Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Annual Farce Report



One of the things that the Tarun Tejpal rape case brought out and on which no action has been taken at all is the corruption at Tehelka. Everyone who was aware of Tehelka knew it didn’t have enough earnings to sustain itself. Many former employees mentioned salaries were always delayed. Yet, the top management like Tejpal, Shoma Choudhury and their family members made a huge amount of money selling shares at bogus, inflated prices. Even Kapil Sibal had shares in his name but he claimed he had only made a donation of 5 lakhs. Being the law minister he isn’t bothered who signed his share application form if he hadn’t applied. Such money flows directly through political organisations or indirectly under orders of those in power. Not very hard to guess, is it?

Tehelka being a Congress crony had a great run till Tejpal’s ‘one minute of drunken banter’ as he calls it. His THINK Litterfest was a grand scheme to make money through coerced sponsorships. I wonder how other Litterfests and Think programmes organised by other media outlets are funded. We do know that HT Summit has been funded with PSU money in the past and this year too. There’s India Today with its multiple conclaves. There’s NDTV and CNN-IBN with Greatest Indians, Tiger’s tail, Green-cover money and so on. Each one has a farce of its own flavour.

India Today came up with the most extraordinary finding that Andhra Pradesh was the best managed state and doled out an award to CM Kiran Reddy. They claim to have assessed the performance of all the states on various parameters and found AP the best governed. Even if this goes against general public intelligence you have to wonder what experts they employ to deliver such comic assessments. There is merit in assessing state performances by a news outlet so that the public can measure but is there merit in a media house giving out awards to a CM? Absolutely not! A warden may assess the conduct of his prisoners and recommend early releases but it would be stupid to dole out “Best prisoner awards”. The media fails as a watchdog over and over again when it starts doling out awards. Seasoned editors and publishers have removed the “watch” part from their roles and become shameless ass-lickers.

CNN-IBN was there again with its annual sham of “Indian of the year” awards. The sports and business categories shouldn’t bother anyone but yet again there was a political award for Arvind Kejriwal (probably for the 3rd time). This time it was for winning against Sheila Dikshit and AAP making a great debut in the Delhi elections. What are these awards for? Electoral performances or performances as elected officials? In any case, news media shouldn’t be rewarding politicians at all. Once again CNN-IBN removed the ‘watch’ from the watchdog. CNN-IBN’s past awardees include Rahul Gandhi, Manohar Parrikar and nominations include Akhilesh Yadav. At least two of these have turned out to be pathetic non-performers. Manohar Parrikar still has some way to go before being judged. The haste to give an award to Arvind Kejriwal follows the campaign the entire IBN group carried out for the AAP party during the last elections.

Kejriwal himself has made a thorough farce of democracy itself with his mindless moronic 18 questions to other parties and then the SMS poll with citizens to decide if AAP should form a govt. In giving out such silly awards the news channels cheat the public to whom they are to report facts and truth. I do not see one case where the IBN group has honestly reported about AK or AAP. This was true for their sucking up to RahulG also till they had to face the undeniable truth that RahulG was a dud. This brief report about the annoyance of Delhi citizens with AK and AAP is the sign of times to come for this party that is making spurious promises based on nothing but foolishness:

The CNN-IBN IOTY farce is sponsored by none other than GMR who is a major contractor of the govt for building airports and other infrastructure projects. GMR is a group with over 150 companies under their roof. All it takes is a call from a friendly minister to channelise funding of such awards and programmes. As with Tehelka, the other news outlets and TV channels have found that they can sustain themselves only through such silly programmes where they make a huge profit through sham awards, litterfests and other campaigns. The honour for some awardees may well be truly deserved but only a fool would believe that these news channels are out for some noble deeds.

Each of these flamboyant news channels has been laying off employees by the score, facing huge losses but have to keep their lipstick on with such programmes. The last THINK of Tehelka was reported to have brought in 17 Crores, so you can estimate what each such event is meant to generate. If you read the linked report it will be obvious that the festival was operated through multiple companies and even sponsors weren’t aware which company they were actually dealing with. Each year it gets more brazen as NDTV showed us this year.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan for once was turned into Hotel Raisina Hill. Here’s an image from the RP website:

Notice carefully the links on the left margin of the website home page. It has profile, speeches, gardens etc. but none that says “RP Bhavan is available for rent”. There is another page that accepts requests and grievances though that doesn’t appear to be information for renting a hall at RP Bhavan. NDTV, for its 25th anniversary celebrations, rented a hall at RP Bhawan for a frivolous show called “25 global living legends of India”. From a nation of 1 billion plus they went with a torch and microscope to find these 25 people.

