Everyone values information but not everyone values perception. Creating perceptions is the game in the media. Let me rehash an old story from the West to NDTV’s context. Now everyone knows NDTV is like the former USSR’s Pravda news agency except that NDTV is a willful mouthpiece and slave with an agenda. When Narendra Modi inaugurated the Sabarmati River front in Ahmedabad he took a boat ride. Strong winds blew off his cap which fell some 50 feet away from the boat on the water. An unperturbed Modi just got off the boat, walked on water, retrieved his cap and walked back to the boat. Yeah, I guess you know what the headline on NDTV was: “Sources: Narendra Modi can’t swim”. There used to be another story during the US-Russia cold war. There was a race in Moscow. The Russian came second but the American came in one before the end. That is how NDTV would report it except that NDTV won’t tell you that there were only 2 people in the race. So you will have to figure out who actually came first.
Politicians will say what they want and they cannot be restricted. But if news channels are merely going to repeat what they said like a box of parrots then they failing in their jobs. The job of a news channel also involves “fact-checking”. This is where all the Indian news channels fail miserably. Sometime back I had written about an interview of Digvijay Singh, a darling at NDTV, by Sunetra Choudhury. Diggy claimed in some context that the Congress had never attacked the family members of the BJP or other Opposition parties. This is a LIE and NDTV let it pass; which is why I had strongly recommended “NDTV needs a lie-detector”. Looks like they still haven’t got one!
So on the night of July 1 NDTV decided to debate something they called ‘Twitter wars’ over the Uttarakhand tragedy. Yep, the anchor was Nidhi ‘Larger picture’ Razdan. And like a true parrot Nidhi merely ran a “She said, he said” story without bothering to check on facts. Ever since the channel sacrificed their tagline “Experience truth first” they have stuck to their philosophy of narrating only part fiction. So what was the issue? Sushma Swaraj tweeted something about Congress incompetence over Uttarakhand, Manish Tiwari tweeted back that LOPs lecture on some CBI proposal but didn’t visit Uttarakhand, Sushma Swaraj tweeted back that they were advised by Home Minister Shinde, Manish Tiwari tweeted back asking why Rajnath and Modi didn’t follow that advice, then Ajay Maken tweeted, then someone else tweeted blah blah. The whole thing by itself is comic but trust stupid NDTV to make a debate out of it. After all, this is a channel which even debated “who is stricter” – Rahul Gandhi or Sonia Gandhi. Here, take a look:
There is absolutely nothing in it except that NDTV won’t state a few facts. First, it has been a practice with Congress and its crony channels to accuse others of “politicising” events or tragedies if their incompetence is criticised. The only two parties who most demonstrated scavenging on the Uttarakhand tragedy are Congress and TDP. These two parties came to a physical fight at Dehradun airport on who will ferry back the survivors. Of course, the most idiotic trip by anyone to Uttarakhand has to be that of Rahul Gandhi. Doesn’t matter!
The question now is did NDTV check what Manish Tiwari said last is correct? Is it true that Rajnath Singh and Narendra Modi did not heed Shinde’s advice? Let’s check:
1)According to reports Sushil Kumar Shinde gave out his advice of VIPs avoiding travel to Uttarkhand on Monday, June 24.
2) Rajnath Singh visited Uttarakhand for an aerial survey and some interaction at Dehradun on Thursday, June 20.
3) Narendra Modi visited Uttarakhand on Saturday,June 22.
4) In total disregard of Shinde’s advice on June 24 it was RahulG who choppered to Uttarakhand on June 25 and 26 with no real purpose to his trip. The Congress claimed it was a “common citizen” trip and not as a VVIP. We all know what RG did there. He was a total nuisance. So for ManishT & NDTV RahulG is above rules and law as has been all these years, isn’t it?
I know, it all seems very elementary now, doesn’t it? Shinde gave out an advice on June 24 while both Rajnath and Modi had made their trips prior to that date. So how would they follow Shinde’s advice? True to his usually bogus comments Manish Tiwari was blabbering nonsense. Well, one can’t stop the loveable Manish, that’s his nature. But I can say with authority that Nidhi Razdan missed the “larger picture” here, the picture of FACTS. That’s how NDTV does “shoddy journalism” and creates deception in their debates. Now, let’s try to look for some real facts beyond these silly political statements.
On the night of July 1 on his programme ‘Centrestage’ Rahul Kanwal on Headlines Today confronted the Uttarkhand Congress MLA with documents indicating there was abundant warnings on the cloubdburst, extreme rainfall and glacier melting. He went to the extent ot asking why the Uttarakhand govt shouldn’t be charged with murder. There were no convincing answers. I don’t know about murder but there is no reason why a number of PILs shouldn’t be filed in the Supreme Court for “gross negligence causing deaths and destruction” against that govt. You see, NDTV won’t discuss these issues but will discuss frivolous nonsense.
While the media indulged in the nonsense of the “Rambo act” of Narendra Modi there was someone who finally pulled their pants and skirts off. Meenakshi Lekhi commented on July 1 that “it was a thousand times better to be a Rambo than be a Dumbo or a Scambo”. She just misses a point all along. It is NDTV’s job to defend Dumbo and Scambo with any deceptions possible, even if it comes to a tragedy like Uttarakhand.