TV to parliament, it’s Obama all the way

The TV channel wars over bagging the best guests, offering more money to certain key analysts to remain available the entire day thereby undercutting a rival channel, all seem to have paid off. On Sunday, Obama specials on various channels did net TV channels a lot of viewership. A flash analysis by Audience Measurement and Analytics of viewership on English and Hindi news channels on Sunday registered an increase by 55% and 25% respectively over the previous Sunday. Incidentally, this meant a direct 67%decrease in English movie viewing in six metro cities. The Hindi film genre with its die-hard fans, however, lost only 7% of its viewership to Brand Obama.

Perfect pose

President Barack Obama gleefully indulged Indian and American photojournalists after inspecting an impressive tri-services guard of honour at the Rasthrapati Bhawan on Monday. The shutterbugs just wouldn’t let the US President and Indian PM Manmohan Singh depart without giving them that perfect pose. They ensured Obama and Singh shook hands a few times to capture the special moment. Eager to get a better shot, a photographer yelled, “Mr President, please shake the PM’s hand.” Obama smiled, “Okay, one more time”¦”

Attention Mr President

The guard of honour ceremony for President Barack Obama began with a military band belting out the US and Indian national anthems. In line with American tradition, President Obama placed his right hand over the heart as the band rendered the Star Spangled Banner. But when the Indian national anthem, Jana-gana-mana, was played, the President immediately stood to attention keeping our sensitivities in mind, leaving the gathering mighty impressed.

Fielding queries at presser

At his humorous best when he was fielding queries at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the US President was pressed by Indian journalists to answer a part of a question by an American journalist, on America’s stance on a permanent seat for Indian on the UNSC. “I am instructed to take only one question. It is not surprising that Indian media and the US media are collaborating. That is not the kind of collaboration we are looking forward to,” Obama said.

Security Net

The parliament complex was turned into a fortress for the high profile event. Smartly dressed United States security officials had fanned out in the entire complex right from the building reception till the library. Even the parliament watch and ward staff were dressed in black suits and tried to match the guests with politely questioning every individual who entered the building. The VIP gate number 5, from where President Obama was to enter had been sanitized, with a control room near the gate, which had all the latest security gadgets.

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