Monday, March 29, 2010

Indian Media: The real school for scoundrels

Soon as there was some news of the SIT, looking into the 2002 Gujarat Riots, summoning Narendra Modi, the Indian media, or at least parts of it, celebrated with a grand party. The usual suspects were all out from the closets - NDTV, Teesta Setalvad, CNN-IBN, all of them. If ever there was a school for scoundrels then the Indian media should rank as a Top S-school. The simple principle these vested interests follow is : LIE, LIE, LIE and then LIE SOME MORE. Reproduced below is an open letter reportedly written by CM Narendra Modi.

Full text of letter is as follows:
My beloved countrymen,

I am constrained to write to you with a deep sense of anguish. Since last eight years, canards have been spread against me. For the past one week, if we analyse the allegations leveled against me, then the truth will become evident. Truth cannot be suppressed. It is now my duty to place before you the facts that brings out the importance of understanding what the truth really is.
After the 2002 Godhra incidents, I had categorically said in the Vidhan Sabha and in public that no one is above the Indian Constitution and the law, even if he happens to be the chief minister of a state. These are not mere words. My actions have reflected this statement in its true spirit. I assure you that this will be my stand in the future.
In spite of that, some vested interests, without losing a single opportunity and with malicious pleasure and without bothering to ascertain the truth based on mere whims and fancies, have been tarnishing the good image of Gujarat, my government and me.
Recently, there has been a systematic campaign to defame Gujarat through propagation of false reports titled ‘Special Investigation Team (SIT) summons Narendra Modi’; ‘Narendra Modi did not appear before SIT’ and ‘Modi has shown disrespect to Supreme Court and SIT’. Such baseless allegations are being leveled once again against me to defame Gujarat.
I am therefore compelled to place the facts before my countrymen.

As soon as newspapers began reporting that Modi has been summoned by the SIT, the government spokesperson immediately said that Shri Modi is bound by the law of the land and the Indian Constitution. He has always extended his cooperation to every procedure of law. And he is committed to do so in the future.
It is a matter of grave concern and needs investigation as to why and who started spreading lies that ‘SIT summons Narendra Modi on March 21, 2010′.
The purveyors of untruth failed even to think that March 21, 2010 happens to be a Sunday and a public holiday.
These purveyors of lies even did not once bother to check whether the key SIT officers, who are appointed by the Supreme Court, were present in Gujarat on March 21, 2010.
SIT had not fixed March 21, 2010 for my appearance. To say that I was summoned on March 21 is completely false. I shall respond to the SIT fully respecting the law and keeping in view the dignity of a body appointed by the Supreme Court.
The date of 21st March 2010 was invented by some vested interest and as a part of their effort to interfere in the due process of law. They wanted to paint me as a person who refused to respond to the SIT. This country has in the last twenty four hours witnessed a campaign of disinformation in which a section of the media became an instrument of the disinformers. I hope this section will now take corrective steps.

My beloved countrymen,
The people of Gujarat and this country have identified those who are defaming Gujarat continuously since 2002. But I want to tell the truth; spreading falsehoods has only one single purpose and that is to instigate people. It is a sinful action which will harm the working of a democratic state. Seen in the backdrop of events in the last 24 hours, it shows that there is a nexus among the vested interests in spreading lies against me, in order to defame me. This machination has come unstuck and the people have seen through this charade.

The government of Gujarat has always honoured and cooperated with the investigative agencies, commissions and Supreme Court looking into Godhra and post-Godhra incidents. And that is why I never thought of giving a public statement on this issue.
Despite unbearable pain, I decided to maintain silence in the belief that the due process of law would take its own course.
But now, as the lies reach a crescendo as never before, I am compelled to bring the facts before the countrymen. I also consider it my humble duty.
I hope the truth is not twisted by the purveyors of untruth to misguide the investigation. And I expect that the media would bring my deep pain and despair to the notice of the people.

