Friday, January 27, 2012

MoronGiri From Jaipur Litfest

Here’s the latest and most courageous piece of journalism in the new century from the most courageous journalist – Barkha Dutt. This is a tweet from the champion of free speech on January 25: “The Buck stops with the government says @SalmanRushdie to me. Hid in a room & interviewed him via video link ironically”. Hid in a room? From what? Ghosts in the video link? From spies disguised as room-boys? This is after her interview with Rushdie once the video conference with him was finally cancelled on January 24 by the hosts at the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF). Nobody knows whether the interview was before or after the cancellation and it is unlikely you’ll ever find out.

The police and hosts of JLF perceived a threat over the video participation of Rushdie in the event on the last day of the public event. But such is the Morongiri of some journos that they think merely interviewing someone from a hotel room through a videolink is an act of courage. There was no law against it, no ban, no threat to privacy in the hotel room. Nothing! So what was this JLF all about? On cancellation of the Rushdie show the organisers quickly put together another show: “Freedom of speech” at 3.45 pm on January 24. This was to fill in the time slot for the Rushdie session.

I am not a literary type but I thought some literary geniuses would be on that show. And indeed they were! You had Shoma Chaudhury and Tarun Tejpal of Tehelka, the Indian version of NOTW tabloid. You had Javed Akhtar a film screen writer and lyricist. There was some Salim Engineer of a muslim group and, of course, there was Rahul Bose, he can be anything and anyone from anywhere you like and for spice they added Barkha Dutt to the group. Literary geniuses! All of them discussing freedom of speech! Nothing wrong with that but what were a bunch of people who wouldn’t be classified under ‘literary’ geniuses under any circumstance doing there? And all of them were dissing one group or the other for the fiasco that was the JLF. Fact of the matter is some muslim groups protested and these courageous folk discussed all groups of Hindus and muslims to explain what freedom of speech is and the audience finally got educated. 

Oh Wait! That’s not all. To add meaning to the stupid exercise Rahul Bose even read from the literary classic ‘Constitution of India’ thus: "Reasonable restrictions can be imposed in the interest of public order, security of state, decency, or morality." I come from a city where time and time again this rule of law is not upheld. It's a grey area and who decides what is moral and what is not”? No matter which city one comes from a moron remains a moron. The only other person who can match such morongiri is Suhel Seth. He suddenly discovered the glorious muslim culture that has contributed so much to this nation (elsewhere on TV). I probably don’t understand his context.

Farcical threats by groups and the state are not countered by protected speeches from a stage by a bunch of pretenders who have the ‘sponsored’ benefit and luxury of airing silly views. Such threats to freedom require countering by action. With his decision to abstain from the JLF Rushdie merely exposed himself and the others as stupid word-mongers at the event. Frankly, a 74-year old Anna Hazare showed greater courage against threats from the state than these verbal lint. And who are Shoma, Barkha, Javed, Tejpal and Rahul? All of them are state-sponsored and honoured propagandists of the govt. It is not freedom of speech that bothers them it is just that their party was being pooped by some idiots. I am no literature expert to comment on Rushdie’s writings but to his credit he did face and survive international death threats for a long time now. His freedom of movement has also been under constant threat. None of his protectors on the stage have ever faced such threats and usually these are the ones who pompously sermonise on freedoms.

There’s another small matter of importance. Rushdie wrote about Islam and Mohammad as he thought fit when many others wouldn’t have dared. His account is obviously fictional and he has the literary license of imagination as well. But what about reporting real events concerning muslims by the very journalists who talk about freedom? A few months back the entire Indian TV media blacked out a violent protest by muslims at Jangpura, a locality in Delhi, over an illegal mosque that was razed under a HC order. The logic was that the NBA (National Broadcasters Association) had advised a blackout. And who exactly is the poster boy for the media where all such muslim issues are concerned? A. Owaisi, the MP from Hyderabad. Now, this man wants a ban on Hindu processions on Ram Navami and has earlier suggested that all Indians must convert to Islam. The more the media suppresses the wrong doings of the muslim extremists the more they will be gobbled by this very evil. Every instance of wrong demands, not condemning terrorist acts and even falling prey to mischief mongers like Digvijay Singh are treated as small incidents by the media. These incidents keep churning the very threat of violence that confronted the JLF. And the media helps to promote the very threat that society faces frequently by either not reporting or condoning it through silence. It is only when their party at Jaipur was spoiled that they found a deep desire for freedom of speech. 

Javed Akhtar is already a Rajya Sabha member from the Congress. So is his wife Shabana Azmi. Before long, the very journalists named in this post will be queuing up for a RS seat. Can they afford to condemn the very party at whose doorstep their future careers lie? That's the problem with these political aspirants, they cannot afford to confront their paymasters and the masters of their own future. So freedom of speech in general is a very convenient topic to discuss without holding responsible anyone who does suppress it.

