Thursday, January 13, 2011

15 Lakh Crores & The Business Channels Don’t Find It Newsworthy!

CNBC-TV18, NDTV-Profit and other mediacrooks of business news were busy all of yesterday with mundane statistics. How growth slowed down in November 2010 and blah blah blah! The only newsworthy story they carried was Indigo’s plan to buy 180 new aircrafts. That’s the single largest deal in commercial aviation history and one which can bring cheers. That would be worth around $ 15.6 billion. Cheers to Indigo! From from Paris where Indigo sealed that purchase there was an event in small time India that was far bigger, had big national and international players and has become some sort of roadmap to progress. Vibrant Gujarat.

If one were to go by the sound bytes of major business channels or news channels the Vibrant Gujarat event would appear to be some small time village mela for cattle trade. The only channels covering the event were local and some national Gujarati language channels. The major business and news channels only found space for the event on their websites, perhaps grudgingly so. For anything remotely connected to Gujarat or Narendra Modi is anti-India to them. So be it!

It is Gujarat though that is having the last laugh. Some minor details are mind boggling:
Mahatma Mandir - Venue of Vibrant Gujarat 2011
1. The worth of investment commitments is around 1/3rd of the national GDP itself.
2.   Over 25000 international and national business, political and diplomatic delegates attended the two-day Vibrant Gujarat event on January 12
3.   2076 MOUs signed worth $333 Bn or 15 lakh crores.

In the season of scams this would have been something to cheer about. But as is the practice with our media, anything to do with Gujarat is a non-event. In an investment summit such as this, one would have thought that the central Commerce and Finance ministers would be interested as it makes a big difference to the Indian economy. Well, its not a Congress government in Gujarat so that doesn’t count for India to them.

Is there criticism? Sure, Shaktisinh Gohil, leader of Congress in Gujarat says only a fraction of the MOUs actually materialise and much of the land to big industrialists is given away at throw away prices. First, yes all of the MOUs may not finally translate into investments. However, even if a good fraction of the 15lakh crore ($ 333Bn) MOUs materialise it is still a huge investment. Compare this to the fact that Obama came shopping and went back home happy with commitments worth $ 10Bn. That should put it in perspective. And if land is being given away at throwaway prices as Gohil would suggest we are yet to hear complaints from those who sold their lands unlike in Singur (Bengal).Vibrant Gujarat and such events bring hope. Instead, the media is caught up with the nonsense of Rahul Gandhi’s utterances.

One would fervently hope that other states in India pick up this lead and set up events, systems and practices that put them and their people on the road to being busy with healthy economic activities. The good news is, Vibrant Gujarat may well recover the worth of all the UPA scams put together.


  1. This is not at all surprising seeing the antipathy towards NM. MSM specially English language media is known for that. Therefore, a lot of people have stopped watching these channels since they run over and over the same mundane boring discussions etc. But social media is highlighting the achievements and developments without any bias. I hope in the long run MSM will toe the unbiased line of reporting.


  2. Yes, Ravinar, the hypocricy of the English media is absolutely astounding. The websites are abuzz with commentators hailing Narendra Modi as the next PM! People are commenting in huge numbers, and 99.9% are expressing their utter admiration for the phenomenon that is Narendra Modi.

    Ravinar, tell me, why is that there are practically no news channels who have a leaning towards BJP and the like? Since there are no restrictions on entering the television media, and I am assuming BJP has no dearth of funds being a national party and all that, why don't we have a channel like the FOX News in US, which at least provides and alternative viewpoint, even if extreme. FOX News is often derided but it is actually very popular because people there were fed up with the left-liberal agenda as well.

    I wish you and other like-minded blooggers would explore this option. You would make better journalists than those desppicable characters like like Barkha, Rajdeep, Sagarika, Vir...

