Thursday, August 18, 2011

Forces Of Calumny

Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. (Hamlet, 3.1.129) – Shakespeare.

NDTV and CNN-IBN simply couldn’t have expected events that unfolded. When a carefully cultivated line of thinking and campaign goes terribly wrong it leaves one wondering which way to jump. Throughout August 17 as the Anna Hazare stalemate continued NDTV could only think of calling it a ‘circus’. Barkha Dutt kept tweeting about Alice In Wonderland and how this is all mad. Her late evening programme sported the tag line ‘protest or blackmail’ and an hour prior, Nidhi Razdan started her Left, Right, Centre by once again calling the event a ‘circus’. I couldn’t help laughing at the irony. When Barkha Dutt rushed to Egypt and Libya she didn’t find those events to be circus or the world of Lewis Caroll.  To Rajdeep Sardesai’s CNN-IBN, of course, must go the credit of inaugurating mud-slinging season. When a prominent news channel like CNN-IBN undertakes brazen mud-slinging it starts emboldening the forces and faces of calumny. The three stooges that were the faces of Congress in the entire Anna Hazare episode pretty much reflect the combined faces of calumny spurred by some in the TV news media. Rajdeep and Yogendra Yadav would be delighted to know how their recent opinion polls confirm everything they are seeing on the ground now. Oh yeah, if elections were held today the UPA would be voted back to power! That's what they would have you believe. And, of course, their poll suggested that only 28% believe UPA is corrupt. Will the truth ever set these media dealers free?

Faces of Calumny
Things didn’t go wrong on August 16. They went wrong on the night of June 4 when a peaceful crowd was lathi-charged in the middle of the night. I had then written that ‘Chidambaram, Sibal and Soni were the ones to have hatched the Anna arrest. But the people already knew that by now. What is worse is having a PM who has more or less abdicated his responsibilities and received a severe pasting from opposition leader Arun Jaitley.

The Congress and many in the media have tried desperately to spin these events as ‘parliament v street legislators’. Even that has failed. If the intellectuals in the media haven’t realised yet that no matter what Anna or Baba or Bedi do, they simply cannot make a law, the ordinary people are under no illusion. The best they can do is fast, agitate and protest. After the murder of journalist J. Dey did the media not demand special protection laws? Did they not demand that crimes against journalists be made ‘non-bailable’ offences? Is that not demanding laws that they want? The laws that Anna Hazare demands may be different but it’s not different in principle. He just seems to have more determination and the will to die for it. Fact is, journalists were demanding special privileges whereas Anna is not demanding any special privileges. But, that’s OK, people demand all sorts of things.

The most striking feature of the debates on TV is that people like Mahesh Bhatt, Nandita Rao, Rahul Kanwal question the wisdom or intelligence of ordinary people. I’m not kidding, here’s a tweet from Rahul Kanwal:

Rahul Kanwal:
Quite certain protesters don't understand finer nuances of Anna's bill. Doesn't matter to them. They're livid with Govt over corruption.

Finer nuances? Alright, I can laugh but the media morons wouldn’t understand nuance if it kissed them in broad daylight. What they hide is that the crowds are just as angry with the media as they are with the politicians. I can safely vouch for the fact that there is not a single lawyer or constitutional expert who knows everything that they talk about. What they talk about is a common-sense stand that they take. These opinionated egos of media might be under the impression that every MP even reads every bill that is passed. Ordinary people just have a boiling point. They keep watching the crimes of those in power and when it reaches a crescendo they will come out and fight. They don’t need to read law books before coming out on the streets as some of our stupid media dealers seem to desire. And a man like Mahesh Bhatt believes without cameras the Anna Hazares would disappear. Without a camera it is the Barkha Dutts, Rajdeep Sardesais, Sagarika Ghoses, Rahul Kanwals, Arnab Goswamis who would have had to choose a different career and would be consigned to the bin of the thousands of unknown journalists. Bhatt’s statement is like an idiot cursing the very gift by which he earns his livelihood. Same goes for the media dealers who claim protests would die without the camera. This is the same belief that leads them to believe that they are indirectly the most powerful law-makers in the land. An offence they accuse the street protesters of.

Rahul Kanwal shouldn’t assume people on the streets are dumb. If he offered them a choice to listen to a moral sermon, between Anna Hazare and Barkha Dutt, I’m certain even Kanwal knows who they’d pick. And Hazare isn’t the cacofonix on TV screens every night. All said and done it is not Anna who has lost his sense of decency. The media should ask the PM if he has lost all sense of decency and let loose his ministers to take the actions they did. I doubt you need a constitution or law to tell you what common decency is. After all, the Ten Commandments didn't include rape or child-abuse. Common human decency helped us learn that.

