Budget Coverage Ki Dhulai: Abhinandan Sekhri
It was budget day. And it played out predictably. Couch potatoes and TV viewers in our studio gave it a luke warm response. No big ticket ideas, no investment in new formats or real attempt to reform budget coverage.
There was a sharp increase in how taxing viewing most screen space was. Anyone with less than 50 different information boxes of text on the screen was outside the advertizing bracket.
Corporate Czars and economists were on premium with a huge subsidy granted by channels to Industry captains on nation building rhetoric as all of them suddenly had a surplus of concern for the aam aadmi, profit making was secondary which to believe would require a huge incentive or at least a rollover of disbelief.
Below: is this Pranab’s new scheme – win Rs. 1 lakh every hour? Nope! It’s a scheme sponsored by Toyota who incidentally have raised their car prices immediately after the budget so you know where that Rs. 1 lakh to be won every hour came from.
We don’t know what Dimples tweeted but Headlines today tickered that Rahul Gandhi thinks it is a good budget. This could have led to a market rally somewhere in Bhatta Parsaul if only they were watching.
People at NDTV were having the most fun with Prannoy Roy, Shweta Rajpal Kohli and 6 other guests. There was a jovial quotient surplus and known faces deficit, possibly a low cost option in the backdrop of high inflationary trends.
Headlines Today had a Sunil Alagh surplus (even a little bit is too much) and Times Now is suffering from a Lord Meghnad Desai surplus – in fact Lord Maghnad Desai is suffering from a Lord Meghnad Desai surplus.
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw had a valuable input contribution deficit and silence surplus and her window on screen looked like the Mona Lisa frame as she sat there and kind of smiled.
There were no major cash voucher scheme but many vouchers for how Pranab Da has missed the bus. Arnab led the rally with a– “Has he chosen to miss the bus?” Possibly he prefers railways now. Another person boxed in a window spoke up – “But he did find out the bus route.”
Mona Lisa Mazumdar Shaw broke her silence – “He (Pranab Mukherji) hasn’t missed the bus, but the bus has a flat tyre.”
Who will change the tyre inquired Arnab. The rubber industry has not yet felt the impact but automobiles are more expensive already.
Headlines today if not issuing bonds is certainly bonding with young viewers with a thumbs up thumbs down (Like-dislike this video like You Tube/ facebook) format. The growth projection of this kind of simple quantification of all issues is expected to be not just double but in triple digits.
No GST no FDI no fiscal consolidation said Udayan. Whose frame had a profile surplus and a who are you talking to surplus and look at us please.
On all channels there was a windows surplus and this budget was sponsored by the Aditya Birla Group, their logo appearing everywhere. Don’t know about anyone else but the budget gave them a bang for their buck for sure.
And then the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh interview slowed down the rate of growth of any entertaining activity and bored the shit out of everyone. Breaking News – Swaminathan Aiyar stayed awake through the interview.
Swaminathan Aiyar had a smile surplus trying in vain to balance the smile deficit on the PM who was overflowing with poker face surplus.
FICCI slammed the budget in the backdrop of a car slamming a suitcase which turned out to be robust enough to withstand the car impact. Ditto for FICCI and Pranabda.
However Defence Minister Anthony might have had an eloquence deficit when he said “Budget is good.” Which was communicated with a font size surplus by CNN-IBN.
“Commendable budget” was Kapil Sibal at his poetic best as tickered by CNN-IBN with a distraught shirtless boy in the background asking for help as he was stripped of cash, wallet and clothes. His network was working – 2G. No loss there.
Am not sure about the WPI index but the WTF index went through the roof.
(Courtesy: Newslaundry & Abhinandan Sekhri. Founding partner of Small Screen and newslaundry, Abhinandan Sekhri was a researcher at Newstrack and went on to become a reporter, always managing to do the story that was dropped. He scripted the political satire shows The Great Indian Tamasha and Gustakhi Maaf on NDTV’s news channels between 2004 and 2009. So he thinks he’s funny. Thinks!)