Sunday, May 22, 2011

End-It TV

Kanimozhi of DMK is in jail. She is not yet convicted of a crime but denied bail in the 200 crore bribe channelled to her Kalaignar TV. Far from being democratic quite a few political parties have adopted the communist method of propaganda TV channels. Kalaignar is not the only one in Tamil Nadu. There’s Sun TV and there is Jaya TV. There are some more in AP and Kerala and in some more states. Then there are some that play the role on the national stage. It is this excessive desire for party propaganda that has lured many media outlets to become poodles of political parties and into corrupt practices.

On Friday, May 20 on her program ‘Left, Right, Centre’ on NDTV, Nidhi Razdan was discussing the Rahul Gandhi Bhatta-Parsaul episode. Some of the participants were Jayanthi Natarajan, Congress spokesperson, Swapan Dasgupta, right-leaning journalist, Zoya Hassan and another. The whole exercise seemed to be one of extracting Rahul Gandhi from the mess he created and spray paint some level of virtue into his conduct and utterances. I can understand if journalists of various hues are involved in such a discussion but why would you get a Jayanthi Natarajan into this? Does anyone expect Jayanthi to honestly assess the worth of Rahul Gandhi or his utterances? True to form Natrajan sermonised on the vision and strategy of Rahul Gandhi and how he is laying the ground work for the long term with the youth of this nation.

In the US, UK, France or any other major democracy Rahul Gandhi would have by now been the staple diet of late night comedians. He would have been the unending fountain of daily and weekly scripts for comedy shows. The Bill Mahers, the Lettermans, the Jon Stewarts, the Craig Fergusons feasted on Sarah Palin during the run up to the 2008 US election. I may lack the intellectual compass of a Jayanthi Natarajan but I cannot see how Rahul Gandhi is any different from Sarah Palin. Both see things. Palin sees Russia from her lawns and Rahul sees dead people. And both consistently utter absurdities. Both would do Don Quixote proud.

Tweets about Rahul Gandhi following the Greater Noida episode make hilarious reading. Those were comments reflecting his utter lack of maturity and thoughtfulness when opening his mouth. Yet NDTV systematically and consistently continues to portray him as some kind of great hero in the making. Is there something that the people at NDTV can see in Rahul Gandhi that ordinary people can’t? There was one tweet that said Nike is going to sponsor Rahul’s mouth because he usually has his ‘foot’ in it! The Congress may not own up to his gaffes publicly and that is understandable. However, I am sure privately they may recognise the need to counsel him. What exactly is NDTV’s brief in regularly trying to either extricate Rahul from a pickle or to portray him as some kind of hero?

Very recently after the cricket win against Pakistan in the world cup semi-final NDTV carried a banner on its website with the victorious Indian team with Rahul Gandhi at one end. Naturally, there was an explosion of tweets on what the motive was behind putting up Rahul’s pic in that banner. If this is not blatant and unwarranted sycophancy and promotion of a politician I wonder what is. Read the whole report here along with screenshots of the tweets andthe banners. So why is NDTV still pretending to be an independent news channel and not being bold enough to be like Kalaignar TV?

A regular reader of this blog (Free_Verse & thanks to her) has sent in an astonishing comment on the performance of Rahul Gandhi as an MP and I quote (some of this info is also available on various other websites):


FIRST let us question Rahul Gandhi on the status of his pet constituency, Amethi, which incidentally has seen FIVE generations of Nehru Dynasty MPs.

Some developmental indicators:

(1) Amethi has 39.5% literacy level (national average being around 65%),
(2) Around 50% population is below poverty line
(3) Only 15% population has access to electricity
(4) Vaccination level is below 16%
(5) Around 16% of children die below age of 5 years
(6) Amethi received Rs.3.06 crore as developmental fund (or MPLAD) from Govt. of India in 2009-10 of which Rahul Gandhi used merely 5.89% (0.18 crore).

Second, let us see his record as a champion youth icon Member of Parliament :
(1) The national MP attendance average in the parliament is 77%. Rahul Gandhi's attendance is 47%. (Hahahahha! That's 74 in reverse for you!)
(2) National average for questions asked by MPs in parliament is 119. Rahul Gandhi asked ZERO questions.
(3) The national average for Debates attended by MPs is 15.6. Rahul Gandhi attended ZERO debates.

His record as an MP is sourced from HERE


For a performance like the one above I surely cannot see any vision or strategy in Rahul Gandhi other than his second name. So, in a time when more and more politicians are talking about performance and development there are some channels that have become propaganda channels and go any extent to cover up the non-performance and incompetence of the politician of their own political persuasion. In this case it appears NDTV seeks to glorify Rahul Gandhi for reasons that I think they know best.

Politicians are known to deceive people, create fear where there is no need. What exactly is the motivation of news channels. If the case of Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV is any indicator it is time that propaganda channels are scrutinised and shut down. These are the greatest dangers to democracy.

Yet, nothing characterizes the loathing of ordinary people by TV channels as Barkha Dutt does. And she is, indeed, the face of NDTV. Writing on the Hindustan Times website (A perilous path) she states: Did anyone notice that while we were so busy hating our democracy, panchayat elections were held in Jammu and Kashmir for the first time in more than a decade. Usually, the right-wing loony fringe is not just well organised in the venom it orchestrates online; it is especially vocal against anyone with a nuanced perspective on the genuine issues of alienation in the Valley. Any talk of ‘political solutions’ to the Kashmir issue gets you labelled ‘anti-national’ and invites instant online stalking. Yeah that’s right, “while we were so busy hating our democracy..” and the “…right wing loony fringe..” This is supposed to be her personal opinion. Well, these personal opinions do influence the way the media handles real issues as well.

As for NDTV, I think it is time to End It TV!


  1. Hi Ravinar, thanks for making those ignominious facts about Rahul Gandhi officially a part of a blog post. One small correction and I hope you won't mind correcting - I am a "her" and not "him". :D

    Also, I want to mention @KiranKS (twitter handle) as the source for a lot of the facts

    Thanks and carry on with the great work, ESPECIALLY exposing Rahul Gandhi for the dimwit that he is.

  2. it is quite frightening to think that a mentally challenged rahul gandhi could one day become the prime minister of this country.what would that speak of our mental faculties ? regarding barkha dutt and ndtv,their credibility is non existent, ask chaitanya kunte about how barkha dutt and ndtv hated his democracy.

  3. Raul G's goo -ups are wellknown and so his record as MP, except for KALAVATI statement in Parliment.
    RG should thank the TV channels and congress media cell for promoting him as the next divine gift to India.
    In any other country, he would have been forgotton by now.

  4. Ravinar,
    You are talking of NDTV, CBBIBN is no good. The other day, Rajdeep Sirdesai wrote an oepn letter to Rahal Gandhi. Pl see this link.

    I am quoting one sentence from Rajdeep where he openly says as follows:
    How should all this have any bearing on the political future of someone who it would seem is pre-ordained to lead the country?
    Unquote: Is this not sycophancy?

  5. You mention late night comedians like Bill Maher, Letterman, Jon Stewart, Craig Ferguson toasting Sarah Palin. What you fail to understand is they are as liberal as they come and their hate for conservatives like Sarah Palin is same as our ELMs hate for Modi. You need to understand a bit more about US liberal vs conservative culture before parroting what liberal media says about Sarah Palin.


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