Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Media Mullahs

In an interesting oped titled ‘Messianism versus democracy’ in The Hindu this is what Prabhat Patnaik had to say: “Maulana Bhashani, a popular peasant leader in what is now Bangladesh, used to give marathon speeches that were interrupted when people went home for lunch or dinner, or even for a night's rest, and resumed when they re-assembled afterwards; and the speeches contained much information about everything

Here’s another excerpt from the article: “Messianism substitutes the collective subject, the people, by an individual subject, the messiah. The people may participate in large numbers, and with great enthusiasm and support, in the activities undertaken by the messiah… but they do so as spectators. The action is of the messiah; the people are only enthusiastic and partisan supporters and cheerleaders. If at all they ever undertake any action on the side, this is entirely at the messiah's bidding, its ethics, rationale and legitimacy never explained to them” Well, I don’t agree with quite a few parts in the article but this post is not to debate that. Patnaik probably has inadvertently described religious following itself. The para I quoted can be used for Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammad, Moses or any other prophet you can think of. Imagine if prophets from centuries ago had 24X7 media in their time.

Till the time a messiah from the general public, as Patnaik sort of describes Anna Hazare, comes around the role is usually played by those hyper media celebrity anchors and hosts. Each one passionately intent on heaping some agenda on viewers and readers. Desperately agitated and tired with the twittering and twattering of people on the social networks criticising her, one prominent media cacofonix called them ‘Internet Hindus’! If Maulana Bhashani’s marathon speech is an indicator our media celebrity speakers would have to be called the ‘Media Mullahs’.

If Prabhat Patnaik does a casual count of the number of followers our Media Mullahs have on their twitter accounts he will find them outnumbering those out on the streets supporting Anna Hazare. Secondly, to those who dismiss the crowds as not representing all of India one must point out that if social scientologists like Yogendra Yadav can make conclusions for the nation on sample populations of 20000 then the population sample of Anna is far more superior and far more reliable where accuracy is concerned. But in the crowds in the media are also those whose criticism of Anna’s effort is based on sloganeering and not completely on facts. Is everything in Anna’s protest fair? Obviously not. You are unlikely to find any mass movement in history where you are likely to find every part being fair and logical. This is simply because the end objective of mass movements are their stated objectives and that is that. Sometimes even unstated objectives like the partition of India are achieved/conceded. We don't exactly hang our earlier messiah, Mahatma Gandhi, for that.

Some innocent tweets wondered why Barkha Dutt wouldn’t go to Ramlila maidan to cover the protests when she considered it so important to rush to Egypt and Libya. The reasons for her not doing so is pretty obvious to people who have followed her reporting over the years. But taking the cue the other media mullahs rushed to Ramlila. Rajdeep Sardesai went to meet Anna and even had a photo op. Rahul Kanwal of Headlines Today is reporting live from Ramlila today. After his return from Ramlila, Mullah Sardesai’s pattern of discourse has substantially changed. You can expect a similar change in Mullah Kanwal’s approach. The media mullahs may also have to slowly admit that the battering they receive from Internet Hindus is not entirely unjust or misplaced.

What does it say about our media mullahs when they invite those who trash people or protests with absolutely no logic at all? Mahesh Bhatt calls the Anna movement Taliban. Does that make sense? Yet he figures prominently on NDTV and CNN-IBN. Nikhi Wagle of the CNN-IBN group also tweets of religious bias and questions secularism of the protests. Since when was secularism the agenda of the protests in any case? Since when was a religious tone or bias the agenda of the protests? But both Bhatt and Wagle would like to tweak facts brazenly to lend some insidious motive to the event. And where Arnab Goswami is concerned, he is already a convert and is doing a non-stop coverage of the event.

What Prabhat Patnaik misses is that when the protest eventually winds up the only messiahs left continuing the messianism will be our Media Mullahs. They may just have to alter their agendas a bit.



    Media and the Anna Swamp: how MSM found itself stuck since August 16th.

  2. NDTV is till shameless and yesterday they tried to play the " Dalit" card by inviting one nondescript guy and the headlines were running " Dalit discontent". I seldom watch NDTV and only when there is some ad-break in Times Now, I flip the remote to see what these boot lickers NDTV and CNN-IBN say...already most of the right thinking people have shunned this biased channel who is adept in floating concocted stories to support their CONgress master..

  3. I second what Muthu says. Infact, yesterday's 'Vinod Dua Live' at NDTV India (the hindi channel)showed a chat between Vinod Dua and Bollywood Director Sudhir Mishra.......... i couldn't believe Sudhir saying that slogans like 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' intend to showcase the communal element of Anna's protest. He elaborated that such slogans tend to indicate that this movement is a communal one (.... Hinduist in approach). What a wretched thought? These self proclaimed super intelligent beings have a great understanding of the democracy and corruption.

    Similarly, NDTV India also invited Mr Chandrakant --- some suited booted self proclaimed Dalit Messiah ---- was worried that this is not a movement to be called for as it does not have any Dalit representation........ really funny... isn't it?

  4. Ravinar you have rightly mentioned name of Nikhil Wagle.This person is one of the biggest media crook in marathi media.His IBN-LOKMAT channel is carbon copy of NDTV.He also tried to mislead supporters of Anna by saying that Anna will talk only with Rahul Gandhi.The SICKULAR character of MSM is clearly exposed as there was no discussion on Imam Bukhari statements on Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata ki Jai.

  5. @anonymous

    Sudhir Misra , are u serious? Sikular breed has spread its tentacles far and wide... anyway, one less director and his crappy movies for me to watch..

  6. Fantastic, logical and very well articulated blog, my friend! Totally support you!

  7. In the prog on NDTV on 24th, Sri Sri Ravishankar said that the crime rate in Delhi has come down by 30 per cent since the time the anti-corruption agitation started in Ram Lila Maidan.

    To which Barkha Dutt replied, "Yes, that is because all of them are at the Ram Laila Maidan !"

    (around 5.50 minutes into the video...)

  8. MSM stooges got confused when Ambika Soni asked them to be fair.

  9. Organisation of IFTAR party by the RULERS with TAXED PUBLIC MONEY is SECULAR ?

    Someone pls explain

  10. Today i.e 28/8 there was a programme on NDTV india (hindi), the unadulterated stupid, like many other NDTV waallahs, Vijay Trivedi was hosting a Talk show must be 9-10pm. I only saw the last few minutes of the programme. He had kiran bedi, swami agnivesh and 3 others (names not known) on the channel. One of the unknown ones was a muslim lady who claimed that Anna Team had stopped her to come on stage since she refused to say Vande Mataram. She named Kiran Bedi and Kiran refused meeting her. Kiran chided the anchor how he could bring in such a panelist without cross checking the veracity of the info and how they can bring in any and every one just for the heck. You should have seen Vijay's stupid face. He tried to salvage position by claiming the lady had filed an FIR. Kiran Bedi said still you can call anyone and he was left with a very big egg on his stupid face.

    Another standard procedure of NDTV to run down anyone seen as against Congress


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