Narendra Modi


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Shashi Tharoor: The new ‘happy-tongue’ hypocrite - Secularism means “don’t offend muslims”

Shashi Tharoor, the former UN diplomat and current minister with the Indian government has now become famous for his ‘happy-tongue’ utterances. Pulled up for his “Nehru’s running commentary….” remark and then again for his “Saudi Arabia interlocutor” shot the poor man must be on guard. This is unfortunate as whatever he said was neither harmful nor worth all the noise the media and the opposition parties made. In fact he is a very erudite, scholarly and articulate person. Qualities that we would like to see in all our politicians.

However, this latest smooth-talking Congress minister, is the latest in the long line of Congressmen who believe Secularism means not offending muslims, but all other communities can be offended under freedom of speech rights. He reveals this philosophy in a debate with Christopher Hitchens (Author: God Is Not Great) some years back. The debates can be viewed here, here, here and here.

1. In the first instance Tharoor narrates a story carried in a Bangalore newspaper about a boy called Mohammad, an “idiot-boy” (No reference or connection to the Prophet as Tharoor confirms) This seemed to have angered muslims who attacked the office and the editor of the newspaper. The editor had to later apologise. Tharoor mentions that even if the article was never intended to refer to Prophet Mohammad, the editor should have been careful enough to avoid misinterpretation and should have been aware that this would cause trouble. Sure, the victim of the violent attacks was wrong and should be the one to apologise. That is freedom of speech according to Tharoor.

2. In the second instance with reference to the Danish cartoons issue, Tharoor continues the same argument. That the Danish paper/cartoonist would have known well the publication of the cartoon would cause a world wide backlash and should have resisted going ahead with it and exercised restraint. Tharoor strongly maintains that free speech/expression should not be used to hurt anyone. I suppose nobody told this scholar that “consensus” does not require a freedom of speech law.

3. It’s the third issue that is striking. The discussion moves to the M.F. Hussain paintings. Here’s where our happy-tongue minister reveals his true self. He argues strongly that it was Hussain’s freedom of expression for which he should not have faced a backlash. Well, obviously Hussain was so blissfully ignorant that his controversial paintings would cause friction or offend a whole community. It needed Mr.Happy-tongue to defend him. But that newspaper editor and the Danish cartoonist shouldn’t have exercised their free expression rights as they would have been aware of the consequences. And that’s not all. Tharoor goes on to state that Hussain paints these Hindu Gods in various forms. That Hussain had once painted Indira Gandhi as Durga Ma ! Tharoor equates painting Indira Gandhi as Durga Ma to nude paintings of Hindu Gods. Even a moron can see that the Indira Gandhi painting would be seen as a compliment rather than an offence. This is how he misleads international audiences with his happy-tongue glib talk.

In the long line of hypocrites who crawl under that stone called Congress, this happy-tongue is the latest acquisition. And to think this man actually wanted to be the Secretary-General of the UN. I have a suggestion, he could always seek that office in the OIC.

Update (Dec 6. 2011): The Youtube links provided above seem to have been removed. You can follow the debate at the new link HERE. That is the first part of 9, follow the page for the remaining parts.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Times of India “Aman Ki Asha” : Should be declared Child Abuse!

If you truly believe in peace, put it down on a handkerchief” exhorts the Times of India to children of this nation. It’s that simple ! TOI runs this insulting campaign in partnership with a Pakistani newspaper ironically called “Jang”

The TOI started this campaign by preaching to us: “Love Pakistan”.

A newspaper, often devoid of much journalistic quality, now runs a campaign of political and diplomatic significance as if peace is just some song and dance tamasha and young children scribbling on handkerchiefs. I have to wonder who funds these outrageous campaigns. The TV ads of this TOI campaign has elders across borders playing dumb charades to express their love for each other. That wasn’t enough, now we must get our children to tie a chain of handkerchiefs to express our love for Pakistan.

Obviously, TOI and much of the politically correct mainstream media must be living in the blissful belief that India is a nation of gullible idiots and will fall for all such emotional crap. My unsolicited advice to our media: Even if you’re in the game of deception, don’t play the game of “self-deception”. A few dances by Bollywood stars, a few poem recitals by Amitabh Bachchan and a few handkerchiefs scribbled on by kids will wipe away all the atrocities against this nation – that is what you’d have this nation believe.

