Once dismissive, Maya now courts the 'Manuwadi' media
Bhaskar Roy, TNN, Apr 5, 2010, 03.13am IST
NEW DELHI: There was a time when Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati
would dismiss the media as 'Manuwadi' accusing it of upper caste
biases. Not any longer. Entrenched in power and faced with an
increasing challenge, the BSP boss seems to have realised the
importance of soundbites.
After trying her hand at acquiring a television channel dedicated to
the UP clientele, she has discovered the wider prospects of
influencing the cable TV networks which have a strong grip over the
state's rural hinterland.
According to industry sources, she has preferred the formidable spread
of the cable networks over the DTH market apparently because of the
fact that the latter caters to the relatively better-off segment and
not to the prospective dalit backers of the BSP.
A senior official of Maya's administration has of late held talks with
at least two leading groups which have a strong presence in UP's cable
One reason for Maya's sudden interest in the electronic media is
perhaps her bitter experience of having been at the receiving end of a
critical media over her decision to install statues of the dalit icons
at public places. Congress sees Maya's move in gaining a toehold in
the media market as part of her preparations for the 2012 assembly
"She has got the resources for making such advances; it is to be seen
if the news channels could be up for grabs," said Congress general
secretary Digvijay Singh. The BSP leadership, it appears, has made a
departure from its previous position that the media impact on its
constituency was negligible since the marginalized dalits could afford
neither newspapers nor televisions.
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