In all this, conspicuous by their absence from the media are M/s. Hit and Run. Yeah, both Digvijay Singh and Rahul Gandhi must have run out of silly statements. The media must be dearly missing the crumbs that this duo is used to throwing at them. Tarnishing RSS doesn’t seem to be paying anymore. In Gujarat,  Gandhi is a name used to refer to the corner-shop grocer. That’s because Gandhis are traditionally grocers. There is a reason why Gandhi cared to understand ordinary people. The Gandhi-grocer is the one who interacts with ordinary people almost every minute of his working day. That someone like Rahul walks around with the name of Gandhi may not be his fault, but there is a reason why he has a severe disconnect with the people as does the media. And the most stunning comment on the man came not from his detractors but his ally in UPA-I. It was Brinda Karat of CPM, who for the first time sarcastically used the term ‘prince charming’ in parliament to describe the white-wash that the Congress attempted to make in the bungling of the Hazare incident. The Congress and media attempt to credit Rahul Gandhi with diffusing the crisis failed miserably. We had one great Gandhi who is now in heaven. We don’t need fake Gandhis in our parliament.

The PM who stupidly talked about ‘skeletons’ before the current parliament session is now warning Anna Hazare of consequences. His lack of decency and miserable failure as PM is embarrassing for the whole nation. When he indirectly condones the sacking of the nation and then lets loose his forces of calumny the nation looks for leadership. In the absence of a leader they found one in Anna Hazare. In less than 12 hours they have made him a national, and probably international, hero. This is a time to be humble. If the PM cannot find his own conscience then a Janlokpal bill will not be the only thing that the protesters will demand.


  1. Ravinar, Though I watch CNN-IBN to know how foolhardy they are in their misrepresentation of facts, I couldn't stand Sagarika bringing in a Dalit angle to the debate, yesterday on FTN. I just switched back to Arnab when the gutter mouth, so called "Dalit Thinker," started painting a upper class conspiracy theory.oof!
    As I tweeted to you, I think it was only Arnab, who not once but several times admitted that this kind of a congregation (like in India Gate and Juhu) cannot be only because of Media hype.
    Your comments?

  2. another masterpiece.keep it up.following your blog for quite some time.

  3. Hi Editor,

    Tell you what. There were times that I used to be scared of zipping past the primetime news of English Channels and instead preferred to sit in front of a Tamil/Hindi movie. Now I see them ranting without a fuss only to come back next day to see your blog deciphering their rant in the way it should be. Two decades back my experience with Amita Malik’s Sight & Sound in Indian Express used to offer almost the same feeling of what you do now, albeit then clothed in ‘limited freedom of expression’.

    Keep up the good work.

  4. NDTV has been relentlessly trying to undermine the movement by falsifying figures. At one time when it was clear (from Headlines Today and Times Now cameras) that Azad Maidan Mumbai had thousands of people, an NDTV reporter was claiming that there were about 150 people at some given spot and 150 at another spot---not sure whether she was referring to Azad Maidan, but there was deliberate vagueness about the location maybe. Another time, while thousands were heading to India Gate, another smart NDTV journo found a spot in Delhi where the crowd had 'swollen from 150 to 2000'. NDTV just won't give up will they?

    As you say there's no difference between journalists demanding special protection and the Anna team demanding better anti-corruption laws. Advocating policy and legislative changes on a small scale or large scale has been going on in the nation before, even if Rajdeep is trying his level best to prove otherwise. Strange that Nandita Rao and Mahesh Bhatt who claim to be Leftist are now opposing people's power.

    People know that the Jan Lok Pal Bill was drafted by very good lawyers, the Bhushan father and son duo, who do not have a conflict of interest and are not a part of the looting group. That much is enough for people to know it's a better Bill. Media people including Rahul Kanwal are not honest enough to state this truth, deliberately being obtuse about simple facts like these. They pretend to be intellectuals and speak about nuances just so as to spin and confound simple facts.

    Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep's retirement from 'active journalism' appears to be approaching sooner than later.

  5. as far as end it tv and cnn ibn are concerned - those who came to scoff remained to pray. amen!

  6. Great post!!! Barring Arnab & Times Now to a lesser extent, all these English media channels are stooges of the CONgress..People should boycott both NDTV & CNN-IBN who are both the mouth pieces of the CONgress, they behave worser than the foul mouthed spokes persons of the CONgress..shameless creatures... and there are other print media uncouth jounos like V(o)i(no)d Sharma/Gupta, Prabhu Chawla to name a few....

