Since 6Th Aug 2007, all we have been hearing about is the Nuclear Deal between India and U.S.A. Every newspaper, T.V channel,discusses, debates and airs ever changing opinions on it.What amazes me is that in spite of constantly being in the limelight, how little information has been actually conveyed about it by the media to the layperson, and how little the public have understood about something that will have a huge impact on the future development and security of India. Which just goes to show how free and fair our press really is. One TOI poll showed that 64% of the population did not even know what it was all about. An inter city, college level, quiz competition held in Pune had the contestants blank about the N deal too. Most people i try to talk to look bewildered or give their opinion for or against it without any reason to back their claim. So this weekend when i heard that Mr. Ram Jethmalani himself was going to be in Pune to give a lecture on the N Deal, i made it a point to be there and hopefully get some answers. I returned not only sorely disappointed but nearing a rage.A bigger sell-out, i have yet to see. R.J. thinks the Ndeal is the best thing to have happened to India in the past 60 years.Apart from that one statement, the talk was not so much about the Ndeal as about R.J trying to promote his image as Gandhian principle follower (hah! anyone remember Jessica Lal?) and being particularly crass and rude about his ongoing feud with Mr.Karat.The compere who introduced him and the NDEAL issue in brief was more informative than R.J. The first part of the lecture was a rambling useless history of the nuclear countries and the NPT, liberally peppered with his ideologies, (which have no name), and outpouring of his wrath against communism.Then followed his reasons as to why the NDEAL was so important to India.According to him, "because of growing energy requirements and scarcity of resources." Yes WE KNOW that much, what about Statistics? Figures? Proof? Examples? Alternatives? Maybe an elaboration of what exactly the terms of the 123 Agreement and the Hyde Act are now? Like every other media outlet, R.J managed to remain brilliantly ambiguous,strongly opinionated and eager to sell an idea. Other than exhorting how deplorable communists, communists states are, abusing Indian scientists, journalist and nuclear achievements, he had nothing to offer as enlightenment on the NDEAL, as verified by me, when i talked to 12 students , one journalist and a photographer, who were as ignorant about the issue, after the lecture as before. It makes me wonder what sort of a democracy we are. Uninformed and unaware, these are the sort of people we look up to, to get answers and information. I'm not talking about R.J only , but people in his capacity and stature, who have the power and influence to form opinions for thousands. When they set an example of this sort,what do the masses do other than blindly ape? I do not say this because some one has a different view on an issue than mine, but because i feel the people have not been given enough of a fair opportunity to form a view of their own.Whatever little knowledge i acquired was not through newspapers and news channels, but through different Internet sites, and fortunately for me, some well informed people.( I will elaborate in the next post.) What I'm basically trying to say in a much rambled way is that after the lecture the only thing i felt was that if you cannot trust the media and leaders of your own country anymore to give you unbiased information, who the hell do you trust?