Friday, July 25, 2008

Does India need a Jon Stewart?

Jon Stewart, the quintessential American political satirist, is known for criticizing any flawed government policies with mind blowing humor. His impromptu show, 'The Daily Show with John Stewart' which features on most weekdays on American Television has a strong base in the young American population vexed with their Government's all round failure. The young vent their frustration by tuning into his show night after night. Over time, he has become so influential that major politicians like Obama and Hillary have featured on his show. Some say that he had a role to play in Hillary's victory in at least one of the states (She featured on his show via satellite the night before that primary) during the Democrat primaries. His ease in dissecting the daily news and presenting it to the audience in a humorous way is outstanding. Regular performers on his show like Stephen Colbert have made it big once they left the show. I cannot but compare the frustration amongst the young Indians with those in America. Both are disillusioned by their scandalous politicians, more so in India. Do the young in India need a John Stewart who can criticize the the daily ongoings(bad ones) in the Government with no fear? I certainly think so. Somebody like him could easily galvanize the youth and generate awareness among them about all that is bad in the current Indian Politics. The youth of today has been criticized for not showing interest in Politics but we need to understand that most of them need an entertainment medium to dissipate information regarding politics. Nobody seems to have the time to listen to serious news (no...not the ones on Aaj Tak), let alone read a newspaper.

Assuming that we find one in the near future, will the Indian society give him the 007 license for criticism. Will the national parties be mature enough to take the criticism in their stride? Or, will they unleash their goondas for allegedly "hurting" their "sentiments"? Only time will tell but we need a Jon Stewart in the immediate future to save the country's youth from getting totally ignorant of what's happening around them.