Thursday, December 1, 2011

CNN-IBN - The Dirty Awards

J.Jayalalitha, Jairam Ramesh, Mamata Banerjee, Salman Khurshid, Arun Jaitley/Sushma Swaraj and Tarun Gogoi. What do these names have in common? Easy – they are all politicians. Some of them are chief ministers of some states. And they are all going to be part of a most shameful act in a democracy – sham awards titled “Indian of the year” by a news channel. Of course, this is not the first time that CNN-IBN is handing out these awards and also not the only channel. Their mirror channel NDTV was the one to start this shameful practice some years ago. A few weeks back NDTV hurriedly gave out these awards in October, although they excluded politicians this year.

One must recall the Indian of the year awards handed out to Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, Nitish Kumar and other politicians by these news channels. Can’t say there’s a connection but under the Congress govt. at the centre people like Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep Sardesai have received the Padma awards. That’s like politicians and news media scratching each other’s backs. Ironically, the new tagline for CNN-IBN is “the most awarded channel”. (They seem to have dropped the previous “whatever it takes” line.)

Last year I wrote the post “CNN-IBN– Indian Of The Year–The Sham Awards” on the same topic. It is one thing for a news channel to hand out awards to sportsmen, businessmen and others but altogether a different thing to hand out awards to the very people they are supposed to keep a watch on and report. Jairam Ramesh is on the list of CNN-IBN for the second years running. Arun Jaitley & Sushma Swaraj are clubbed together as one entity. The reasons are not important. The Radiagate incident has exposed the nexus between media and politicians and these sham awards are a furtherance of the continuing nonsense by CNN-IBN.

Since giving the ‘Indian of the year’ award to Rahul Gandhi for 2009, CNN-IBN has subsequently questioned whether he has a vision for India. The channel is on record stating they have no idea of his views on various national issues. None of this occurred to them before bestowing a silly award on him. What is equally shameful is the manner in which media celebs like Barkha and Rajdeep address various politicians. Barkha addresses CM Nitish Kumar as ‘Nitish’ like he were an old classmate of hers. The news media is yet to evolve a protocol on how to address public servants and politicians. Rarely do you hear them addressing senior public servants as sir, mr or madam. That is the kind of superior and powerful position they have accorded to themselves.  A previous article by regular blogger V. Gopalakrishnan on the topic, “Media awards to public servants – a crying shame” is also worth reading.

What the politicians, who equally, shamefully accept such sham awards from the news media,  miss is an important aspect of who funds these awards and shows. These are ‘sponsored’ honours which no politician or public servant should ever accept. The list is long: SRM University (a university?), Hindustan Times, ONGC, Mint, Hindustan, Swarovski, Ford, Parker, Sensodyne, Chivas (liquor brand), GE and some more. In short, it’s just another money-making business for the channel which public servants should be avoiding.

The practice of news media handing out awards to public servants and politicians while they are still active is one of the most unethical practices of the Indian media. You may not find this in most mature democracies. TIME magazine does have a ‘Person of the year’ lead story but that is only to acknowledge the impact of an individual on the world during the year. It does not involve handing out some award or some ceremony. I can’t also understand the title of ‘Indian of the year’! What the hell is that? Fair to have a sportsperson of the year or businessman of the year from India but that certainly doesn’t make the person Indian of the year. This is clearly an insult to all other Indians, many of whom do make extra-ordinary contribution to society. Which is enough reason for me to call these the ‘Dirty Awards’.

Most of all, in the politician category, I can even predict the winner. Well, it’s a simple toss-up between Mamata Banerjee and J. Jayalalitha. Why? Because they have swept the state elections this year. And all possibilities are it will be Mamata Banerjee for her accomplishment of ending the three-decade old CPM rule in Bengal. If you know any of these politicians or can communicate with them do make sure to advise them not to accept these awards. These dirty awards are merely another form of media corruption.


  1. Him
    Been reading your blog for quite sometime now. Completely agree that public servants should not be accepting any awards from media which is all the time biased to some or the other party. But genuinely if someone is deserving some recognition of what they are doing, then i guess an award is the only apart from getting re elected of course from the same people. But these days you cannot really trust that re election of a person from the same place means public acceptance as Madam jayalalitha is already shouting it out that chidambaram was not really elected and it was some number jimmix he did at the polling booth.
    So, my point how do politicians get any recognition of the good that they are doing if at all they are doing any ??


  2. "public servants should not be accepting any awards"- This is not applicable for 'NO Rule is a Rule State'

    It is naive to believe that politicians are to serve the common but a profession with all criminal qualification; more qualified with all sorts of criminalism you deserve to be the HM; to earn (loot with impunity) for self.

    There were two hencemen for MGR and both got colleges and later universities who also have the qualification as that of politicians.

    It is high-time to intuit that the scamsters in question had decided "Is it to be known to us that our quality is so only after reading Ravinar's article" hence they would not shift their paradigm hence, incorrigible, indolent, mediocre medias

  3. Have not read all the blog posts. But this is good effort. we completely agree corrupt media is dangerous. people should become aware. Internet is the only media where democracy is alive..all the best!

  4. Start requesting your cable/DTH operator for discontinuing of all these Paid media channels of Kangress.
    Twitter a/c of d2h (d2h_online)

  5. Dear Anonymous,

    The answer to paid channels is not to tell DTH operator to discontinue them but to challenge them on every public platform through accurately pinpointing their mistakes. Please understand that these Channels do not support Congress because they are Anti-BJP, but because they are funded by Anti Hindu forces who keep them alive even after years & years of their Loss making by investing in them for maligning Hindu community in every possible way.

  6. wonderful & prolific article. i did witness the shallow ostentation of the NDTV, where Barkha was mongering around every sigle "celebrity" and it wasn't trenchant at all for why is this AWARD being installed to give away!! petty people!! they do all that it takes to display their foolishness

  7. shame , a real shame ..Just wonder how mindless people are ruling us, inspite of us being so worried abt our nation..
    who is a media house to judge public services? that apart, how mindless it is on part of our elected representatives to go and accept such prizes..

    high time we as a people come united and do something to stop such non sense happening,
    What would go into the minds of those innocent indians who watch all this n have no idea of the truth?
    media is a powerful tool that frames ideas in the minds of people, misused at will in india, why?
    I suck YOU , YOU suck me ( politicians, journos)


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