Thursday, February 24, 2011

‘Erring Barkowitch’, Rahul Kanwal & A Dog Named Ramdev

Rahul Kanwal of Headlines Today seems bent on being bracketed with the likes of Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai and their clan. How else does one explain  his stupidity in questioning Baba Ramdev on his assets on his program ‘Centrestage’ on HT (Feb 23). If at all he did ever want to question that, why did it take an 'Erring Barkowitch', oops Ninong Ering, the Arunachal MP, or gutter-mouth Digvijay Singh to rake up the issue? Hmmm! Looks like a Bloody Indian Dog is behind the story.

First, it has been reported that Erring Barkowitch called Ramdev a ‘Bloody Indian’ and a ‘Dog’. Well, get used to it Ramdev, many foreigners have used that tag for Indians and Erring Barkowitch may still not be happy at the idea of being Indian. Why? Because Ramdev chose to question the black money affairs of the nation and the Congress. Sometime back I wrote the piece ‘Digvijay Singh–Wag The Dog’, so it’s natural for job-less DS to have jumped into the dogfight.
Digvijay's Spiritual Handbook

We are used to barking dogs, but what makes Rahul Kanwal and DS bark ? First, because he questioned the Congress’ black money business Digvijay states the assets and donations to Ramdev’s trusts should be investigated. So Rahul Kanwal picks up that ‘bone’ and questions Ramdev. Only one problem. Who should be looking into the assets of Baba Ramdev? DS seems to repeatedly forget that he is part of the Congress-UPA non-government at the centre.  It is the government’s business to look into disproportionate or illegitimate assets of any individual or entity. So what stops the government or its IT department from investigating Ramdev’s organisation? Of course, we all know by now DS's utterances come from his own special 'spiritual' handbook.

And then this moron, Rahul Kanwal, from HT has this great question for Ramdev: “Aren’t you mixing spiritualism and religion with politics”? Why? Because Ramdev chose to question the black money dealings of the Congress. Now what in the world makes Kanwal believe that a spiritual or religious leader does not have the right to question the Congress or any political party. Is it the exclusive privilege of the medicrooks? And then in the face of such questions Baba Ramdev shows up documents supposed to be balance sheets of his organisation explaining assets worth 1100 crores. Never mind that. DS comes up with an even greater suggestion: Ramdev must certify that every donation received by his organisation isn’t black money! Isn’t that rich? Is that Ramdev’s job or is it the government’s job to verify and ensure no black money has been transacted? And instead of questioning the stupidity of Digvijay’s remarks Kanwal keeps asking about the assets of Ramdev. Bravo Kanwal, welcome to the Mediacrooks Elite Club!

Another statement that DS makes is that Ramdev had used his non-political meeting to make political statements. Really? It was Kanwal’s job to remind this DS that citizens are free to make political statements and ask political questions at any public forum.  After all didn’t DS’s protege seek a meeting in a University hall in Chennai for a political meeting? And I had defended Rahul Gandhi’s right then. And jerkowitch Kanwal, even as a supposed newsman, forgets that Baba Ramdev has already floated an Anti-corruption party called ‘Bharat Swabhiman’.
Bloody (Red) 'Indian' Dog

Both Kanwal and DS need to learn that any Indian citizen has the freedom to raise any issue concerning India anytime, anywhere in any public forum, even political issues. This is not a privilege limited to media crooks and political dogs. As for Baba Ramdev’s assets it is none of Kanwal’s or DS’s business. If there is any illegitimate money involved it is the business of the IT department and the government. And may be the IT Dept. should investigate the Congress too. So DS can eat his own shit and go complain to the IT department. He might even get a reward!

As for Erring Barkowitch he is just another 'hand'-man with utter contempt for Indians. The scams, the corruption, the black money are all indicators of how much the Congress really cares about India and Indians. I don’t know if he feels like he is a ‘red’ Chinese, but I sure know what a ‘red-Indian’ dog looks like. And Rahul Kanwal can save his bark for better issues. Barking dogs seeking sound ‘bites’! That would be a new one!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NDTV – We The Poodles: Crime Pays!

