On the evening of September 2, TimesNow and other channels carried these videos. One on the right is that of Neeraj Jha, a Congress MLA-aspirant in Delhi dancing with hired women and showering money on them. The moron had the audacity to later tell Headlines Today that he was trying to stop the vulgar dance. Nice! The one on the left is a group of Corporators in Yamuna Nagar, Haryana surrounding and beating up a female BJP Corporator in the Mayor’s chambers. TimesNow asked the question “Is there a standard of decency for politicians”? Some callers on TimesNow had only one thing to say; that the Congress party was sick and this cannot be stopped until change of govt happens. Is there a standard of decency for politicians? Good question, wouldn’t you say? Sure, we will answer that one but before that, take a look at this pic which is now 16 years old. Most of the new generation may not be aware of what led to this tragedy:
That car crashed in a tunnel in Paris killing Lady Diana and her friend Dodi Fayed. It was the 16th anniversary of her death on August 31, 2013. The car was speeding away from the ever intruding and chasing paparazzi. Given that Indian reporters have now become more and more uncivilised and uncouth in the way they cover individuals with their mics and cameras it won’t be long before such a tragedy happens in India too. Remember the time when the TimesNow crew chased Meiyappan (Son in law of BCCI president N. Sreenivasan) from the Mumbai airport to the police station? That chase was asking for an accident on the ever-crowded western express highway in Mumbai. The media crowded the police station so badly that it took a good half hour for the police to get Meiyappan off the vehicle to the police station. Decency?
For the last 10 days or so all TV channels have been chasing Asaram (who is accused of sexual assault in a Jodhpur police complaint) at Bhopal, Indore and Jodhpur. The reporters were shoving mics and cameras all around him and at him. The most aggressive were the TimesNow and IBN reporters. This paparazzi-like behaviour is now assuming dangerous proportions. So much that it led to violence between the reporters and Asaram’s supporters. Naturally, the ones with the TV channels and mics screamed they were assaulted by Asaram’s supporters. To double their media-trial of Asaram they added a new story of assault by Asaram supporters to their shrill reporting. Rajdeep Sardesai, Ashutosh and others were quick to play “victim”. But who started the fracas? Let’s take a look at some more images.
The one at the top is from the time when TimesNow did a 19 part series on Nitin Gadkari. The reporters hounded him wherever he went. The middle one is of Pawan Bansal when he was forced to quit after the Railway scam. In both cases the rowdy reporters made it difficult for the individuals to even get into their vehicle. It is sheer decency of these men that they didn’t hit anyone. A Salman Khan, darling of the media, would have certainly beaten up a few. The one at the bottom is of September 2 when Asaram was sent to a 15-day judicial custody in Jodhpur. The crowds and reporters again made it a threatening situation for the police. This uncivilised behaviour by TV reporters continues unchecked and unchallenged. News editors like Arnab Goswami and Rajdeep Sardesai thrill in such coverage and then play victim claiming assault. In the case of Asaram supporters the video I saw on August 30 clearly had a reporter slapping an Asaram supporter who was pulled away to safety by others (I don’t have a link to that video which doesn’t appear on TimesNow web site). The reporters at Bhopal airport even made it difficult for Asaram to get into his car and the police had to somehow squeeze him in. Decency?
That’s not all. Asaram may well be a crook and guilty of a crime. But is there a need to hound him and witch-hunt the way the media did? There is obviously a deeper motive to this than may appear which most viewers realise. The media did the same thing with Nitin Gadkari and a quote from the Sunday Guardian (Hammer Gadkari to save Vadra and other scamsters) should underline the media scam:
“Apparently, a strong word was conveyed that they should leave Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law well alone. Ministers, including I&B boss Ambika Soni, are said to have reached out to the media houses, gently suggesting that further interest in the doings of Robert Vadra and his multifarious business activities would be most unwelcome”.
That “gently suggesting” currently could well be the latest series of Bharat Nirman ads which is like a saviour to all media houses wallowing in losses, retrenchments and victim-hood. In a manner similar to the Gadkari witch-hunt, the Asaram witch-hunt was used to cover-up many other issues adverse to the Congress or the “secular” parties. These two pics should explain it better.
The Muzzafarnagar communal riots is just another instalment in the over 50 riots that have happened in UP since Akhilesh Yadav took over as CM. And till the time of writing there hasn’t been one word, I repeat not one serious report on the FIR ordered against Sheila Dikshit over a long-running corruption case of misuse of public funds for her election campaign. The Delhi Lokayukta had already indicted her for this scam but no action was taken against her (remember the witch-hunt of BS Yedurappa over a Lokayukta indictment? But SheilaD is the media angel). Of course, the Asaram witch-hunt was also useful to cover up the severe economic crisis. The headless chickens of Congress are running around thinking of selling Hindu Temple gold or rationing petrol. Even if so called “God-men” are to be targeted it is singularly Asaram while other Mullahs and God’s agents get no coverage at all. I suppose the media has preferences in rape cases.
That is true; the media does have preference in rape cases. They carried on the Delhi Gangrape discussions for nearly a month while the recent coverage of the Mumbai Gangrape was done with and over in 2 days. Does it have anything to do with the religion of the rapists? You bet it does! In their coverage of the Mumbai Gangrape the media foolishly screamed she was a “photo-journalist”. That itself was enough for many to narrow down the identity of the victim. Decency? And then TOI reporters even crowded the residence of the victim to interview her mother. Shameless people demanding decency of others? So while Rajdeep and Ashutosh claim their reporters were assaulted this video (2.09 mins) which is only part of the whole episode does not really corroborate their nonsense:
The video shows an Asaram supporter bleeding. I am not suggesting that reporters weren’t injured but I do not believe that violence was provoked by the supporters. The sheer bad behaviour of reporters and their filthy line of questioning is enough to provoke somebody to push them away. After the HC judgement terming the BCCI IPL-Scam probe panel illegal the TimesNow reporter was badgering and screaming his head off at N. Sreenivasan as he was getting into his car. A frustrated Sreenivasan finally told him “if you stop shouting I can answer your question”. And Arnab Goswami wants to teach decency to everyone else. It says a lot for the media that they dare to crowd, shove, push everyone else while they don’t dare to get anywhere close to Robert Vadra. Take a look at the pic on the left. This is the same TimesNow that is filming Vadra from a good distance like thieves stalking a bungalow that they plan to burgle.
When the inquiry into the crash that killed Lady Diana was concluded the French authorities held seven of the paparazzi guilty of chasing her. They courts didn’t hold them responsible for the crash or the deaths so they fined them a token 1 Euro and let them off. However, they did make sure that this dirty seven were named and shamed as this report shows:
That’s right, reporters who get too close are guilty of invading a person’s privacy. No matter how criminal a person maybe, reporters are not entitled to push, shove and badger their target. That’s the first lesson in decency that reporters and media must learn before they lecture others. While Arnab, Rajdeep & Co. play the moral brigade they would do well to teach some decency to their own ground reporters. Right now, there isn’t much difference between the indecent politicians and journalists. At the moment, in most cases it is the media that is behaving like lumpens and someday a serious Diana-like tragedy might indeed happen. An independent watch-dog is needed which should outlaw any reporter getting within 10 feet of any person he or she wishes to report on. An interview or sound-bite should be sought only if the target agrees and not be forced. Till then, the most indecent public figures are mostly on your TV screens, posing as journalists.
PS: If you’re wondering why this is ‘Part-2’, you can read Part-1 here.