Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Shekhar Gupta Lays An Egg


General Douglas MacArthur was easily one of the most powerful army generals there ever was. He was the youngest Chief of Staff of the US Army. He was the one that oversaw the surrender of Japan in 1945 as WWII ended. For many years he was effectively the ruler of Japan. He was Field Marshall of the Philippine army as also the Supreme Commander of the Southwest Pacific area. In 1951, in a continuing confrontation with his boss, President Harry Truman, he was fired. Gen. MacArthur remains a celebrated hero in the US. Parks and monuments are named after him. Stories about him are told in classrooms. Songs have been written and sung about him. Films have been made about him.

Gen. MacArthur left the army in honour. But if you go by the imagination of the likes of Shekhar Gupta the general would have conducted strange manoeuvres to battle the President instead of leaving and almost staged a coup. Maybe he would have even declared himself permanent emperor of Japan and Philippines This is what journalism has fallen to at the Indian Express. Turning incidents of ‘un-notified’ troop movement into fear-mongering and misleading the nation to believe there was grave danger of a coup. We will come to all of that in a bit.

Before you proceed maybe you would like to look up a bit of history. Here are some posts on this site about Gupta’s passionate skulduggery for the Congress party. ‘Shekhar Gupta's Summer Freeze’, ‘Shekhar Gupta - Doctoring & Nursing The Congress’ and ‘Saving Shekhar’s Indian Express’. Nobody can recall how a newspaper that was famous for its bold anti-establishment stance and standing up for freedom of the press has come to be a doormat for a political party. In the recent past Gupta and his pitiful rag, including writers like Tavleen Singh, have done hit jobs on anyone that has had a confrontation with the Congress-UPA govt. This includes Anna Hazare and Team Anna, particularly Kiran Bedi, Baba Ramdev and now comes the turn of the Army chief Gen.VK Singh.

So today, April 4, the Indian Express splashes a front page story with screaming headlines: “The January night Raisina Hill was spooked: Two key Army units moved towards Delhi without notifying Govt.” This is about the night of January 16 when the Army chief and the govt. were in a confrontation over the General’s age issue. On January 16 the army chief had filed a petition in the Supreme Court in the issue of his date of birth. Strange co-incidence at best you might say. What’s the story? Intel agencies reported an unexpected, un-notified movement by key military units, from infantry units based in Hisar (Haryana) in the direction of Delhi, about 150 km away. Following this, there was a flurry of activities in the defence department with even a Defence Secretary being recalled from a foreign tour. That the troops were stopped outside Delhi. To add to the drama, as IE states: “..The situation changed rapidly, though. Reports came in of yet another military movement “towards” Delhi. This unit was identified as a large element of the airborne 50 Para Brigade based at Agra”. The govt. didn’t know and according to the IE report army spokesperson had clarified that these were routine exercises.

But the mischief is not in the event or the incident of January 16 itself. The mischief is in the headline of IE, especially when read in the background of recent bad-blood between the Army and the Defence Ministry and the govt. It clearly led all other news outlets and the general public to believe that there was a possible ‘coup’ attempt that night. Clever! And throughout the day news channels have been busy discussing if it was indeed a coup attempt and what could have been the possible outcomes of such troop movements. Somewhere in his dark, dusty office at the IE building in Delhi Shekhar Gupta and his co-writers of the article, Ritu Sarin and Pranab Samanta must have had a good laugh over having fooled everybody, including their competitors. And if all that wasn’t enough you will have Sagarika Ghose, India’s best Defence expert, debating if reporting on ‘sensitive’ matters relating to the Army is  ‘anti-national’ on her show FTN on CNN-IBN. Bravo!