'We The Poodles'
It is laughable to watch a tainted journalist strutting around a TV studio asking this question to prominent politicians and citizens. That’s right, Barkha Dutt’s ‘We The People’ on Sunday (February 20) had this very question: “Has the India Story been endangered by Scams or is that too negative a self image”? Imagine discussing the effects and consequences of corruption with someone like A. Raja. Would you? I doubt, but there are prominent journo-politicos like Chandan Mitra and Congressmen like Manish Tiwari who don’t seem to know better.

A few days back NDTV also had another ‘Indian of the year award’. Prominent citizens worthy of many awards, like Sachin Tendulkar and superstar Rajnikanth, were among the recipients. Once again, would you receive an award for honesty from an A. Raja? I admire both Sachin and Rajnikanth but I somehow feel they should avoid awards from the tainted. It is time prominent citizens started sending a clear message to tainted journalists, tainted news channels and the poodles of a corrupt government. Both Sachin and Rajnikanth represent the best of the Indian people and not the ‘negative’ self-image that the scams have brought upon India.

Experience TRUTH?
Corruption and scams by politicians and businessmen are not new to India. They existed since independence and were largely institutionalised by the likes of Indira Gandhi and the Congress. If the recent scams have deflated the Indian spirit and brought in a negative self-image it is largely due to the media scams. People had immense trust in journalists and the news media. It is when the last bastion of ethics and propriety collapsed that people are now stunned and have no one to trust in the public domain.
Of course, there are still many honest and upright journalists who dare to talk facts. But if anything has contributed strongly to denting India’s image it is the news media.

The scams are huge. But if one were to look up news coverage and journals since November 18, 2010 the most talked about corrupt-practices are the ones about the media. Even international journals and websites have discussed Indian media’s corruption extensively. Barkha Dutt being the main focus of most of that coverage. And yet, the gall with she asks such questions seems to be a tradition with NDTV.

The chairman of NDTV, the smooth-talking Prannoy Roy, is sometimes referred to as the father of Indian NewsTV. Some observers have been watching this father quite closely since the Radia tapes broke. Here’s a report from the Indian Express in January 1998:

Indian Express in an article CBI case against Prannoy Roy dated 20 January 1998 reports
"Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a case of criminal conspiracy against New Delhi Television (NDTV) managing director Prannoy Roy, former Director General of Doordarshan and present Chief Executive Officer of Star TV R Basu and five other top officials of Doordarshan.  The First Information Report (FIR) filed on the basis of “source information'' says that the undue favour granted to Prannoy Roy had led to a loss of approximately Rs five crore to Doordarshan. The FIR names Ashok Mansukhani, the then Deputy Director General (DDG) of Doordarshan, Harish Awasthi (DDG), Shiv Sharma, the then Director General (DG), S Kapoor, the then DG, S Krishnan, the then DG, Prannoy Roy, Managing Director NDTV and the television network too  According to the CBI charge-sheet, DD suffered a loss of over Rs 3.52 crore due to the ``undue favours'' shown to NDTV as its programme The World This Week (TWTW) was put in `A' category instead of `special A' category".

Roy (R) - Romancing the Good Times
So the story on Prannoy Roy and NDTV’s romance with corruption and the corrupt doesn’t seem to be something new. One has to wonder what happened to the CBI investigation and who buried it. The case and related reports and developments or its sudden closure is dealt with in great detail on the sites of some media watchers listed below: (and I strongly recommend reading them)

CBI FIR against Prannoy Roy on MediaShame. NDTV & Prannoy Roy – Once upon a time on Zoomindianmedia and CentreRight. I have stated a few times earlier that no matter how much the mainstream media tries to suppress facts and history, it is hard to do so in the tech-age. Is it any surprise that Barkha Dutt dislikes bloggers?

Forget corrupt politician and business men. The only message coming out of tainted journalists and corrupt media channels is: Crime Pays! And to add insult to the injury they will talk about India’s ‘self-image’! “Oh God! What should I tell them”?

