Saturday, June 18, 2011

Shekhar Gupta's Summer Freeze


This afternoon I had posted sermons to the media and the UPA by Rajdeep Sardesai. A little later I was delighted to learn that the question I asked through my post ‘Why is Indian media scared of Sonia Gandhi?’ is a question a lot of people have been raising. Well, that’s because I ran into an article by Shekhar Gupta, Editor of Indian Express and Padma awardee. This one is nicely titled ‘The Summer Freeze.

Overall the article fairly reflects the mood in the country and is as well written as can be expected from a journalist of Shekhar’s stature. Except that there are few jarring notes, almost bordering on delusional. One cannot help agreeing that appointments to major positions in important government bodies are held up due to the government’s summer siesta. Sensex and markets are battered. I wouldn’t really consider stock markets to be an indicator of anything more than economic concerns of a limited population. Besides, markets act more on sentiments than mere economic logic. Here’s an excerpt:

The paralysis in the government is matched by the confusion in the Congress party. Its carefully scripted strategy of distancing itself from all government decisions except the most obviously populistic ones has now unravelled and backfired. While the government finally responded to this by suspending all decision-making on anything even remotely controversial, it is the party that is now getting the rap for all the scams, some real, some exaggerated and some……. You can blame the formidable whispering machine of the RSS for it, and maybe you are right, but the clamour over “hundreds of lakhs of crores of dollars” stashed away in foreign banks has a very strong undertone of Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin’.

So you see, the temptation to drag in the RSS out of nowhere in an otherwise sensible article gives away the whole plot. It makes me wonder what the difference is between the Congress and Shekhar Gupta. Next, what does money stashed away in foreign banks got to do with Sonia’s foreign origin? It’s been reported there are many Indians who have stashed away money in foreign banks too. Even assuming that’s an RSS whisper campaign how do you explain Shekhar’s next para?

The same whisper machine talks of her recent Europe visit as some smoking-gun evidence of a conspiracy to vacuum-clean India’s wealth. The more brazen, like Subramanian Swamy, say so in public: that Sonia and Rahul have gone to Switzerland to sort out their secret accounts, nervous that now their time is up. Over the past three weeks I have been stopped by ordinary people at airports, in shopping malls, at a petrol pump, in a spiritual ashram, at the national athletic games in Bangalore and so on with a question that seems to have become a clamour: why are you in the media so scared of the Gandhis? Why is no one exposing their humongous stash overseas?.... It is all bunkum, of course, and in any case the beauty of Swiss accounts is that nobody needs to go to Switzerland to do anything with them.”

P.G. Wodehouse in one of his novels talks about two train-engine drivers who jumped into the furnace of the engine to escape the oppressive summer heat. It sounds credible doesn’t it? So when Subramanian Swamy says the Gandhis went to Switzerland “to sort out their secret accounts” that sounds just as plausible, doesn’t it? Well for the benefit of Shekhar Gupta I must mention that the remark Swamy made can at best be described as ‘sarcasm’ and at worst a ‘snide’ remark. Ordinary people get it but surprisingly Shekhar Gupta doesn’t get it. So he even goes on to educate us that you don’t have to be in Switzerland to handle your accounts. Funny, lately you don’t have to go to your bank even in India to handle your account. What Shekhar doesn’t tell us is: how in the world does Swamy get to know all this? How does he know about Sonia Gandhi’s movements when all the media bimbos didn’t report it? There were some in the media who were even speculating if Jayalalithaa would meet Sonia in Delhi June 14 when Sonia was blissfully in Switzerland. And Subramanian Swamy is a maverick politician rather than a full-time media person. So at least it establishes one thing clearly – Swamy deals with facts while the Gandhis manage to hoodwink the media.

So all this money stashed in Switzerland etc. is “all bunkum” according to Shekhar Gupta. But that is not the only thing that makes Sonia Gandhi a very suspicious and intriguing character. Here is a write by Arun Shourie, one of India’s finest investigative journalists, (he was with the Indian Express too by the way). It’s titled Annexation Through Technicalities. Some excerpts:

Sonia Gandhi, without having any known sources of income, has become the controller of one of the largest empires of property and patronage in Delhi. The Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Library and Museum…..It is situated in and controls real estate which, because of its historical importance, cannot even be valued. The institution runs entirely on grants from the Government of India. Sonia Gandhi has absolutely no qualification that could by any stretch of imagination entitle her to head the institution: has she secured even an elementary university degree, to say nothing of having done anything that would even suggest some specialization in subjects which the institution has been set up to study. But by mysterious technicalities she is today the head of this institution. So much so that she even decides which scholar may have access to papers…..

Real estate, only slightly less valuable, has been acquired on Raisina Road. The land was meant to house offices of the Congress. A large, ultra-modern building was built -- the finance being provided by another bunch of technical devices which remain a mystery. The building had but to get completed, and Sonia appropriated it for the other Foundation she completely controls -- the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. The Congress(I) did not just oblige by keeping silent about the takeover of its building, in the very first budget its Government presented upon returning to power, it provided Rs 100 crores to this Foundation. The furore that give-away caused was so great that the largesse had to be canceled. No problem. Business house after business house, even public sector enterprises incurring huge losses, coughed up crores……The Foundation has performed two principal functions. The projection of Sonia Gandhi. And enticing an array of leaders, intellectuals, journalists etc. into nets of patronage and pelf.