So what exactly was the motive for Shekhar Gupta’s mischief? Let’s read the opening lines of his article: “This is a story you would tell with extreme care and caution. But it so starkly characterises the current state of top-level politico-military relations that it is a folly to keep it under wraps, as the entire establishment has tried to do for a full 11 weeks now”. So you read that and tighten your belts to read the biggest scandal or potential threat. But the article hits the peak in the first few lines and then its downhill all the way. For all the experts who speculated on a possible coup the IE cleverly doesn’t even mention the word even once. That is great trickery at its best because it leaves so much to your imagination. At a press conference reporters even asked A.K. Antony if there were threats of a coup and he dismissed the IE report as ‘baseless’. The PM dismissed the IE report as ‘alarmist’ and TimesNow had to call in expert Mahroof Raza to explain the coup possibilities. In his usual candid assessment Raza dismissed the possibilities as ‘nonsense’ without actually saying so. Another past senior army officer called the report “planted by anti-national elements”. I would tend to agree with him. So essentially the IE article was sensationalism at best and utter nonsense at worse. Other than the spooky headline there is actually nothing in the article that is worth being alarmed.

Given that the Army chief has had confrontations with the defence ministry, there is a stinging letter by him to the PM which was leaked (and exposed by DNA), and this has resulted in the govt cutting a sorry figure in the continuing episodes, something had to be done. That seems to be the motive behind the sensational headline by Shekhar Gupta which makes it sound as if the Army had nearly run over an elected govt in India. Secondly, the article also clandestinely casts a shadow over Gen. VK Singh and makes it sound like he may have gone to the extent of over-throwing the govt on account of his fight with the govt. Of course, it doesn’t say all this in so many words but let’s you draw that conclusion. So like with Team Anna and Kiran Bedi and others Shekhar Gupta attempted another hit job on the Army and the Army Chief. Unfortunately, his attempt can be best described as a ‘failed coup’.

Despite his confrontations with President Truman, Gen.MacArthur was and remains forever a very popular General. The govt. probably realised that there is little they could do with Gen. VK Singh considering the immense popularity he has acquired as he took on corruption and the corrupt in the Army. Had they so desired they could have removed Gen. Singh but not tried to dent his reputation and popularity. Instead, there has been a lot of mud-slinging against Gen. Singh from the govt. and particularly the ‘anti-national’ media. Shekhar Gupta’s ‘failed coup’ is another attempt at that and nothing more. That the entire story could be a 'plant' is further reasoned by this article in the the SundayGuardian: "Senior minister Sutradhar of coup report?"

Once upon a time the IE was the second most read newspaper in Bombay and in many other cities. It has sunk without a trace in many cities and survival against competition can only be with putting out lousy stories with screaming headlines. By evening today, Shekhar Gupta is the laughing stock of the nation. He will really have to start worrying how he spooked himself and IE. He managed to lay an egg alright. LOL! He made only one mistake – He should have called Arindam to count it before it hatched. As it stands, this has to be the worst report of the year gone terribly wrong so far.

20 comments:

  1. SundayGuardian says senior minister is responsible for that plant. who that senior minister is?

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  2. The senior minister is Chidu , who son Karti is close friend of "Buddhu".... hahaha

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  3. Was waiting for ur post on this...terrific. Calling shekhar Gupta "scum of the earth" is like abusing scum of the earth!!

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  4. Somebody from the ruling clique cannot stand a sincere, honest, patriotic and incorruptible Officer which Gen. V.K. Singh is. They are not able to indulge in corrupt practices because of this upright General. Somehow or other malign this man and hound him out and this rag is used to insinuate him with a scary coup attempt. They want to malign the reputation of Gen. Singh in the eyes of the people. Is there any relation to the letter of Gen. Singh to the Prime Minister which is leaked ? Some vested interests who only think ill of our beloved country is surely behind all these. Things are getting scary by the day with a non-functioning government mired in corruption from top to bottom with a trust deficit not only with the people but the Army too. God save out country.

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  5. Though I dislike Gupta no end but the analogy with MacArthur sounds a bit too phony. What the American General did during Korean war was reprehensible and can't be compared with General Singh's actions. Gupta has sensationalized a serious issue but he has actually brought the devil out from under the wraps.