Monday, February 21, 2011

CNN-IBN Barber Shop

I usually avoid commercials on TV. However, for quite some time now a strange ‘infomercial’ is being run on CNN-IBN. A campaign of sorts and I learn this is not new but has been on for over a year. Women telling everyone  how they love clean-shaven men or dislike stubble. The Gillette brand runs it and it’s called ‘The Shave India Movement’! It is a near half-hour show on CNN-IBN anchored by Paras Tomar and a panel of celebrity ladies. And if you had missed the disclaimer of this being a sponsored feature at the beginning you might think this was a serious panel discussion on how women liked clean-shaven men or hated stubble.

The general idea is that unshaven men, men with stubble or men with beards are unacceptable in society. I must admit advertising gurus can come up with some very creative ideas, and those are always welcome. But why is this on a supposed ‘news’ channel?

Frankly, when I first heard of a scheduled program called ‘Guthy Renker’ on another channel I thought it must be a movie. A movie about a great revolutionary or a great journalist. Being an avid movie follower I was surprised I had never heard that name. So I decided to watch it and to my utter horror I found that ‘Guthy Renker’ was nothing but a sponsored program about cosmetics and stuff. I had been had! But that was some movie channel so an afternoon program like that seemed okay. But ‘Shave India Movement’ on a so-called news channel? What do you know? The best might still not have come. If the Imam Bukhari of Delhi hears about this there might be protests by muslims all over the world who value their beards. Or may be Sikhs who are bound by religion or tradition to sport beards may draw their kirpans very soon. And what about wives of these muslim and sikh men? What do they think about un-shaven men? Wait till many of them hear or see this campaign!

Greed! Greed is one word that describes the utter lack of character in our news channels. And there are hundreds of such channels that abound. All without any kind of regulation. People have even stopped complaining about surrogate advertising. So you have Haywards, McDowell, Bagpiper, Royal Stag and similar liquor brands making up a big advertising source for these channels. The biggest goon in all these has to be Kingfisher! A liquor brand that now parades as an airline. Isn’t that joyful for the news channels?

I have a good mind to tell the ladies on the Shave India program, the host, CNN-IBN and Gillette what I really think of them. But I have a better idea. I’ve heard of many clinics, including the likes of Batra who help men restore their hair. Cricket Commentator Harsha Bhogle’s ‘refurbished’ hair and hair style is an indirect inspiration. From teenagers to middle-aged men to older men the one biggest concern for men has always been HAIR! Hair-loss, hair-style, hair-implants, baldness – the whole lot!

So, I am now keenly looking forward to the CNN-IBN sponsored program called ‘CNN-IBN Barber Shop’ where men get hints and tips on hairstyles and treatments and also get to tell women how they’d like their hairdo – long, short, bald (ala Persis Khambatta on StarTrek or a Sinead O'Connor).

This kind of advertising was and is a rampant practice in the print media. But at least the print media has some watchdog. These news channels simply do not have any watchdog and will not accept one. The only farcical outfit they have is the National Broadcasters Association, with guidelines that aren’t even binding. So if shaving for men can be a campaign, why not a ‘CNN-IBN Barber Shop’?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sagarika Ghose' Tweets: Should Twitter Tag Them As Racist?

I am reproducing here the full text from this article: Sagarika Ghose - Case Study on Biased and Racist Journalism:

Sagarika Ghose (born 8 November 1964) is an Indian journalist, author and television anchor. She has been a journalist in India since 1991 and has worked at The Times Of IndiaOutlook magazine and The Indian Express. She is currently (2011) the Deputy Editor and a prime time anchor on the news network CNN-IBN. CNN-IBN is a sister channel of CNN, owned and managed by her husband Rajdeep Sardesai. This site attempts to gather public opnion on whether Sagarika Ghose is racist and a biased journalist or is she just doing her job as a news reporter and an editor. Therefore, feel free to participate in the poll below to voice your opinion

Tweets of Sagarika Ghose - Following are some of the tweets which were posted by Sagarika Ghose on 29'th Jan 2011.

In western countries such racist slurs tantamount to hate crime, however in India, people tend to be forgiving and ignore such behavior.