  3. Madhusudan ThakkarJanuary 13, 2011 6:28 PM

    MSM stand completely exposed.Bloomberg UTV had one interview by Mini Menon with Narendra Modi.This was one of the most important event where all top corporates were present.For NDTV and Times Now this was an non event.Surprisingly Times Now did cover this event but only after 11.00 PM.This event should have been the top news item for business channels but they too gave importance to other non events.This was a "BREAKING NEWS" especially because after exposure of Radia Tapes for the first time Ratan Tata,Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani were at the same place.The best discussion on this event was on IBN Live, conducted by Ashutosh where Prabhu Chawala and Parul Jaikrishna were on panel.

  4. We are unnecessarily making the nonsense TVs much bigger. When a bachelor CM could strike such a big deal without any bias or quid pro quo it is not news for them. But when he and his family, both legal and illegal are looting after winning elections under freebies without impunity, there are media burning more of the mid night oil. The innate qualities of them (including the secular and unbiased Hindu) drive them to resort so; to make obscure. When Kingfisher chief Malya won the Rajya sabha election his photo was prominent in the Hindu but not Venkaiah naidu's. It has been long days I stopped viewing above discussed media and reading “The Hindu” - without reading and having filter coffee, I could not get free nature call too; now that, brought up was so. But now if we follow we get constipation.

    They are not ashamed of besmirching abuses against a patriotic and zilch his good deeds the boot licking congis snigger his effort; whereas they make mountain out of mole hill with lip stick pig. Yes, the dry fish seller could little tolerate the fragrance of jasmine.

  5. I am not surprised at all. MSM seems to be so biased that national interests have been put to rest for petty political pressures.
    The world press has covered what our TV channels decided to avoid.
    Yes, RahulG security was all over the TV channels

  6. Madhusudan ThakkarJanuary 16, 2011 1:01 PM

    Gujarat has got new identity due to this summit.The agenda of making India as a superpower has begun from Gandhinagar.In Davos,Swizerland where there is a meeting of World Economic Forum which decides economic agenda of world,this summit can be compared to this for Gujarat.Chanda Kochar of ICICI rightly said that Gujarat has become growth engine of India.If Gujarat would have been an independent country, it would have among top 20 countries of the world.With only 5% population and 6% of land Gujarat is contributing 16%.Its growth rate is double than national average.In agriculture it has achieved growth rate of 10% against national average of 3%.Apart from manufacturing,engineering,services sector the main achievement is in Human Development Index be it in eradicating illiteracy,infant mortality or women emancipation.Top industrialists like Ratan Tata,Mukesh Ambani,Anil Ambani,Anand Mahindra,Subhash Goyal,Dhoot etc. on the same platform for same vision is in itself remarkable.During 70s Indira Gandhi gave slogan of "Garibi Hatao",the same slogan was repeated by Mukesh Ambani in his speech when he said that Gujarat will become first state to eradicate poverty.Subhas Goyal during his speech also rightly observed that during elections in other states people are offered free TV sets to woo.Narendra Modi talks of strong measures against theft of power.Most of the villages of Gujarat have pucca roads.In exports it contribution is 21%.Highest number of airports are in this state.20% of mobile telephone connection,35% of cargo handling is also in Gujarat.It is contributing lion's share in India's growth story but our SICKULAR media has chosen to keep its eyes closed.Unlike China where there is no independent judiciary,human development index,democracy and transparency the growth in Gujarat has fulfilled all these criteria.It is high time to celebrate emergence of Gujarat as economic powerhouse of our country.

  7. Madhusudan ThakkarJanuary 17, 2011 10:27 AM

    Mumbai had one of the massive rally yesterday by NDA against price rise and corruption.Only IBN Lokmat showed speech of L.K Advani and Udhav Thackeray live.Local channels like Star Maaza,Zee 24 Tass did not bother to to take note of it.Even other local channels like TV 9 and Sahara Samay gave less importance.Mainstream channels did not even made mention of this important event.In the press also TOI,DNA and HT have published this news in inside pages and have not given any importance to this important event of "Democracy".On the one hand Rahul Gandhi speeches are shown live.This was an very important event especially after hike recent hike in petrol prices.Even during emergency we had better coverage of these type of events.Like Vibrant Gujarat for media this is also not NEWSWORTHY.


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