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    1. "devil out from under the wraps."

      as a commentator says here. Where is the devil here? "It was a routine practice which doesnt need to be informed to the govt." Now you tell me what doubt you have in this. Even a baby will laugh at a guy who tries to convince him with this. The only point the whole article was hanging was on that. And the army categorically has said that they dont have to inform the govt, and they have done a bigger movement like this earlier without info.

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  6. Only fools could have imagined that Indian Army would attempt a coup. India is not pakistan that Army will shed its primary duty of defending the nation and get into administration. IA even if it wishes can not successfuly execute a coup for various reasons and facts.

    IB has cleared Army Cheif about the leak. It leaves only one suspect. That is PM office but media is not interested in discussing it because it involved PMO. Why is not media conducting its court on PM and PMO for letter leak as it did on Army Cheif ?

    Anyways, people would love to have IA administer the nation rather than these sickular and aimless congress government.

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  7. It is irony that India produced the best journlist in the history from Indian Express in the name of Shri "Arun Shouri" and worst also from IE in the name of "Shekhar Gupta". But yes there are many in the later category to accompany Mr. Gupta. There are likes of Agent Vinod (Gupta), Arnav Goswami, Ashutosh, Karan Thapar, Prabhu Chawala etc. I've not included some name here as they are currently ahead of Shekhar Gupta which includes Rajdeep and the wife Sagrika, Barkha,Agent Vinod (Sharma), Pranoy Roy, Vir Sanghavi. Feel free to add any name in it.

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  8. I am sorry for you Shekhar Gupta and sorry for this UPA GOVT . How deep the media and this congress govt has fallen into? There is no limit of Besharmi for this govt and media crooks .I am buying this phrase from Ravinar. Ravi is right . Media has today become stooge of congress . Who will believe that army was thinking of something like this ? And to give credence to their lie it is said that it was on the day army chief had approached the supreme court on the day of his hearing in age issue.


    And if anybody watched news channels last night you could see how Shekhar Gupta was trying to defend himself .it was something like DEJA VU when BARKHA was being interrogated by editors on ENDTV. It was unbearable to see besharmi in his eyes . He was sounding as if he has done something remarkable but he was looking a fool and joker with his justifications and have waving mannerisms

    We have to watch not the COUP from Army but we have to break this unholy alliance and COUP of media brokers and congress govt . This govt has undermined every respectable institution in this country.


    The prism has broken . Whosoever has some place in our hearts is now erased .. They are all bunch of brokers and dalals. They are more dangerous than Red light area Dalals .

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  9. Yay! Bull's eye is the Egg Dish that comes to the top of my mind (for culinary inclined http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-fried-bullseye-egg-isolated-image12066367)Whether Shekhar Gupta consulted Arindam or not, he did not bargain for our hero, Ravinar to make known to the world that the Egg he laid was rotten indeed. What I liked best (though I saw some one disagreeing) was the Comparison to Gen MacArthur - See it the context of Pres Truman's and the Authorities behaviour and contrast it to what UPA is doing here. It cannot get more contrasting.
    But then Shekhar Gupta comes out as an innocent fall guy which he is not.He is smart-took over IE with a clear agenda and did it admirably. Coincidentally 4th April also was a day of great significance for UPA's Minister as whole lot of judgements were due pertaining to 2G. Which makes the #Coup Scare timing very suspect. Having said this, we should not buck stop at Shekar Gupta, chase the trail to the Sutradhar Father-Son Duo. Nail them for good!
    Did Shekhar Gupta and co, really think Indians are so naive to believe that 2 units of Army could stage a successful coup? Grow up, even my 12 year old Son Challenged this theory. He laid an egg but unfortunately for him it ended up on his face (rightly so)
    Great job yet again,my friend (I plan to have this as my standard signature line on this site). I have been expecting this sharp analysis and media complicity (I am sure readers have noticed that this blog brings out the fact that every single media house had a role in the way things panned out).
    Thanks Media - but for your mess ups, we wouldn't get to read MediaCrooks as much! Salutes Sir:-) for this educative piece.

