The three-day Sadbhavana Mission of Narendra Modi ended on September 19 with a rousing speech that sought to set new directions for governance, equality and national policies. The mainstream media had no option to be there. After all, no matter how much hatred they continue to heap on him, Modi simply stands tall where leadership and governance are concerned. It also helps that he is a great orator. But make no mistake, the MSM wasn’t there to just cover the event. It was there to see if any more muck can be raised against Modi and to remind him that in the ‘supreme court of the media’ he has already been declared guilty of crimes. Much of the transactions at the Sadbhavana event were live and will also be available to read in newspapers, magazines and online pages for quite some time. So let’s try and understand the orchestration to disrupt the event by the media and other charlatans. Mine is not to discuss the merits/de-merits of the event or its political impact but to understand the orchestrated campaign of hate from some in the media and some activists.
Here’s a tweet from @shammybaweja from September 16 (She is Harinder Baweja, Editor Investigations of Headlines Today): “Off to Guj for Modis sadhbhavna. Remorse and legal justice needed for 1984 and 2002. Fast track justice, not cong bjp fast wars”.
Well, one would have thought like others she too would land up at the Gujarat University grounds but where does she land up? Naroda Patiya, a site of mob violence and killing in the 2002 riots. Hmmm, so what was cooking? In the morning of September 17 Mallika Sarabhai, another crusader for justice, suddenly summons a presser and accuses Narendra Modi of having bribed her lawyers to scuttle her PIL on the post-Godhra riots. The crusader-come-lately, Sanjiv Bhatt, backs up her allegations as being true. Then later she too lands up at Naroda Patiya. A small group of people, riot victims, are organised to protest and march for justice by Mukul Sinha, a lawyer. So, by strange co-incidence, Mallika, Mukul and Baweja all turn up at Naroda Patiya. Headlines Today was the only channel telecasting live from the site. The protestors were also carrying printed pamphlets that must have been organised overnight. Ordinarily, there would be nothing wrong in such protests except for the timing. Mallika could have made her allegations and led these protests many times over in the last few months but she did not. But the objective was simple – to rekindle and continue the hate-NaMo campaign during the Sadbhavana event.
And that was trigger enough for NDTV, CNN-IBN, Headlines Today and others to start their chorus of abuse without even verifying the accusations made by Mallika. So let’s deal with the the lies of Mallika Sarabhai. This report based on comments by her own lawyers should be enough to nail her filthy lies.
From TOI: “Lawyers who appeared for…Mallika Sarabhai in the SCourt in 2002 for her PIL on the post-Godhra riots denied her allegation that bribes were paid to her advocates by the Narendra Modi government to derail the petition…….Advocate Mahesh Agrawala, the counsel who filed the writ petition number 221 of 2002 in the SC with Sarabhai as the petitioner, said it was "totally false that any money was ever paid to us by anyone to do anything or not do something relating to the petition. No money was ever paid to us and we did the case free of cost. Moreover, her case was argued on April 15, 2002, by senior advocate P Chidambaram before a bench headed by the CJI and comprising Justices Shivraj V Patil and H K Sema. The court had admitted the petition, issued notices to the Centre and Gujarat government and allowed early listing,"…….Agrawala said, "She got the relief she wanted on the very first day of hearing. It is unfortunate that after nine years, she is making the allegation about payment of money, which is patently false."
So the TV channels had a blast with the lies of Mallika Sarabhai. And if lies are on the menu can Teesta Setalvad be left out? Naturally, this washing machine of justice was back on TV all through the last three days hurling abuses and spreading untruths once again. Acts for which she was awarded with a Padmashri, of course. And where else to go but on the channel that has been the worldwide platform for the lies against Narendra Modi and about the Gujarat riots, NDTV. It is widely believed that the only channel that Narendra Modi refused an interview to is NDTV. Barkha Dutt herself laments that the CM would not entertain her. There’s a good reason too. Anyone who knows well enough that NDTV and, in particular, Barkha Dutt has carried out a systematic campaign of calumny about Gujarat and Modi wouldn’t trust that channel to be honest or relate to facts.
Long before the Gujarat riots Teesta Setalvad was funded by the Congress, CPM, CPI and others to campaign and carry out ads against the BJP during the 1999 election campaign. She had asked for and received funds from these political parties for her campaign. And she did advertise and campaign against the BJP in her magazine ‘Communal Combat’. Therefore, the lie that Teesta is a ‘social’ or ‘rights’ activist is one of the greatest lies peddled by the media. She is clearly a political activist and her political persuasion and motivation is cunningly suppressed by NDTV and other channels.
Teesta’s campaign against the BJP in 1999 failed as the BJP+NDA returned to power. Naturally, the investments that the Congress made in her had to be recovered somehow. Come the unfortunate Gujarat riots and Teesta had to deliver her pound of flesh. She creates the CJP in April 2002 after the riots have calmed. What followed was the most extraordinary campaign of untruths, fake affidavits, rumour mongering – all gleefully accepted and churned out by the media crooks. How much money has poured into her CJP is not public knowledge. Even the SC had pulled her up for trying to internationalise Modi as a criminal by writing to the UN.
