We’re not in America where they say that the resourceful can ‘pay’ their way to spending a night at the White House Lincoln’s bed-room. But then our desi mind works in weird ways. A couple of ‘enterprising’ Mumbai guys are reported to have claimed that they could arrange a meeting with the President at Rashtrapati Bhavan for anyone paying Rs.22,000. Their claim was reportedly telecast in a private channel.
I first learnt of something so preposterous from an R Bhavan denial: “This is to clarify that no such person by the name Sanjay Bhide and Niranjan Ganjawala as reportedly mentioned in the message or any other person has been authorised to bring people to meet the President." Dismissing the claim as mischievous, the R Bhavan spokesman reiterated that anyone could meet the President after taking an appointment.
Wonder how Bhide & Ganjawala came up with the idea that anyone would want to pay, in thousands, for an appointment with the President? It is not as if you tip the peon or office clerk to slip you into the office of a thanedar or tehsildar to get a file moving.
That the nation’s highest office is constrained to take note of such claim speaks of the influence of the electronic media. That a TV channel chose to telecast the cash-for-R-Bhavan-appointment claim smacks of irresponsible reporting and poor editorial judgement. Wouldn’t you say any responsible news media ought to have cross-checked such claim with R Bhavan before rushing to telecast ?