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  10. Media are mudslinging every possible anti UPA person. This time they went too far. Army is something you don't mess with.

    Sorry asses. they should be ashamed of them-self. they owe their very existence to the army.

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  11. PC Chidambaram is a brilliant person....who thought that he would use his intelligence for EVIL. Imagine the Home Minister of the country is willing to sell out the nation! I would rather prefer a strongly nationalistic dictator like Ahmadinejad to this abuse for democracy. If Narendra Modi doesn't become Prime Minister in 2014 this nation will make its largest blunder in its independent history. Already many people who had supported Congress in 2004 have called it a historical blunder, choosing this bunch of morons over Vajpayee.

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  12. Some part of the media is anti-national no doubt. Be it Burkha's covert feeling for Pak, TOI's Aman ki asha campaign(although can be reasoned for a good cause), The Hindu's stance on Maoism, it is clearly evident that they are anti-national (the garbs differ each time of course)

    As for your comment on Tavleen Singh...she had once written a strong article which hit out at Robert Vadra, nepotism in congress. If she were to have pro-congress bias, i don't think that article was even a possibility...

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  13. So are you saying that only General V K Singh is honest and the rest of the Army or most of it corrupt? So it seems from your article. You seem to trivialize a larger issue into a personality debate, simplistic like a Hindi movie - an embattled hero, single handedly fighting the corrupt and entire 'neighboring country' army and hounded by local villains - a corrupt CM and stooge editors... Your thinking seems petty and parochial and you seem to have no understanding of the issue. You ascribe motives to the report by putting words (starting with a C) into it, then condemn the writer. Did you even understand or read the report?

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  14. Tomorrow Pak President Zardari is visiting India, watch India media crooks.

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  15. @Santosh Mhaskar: It won't be surprising if tomorrow Hafiz Saeed visits our country and these crooks declare him as messenger of peace.

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  16. What are trying to say, my dear. You finding fault with Sekhar Gupta and his writings but not with others. What about the great Arun Shourie, one could assume with almost certainity as your hero? Could he ever been impartial, given his active involvment in power politics for a particular party? Or are you trying to say, anyone who is on the side of the Saffron brigade are all impartal, patriots and all those who oppose the killer RSS are all corrupt, power hungry, bootlicking journos?

    What about all those Journos including YOU, who CRIED FOUL about the 2G spectrum allocation. Of course there was corruption to the tune of few hundred crores by A Raja and DMK. But to turn it around and present it infront of the WORLD as the biggest scam on earth, a $38 billion scam. Be honest, YOU FOOL and ALL THE FOOLS YOU bootlickingly support you here. NOW THAT THE SPECTRUM IS BACK WITH THE GOVT, WILL YOU GO AND HELP THE DOT TO AUCTION IT AND GET THAT FIGURE YOU SUPPORTED WHOLEHEARTEDLY? $38 BILLION!!! OR DO YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS WANT TO BID $38 BILLION FOR THAT SPECTRUM, YOU FOOLS. WHY $38 Billion? Sale was in Oct 2007, so now in 2012 it should fetch at least $50 BILLION. OMG? ARE YOU FOOLS CONFIDENT OF GETTING EVEN 10% OF THAT???

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    1. @India against Hypocrites, you know you should change your name to India for Congress, do you even know what the 2G scam was all about, how deliberately procedures were bypassed and rent seekers were allowed in.

      I can see your tendency of repeatedly using FOOL, looks like you are extremely familiar with their kind because you are always their company every time when you see a mirror :)

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  17. @India Against Hypocrites: The 1.76 lakh crores figure was given by the CAG and not by BJP supporters/Congress haters. So please, get your facts straight.

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  18. Why has been the post 'Shekhar Gupta- Walking too Fast?' posted on Dec 19, 2012, removed from this site... Any answers?

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