In my post “SC exposes the media’s clean shit” I have detailed the lies that Suzy Roy deliberately peddled about the riots. In case of Teesta her lies were exposed by the SIT itself. All the ‘copy-cat’ affidavits she engineered for the riot victims now stand thoroughly exposed. Her own former colleagues have also nailed her lies. Imagine, this washing machine of justice has twice sought anticipatory bail, something more common among politicians. Her organisation, Citizens for Justice and Peace, parades as an NGO while clearly being a political organisation. However, this campaign of lies did pay off in some way, coupled with many other reasons. The NDA lost power in 2004 and the Congress+UPA came to power. Rewarding Barkha Dutt, Teesta Setalvad (and also Rajdeep Sardesai) immediately would be a dead give-away. So a few years later all three were awarded the Padmashri. But every time Narendra Modi is in the news, these washing machines unfailingly get back into action.
Reading motives or even words where there were none, the MSM uniformly talked about NaMo’s PM ambitions. They sought an apology from him when their attempts to nail him legally haven’t produced anything so far. Interpreted Nitish Kumar’s absence from the Sadbhavana event as a snub and for that reason the event is not supported by all. They even employed fake tweets or manipulated them to heap further abuse. During the event CNBC-TV18 even carried a full interview with Teesta in its programme “Beautiful People”. Hahhaaa, that’s an irony and, mind you, I am not talking about her looks.
The Sadbhavana event can be criticised on many other fronts but that wasn’t the case. The entire narrative was built on continuing the hate-Modi campaign. Every media celeb that talked to Modi had not one question to ask about the development model of Modi. Not one had any question of how Gujarat coped with the historic problem of water shortages. Not one talked about the girl-child education campaign in Gujarat. Not one talked about how Gujarat grew without frivolous subsidies. Not one talked about how Gujarat got around to building such great roads and highways. Not one talked about how Gujarat manages to provide uninterrupted power supply. Not one talked about reasons why industrialists are thrilled to set up businesses in Gujarat. Nothing! Whether Modi gained by the event or not, time will tell. But one outcome has been clearly established. The media’s complete loss of decency, respect for facts and truth, and further erosion in their already low credibility. Modi was giving interviews to all and sundry and if Barkha Dutt feels snubbed by not getting her chance that should tell her how low her image and credibility has sunk. An interview with Modi would have given her some redemption, but I doubt that is ever going to happen.
For all the campaigns against Modi the same crooks are yet to even find what is wrong with Sonia Gandhi, her illness, her treatment, her whereabouts. NDTV has even comically reported her return to India at least 4 or 5 times. And I doubt they still know where Sonia is. Never mind that. But this mainstream media is hurtling towards greater decimation. The social network is already delivering it a severe blow. The online netizens have become a watchdog over the media in absence of an independent body. And if that isn’t enough, there is Wikileaks exposing all the information that the media may have covered up or suppressed.
The future of Narendra Modi doesn’t exactly concern me enormously as much as it concerns the media crooks. They live in fear that his rise to the top may completely destroy whatever is left of their credibility. Whatever else, but there is one thing that these crooks can learn from NaMo. In all this campaign of calumny he has conducted himself in a dignified manner and never shot back at any of his detractors. They called the Sadbhavana event a political stunt or gimmick. NaMo is a politician and the event IS political – what is so wrong about it? That is what politicians are supposed to do – mobilise political views and directions. Modi has successfully done that in at least one thing – ‘vote bank politics will not pay in the future’. The media even tried to make a big issue of Modi not wearing the muslim skull cap offered to him by a visitor. Here is the best response I found on Twitter to that by @Pari500: “…and Maulana says 'refusal of the cap is an insult to Islam', really? Now we know the honour of islam rests SOLELY on Modi's head!”
Here is an interesting observation by The Economist: “The biggest shift is that journalism is no longer the exclusive preserve of journalists. Ordinary people are playing a more active role in the news system, along with a host of technology firms, news start-ups and not-for-profit groups. Social media are certainly not a fad, and their impact is only just beginning to be felt. “It’s everywhere and it’s going to be even more everywhere,” says Arianna Huffington. Successful media organisations will be the ones that accept this new reality. They need to reorient themselves towards serving readers rather than advertisers, embrace social features and collaboration, get off political and moral high horses and stop trying to erect barriers around journalism to protect their position. The digital future of news has much in common with its chaotic, ink-stained past.”
If ever Bill Gates made a business error, the biggest one has to be his refusal or failure to see the potential of the Internet when it came about. Since that failure, his company has only been playing catch up. Google now reports that India will add 200Mn more net users by 2014. That’s a good sign for the nation but a serious warning for the MSM. If they don’t see the writing on the wall the social network will grow to a level that will make them obsolete where news and debates are concerned. The loss of credibility has already come about.. the best they can do is to attempt restoration of some decency and respect for facts and truth.