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‘In every corner of this world, your name is a household name’

Posted By Kathy Shaidle On July 27, 2010 @ 9:00 pm In NewsReal Blog | No Comments

NOT Rush Limbaugh

The title of this post comes from one of Rush Limbaugh’s classic callers, a lightly-accented South Asian immigrant to the United States, thanking the talk radio guru for spreading the truth about free enterprise and American values.

It turns out that India — a nation so riddled with class & caste warfare, poverty, bureaucracy and tribalism, it makes New Orleans look like Galt’s Gulch — doesn’t want its old liberal media any more, either.

Today, the Global Post ran a story entitled “It’s Rush Limbaugh’s India”:

In a forest of Rush Limbaugh-style conservatives, [Swami] Agnivesh is the sole voice of India’s fast-fading social liberalism on TV. Or was. The crusader has just been canceled.

Oh, dear. Maybe the Swami can sit in (in the lotus position, naturally…) for Olbermann during his next “vacation.” Even given his cancellation, the holy man still probably had more viewers than Keith.

Agnivesh told reporters, “From March 1968 till today I’ve been deeply involved with the struggle of the people, with the main focus on issues of social justice…”

Wow, that almost sounds like an excerpt from Patty Hearst’s hostage tapes.

Sadly for the Swami, he should’ve hooked up with the Beatles when he had the chance, and 1968 is (sort of) over. (And not a moment too soon):

Agnivesh’s message of social reform cuts against the grain in modernizing India, where the upwardly mobile masses are increasingly looking to conservative leaders to explain their new world. That’s why his show first migrated from the state-owned general interest channel, Doordarshan, to Lok Sabha TV — a channel primarily dedicated to the live broadcast of parliament — and was eventually canceled, while his most prominent competitors continue to amass million-dollar television empires.

“[The new conservative evangelism] marries the notion of what the audience feels to be traditional with consumption and individualism,” said Santosh Desai, a prominent media analyst and CEO of Future Brands. “It sits really well with the Indian middle class, which is trying to make sense of the world around them.”

So there you have it: not even India wants to listen to the equivalent of “Air America.”

It’s a small world, after all.

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