Criticism on twitter
§  Ugly Men Controversy - On 29th January 2011 Sagarika Ghose tweeted the following on a social networking site Twitter Notes from Bangkok airport: Indian males as a species must be the ugliest in the world! The ones on Twitter sound ugly "too!" which was heavily criticized on twitter and was on top trending for 3 days in India.Her sexist and racist tweets were reported to TeamCNN and TeamCNN was asked if CNN endorsed her views. Though CNN network did not tender an apology on her behalf but tweeted back the following on 31'st January 2011 - SG issued this apology:"My comments on Indian males was never intended to offend or hurt. Am deeply sorry if it did. My sincere apologies"
§  Hindu Religion Slander - On 23rd September 2010 Sagarika Ghose tweeted the following on a social networking site Twitter "whether or not lord rama is the rightful owner or a divine encroacher is a question unlikely to be settled in a hurry". The screen shots of this tweet are still available across the internet. She was severely criticized for this tweet for being insensitive to Hindu religion and disrespectful towards the most revered Hindu deity.
CNN had in the past fired one of its journalist Octavia Nasr based on a controversial tweet, however Sagarika Ghose continues to serve as the deputy editor and prime time anchor on the news network CNN-IBN.Many people have speculated that she enjoys the protection offered to her by her husband Rajdeep Sardesai who is editor-in-chief of CNN-IBN.

Ethics of Journalism and Sagarika Ghose - Poles Apart (Added 02/12/2011)
Here is an analysis on ethics of journalism and how Sagarika Ghose and her husband's channel CNN-IBN flout them regularly.

1) Standards and reputation
Among the leading news organizations that voluntarily adopt and attempt to uphold the common standards of journalism ethics, adherence and general quality varies considerably. The professionalism, reliability and public accountability of a news organization are three of its most valuable assets.
Being deputy editor of CNN-IBN, Sagarika Ghose has shown little professionalism, reliability and public accountability. She is the one who coined the term Internet Hindus to refer to the tribe of people who have an opinion different from hers. Here are some of the tweets from Sagarika Ghose on the same - Internet Hindus want to `Islamise' Hinduism: they are enamoured of the extremist version of Islam.  Another one goes like this - Internet Hindus are like swarms of bees. they come swarming after you at any mention of Modi Muslims or Pakistan! . Using such demeaning phrases for the hindu majority of india is shocking.
Having read all these tweets, one wonders how CNN would have reacted when one of its top notch journalists like Anderson Cooper or Wolf Blitzer would have tweeted about Internet Christians on twitter but Rajdeep Sardesai who owns CNN-IBN seems to be least bothered about what his wife has been doing to their family owned channel. One must say the quality of news, journalists and professionalism exhibited by CNN-IBN is substandard than that of CNN.

2) Campaigning in the media
One particularly controversial question is whether media organizations should endorse political parties or candidates while debunking others. Political endorsements create more opportunities to construe favoritism in reporting, and can create a perceived conflict of interest.

Sagarika Ghose has been openly critical of the main opposition party of India - Bharatiya Janta Party and some of its friend organizations like RSS. Here are some of her tweets making fun of RSS and BJP - The RSS-oriented Twitter brigade is so predictable! Attack congress, they applaud, attack BJP they abuse and scream blue murder.  Down with liberals, down with minorities, down with cong-media, shout Internet hindus/rss twitter brigade. Day in day out the same refrain. Nothing has been proved in courts till date regarding involvement of hindu organizations in some of the terror incidents that have happened in India in recent years but nonetheless CNN-IBN has been jumping on conclusion calling it "saffron/hindu terrorism" and running programs on it. Here is what Sagarika Ghose had tweeted - Are we in denial about `Hindu'/saffron/right wing terror? FTN 10pm.

With so much hatred against the main opposition party and its allies one wonders if CNN-IBN has sold itself to ruling party, become a mouth piece of it, giving little coverage to scams and short comings of the government.