Listen up TOI : We don’t war with Pakistan and we don’t hate its people but we also don’t need you to preach us to “love Pakistan”. You need to be reminded that many of those children you’re asking to write this love-kerchief have lost their parents or their relatives to the terror fountain called Pakistan. And most of all, you as a newsgroup don’t carry much credibility. Stories of corrupt ET journalists, Medianet and the like are not issues I wish to rake up here.

During the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai your channel, Times Now ran most of the story with the headline “We shall never forget this”. It appears a few cocktail parties in the media in both countries has pushed you into selective amnesia.

If you have forgotten, we have not! Here are some reasons why your “Love Pakistan” screamer sucks: (Are these the reasons we should love Pakistan?)

13/2/2010: Pune: 17 killed, 39 injured in bomb blast.
26-28/11/2008, At least 184 people were killed and around 714 injured.
13/11/2008 Seven explosions killed 18 and injured more than 90 in New Delhi.
26/7/2008 Some 16 small bombs rocked Ahmedabad in killing 45.
13/5/2008 Bombs exploded in crowded markets outside Hindu temples in the popular tourist destination of Jaipur, killing at least 60 and injuring more than 150.
23/11/2007 A string of explosions ripped through courthouse complexes in Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad cities, killing 16.
25/8/2007 At least 42 people were killed and some 50 others injured in three explosions in the southern city of Hyderabad.
19/2/2007 An express train heading from India to Pakistan was torn apart by two bombs in Haryana state, sparking a fire that killed 66 and seriously injured more than 20.
11/7/2006 Mumbai: At least 135 dead in serial blasts in suburban trains.
11/7/2006 Srinagar: At least eight people, including tourists and pilgrims, killed in five hand grenade attacks.
25/5/2006 Srinagar: Four tourists died in a powerful explosion at Batpora.
21/5/2006 Srinagar: Seven people including two guerrillas killed as militants attack a Congress party rally.
7/3/2006 Varanasi: Triple bombings kill 23 people and injured 68 others at an ancient temple and crowded railway station.
28/12/2005 Bangalore:One professor was killed in an attack on the Indian Institute of Science.
29/10/2005, New Delhi: Three blasts in the capital ahead of Hindu festival of Diwali kill 65 people and wound 210 more.
25/8/2003 Mumbai: serial blasts kill about 60.
14/5/2003 Jammu: Militants attack an army camp near Jammu, killing more than 30, including women and children.
24/9/2002 Gandhinagar: Two terrorists attack the Akhsardham temple, killing 39 visitors.
13/12/2001 New Delhi: Terrorists attack Indian parliament, killing 12 people including six policemen. All five terrorists were also killed.
1/10/2001 Srinagar: Militants attack JK assembly complex, killing about 35.

And those are just some of the major terror strikes in the last decade.

Worst of all, your attempt to involve children and schools in this campaign deserves nothing but condemnation. I hope Indian schools are not that naïve and will not fall for your dubious campaign.

Media campaigns that use children and seek to influence the political and diplomatic course with a nation that has sworn a 1000-year war on India should now be declared “child-abuse” and prosecuted.

Stop using children and schools for your petty gimmicks.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Now Times Of India with a “Hole”

I think I’ve now had enough of some “holes” . I got the TOI today and was surprised to find a supplement with a big hole below the masthead advertising a car brand. TOI claims it's “A special edition”. Makes me wonder what is so special about holes after all or shouldn’t I?

Ironically, the car brand is also named after the mint brand that prides itself on its “holes”. The regular ads of this mint brand keeps asking “what’s your hole story”? Now the Times of India and the car brand have decided to enlighten us with their hole story. Mind you, its not just one hole, it’s “holes” right through the so called “special edition”

The mint’s hole story ads has its funny moments but I’ve always wondered why people who like mint would want to pay for “holes” If I ever made mint and had to counter this brand I’d probably say “Why pay for holes? When all-mint is what you get with me” It’s not my problem though if people are happy to pay for holes.

