credibility has been shot to bits. The UPA’s biggest asset vis-a-vis the middle class, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has also been tarnished by this fallout. To add to this, the Congress has reverted to fratricidal infighting. Digvijay Singh is openly taking pot-shots at Cabinet ministers. And, as if that was not enough, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the force that binds the party and the government, has been ailing and is currently abroad for treatment. With the allies angry and the Congress flaying about like a fish out of water, it has been like a watching a train wreck in slow motion.

We then have the opposition Bharatiya Janta Party, whose members are happier in TV studios than in Parliament. It too has been struck by its own scam in Karnataka — nothing in the same magnitude as that in Delhi, but dirt sticks. It too seems to be embroiled in its own bout of fratricidal warfare.

Watching all this is middle class India, which makes up between 25% and 33% of the population. This is the group that does not vote on the old caste/community lines that exemplified Indian politics. In a Parliamentary style democracy, with its first past the post system, they feel that their voice is not heard. They are also horrified at the loot fest and the lack of an alternative that stands for them. This is the class that voted for the Vajpayee-led NDA, and voted him out in favour of the UPA in 2004, and then pledged its allegiance to Manmohan Singh in 2009. Today it feels abandoned and orphaned.

Into this mire, steps Anna Hazare, a social activist who has been campaigning for clean administration for over three decades. He adopted the most visible form of Gandhism — the protest fast. And, he called not for transformation of the self (after all there is nothing wrong with the middle-class. They don’t need to change), but punishment of the wicked, the corrupt and the looters. Backed by one of the slickest media management in recent years, he found resonance with the middle-class that wants to punish bad politicians. His solution is the Jan Lok Pal Bill, an independent ombudsman that will investigate, prosecute and judge any instance of corruption. The presumption of innocence is not a part of this equation, presumption of guilt is. Furthermore, Hazare has threatened to fast unto death if the bill is not made into an act by the August 30.
While Hazare’s intentions are noble — who doesn’t want a corruption-free society — the means of achieving these ends are poorly thought through. The Jan Lok Pal Bill is a highly flawed one that is pointed at Parliament with a ‘pass it or I kill myself’ threat. This bill bodes ill for the future of India and its citizens.
At the end of the day, we have a government that is unable to govern, an opposition that has ceded its responsibility and a civil society that is unwilling to listen. The only thing all these various parties are agreed on is that the people of India are supreme.
In such a case there is only thing to do. Dissolve Parliament and call for elections. Let the next Parliament decide on this and other legislation. For now — enough is enough.