3) Taste, decency and acceptability
Audiences have different reactions to depictions of violence, nudity, coarse language, or to people in any other situation that is unacceptable to or stigmatized by the local culture or laws. Even with similar audiences, different organizations and even individual reporters have different standards and practices. When certain distasteful or shocking material is considered important to the story, there are a variety of common methods for mitigating negative audience reaction. Advance warning of explicit or disturbing material may allow listeners or readers to avoid content they would rather not be exposed to. Offensive words may be partially obscured or bleeped. Potentially offensive images may be blurred or narrowly cropped. Descriptions may be substituted for pictures; graphic detail might be omitted. Disturbing content might be moved from a cover to an inside page, or from daytime to late evening, when children are less likely to be watching.

Apparently, Sagarika Ghose never attended any ethics and standards of journalism class. Her tweets surpasses all limits of decency and acceptability. They are as distasteful as the demeanor of lady herself. Here are some of Sagarika Ghose's distasteful tweets - 
So many angry, racist and sexist views from a deputy editor of a news network that is broadcast across the nation will have dire consequences on young minds who try find their role models watching televisions and surfing internet. Without any stern action against the said deputy editor, people will become more tolerant towards racism which is not good for the nation.

At the end of the article, a poll asks if Sagarika's comments are racist and biased. Of the total votes till the time of writing : YES: 586 , NO: 60, CAN'T SAY: 19 (Total 665). I am against a ban of any form of expression, no matter how offensive it may be. However, being in the public domain, especially the media one expects greater sense of judgement. Rajdeep himself doesn't come across as a racist person. So I only have one suggestion for him. Can you please do this?

Rajdeep, Can you do this, please?
Sagarika mentioned somewhere in her tweets that she has a son who's almost 20-years! Now, I wonder what she thinks of her own son, an Indian male! Twitter shouldn't ban Sagarika but must tag her tweets as 'Racist' where appropriate.

Barkha Dutt: Domestic Concerns Are ‘Distractions’

Barkha Dutt feels left out  in the cold. So she writes a piece called ‘When the iron’s cold’ in the Hindustan Times. HT is nearly the mouthpiece of the Congress that hosts people like Barkha Dutt, Vir Sanghvi, Vinod Sharma and, of course, Shobana Bhartiya herself, the Congress MP. 

 Of all the questions that were asked or weren’t asked at the PM’s meet with TV editors she feels “there wasn’t a single question about Pakistan”. Oh yeah? Well, first of all this was a meet with all the TV ‘Editors’ so one has to wonder why Barkha Dutt wasn’t there. Hmmm, that would be like the tainted questioning the tainted, wouldn’t it? And the reason for the missing questions on Pakistan? Well, we are ‘distracted’ by domestic issues! Distracted? Yes, that’s what Barkha Dutt feels about national issues, a distraction where Pakistan is concerned.

NDTV sent in her boss, Prannoy Roy who is not an Editor in the working sense of it. Why didn’t she tutor Prannoy to talk about Pakistan? All that the NDTV boss managed to do at the Press Meet was to deliver a long-winded sermon on ‘incumbency’ and asked if MMS would be a candidate for PM again 2014. That’s how concerned Prannoy was for the nation. In the only chance that he got instead of asking some real and relevant question, you can trust NDTV to ask some silly hypothetical question in the face of burning issues of the day.

And Barkha thinks the absence of questions about ‘Pakistan’ is because of disinterest. First nobody, nobody in the public gives a damn about ‘Pakistan’! The only ones who give a damn and suck up to all kinds of ministers and politicians indulging in the ‘peace’ charade are members of the media. There’s the TOI with Aman Ki Asha and there is Barkha’s obsession with Pakistan. Or should I say media’s obsession with Pakistan. But most of all the suggestion that we are ‘distracted’ by domestic issues and therefore overlooked Pakistan can only come from a very narcissistic view that it was somehow an issue only ‘I could think of and none of those idiots at the press meet’ bothered to think of.  

I, for one, strongly believe Pakistan is the 'Sewer of South Asia' and doesn't merit even the attention our media bestows it. And yes, we can also do without the likes of Rahet Ali Khan, Veena Malik or Adnan Sami. We have an abundance of talent in India, but it's the media that wants these stupid Pakis. Around the time of the PM's press meet guess who Barkha was interviewing? Yes, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, and the topic? You guessed it - Pakistan!