Now then, just like the mint ad asks for your “hole” story, the car brand also tells you a 16-hole story …here goes…

Hole1: …German engineering, Made in India.
Hole2: …The first ---ever made in India.
Hole3: … Makes a powerful statement wherever it goes.
Hole4: … 3D headlights with an edgy design.
Hole5: … Power and great fuel-efficiency.
Hole6: … enjoy that extra mile.
Hole7: …make even bumpy rides enjoyable
Hole8: … Makes it go far beyond effortlessly.
Hole9: … Makes every curve feel like a straight line.
Hole10: …Active & Passive systems protect you anytime, anywhere
Hole11: …high-strength chassis
Hole12: …Keeps your polo maneuverable
Hole13: …Adjustable steering column…..
Hole14: …space and legroom for every kind of drive
Hole15: …Exterior and interior finish of highest quality…
Hole16: …We’ve put a lot into it…..

Can’t help being reminded of the Lennon/McCartney (Beatles) classic “A day in the life”…

I read the news today oh boy
4000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
And though the holes were rather small
They had to count them all
Now they know
How many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall….

I don’t have a clue how many “holes” it takes to make a creative supplement at TOI. All I can say is, spare me the holes TOI.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Freedom Of Expression: The Geert Wilders case & Why we can never have peace with Pakistan.

An Amsterdam court is prosecuting Dutch MP Geert Wilders for a case of “hate-speech” and inciting hatred against muslims. Mr. Wilders has made many statements about Islam being a violent “ideology” but at the heart of the case is a short documentary he made called “FITNA”. This movie contains interpretations of verses from the Quaran, hate speeches by muslim clerics, graphic images of killings of hostages and more.

I have been following the case of Geert Wilders for two years now and at the core of his prosecution is “freedom of speech”. It is probably the most important of cases in recent history with relevance to all democracies. The Indian media will not cover this story as the parties may not appear to have much relevance in the Indian context, but what it misses is the fact that it not only concerns freedom of speech but also the Islamic terror threats that we have been continuously facing.

I also write this in the context of the constant clamor of some sections of our establishment and media for peace with Pakistan. I am clear : There cannot be peace with an Islamic Pakistan. A media giant like Times Of India even runs a campaign called “Aman Ki Asha” largely limited to some song, dance and poem-recital programs. At the heart of Mr. Wilder’s various pronouncements is his logic that “Islamic ideology and Democracy are not compatible value systems” One may or may not agree with that but I believe that is the essential reason why an Islamic Pakistan will always be at odds with an Indian Democratic Constitution. Freedom is a fundamental guarantee that our Constitution makes and so is the freedom of speech.

Sample this UN resolution championed by none other than Pakistan, leading the OIC countries:

“ A United Nations forum on Thursday passed a resolution condemning "defamation of religion" as a human rights violation, despite wide concerns that it could be used to justify curbs on free speech in Muslim countries. The U.N. Human Rights Council adopted the non-binding text, proposed by Pakistan on behalf of Islamic states, with a vote of 23 states in favour and 11 against, with 13 abstentions. Western governments and a broad alliance of activist groups have voiced dismay about the religious defamation text, which adds to recent efforts to broaden the concept of human rights to protect communities of believers rather than individuals. Pakistan, speaking for the 56-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said a "delicate balance" had to be struck between freedom of expression and respect for religions.” (Source: 27/3/2009)

There are countless other websites and blogs which have reported this UN resolution (no.62/145) but the politically correct mainstream media in India has probably glossed it over.

President Obama initially backed the resolution but later backed out knowing well that the resolution is directly in contravention of the US Constitution’s First Amendment.

"October 29, 2009: Obama Opposes UN Anti-Defamation Resolution: Thankfully, there is some sanity in the U.N. The Obama administration has announced that it is strongly opposed to a resolution that would condemn negative speech against religions. Hillary Clinton said in a news conference that such a resolution would be a major blow against free expression and speech…..”
“….It should also be noted that this kind of “protection” from criticism is completely contrary to the search for truth. If Islam, or Christianity, or Buddhism is true, then the way to find this out is to engage in unfiltered, unflinching dialog, and to respond to criticism.
” (Source:

Fortunately, the UN resolution mentioned above is “not binding” on any country and therefore practically meaningless. One cannot expect anything better from this scandal-ridden organization which should now be flushed down the toilet.