I would agree with the people chosen being living legends but it is foolish to pick only 25 because there are many others who would also qualify to carry that title. Oh, of course, the number has to match NDTV’s 25 years of non-performance. Surely, if you were to pick Shahrukh Khan, who I consider a ham, why would you overlook someone like Dilip Kumar? Anish Kumar, Indira Nooyi, YK Hamied, Zubin Mehta can all have better replacements one can argue. Surely, Lata Mangeshkar is any day a bigger legend than Zubin Mehta for India. But the whole idea and event is a farce so why look for any sense in it. Why should the President hand out these dole-titles from RPB and make it look like a State award?

NDTV has just about managed to pick those who would appear to be “sickular” and closer to their own political persuasions. The channel is a loss-making, face-losing brand. It has been accused of many misdeeds, including financial ones. So to out-do their competition in these sham shows they had to do something weird and unusual to catch some attention so they used their political clout and rented the RPB. To say NDTV is a doormat of the Congress would be stating the obvious. The more important point is how the govt allows a private party to misuse the facilities at RPB for its own private agenda. Sonia Singh confirms the channel had paid rent for it and I would say that is quite big-hearted of NDTV. I’m also sure the rent would be nothing more than peanuts for the facilities obtained if it were compared to a 5-star property. Sonia also mentions “this exchange really misses the point”. I agree! The point that it misses is that a bad precedent has been set by the govt. Now any Tom, Tata or Reliance can seek usage of RPB for grand private ceremonies. TOI can even hold its next Filmfare award at this hotel and have the awards given out by the President.

If at all RPB is available for such frivolous shows their website makes no mention of it and doesn’t mention at what rent. If such a facility is allowed to NDTV there is no reason why the public shouldn’t be aware at what rent and for what purposes RPB can be misused. The RPB hall is mostly meant for state functions. But now you can hold your next party there if you have political connections.

All these events are annual farces to make money and partly for brand-building. It is worth noting that almost all of these farces have bloomed only in the last 7-8 years while the corrupt Congress regime has been at the Centre. Someday a massive investigation in to these news outlets and such events will reveal how much public funds and facilities have been looted. Those who scream the loudest about corruption are also usually the ones fuelling it. The watch had indeed gone out of ‘watchdog’ a long time back. All that remains is the…


PS: Please do vote on the poll for India’s worst news channels (on the right margin of this page).  


45 comments :

  1. Excellent article as usual Raviji. But, with respect to the polls, I feel channels like CNBC-tv18 need not appear on this poll list since they deal with stocks and shares mainly.But a great site and great articles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah der shud have been a category called worst business channels.... since I follow ETNow and cnbctv18 latter one is far better .

      Delete
  2. Those who scream the loudest about corruption are also usually the ones fuelling it. awesome

    ReplyDelete
  3. Phaadu piece again by MC. Hats off to you sir and please unblock me @rakshak919 thanks

    ReplyDelete
  4. Some random thoughts:
    1. Cannot vote on the poll as I do not watch television news.
    2. The Rashtrapati-Bhavan-on-rent issue is interesting and thanks for bringing it up. I won't lose my sleep over that building becoming a hotel, but there should be transparency regarding its rent.
    3. I have been waiting for a post on article 377 from you. Is there any such plan on your part?
    4. "AAP asking for opinion through SMS regarding government-formation" may be a great pretention drama. However, on tricky issues where split second decisions are not required, asking for vox populi may not be such a bad idea either (now that technology is there to solicit and process such huge data).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who is going to audit the results of such polls?

      Delete
    2. A good way to deceive people. No matter what the result say, the decision maker decide what he wants to decide but fool the people by saying he took decision what people wanted him to take.