Corruption, Black Money, Scams, Tainted judiciary, Corrupt media, near collapse of governance – if all these are ‘domestic distractions’ then the lady seriously needs some help. So, for the benefit of Barkha Dutt I have put up a self-help Narc-chart. Analyze That!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

India Undone

I am an admirer of Gurcharan Das’ writings. A marketing expert, a good journalist and an insightful writer. Sometime around 2000 I read his wonderful book ‘India Unbound’ about India’s journey from political independence in 1947 to economic liberation in 1991. The book was written nine years after the economic reforms were started by the Narasimha Rao government. Of course, the Congress and the media have connived to deprive Rao of any credit and continue to tout current PM Manmohan Singh as the architect of reforms. This lie continues to be perpetrated by the media. Gurcharan Das’ book is quite a must read to understand how people of an entrepreneurial nation were shackled by communist tendencies and the licence Raj. The book is a journey of frustration, hope, inspiration and aspirations of a nation. Indians were just about turning the corner.

India Unbound
If one goes back to 1991 it was just about the time when new TV channels, newspapers and magazines started coming into the market, followed by the internet and dot com boom. Coke and Pepsi were back. Star TV, Zee TV were among the first to hog your TV. Since then we now have well over 300 channels, national, regional and local. Even the local cablewallahs ran their own channels. These are just a few examples. Hope floated for millions. IT industry opened up the global age for Indians and talk of India becoming a super-power was being touted. A few years prior to 1991 the Telecom revolution was the first to touch the lives of Indians in every corner of the country. That was a singularly great accomplishment.

Twenty years since the reforms began it now seems that the reforms haven’t dynamically changed lives for most of our common men, women and children. It is hard not to deny that the reforms have led to nothing but crony capitalism. Population explosion, farmer suicides, stock market scams and corruption are the items that make the most headlines. If not these, then it’s the obsession with Cricket and Bollywood though these aren’t harmful in anyway.

The new century is dominated by two significant traits – the sacrifice of ethics and a culture of greed. We have people in politics, business and the media who constantly claim to love India and yet do everything that is anti-Indian. The PM, the leader of the nation, is seen as a wimp who will tolerate anything to merely survive in office. We have an extra-constitutional office called ‘Chairperson of the UPA’ with enormous powers and absolutely no constitutional responsibility.  In the face of dying farmers we have had campaigns like ‘India Shining’ and now in the face of unprecedented corruption we are still running  ‘Incredible India’. The single biggest debilitating crime has to be corruption. Corruption eats away a nation, destroys patriotism, breeds terrorism and destroys the security and defence of the country. And there are media-men like Raghav Bahl who talk of ‘Superpower’ as do many others. 

The media, like Rajdeep Sardesai stated before, is under an illusion that people crave only for sensationalism, cricket and bollywood. A crumbling, deceitful and power-brokering media are sure indications of a banana republic. The number of journals or TV channels owned by politicians is on the rise, particularly in the south. Communist-style propaganda is what our media practices. And to top it all people like Rajdeep Sardesai even blame ordinary people for all the corruption.

I am reminded of a famous scene from the movie ‘The American President’, where in a crisis situation an aide tells the president how people ‘drink sand’:

Presidential aide Lewis Rothschild (Michael J. Fox): You have a deeper love of this country than any man I've ever known. And I want to know what it says to you that in the past seven weeks, 59% of Americans have begun to question your patriotism. They don't have a choice! Bob Rumson is the only one doing the talking! People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand.

The President (Michael Douglas): Lewis, we've had presidents who were beloved, who couldn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty. They drink the sand because they don't know the difference.

That’s right, a majority of Indian people don’t know the difference Mr. Sardesai and Mr. PM. If they are constantly fed a diet of scams, masala news, false promises and a blatant disregard for the law, they will be tempted to get used to it and drink the sand. Not because it quenches their thirst, but because people in the public domain have fed them nothing else.

