There was a time when media would have investigated these allegations, are we doing that now? asks Nidhi Razdan to a panellist about the allegations against Robert Vadra. This was on her show “Left, Right, Centre” on October 10 on NDTV. Then there is another ‘Johny-come-lately’ called Krishna Prasad, of Outlook magazine, who says “It’s easy for Narendra Modi to say 1800Crs. were spent on SoniaG’s health and run away”.. Health? Run away? Modi has repeated the charge over and over and it still hasn’t been answered by either the govt or the media. What has been churned out is some nonsense about SoniaG’s medical treatment bills and Modi’s question was on her travel bills, not medical. So Prasad now enters the club of fiberals! And the only “running” that Modi is doing is for another term as CM.
So in a discussion on Kejriwal V Vadra a fiberal is allowed to bring in “Modi” and allowed his two-penny twisted thrill. In response to this, Nidhi turns to Meenakshi Lekhi and she starts off: “First I was going to make a different point.. but since KP has brought up Modi…” There! That hurts! Hussshhhh! Nidhi jumps and pleads “No, don’t bring in Modi please.. I beg, I beg you, please don’t bring in Modi”. Haha! I don’t blame Nidhi. You can bring up Modi as long as you want to throw mud on him, but hey, no defences please. For a channel that has hunted Modi for a decade and survived on “slandering” him, to borrow Prasad’s term in criticism of Kejriwal, it is indeed refreshing to see this changed approach. Modi seems to have worn them out and depreciated them.
Going back to the first line in this post.. “there was a time when media would have investigated.. are we doing that now?” from Nidhi, it is amazing that every media celeb keeps asking such questions to others. What are they seeking? Clean chits from some regular panellist? Why not show some honesty by putting out an editorial statement that says: ‘Yes we should have followed up on that ET report. We erred and we regret this lapse and apologise to our viewers and the public’. That would have been appreciated and sins forgiven. People don’t flog people who own up to mistakes. Hush!
|By Manoj Kureel (NitiCentral)|
For the record, the program started with Salman Khurshid and a mild mention of his Zakir Hussain Trust for Disabled scam. The Trust also has Khurshid’s wife as the Chief Officer. But since the scam broke on Aaj Tak’s channel no other channel seemed willing to pick it up. Doing an “ET” all over again? In contrast, every channel willingly replayed the umpires’ sting by IndiaTV over and over again. Why not! No major political stakes involved in the umpire scam. No damage to the Congress or the first family, is there? But if one goes through the India Today report and the story and list of forgeries and strange denials there seems to be a stronger case against Khurshid’s Trust than even with Robert Vadra. The investigation called “Operation Dhritarashtra” (funny title) doesn’t leave much room for doubt. Suddenly, media reported that the Khurshids have asked the Akhilesh Yadav govt to investigate already. Really? Is there any evidence, written or otherwise, that the Khurshids had asked for the investigation before or after the sting? And why should UP govt investigate? Aren’t the facts with the Khurshids themselves? Hush!
The Khurshids’ Trust story is one that is not being appropriately covered. Headlines Today alone carried the headline: “Minister’s Trust cheats disabled”. Why no debates on such a serious charge; that too a minister who is willing to “die for Sonia Gandhi”? There’s another one brewing and this one, again, is from the CAG. Although, the report is sent for Finance Ministry’s response the CAG has reported a scam of sorts in the Farmer Loan Waiver scheme. A massive scheme of 52000 crores! Let’s read some excerpts from the Times of India report:
The CAG has pointed out serious flaws in the implementation of the over Rs 52,000 crore farm debt-waiver scheme in a finding that can annoy the UPA government besides raising doubts whether it can continue to reap political dividends from the populist programme which turned out to be the gamechanger for the ruling coalition in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls… Sources said the draft report has pointed out major deficiencies in identifying beneficiaries, expressing the fear that "undeserving farmers" may have cornered the bulk of the waiver at the cost of the deserving beneficiaries belonging to the "small and marginal" category. The findings are contrary to the government's repeated claims in Parliament that benefits accrued only to the eligible.
Debts of more than 3.7 crore farmers were written off by the government under this scheme that brought windfall gains to the Congress. Andhra Pradesh, which accounted for around Rs 11,000 crore of the total disbursal, elected 33 Congress MPs to the Lok Sabha. Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, where the scheme was also implemented, too, rewarded the party handsomely. The three states together elected 69 of the 207 MPs elected to Lok Sabha on Congress ticket… Announced just ahead of the 2009 parliamentary polls, the scheme wrote off the loan liabilities of "eligible" farmers pending till then.
So the biggest beneficiaries appear to be Congress states and UP. All three states paid handsome returns to the Congress in the 2009. Now, we know that the TV channels will explain that this is a “draft” report. However, we have known them to report based on draft reports and even the Congress to wrongly claim that some previous CAG reports were not tabled in parliament even during session under the fake claim of “draft”, even final when report was submitted to the president. Hush!
Then, on the issue of Robert Vadra, media channels have been frequently getting Congress persons like Rajiv Shukla and Sandeep Dikshit to make illegal land allegations against Prashant Bhushan & family. They are also demanding an inquiry. Fine, so what stops them? They are the govt aren’t they? What stops them unleashing CBI or ED or IT on the Bhushans’ land purchases in HP? Even Shanti Bhushan has stated that he is open to any inquiry of any kind by any govt so why are the Congressmen being allowed to repeat the frivolous nonsense again and again instead of a govt inquiry? This is particular so on Times Now. NDTV even had a reporter cover the Bhushans’ land and property in camera. But do any of these channels even have one image of which airline, aircraft or private chartered plane that SoniaG or RahulG use for their foreign travels? Hush!
And even now people like Yogendra Yadav on CNN-IBN and Krishna Prasad are propagating lies about Modi’s “1880 crores” being about SoniaG’s medical treatment. In this case it’s not just these two people but all media channels that qualify to be called LIARS. Still, there is no valid clarification from media, CIC or PMO on the “travels and expenses” on those of Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi. Even Madhu Kishwar’s RTI query remains unanswered. Hush! In a previous post I talked about how ground reporters feel like stray dogs owing to the way their editors treat them. In TV studios the celebs and others feel slightly better like: Hush Puppies!