136-Part-1 SAB Group

SAB Group

Parthasarathi Kuila, Associate Vice President (Sales); Dimple Duggal, Senior Manager (Sales); Hemlata Yederi, Group Sales Head; Kailashnath Adhikari, Shri Adhikari Brothers Television Network, Mumbai 


cobrapost - March 26, 2018


SAB Group does not need any introduction. The network has been entertaining millions of Indian TV viewers with its rib-ticking comedies like “Dekh Bhai Dekh” and “Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chashma” for the past three decades since it came into being in 1985. Pushp Sharma called on the senior functionaries of the network if they could help him fulfill his agenda using the genre comedy that is their forte. Surprisingly, he found them ready for the job. Here, Sharma first met Parthasarathi Kuila, who is working as Associate Vice President (Sales). Also present in this meeting was Senior Manager (Sales) Dimple Duggal. As Sharma began briefing him on his agenda one by one, we hear Kuila say “ji”, “right” “okay” and so on. After the first phase of soft Hindutva, the journalist tells him, they will have to promote firebrand Hindutva leaders like Mohan Bhagwat, Uma Bharti and Vinay Katiyar through their digital platform. Says Kuila: “Ji (yes) … Okay.” He knows these are very important persons: “But this is the very important name. Aap jis tareh se project kar rahe hain (The way you want to project them), these are the very important names of 2019 elections.” In the third phase, now the journalist tells him of the last phase of his media campaign, you will have to bash our political rivals. You have heard that jingle on Pappu, haven’t you?

By this time Kuila is completely hooked to the agenda, as he asks of this third phase: “Ji. That is specific state rahega (Yes. Will that be state specific).” What you heard in the jingle is specially created for Karnataka, the journalist tells him, but this campaign is targeted for 2019 general elections. You mean, “that is all India,” says Kuila. Yes, the journalist tells him, but our main rival is Congress Party. Kuila wants to know if it will be a country-wide campaign: “When talking about all India so that is not specific related to … No. Congress toh bahut door aa jayega Sir, maan lijiye Bihar, UP aisa kuch nahi rahega na … That is in general rahega na (When talking about all India so that is not specific related to … No. Congress will be be pushed far. Sir, it will not be specific to Bihar, UP, for example … That is in general. Isn’t it).” Yes, you got it right, Sharma informs him. “Sir ye aap kab se tentatively plan kar rahe hain (Sir, when do you tentatively plan to launch this [campaign]),” Kuila is curious to know. From the first week of February, Sharma tells him. We will release the funds once we freeze the deal and then it is upto you when you gear up to do so. Kuila gets the time wrong to say: “Toh aap April se target kar rahe hain (So, you plan to target from April).” His colleague Dimple corrects him: “First week of Feb. se (From the First week of February).” Kuila is told that the campaign will be in phases of three months each.

When Sharma met Hemlata, the SAB Group Sales Head, tells the reporter that they will get back to him with a campaign plan: “As long as we understood objectives, which he will brief me later, we will come back to you. It’s a plan which you will feel my objective is served.” Hold on, it is better I briefed you first hand, Sharma tells Hemlata. We are primarily targeting 2019 elections. Hemlata interjects: “Don’t repeat. It’s okay. No problem.” It only shows that she has already been briefed on the agenda in detail. Still, Sharma tries to explain it to her saying that during the first three months, they will have to promote soft Hindutva. It is fine with Hemlata, as she says: “Theek hai (All right).” But all this has to be done in a very secretive manner and nowhere should his Sangathan be named. Agrees an understanding Hemlata: “It will be subtle communication nowhere show politics in it that what you want to say.”

In big organizations like SAB Group, which is worth Rs. 2000 crore, it is highest authorities or owners who take a call on such business deals. So, it was logical for Sharma to meet Kailashnath Adhikari. After the pleasantries, the journalist tells Adhikari that he has already briefed his team. But here Hemlata asks the journalist to again brief her boss. Now, the journalist begins to brief Adhikari on his agenda. We are here to target 2019 elections and create a congenial atmosphere for the party by promoting Bhagwad Gita and Lord Krishna. Agreeing, Adhikari says: “Bilkul that’s why I am discussing kyonki ab aapke abhi jo chhavi hai chhavi hai na … ab agar aapko chhavi badalni hai toh abhi aapko aggressive hokar kaam karna padega … shuruat karna padega. Zaldi shuru karna hoga (Yes. That is why I am discussing it with you because if you want to change your image, you will have to do it aggressively … you will have to start [the campaign]. You will have to start soon).”

It is clear that Adhikari and his prospective client are on the same page.

Appreciating Sharma’s strategy to build a tempo using Hindutva plank before elections, Adhikari says: “Silent penetration.” As the discussion enters into the political realm, Adhikari tells Sharma how the Anthony report had said that Congress’s anti-majorityism has damaged the party. Clearly showing his communal bias, Adhikari gives a piece of advice: “Ussi ko damage karega … aap anti-majority. Aap majorityism ko hee pakad ke chaliye (Anti-majorityism will damage it [Congress]) … you stick to majorityism.” Telling him that he has already forwarded those jingles to his colleague Dimlpe, the journalist explains him how in the second phase he would like them to bash political rivals such as Rahul Gandhi, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav using in the content to be created by SAB team their nick names Pappu, Bua and Babua. This has to be done using satire the way Aaj Tak does “So Sorry.” Adhikari readily agrees: “So Sorry. Haan (Yes).”

While bashing our political opponents, the journalist tells him next, you will have to promote firebrand Hindutva leaders through your digital platform. So, these are three of our primary requitements that we want you to fulfill. Are you okay with that? The journalist asks Adhikari and he responds with an aye: “We are…”

As soon as the second, semi-political phase is over, we will put our campaing on aggressive mode as elections approach. They will play dirty so will we. We will definitely play the communal card, the journalist now comes to the real part of his agenda, obviously for electoral gains. Hear him what Adhikari says aloud: “Nahi nahi wo waisa card khelte hain toh aap polarize kyon na karein (No, no. When they play that card why should not you polarize the electorate).” Now, agreeing to undertake his politically malicious and communally biased media campaign,  Adhikari tells his prospective client that he will get back to him with well worked out plan: “Abhi kya hai hum ek aisa plan banaate hain (Now, what we will do is we will make a plan) for Masti, Myboli, as well as special editorial, special supplements, jackets cover  … jackets cover, special editorial, special supplement, digital advertisement on governance.com, acchi reach hai uski (it has got a good reach), web site banners, EDMs wo sab bana denge (we will make all that).” Fine, let us move forward, the journalist tells him. Adhikari is emphatic while saying: “Bilkul aage barhate hain ye rakhiye aap (Sure let us take it forward. Here it is for you).” Adhikari gives Sharma a copy of a fortnightly that his group publishes.

Sharma asks him to publish interviews of senior leaders of his Sangathan, the people of his school of thought. Adhikari agrees for that as well. Before taking his leave, the journalist hopes Adhikari will handle the media campaign under his own supervision while keeping an emotional connect with what he is looking for. “Emotional connect hai dil se bhi hum jo hain vichardhara milti hee hai … bas aapka ek go ahead milega hum poora ismein lag jayenge (There is emotional connect. From the core of my heart, our ideology is the same … all you need is give us a go ahead. We will devote ourselves to it fully).” He finally says: “Nahin nahi aapko poora agenda end tak le jayenge (no, no we will take your agenda till the end).” To see reactions of concerned person click here

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