Written by Ajita Kamal , Posted on 05 March 2009(
Religions Silencing Dissent: The Global Resurgence of Blasphemy Laws

"In 1990 the Organization of the Islamic Conference(OIC) adopted the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI). In effect the OIC member nations had signed onto an agreement declaring Shariah law as the only guide to human rights. According to wikipedia, “Articles 24 and 25 of the CDHRI make all the rights and freedoms stipulated in it subject to Shariah and only to Shariah”. Protecting Islam against blasphemy is an integral part of Shariah.The CDHRI was presented at the UN in 1992 and was accepted into the Human Rights Commission’s A Compilation of International Instruments (vol. II (1997), pp. 478-84) in 1997....."

This is why the case against Geert Wilders is important to the entire free world and all democracies.

Writes Robert Spencer the noted author of Islam related books :

The Geert Wilders trial ought to be an international media event; seldom has any court case anywhere had such enormous implications for the future of the free world. The case against him, which has all the legitimacy of a Stalinist-era Moscow show trial, is a manifestation of the global assault on free speech sponsored chiefly at the U.N. by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). If Wilders loses, the freedom of speech will be threatened everywhere in the West. Even if he wins, a dangerous precedent has been set by the fact of the trial itself: It is a sad day for the freedom of speech when a man can be put on trial for causing another man offense. If offending someone were really a crime warranting prosecution by the civil authorities, the legal system would be opened up to absurdities even greater than the Wilders trial".

Had Pakistan been located in Africa we probably wouldn’t give it another thought on any day. It is our singular misfortune that it is our “good neighbor” (to use Shahrukh Khan’s moronic assertion) Pakistan is grappling with the same issues which have been raised by Geert Wilders and for which he is being prosecuted.

Let’s not desire peace with this neighbor and let them live their lives as they wish. We need not be at conflict but should always be prepared for one. They can never stop terrorism till such time it completely destroys their own country and only then they will feel a genuine desire for peace.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

“India rejected me” ? : Do some math, Mr. M.F. Hussain

Dear Mr. Hussain,

Your statement “India rejected me…” is all over the place today. Newspapers, websites are full of it. I strongly believe your thoughts are seriously misplaced. Over the years India has accommodated many refugees, many invaders, many crooks so why would India reject you? You’re neither an ideology nor a threat to be rejected.

In plain simple terms it is you who has rejected India and have been a fugitive for some years now. Aren’t you aware that there are thousands of politicians, crooks, terrorists, rapists and corrupt officials who have over a trillion cases against them and they still live here happily. And, if any Indian government was serious enough to prosecute you they would have vigorously taken up extradition proceedings with countries you lived in. Did they do that ? I don’t think so.

And where did you get these numbers from? “Only 10%..are against me…” Are you really aware what 10% in India means ? That’s well over 100 million people. That is bigger than many countries on this planet. Of course, there aren’t that many people in the political and other organizations that you mention. And again you claim 90% people are with you. If that is true then what are your fears ?

I don’t know if you observe Indian media but there are people like Shobhaa De, Barkha Dutt, Sharmila Tagore and many more who have supported you in the media. NDTV even ran a program calling it “A national shame” that you are going to be a Qatar citizen.

So what are your fears ?

Are you afraid of the RSS or any right-wing group killing you? If that was to really happen you wouldn’t have lived till 95, and may you be blessed with many more years. These groups protest many issues and people but with all your wealth, fame, fortune and government support you were always secure. As a person who has achieved public prominence you should expect such criticism, protests if you create work that in anyway offends the sentiments of a segment of the public.

Are you afraid of our courts ? : Indian courts are not very speedy but among new democracies they are the best in the world and our courts cannot be bullied by politicians or any groups. And because they aren’t speedy the advantage was that they wouldn’t have decided those cases against you for another 95 years. What are you afraid of ?

The 90% people who you claim support you actually don’t give a damn about you or many such figures like you. They have a hard time earning their livelihood to be bothered about you and your friends in the media. Ask your friends in the media to conduct an honest poll and I can assure you 90% people wouldn’t even know who you are, and they don’t give a ****. So stop fooling yourself and fooling others.

