Shovels, spades 3-feet a day digging, 8-hours a day, 5 weeks of excavation – it begins.
And it begins in style in a nation boasting and planning space missions to Moon and Mars.
All eyes and ears are going to be glued to the communication channels to get into the skin of the live coverage – in real time as it happens – floating in the viscosity of real, unreal and surreal stories that it has been generating since the seer had his dream of the 1000 tonnes of buried gold, since he spoke to a dead king of the 18th Century who buried the treasure, the stories that are going to multiply only in the coming days.
5 weeks – 35 days – enough of time to ramp-up the channels, to lubricate the wired flow, through the machinery that never looks to exhaust its appetite for such ‘spectacles’.
Peepli Live, the generic phrase to describe the media frenzy and the subsequent public attention (or the public attention, so the subsequent media frenzy) that entered the lexicon with the 2010 movie, a satire on polity, media and society, on making ‘big’ out of ‘nothing’, thus setting the agenda, is apt to describe what is happening in Daundia Khera, a village in the Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh.
And ironically, the Daundia Khera frenzy is not the first one. There have been plenty of such ‘Peepli Live’ moments. Only the phrase is of recent origin.
In the movie, a small town journalist of a small vernacular newspaper overhears two brothers discussing the possibility of the younger brother committing suicide in order to claim compensation of Rs. 1 Lakh from the government to repay the debt on the family. On the lookout for story, the journo prints the story in the newspaper in affirmative that the younger brother has decided to commit suicide though the plot, as it develops, shows us he never agrees to the idea.
A senior reporter of a major news channel in a metro city comes across and picks up the story. It’s bizarre. It’s unusual. It’s politically sensitive as elections are around the corner. Tamasha of life – hullabaloo over death – it sends its magnetic appeal across.
Once it is on air, everyone jumps on the bandwagon. Every media house reaches to the village with minute-by-minute coverage. The melee creates a festivity sort of atmosphere. Food stalls, shops, transportations, to cater to the rural folks on the pilgrimage to the Peepli and the media and political folks trying to optimize their chances on the cash crop of viewer ratings and the caste-based political equations.
Their fodder being the death of a man who doesn’t want to die but is being pushed to die!
Let’s see how it unfolds in a real life Peepli Live, in Daundia Khera.
Already, the non-descript village has become a hot spot. It is said the Shiva Temple near which the excavation is to be done is attracting devotees and priests like it never had enjoyed. People are returning to the village to claim their stake of gold. Many descendents of the king who had buried the gold are voicing their claims from across the country.
People from the nearby areas are the regular visitors in increasing numbers to see the mammoth task in progress, a task that can solve the fiscal problem of the world’s fourth largest economy.
The scientific community of the Archaeological Survey of India and the Geological Survey of India is on the job following the leads from the dream(s) of the seer.
The political community from the government of India is on tenterhooks and is watching with keen interest to see if it can find the windfall to meet the financial chaos it has created before the next parliamentary polls.
And all this is rich fodder for the media and overall fraternity of the communication channels inhabiting the airwaves.
Let’s how the ‘Peepli Live’ of Daundia Khera unfolds!
Let’s see the Daundia Khera Live in motion now. It’s the time!
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/