Barkha’s mistaken sense of having triumphed over imaginary threats by interviewing Rushdie by “hiding” in some room is the typical nonsense that idiots and her fans will be impressed with. Sure, try telling Barkha that her self-aggrandizement was nothing more than ‘morongiri’ you are likely to be held out another threat of legal action. Unfortunately for India, she isn’t just one bad apple, there are many such in the Indian media. They are mere frogs waiting to be boiled.


  1. to be a regular guest on end it tv you have to hate anything connected with hinduism especially if you are one ,find monotheistic religions especially islam praiseworthy (mainly - you are worried about your 'conjones'being cut off by some loony ),hate and denigrate the indian army ,find raul vinci and his .... er dimples attractive,fawn over a narayana murthy and amartya sen,go weak in the knees and wet your pants when talking to a salman rushdie probably even a salman khurshid , support covertly and overtly kashmiri separatists , love omar abdullah because you know 'who' at end it tv loves him ,call prannoy roy - dr roy, listen gravely when shekhar gupta speaks ,root endlessly for the return to end it tv the eminent vir sanghavi and finally ask for manu joseph of 'open' magazine and vinod mehta of 'outlok' to be shown no mercy

  2. Dear Ravinar,

    Good one as usual! Just want to request if you have any material to expose the most intelectual people of India "the Tehlka team". 2012 is a year of Gujrat election and the way they choriographed 2007 with there nonsense report on NAMO, they will try the same this time. Recently they came on S Swamy in there cover stroy since Swamy was behind vishkanya. Tahlka were exposed recently in Goa Festival. They also tried to defame RSS. I request if you have any thing to present to expose them, kindly share with us.

  3. Dear Ravinar,
    She said hid in a room...why? are the treats valid only while the interview is going on? She is safe after that? Stupid threat!

  4. In fine the threat to our nation is not from terrorists, naxals but from the scoundrel journalists who claim in the top slot but stooges of the ruling corrupt cong government next to the three agencies now added one more to it. Thus the so called top slot journalists are second to none to terrorism they perpetrate by disseminating information and news what they have in store to buttress the government thinking. May god bless this nation to decimate the corrupt cong as they did in TN where the government came to power under self respect but buried with freebies thus pushed down as beggars. What they succeeded in their six decades governance is to have decimated intellects from that state but replaced with corrupts. What the corrupt regional parties do in their respective states the corrupt cong is doing nationwide and the dead wood remains muke spectator. The five buffoons in the governance at the center and this handful of journalists are ruling this nation to their roost. What is interviewed in a room can be a cobweb interview?

  5. Dear Ravinar,
    Spot on. You have bared them completely. I don't think they have left any shame in them. It is going to be like this only. They will never antagonise their paymasters as you rightly say. Thanks for this post.

  6. Again on the bank.. but i still wonder why there is no INDIAN who has the guts to take these things to court?

    also it would have been appropriate to it this Owasis's snap of sharing a seat with the Hamas leader..

  7. Dear Ravinar,
    When I expressed my wish to take up journalism to my 70 something neighbour, he told me, "A journalist can make or mar a person. Be a responsible journalist." Media has made these no-good people into scholars of our generation and some good leaders into villains.

  8. Sorry about an unrelated comment, but it is very important for all of us to see this post by Dr. Swamy on his website. This Muslim goonda from Hydrabad is really trying to convert India to Pakistan. And Congress is supporting this organization in their activities. They need to be stopped immediately....

    Also, the Congress has imposed a ban on ringing bells in the temples near Charminar Hydrabad and from performing Maha Aarti.

    We all need to come out in strong opposition or we will soon find ourselves in Pakistan, not India.

  9. And now we have diggy doggy saying that the shahi imam is 'communal' for asking people to vote for Samajwadi party in UP?
    This guy belongs to a mental asylum and he is the congress general secretary?Wow.What a country this is !!

  10. National symbols of India.

    1] NATIONAL ROBOT : Man Mohan Singh
    2] NATIONAL GUESTS : Kasab and Afzal Guru
    3] NATIONAL MESSENGER : Barkha Dutt
    6] NATIONAL DAMAAD : Robert Vadra
    9] NATIONAL CLOWN : Lallu Prasad
    10] NATIONAL WAITING MOMENT : Sachin's Century
    11] NATIONAL BANK : Swiss Bank
    12] NATIONAL ASYLUM : Parliament
    13] NATIONAL HOTEL:Tihar

  11. I had seen that programme. That 'sog' Javeds Akthar had the temerity and guts to go awry while defending the idiosyncrasies of the Mohammed of Mecca and Medina.He starts and ends his filmy lyrics with 'allah'. "Allah', the God is one to all of us. No quesyions.

    Gurumurthy in today's IE in the editor's page has written a good article. Ohwasi or who ever that guy is yet another meaningless Khan harping on the secular nature of this Nation. Why ain't we declare this country as a Hindu nation?

    Any problem?


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