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. very well written. Especially the point on journalist's demands. Wonder why no pro-anna panelist raises these questions on the shows like we the people and India at 9 and others. The other day I saw the show We the people, for the first time and it had people like Tavleen Singh, Tushar Gandhi and some esteemed maadam historian - at their arrogant best. I am not against those who find Anna's way wrong, but undermining the people power is really not done. Sad state of affairs. To top it all, the anchors are debating on the silliest of issues like whether fasting is the way to go, whether govt's image is tarnished blah blah blah.. Why is no one discussing the differences between the two lokpals and why the govt against the janlokpal? Why is no one there to justify govt's version of lokpal? I am sure all the "mad" crowd on the roads would like to listen all this. And if Rajdeep Sardesai reads this - please refrain bringing in the issues of Ram Mandir, Kashmir, Telangana etc on the same platform as India against Corruption. He asked once if people protest on the roads for what they want, they will do so for the above mentioned topics too. I wonder why will they do that? All those issues are not new and people never went on streets like this in the past, wonder why they cannot see whats so obvious?

  9. Hi

    I know this isn't relevant to the above post but the esteemed Annoy.. oops...Prannoy Roy seems to be lying low these days. Would you have any information on where he is and his rather noticable absence?

  10. @ Vinita

    No I don't know where Prannoy Roy is hiding and I don't think anyone is missing him. LOL!

  11. When Kashmiri stone throwing jihadist morons go on a rampage hearing a rumor in Srinagar, these very channels scream murder and falsely accuse the Indian Army, even when there is no evidence.

    But when peaceful, Indian flag waiving common man like Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare protests, these media jokers start questioning the motives. The English media in India are stooges and corrupt (NDTV and IBN CWG favorable scam contracts) to the core. I have strong reservations on Anna's team having naxal thug Fraudie Agnivesh and publicty hungry corrupt jhola chaaps like Bhushan clowns but that is not enough for me to put them in jail just for protesting.

  12. And now NDTV and Barkha are trying their utmost to stick the US stooge tag stick on Anna ji. Just seen the prog tonite the topic is 'Anna- tomy'!! And remember the term normally used to identify american soldiers during world warII?? Yes..Tommy!!Is it too far-fetched to think that NDTV is using such terms deliberately to help the latest pathetic vilification attempts of Congress??

  13. Congress ally IUML suspected of starting riots -- Secularism, Indian style!

    Express News Service , The New Indian Express
    Updated Aug 13, 2011 at 12:03pm IST

    KOZHIKODE: The allegation that the UDF government’s decision to dissolve the inquiry commission to probe the police firing in Kasargod in 2009 was to protect the interests of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) could turn out to a scourge.
    The statements given by retired SP Ramdas Pothen and DySP K V Raghuraman, on behalf of the district police chief, Kasargod, before the inquiry commission on the circumstances that led to the firing at Kasargod clearly point out a planned role of Muslim League activists and Muslim fundamentalist organisations in the incident.
    The police officers say that the IUML workers had formed separate groups with deadly weapons in order to incite large-scale communal violence and attacked the ‘Sree Shanmukha Bhajana Mandir’ at the Amey Colony and pelted stones at houses of people belonging to Hindu community. “There was involvement of outside persons in precipitating the attacks on temple, shops and houses of Hindus and also the attack on Police personnel,” the SP says in the statement, which is accessed by ‘Express’.
    In his statement, Ramdas who was the SP of Kasargod at the time of the incident maintains that the information that the members of the Hindu community were gathering in various parts of the town to protest against the attack on temple necessitated an urgent action to disperse the violent mob.
    “An outbreak of serious communal tension was likely to happen at any moment resulting in loss of human lives and personnel. Since thebursting of grenades and lathi charge failed to disperse the unruly mob, firing was done as a last resort to restore the law and order situation and to save the lives of the police party,” he adds.
    The statement also notes the attack by Popular Front activists against the CPM activists and the police on the same day and clearly points out that “the Muslim fundamentalists hatched a conspiracy to incite serious communal violence in the Malabar region and the incidents strongly implicate the involvement of fundamentalist groups which had planned a series of attacks on police and rival communities.”
    According to him, permission was not given to conduct any procession or rally in connection with the reception organised by the IUML Kasargod district committee.

  14. must read! by Dr Koenraad Elst

  15. Great going. My congratulations to you on your incisive coverage. I think our PM has abdicated all his responsibilities and his Advisers as always can be depended upon to bungle in everything they handle. I am ashamed that we are being rules by people of such poor caliber.

  16. The press conference by team anna was great. It was really funny what the media were asking. It clearly shows their biased.

    Only a foreign lady journalistasked a valid question " that how far are you willing to go".

    Most moronic question was from who else than endit tv.

    why don't you contest an election then. That the same comment a minister made some months ago.

    And later when asked by fellow journalist ravish kumar " what did you asked and what was the answer" he said " gol mol jawab diya kejriwal ne"

    Dude " he clealy said i can exercise by right nit to contest one" how clear can one be to get through the thick head of NDTV so called journo.

    The question asked my media makes very clear that what side they are on, it does not take much common sense to analyze that.