      Delete
    3. @Phanibhushan Joshipura
      You put it in the shortest sentence possible. To digress it further let me ask
      1. How the inputs of the SMS is controlled. What is the system of filtering the SMS (that is confined only for the Voters of Delhi), since the referendum is all about forming the Government at Delhi? How the Voters of other states are restricted in this referendum seeking exercise?
      2. Does the SMS be considered a valid SMS only the content of the SMS accompanies a valid Delhi Voter ID number?
      3. How does the age factor of the sender of the SMS will be validated, like a citizen above 18 years is only allowed to cast their vote in an election Poll?
      4. How the reply of 'NO' will be implied by AAP. Will it be considered as the input from the Voters of Delhi who have not voted for AAP & doesn't want them to form the Government or the people of Delhi who voted for AAP and still don't want AAP to form the Government with support from Congress.
      5. How a single Voter is disallowed from sending multiple SMS from the same number or multiple SMS from multiple SIM card owned by a single Voter?
      6. Who is going to audit the results & validate the inputs of these SMS? Internal Lokpal? In that case, what was the logical conclusion of the Internal Lokpal formed a year ago by Kejriwal for Anjali Damania, Mayank & Bhushan?
      7. Will the same method be followed for all government decision like referendum on LGBT, referendum on dropping cases on Terrorists, referendum on hike in petrol & diesel price, referendum on Industrial projects or nuclear plants, referendum on Naxalism, referendum on environmental clearances etc.,?
      8. Read somewhere, that the entire revenue for KBC is generated from the SMS sent by the people to these Telecom companies. How much revenue is involved/ collected by the mobile company on this referendum seeking exercise and is there any revenue share between AAP & these Telecom companies?
      This seeking of referendum through public or SMS campaign is an utter nonsense and going to be a worst precedence in a decision making process. This completely absolves any accountability on the decision maker (in this case, AAP) who implements the activity on ground, as the onus is effectively shifted to the unknown citizens, whom cannot be validated/ accounted at any point of time.

      Delete
    4. @Hari Haran,
      Great points. However, I do believe that technology can be used to address all the concerns above. I am equally sure that none of these loop-holes were plugged for AAP's government formation decision today.
      My point in the post is that technology can enable quick referendums. If not a referendum, at least a huge data gathering process is certainly feasible now. How the data is used, displayed and implemented is a different matter altogether.
      AAP has surely put a zing back into electoral arena. I remain apprehensive of their rule because some of their stand is purely unethical (although not illegal).

      Delete
  5. What on earth held back PranabDa from avoiding a Congi backed commie ndtv to host a 'show' in RP? A statesman's worst move/tolerance;(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was also surprised to know that an astute politician like Pranab Mukharjee stooped to this level.

      Delete
    2. First and foremost Pranabda is a Congi steeped in Commie ideology.

      Delete
  6. Why not rent RPB and give away " worst channel of the year award" there.

    ReplyDelete
  7. An eye opener article. Thanks for the insight.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Super Expression of facts !!! The renting of RPB is the worst part of Political system. I am sure this is the first article which highlighted this shameful acts of using such premises for a private affair. And why not NDTV / CNN-IBN reveal the format and score card on their choices for the awards.

    ReplyDelete
  9. may b parrikar is a cover,conveying that they also give awards to opposition and real intelligent guys.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Congi political appointed residents of this heritage place have demeaned devalued this honour to be residents by the time passing. But a person like present occupant will also be like previous occupant is unbelievable and disgusting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It reminds me of the previous occupant (who served in Sonia's household ) completely vacating all and sundry items belonging to RPB while demitting office.Sick to think of Congis

      Delete
  11. rpb for rent...... he he ? i would have never known .... i thought media themselves should have been outraged about this and i expected breaking news... but looks like it is otherwise and rpb is just another public building.....

    ReplyDelete
  12. Had written on rajdeep's twitter that it will be AK. Not to vote but to show how the match was fixed
    already

    ReplyDelete
  13. ...DOG!! I would rather say 'Dogs'. Shameless Congis'. They don't have even the slightest spirit of nationalism.

    ReplyDelete
  14. guess Kalam any day wud be far bigger than CN Rao ....MC gr8 insight......
    carrry on with ur gud works

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is a good observation.All those TV news channels have gotten in to this annual award business, only to make money.NDTV's use of RPN is also shameless. Is RPB availble for my son'e weddings if I pay the rent? RPB should be out of bound for everyone except for few state functions or it should be made available to all at a price.[ have heard that part of great LAXMI VILAS PALACE in Baroda is available to any one at a price]
    This is also time for BJP to declare that it will fundamentally transform DD channels to make them world class and so news and views worthy that these other private worthies will become even more worthless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Jitendra,

      A really great suggestion of transforming DD and making it world class which automatically expose the private channels. Hope NAMO advisers are listening ! The best way to counter an argument is simply create a better alternative.

      Delete
  16. In todays world when a channel costs 150 crores , where do you think the money comes from..? Stings , extortion , paid news , false awards , Page 3 , bollywood marketing etc ..These channels are used to hit the psychology of the civilian to make him biased..Dont believe in these awards and gimmicks..Try various sources of news updates and keep your updated.In 70's millions of Rs were being funded by foreign intelligence to Congress and CPIM to keep AIR , news , newspapers on its payrolls ..These parties have multicrores in their coffers to create bias...! Think and act ..