But the audacity with which the land and building were usurped and funds raised for this Foundation falls into the second order of smalls when they are set alongside what has been done in regard to the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts…….This Centre was set up as a trust in 1987 by a resolution of the Cabinet. The Government of India gave Rs. 50 crores out of the Consolidated Fund of India as a corpus fund to this Centre. It transferred 23 acres of land along what is surely one of the costliest sites in the world -- Central Vista, the stretch that runs between Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate -- to this Trust. Furthermore, it granted another Rs. 84 crores for the Trust to construct its building….”
The whole article by Arun Shourie makes sorry reading for any Indian.

So Mr. Shekhar Gupta, you see it is not just the allegations of money stashed in foreign banks or payoffs by KGB. There are a whole load of other issues concerning Sonia Gandhi and her family which is not even being reported by the mainstream media, let alone conducting any serious debate on those matters. So the next time someone walks up to you and asks ‘Why Indian media is scared of Sonia Gandhi?’ don’t say “it’s all bunkum”!

The only bunkum around is a cowardly news media.

13 comments :

  1. Just going by what S Swamy and A Shourie have stated would make a journo's ear stand up but weakling court jester Gupta ke kaan par ju nahin rengi. You can`t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep. Maybe he too has a share in the loot by the corrupt and is quite well versed with how Swiss banks operate, so is praying to Madre Sonia G that his corrupt deeds remain hidden. Hmmmm.

    He makes a further laughingstock of himself by bringing in RSS thereby reinforcing how completely useless the Angrezi Lamestream Media have become in finding out the facts. This joker is unreliable. It is not a perception problem with Tommy Gupta but a reality problem which needs to be fixed.

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  2. makes me wonder who would ever engage this sorry specimen in airports and malls to listen to his pearls of wisdom and of course admire his superhuman investigative skills to dismiss all the details of sonia's swiss accounts as bunkum.the us should ask him the whereabouts of al zawahiri now..

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  3. Shekhar Gupta may be an intelligent man. He is by all means a ch......th. To even quote his editorials or essays is rediculous.He is no better than a p....i.......p. Arun Shourie was a good investigative journalist years ago. No doubt. He lost his punch and now he is sedate.

    I do not find any one worth naming as a good journalist of repute in the present time. All have something up their sleeve.

    Ravinar is good and do keep up your job and tear them out.

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  4. Pranoid Roy, Barkha Dutts, the Rajdeeps, the Sagarikas, the Rahul Kanwals, the Pankaj Pachauris and Sekhar Guptha are all nemesis for our country who are simply exalted by praising the corrupt cong and its tainted leaders. It is much paining to read that PC's son was awarded contract to change the logo of Canara Bank and re do it for Rs 700 crores.

    Hence the six foxes of cong are looting and revolving around the mammoth looter. The reporters stated supra beat the bush if minuscule pertaining to BJP, RSS, VHP as if they are sins in the Hindu land.

    Mr Ravinar annihilate them! We are with you

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  5. Ravinar,

    Great analysis. Keep up the excellent work. You say it like it is!

    Once upon a time Shekhar Gupta made sense. Today he is 'ShakeHerNot' Gupta, 'Her' being 'Her Royal Majesty' Sonia.

    If you find time, do check out my latest post.

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  6. Depends how much one trusts which part of media and which journalists.
    I have a lot of faith in S Swamy and A Shouie.That should speak for itself

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  7. Good article. Subramaniam Swamy may not be joking. Look up the site http://vivekajyoti.blogspot.com/2011/06/along-with-sonia-gandhi-who-else-left.html
    It says that apart from mother, son, son-in-law, secretary Vincent George, suman dubay, there were 12 other people who said they were financial consultants traveling to Zurich.

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  8. Excerpts from Dr. Swamy's NY speech
    We need to make sure to include the sections of mainstream media pimps, such as Karan Thapar, Barkhas/Prannoy Roys, Vir Singhs etc as part of India in cahoots with massive corruption. They are supposed to be watchdogs but they not only abdicated their responsibility, they are even part of the massive corruption in India. These fellows will take Bharat Ratnas and sell their own country.

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  9. Vaidya, Hahahahahahahahaha! These fellas have sold the country many times over. Is there anything beyond Bharat Ratna?

    How about manish the Thiwari and the GM. Won;t they quallify too?

    Sibal is acting funny and he thinks no journalist can twist him. A misfortune that we do not have one to sc..r...e..w him so far.

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  10. http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/news/rahul-at-41-ready-to-be-pm/202990

    EndIT TV at it again! LOL!!

    Throughout the video, endit tv seems to project that more than rahul, its majority of indians who wants to see him as PM. I fail to understand how come main stream media be so shamefully be far from reality :/


    Just once glance at internet world and they will realise the aware and educated india feels its an insult to common IQ to even suggest Amul baby is PM candidate.

    BTW why does not media ask him , for ruling the country for major part of history of independent india, why does common man feels disconnected from the system? Is it not the fault of congress?

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  11. http://ennapadampanchajanya.blogspot.com/2011/06/authoritarian-audacious-adamantine.html

    Why does not MMS respond to the letters of someone like Swamy who is filing petitions in supreme court against NAC chairman?


    If Swamy has confidence of providing evidences and paper work, wont it by default prove to some extent that his allegations are facts?? Should not be PM or Sonia be reacting atleast denying in letter if they are clean instead of keeping silent?

    Silence of a politician is acceptance of guilt. :/

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  12. It is amazing that the defamation suit was foisted against Swamy by a cong worker from Guj on behalf of Sonia which will not stand in the court in the first place. What swamy wanted was that so that he could drag all the concerned to court and emit the fact but unfortunately the same ended with simply a notice which swamy twisted and cleansed his ear

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  13. The Bilderberg Annual "Secret" meeting was on in St Moritz,Switzerland from the 11th June 2011.Please google for:-
    BILDERBERG

    ReplyDelete

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