  17. Our second tryst with destiny :

    India against corruption Act, 2011
    Preamble : This Act is based on United Nations Convention Against Corruption
    Aims and Objects : Mandatory Search and Seizure of Black money and property disproportionate to the known source of income as National Assets.
    Scope : Legislature, Executive and Judiciary, Print or electronic media includes public and private Authorities and Local Bodies except the President of India.
    Parameters of punishment : The offenders up to Million be awarded punishment with minimum 7 to 10 years rigorous imprisonment.
    The offenders above Million be awarded life.
    The offenders above Billion be awarded capital punishment.

  18. When Sibal questioned in his dubious cynical statement advertisement "...... and publicity for his every sneeze and sniffle......." it is crystal clear how our media publicity is kept going. When it is spelt out from horse mouth the media subscribed supra is vindicated. Then no use of beating the bush

  19. forces of calumny can be called -cabal of crooks as well

  20. I couldn't agree more. Since today, i have seen a sudden shift of the media, across all chanels, towards the incumbent Congress govt. Watched Devils Advocate - only one word comes to mind, utter bullshit ! Had held Karan highly, but his prudence been riding the short bus the whole 60mins. Similarly, on Aajtak. Almost a sense of sudden scorn for the Lokpal Movement! Aajtak was the one which was broadcasting Anna's jail act with much reverence.

    I am wondering whats the sudden shift in paradigm about! Special directives? Que-s? Or a Spank? The News channels were whore-fying today.

  21. Starving India donates 2 Bn dollars to EU
    MD Nalapat and that too in Pak observer. It is surprising that the Indian media has missed this.
    Ravinar you are right the media is full of crooks in Bharat. Please read the article by MDN.


    Another good one by MD Nalapat. Again in Pak observer. Is he not allowed to write in Indian media? Some vignettes very good ones from the article.

    First one

    When the BJP rules, they take out their Sanskrit phrase book and speak with authority of the ancient classics, while during Congress rule, they show off their knowledge of French wines, aware that Europe has a special place in Sonia Gandhi’s heart. In the infrequent intervals when smaller parties grab the Prime Ministership, such scribes abandon their Savile Row suits for rough homespun pyjama-kurta,and speak in Hindi rather than in English or (even better) French. Small wonder that fr years, several of these “defenders of the public interest against the establishment” were each given talk shows by the national broadcaster, Prasar Bharati. These usually comprised of interview formats that were of such scintillating brilliance that not even their spouses could bear to watch a full segment. Of course, despite the nil viewership, several lakhs of rupees were paid each month to each “independent editor” by the state broadcaster.

    Second one

    Small wonder that there has been an amazing transformation in the lives of the Sarkari journalists over the past two decades. Most have exchanged tiny flats for impressive mansions, and routinely send their children abroad to expensive educational institutions for study. The price of such munificence is silence about VVIPs, the very section of Indian society that accounts for much of the country’s problems. Despite frequent boasts about India being a democracy, the mainstream media is almost totally silent about the rampant wrongdoing indulged in by VVIPs and their friends and relatives. Thus, the public remain ignorant about the frequency of the foreign travel of the VVIP set, or of their business interests and personal lives. Even something as non-controversial as health is kept a close secret, as witness the total blackout over the health condition of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. The result is rumor, with some saying that she has a skin cancer, while others aver that it is a brain tumor. Such reticence would be unthinkable in Europe or in North America, but is taken for granted in the feudal culture of South Asia, where some aspects of politics resemble the situation in North Korea more than they do a genuine democracy.

    Third one

    This was the modus operandi used under both the Vajpayee as well as the Manmohan Singh governments to enable the fugitive influence peddler from Italy, Ottavio Quatrocchi, to be acquitted in both Malaysia as well as in Argentina.

    Fourth one ( This one is interesting to come from PAK MEDIA AND THE CROOKS IN INDIAN MEDIA WRITE ALL JUNK)

    War on Corruption that is led by Anna Hazare,Sri Sri Ravishankar and Baba Ramdev.Of the three,it is Sri Sri Ravishankar who has the greatest following,that too across the globe. All three are secular leaders. While Hazare is a social activist, Sri Sri Ravishankar is the founder of the Art of Living,that teaches an individual to adopt a harmonious lifestyle. Baba Ramdev teaches yoga,the ancient science of exercises designed to improve health. All three have united to lead the effort to ensure that the India of the 21st century gets free of the filth of the India of the 20th,an era in which only the unethical have jumped ahead,while the honest languish

    Fifth one ( again a surprise from ....)

    Anna and Sri Sri say that only the honest can catch the crooked,so they should be given the authority to do so.No wonder India’s well-fed political class is reaching for blood pressure medication.

  23. This will reveal the "honesty" mask of ManMoron Singh!


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