Some statistics are daunting. Unemployment has grown from around 6% in 1995 to around 9% in 2010 in the employable workforce. From a ranking of 66/85 in the Corruption Perception Index in 1998, India is now ranked 87/178 countries in 2010. Constantly talking about the GDP growth rate or the boom in the stock markets is the kind of ‘sand in your face’ that hides everything else. Corruption has become the staple diet of all major players in the public domain. There is nowhere for the common man to turn to. This fallen complaint box says it much better than words can.

At this current state of the nation the most important reform required is not in the economic domain. It is our justice system. A revolution is required to modernise and reform our justice system and courts. Freedom and liberty mean nothing when the judiciary has crumbled. The media and those in public life should be clamouring, campaigning and shouting from the rooftops for urgent reform and modernisation of our courts and justice system. This should be the highest priority for the government.

We will now have over a month of Cricket to put everything else on a back burner. You can rest assured our media will faithfully splurge on the big bucks of Cricket. It could also well be a much desired respite for the UPA government from all the scam and corruption charges. And at the end of the tournament we can get back to where we were. It may not be long before Gurcharan Das is forced to write a sequel to his book I referred earlier

This time I have chosen the title for him – ‘India Undone’!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The PM’s Con-furtherance

The meet apparently started with Eid greetings. I could only laugh. This may be a different Eid, but it may be fair to call the PM an ‘Eid Ka Chand’ where his press meets or addresses to the nation are concerned. Harish Khare, the PM’s media advisor, welcomed the TV editors as “masters of the universe” and allotted ‘one question to everyone’! Take that for rationing. So effectively, once in a few years a media editor will get to ask the PM one question. Yes, we are a 'functioning democracy'!

After some mild praise for the media for taking the scam reports to people the PM mentioned that it’s a disservice to project the country as ‘scam-driven’. The PM can rest safely assured that the media hasn’t taken all the scams to the people. They themselves may be involved in many. Now why in the world would anyone get the impression that India is ‘scam-driven’? Are the ordinary people to blame? Is the media to blame? Singularly, the UPA has bestowed this inglorious reputation to India and it will be difficult to remove that tag very soon.

This video on Youtube and doing the rounds in emails is a 'scammy-image' of India that the UPA can claim much of the credit for. 

Manmohan Singh did not nothing more than refer to the enormous scams as ‘irregularities’ and offer the same worn out defences that his party and UPA have been offering all these months. Far from addressing issues of corruption his own Congress morons were busy raking up all issues of Hindu terror in their own plenary session and at every public meeting.

It is a sad comment on the state of the nation that corruption has taken such a front seat in the discussion ring. If we were free of the major scams we would have been talking about the non-performance of people like Sharad Pawar, Kamal Nath, the loot of the Aviation industry and so much more. And what do you know? If you were a TV editor given one important question to ask you would ask the PM about cricket! That’s right. Ask him about his favourite cricketer and India’s prospects at the ICC world cup.

Sometime back the Congress clown prince, Rahul Gandhi, blamed coalition politics for corruption and inflation. Now you’ve heard it from the PM himself. That coalition dharma requires comprises. Why didn’t we know that? That compromises really mean corruption and loot of the nation?  And if you were looking to really hear anything from the PM – all you got was ‘Raja said..and Isro said..’.  He said, she said and they said...and I still say nothing new.

The journalists had questions on Egypt, Telengana but nothing about defence or security issues and hardly much on black money. Only recently we had Pakistan asking for information on Samjhauta blasts etc. when that country is yet to act on anything. Our media had no questions on that at all. And, of course, you can expect Prannoy Roy to soften the blows for the PM. He asks the PM about next elections and anti-incumbency and whether he will still be a PM candidate in 2014. I guess it will take NDTV a long time to come back to the realities of today. After all didn’t they just conclude another sham award ceremony for entertainers and one politician?

The most significant thing that the PM said, according to me, was that “this time the corrupt won’t get away” ! Well, at least that is a clear admission that so far the corrupt have gotten away. Other than that, Manmohan Singh increasingly comes across as nothing more than a blundering, muttering babu. He should honourably quit and spare this nation any more embarrassment.