You are also reported to have stated “Now Qatar is my place. Here no one controls my freedom of expression” Sure, I am convinced no one represents “freedom” more than the Islamic part of the planet.

I am a Hindu and I really don’t give a damn what you painted or what your transgressions were and I would never file a case against you.. No country in the world is so forgiving as your former motherland. You lived in the UK, a country of greater free speech than ours but even that country didn’t allow a documentary film show in their parliament called “Fitna” by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders. (Shown only much later in the House of Lords) If you claim your works were free expressions of an artist, then “Fitna” was a non-fiction documentary made by him based on excerpts from the Koran. Please watch that and tell us if you would condone that. Fact of the matter is you could paint all those nude pictures and images of Bharatmata because most of us tolerated your crap.

I am also sure that with your wealth you would have received adequate legal advice on whether you broke any law by painting those pictures. In all probability your counselors may have advised that you have indeed broken some laws and that is probably the BIGGEST FEAR you have. I challenge you to deny this.

So stop acting like a wimp and stop blaming India or any of her people. I would also like you to make a strong public statement that your “conscience is clean” which I doubt it is. If it was, you wouldn’t be running all over. I wish you happiness in Qatar and please don’t bother India anymore.

Monday, March 1, 2010

“Servantile Journalism” : NDTV Style

I didn’t coin the word Servantile but it best describes the kind of interviews NDTV conducts with some select people and some of its practices. I don’t find the need to explain what servantile means but here are some examples:

January 2010, in his interview with Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Prannoy Roy pays him a compliment: “Your credibility is impeccable…” This particular compliment is all over the internet now given the personality he had interviewed. This is Rajendra Pachauri of the IPCC scandal, .Glaciergate, Climategate, TERI funding based on inaccurate glacier-melting threats, TERI gaining a contract while he was on the board of ONGC, and his own personal wealth under scanner. This is the Pachauri of the “Voodoo Science” insult to an Indian glaciologist. Given all this, Prannoy Roy still believes his credibility is really impeccable. Servantility at its best!

NDTV is famous for such servantile interviews. Barkha Dutt routinely does it. Remember her interviews with Priyanka Gandhi, P Chidambaram and recently Shahrukh Khan, the list can go on. Servantile journalism is not only despicable but also harmful for the public. I have chosen NDTV as an example given the recent interviews of Rajendra Pachauri and Shahrukh Khan with them. Let’s examine what is so seriously wrong with it

Every year NDTV gives out some awards called “NDTV Person Of The Year” in various categories. The awardees are mostly politicians, ministers, businessmen, celebrities and so on. (Mind you other news channels are equally guilty of such a practice.) I am not questioning the right of people to receive awards. I am questioning if it’s the business of a supposed news channel to be giving out such awards?

Let me touch on something else. In March 2009 in his now famous smack-down of CNBC (the American financial channel) Jon Stewart of The Daily Show showed how the journalists at CNBC asked all stupid and servantile questions to CEOs of companies like Bear Sterns, AIG, GM, Merryl Lynch, one even went far enough to ask Allen Stanford “how does it feel to be a billionaire?” (Prannoy’s compliment to Pachauri falls into this category of journalism) In weeks after the interviews each company collapsed and Stanford was actually running a Ponzi-scheme. Yes, the very same Allen Stanford who sponsored a cricket event in the WI. The point here is, the journalists sucked up to the CEOs of these companies and never asked real hard questions that would indicate the health of their companies. The end result was the economic collapse in the US. How can you be giving awards to the very same people to whom you should be asking really hard questions. NDTV calls itself a news channel, if it called itself an Entertainment channel I wouldn’t care if they gave out a “Call-girl of the year” award.

In a TIME magazine poll last year, after Walter Cronkite’s death, Jon Stewart was voted the most trusted newsman in the US. The irony is, Stewart’s Daily Show is a Comedy Channel program and Stewart is a comedian who calls himself a “snake-oil salesman”.

So much for servantile journalism.