And if all that is not enough, you then have  Manish Tiwari telling the world that instead of appreciating the PM inviting the media and talking to them, the media and opposition are criticising him. Yeah and “India is a functioning democracy” according to the PM. Maybe in your next life. With journalists not allowed to press the PM further and limiting the questions this wasn’t a press conference. More like a Con-furtherance on behalf of the Con-gress party.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Aarushi Case: Flogging The Dead Girl

We have to bring the Aarushi case to the domain of facts and evidence”! That’s what Sagarika Ghose stated last night on her CNN-IBN masala programme ‘Face the nation’.

Bringing out facts & evidence!
Well, you should know how the media does the best to bring facts and evidence to you. First, get some clowns for their 15 minutes of air time to mouth all kinds of conjecture. Play out all kinds of individual theories and opinions. The anchor will frequently add her own 25 paise worth of opinions and self-righteous indignation at everything. Throw in a relative or two of the murder victim. Of course, don’t forget to get the lawyer of anyone who is a potential accused and also a lawyer with no connection to the case. And if that old fox Joginder Singh of CBI is not available then get a K. Tulsi or some Raghavan. Put up some clips from the murder case with ‘Dhan Te Nan’ kind of music. There! You have your absolute concoction for ‘facts and evidence’! If you survive the cacophony you might even understand what that crap was all about.

Sagarika is not the only one on the Aarushi murder case. The moment the CBI announced closure of the case sometime back Headlines Today nearly solved the case for everyone. I wonder why the CBI won’t recruit some of the HT clowns to investigate cases. They would surely do as bad a job as the CBI does. And they would do it with a lot of that ‘Dhan-Ta-Nan’ music too. That would be like mixing 'Music & Murder', all for your pleasure.

Common sense might tell anyone that this sensational case is a strange one which has gone through lots of twists and turns. When it first broke in 2008 the media nearly made a thorough mess of it, even inviting the Supreme Court’s ire. They just can’t seem to stop. Now that another court has ordered Aarushi’s parents to be treated as accused the media should have pulled back a bit and let the law take its course. It is even absurd to see defence lawyers kicking and screaming on TV. Rebecca John, the defence lawyer in this case (and other defence lawyers in many cases) should learn the first rule that only the weak run to the media. It’s a simple business rule: ‘The winner is busy making money, the loser goes to the media or the courts’. Well good for her, she too has now had her 15 minutes of fame. News channels should safely only report developments on this case  rather than frequently indulge in discussions of prejudice. Here are parents who are victims and at the same time accused in the killing of their daughter. Let the legal process reach its conclusion.

If any TV channel were to recruit a news anchor, there would be some basic prerequisites. One has to be a ‘voice’ that doesn’t hurt the ears. If not for being that ugly Indian male,  Rajdeep’s wife, or being related to someone else, I doubt Sagarika would have been working in any news channel. Her voice hurts, and she makes it worse with a very offensive tone. Anchors are also expected to have opinions, but when they nurture deep-rooted prejudices it shows up pretty often on their programs.

Anchors are even expected to be a lot more diplomatic than the common man or say a lawyer or petty politician. Here’s a tweet that says a lot about Sagarika’s mental imbalance in her pronouncements and her racist nature and her prejudices. I always thought UIM stood for some mobile device. I am now learning that UIM stands for ‘Ugly Indian Males’. And they sound ugly on twitter too? Does this moron ever listen to herself talking? It is for this reason that I have fondly conferred the title of ‘Cacofonix’ on this unbearable,  screaming Indian-hater. CNN-IBNs 5-year completion had clips of her remember her unfortunate interview with Ram Jethmalani on the Manu Sharma (Jessica Lall’s killer) case. In that interview she had already proved herself to be a ‘law-bimbo’. And while she has memories of that she doesn’t seem to have learnt anything. And where legal issues are concerned it would be best to gag her like the people of Gaul always do with Cacofonix.

Stop offending our ears & intelligence!
As for her intelligent tweets, I will just quote a wag on her Bond scene:

Sagarika's Bond scene: "Hi, I am Ghose... Sagarika Ghose.. Saggy to you"....

Reply: "Hi, I am Subramaniam.. Bala Subramaniam..... 
Balls to you"