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have stopped saying Ravinar, "What a wonderful writeup". it becomes so monotonous. each and every topic covered here is done with in-depth research. We eagerly wait for your next piece. Keep it up Sirji!

    Now to the point....
    i would suggest everybody including Ravinar Bhai to watch Starsuckers. its a 2009 made documentary. in later part of the docu, director tried to explain how a media even in Britian, try to overshadow a people's movement. Infact The AID program for africa was responsible for weaponless automatic ethnic cleansing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey...good point out...watching the documentary...hooked already

      Delete
  18. When we were younger, we used to hear about the propaganda machinery in USSR. We had DD news which was more or less the mouth-piece for the congress...all that pleas in comparison with the current state of media.

    Another great piece Ravinar! The media-congi nexus would be a scam to be investigated immediately after the election.

    And pity this one is not a "maxi-post" ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rightly said. In fact in my friend's circle DD was called Dirty Dog and it exists to this day

      Delete
  19. That should be pales in comparison (damn auto-correct)

    ReplyDelete
  20. MC's yet another stellar spanking......with Homo sapiens like Pachauri/Khare as PMO's communication advisors, no wonder how and why the channel was obliged with RPB's auditorium ! Dada anyway never had a say even when in cabinet.
    BTW have voted for 'worst news channels poll'...but wish I had multiple voting rights..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Flag-waver
      It is difficult to think of these guys as Homo Sapiens(Wise men in Latin) , they are certainly less evolved (Barkha, your attention needed here too!) and closer to Homo neanderthalensis
      :D

      Delete
  21. President of India has to pay service tax for the rent paid by NDTV.
    Will he pay the tax? I don't think so.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I would like to know if the rent for RPB is inclusive of the services of the President of India, do we have to pay for him separately or do they throw him in for free as a value add ?

    ReplyDelete
  23. is RPB available for other functions? my brother's wedding, daughter's birthday etc are lined up. would like to know the charges. also, will they provide catering services? will there be any discounts?

    ReplyDelete
  24. In a way, I am glad that Congress found out the hard way, how fickle is the love affair with this TV media. The moment they saw the Congress' ship had started taking water, they jumped on a small lead boat. Hope this sudden crowding in the AAP boat would wobble the boat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Best way for congress to avoid CWG probe was to become a part of the government. AK knows this, speaks about his 'integrity'

      Delete
  25. The whole exercise by these media morons appears(atleast this year) to be, to eclipse one gentleman who is the the real hero in the heart and minds of the people today.Be it Man of the year, or the group of 25, this man stands out heads and shoulder above the others. The fact that he was not even a nominee in both, gives away the real intent.The category itself is missing.All these points to the fact that there is a shadow ring master commanding these paid brokers.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Dear Ravi, off topic in comparison to this blog. Pertaining to your opinion poll if we observe results; NDTV & CNN-IBN get most votes of being worst while comparing against biz and hindi channels. Is it because most of your blogs majorly focus on these groups [ofcourse you dont slice and dice TIMES group and sundry]. at the same time I did read your comments to others that your focus of blogging is towards ENGLISH MSM
    For sure I eagerly await your conclusion blog over the poll results. That would be feast to read. But if possible can you also share your take on how biased are low rankers like Newsx, India TV, India News and Zee. Wishing you happy new year and great blogging in 2014. Regards, Kartik Athreya

    ReplyDelete
  27. I am now inspired to rent the Rastrapati Bhawan for my daughter wedding or as a weekend booz party for the next 12 months at a stretch........... If anyone has information where to approach kindly share..... It must be cheap for NDTV & Times Now can conduct means.... (they are poorest broadcasting company)...

    ReplyDelete
  28. award in any form is used with certain purposes especially political. be it nobel or any other.first, they(the committee which decides) give awards to some people who do not bother about any award and adored,respected by people for their talent with or without any award. they give these awards to those people just to create an image or impression that these awards are for people with a difference and with extraordinary talent in their own field. but actual intention of these award giving bodies is to promote some of their own people in present situation or in future by giving the same awards to them. this time NDTV has proved something more than that with their award(!!!) giving ceremony what mukesh ambani once said, "congress to apna dukaan hai".

    ReplyDelete
  29. Mr Ravi , I would look forward to see this year's top 10 retarded journalist award ceremony by mediacrooks.

    Waiting for it.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Excellent Rip-Off of Media as usual... Is there any link between IndiaToday awarding AP as best governing state and GMR? Because GMR is from SeemaAndhra region. Also, it is possible that India Today might have awarded Kiran Kumar Reddy of AP because he attacked Sonia Gandhi openly (we all know that its a drama).

    ReplyDelete
  31. It is obvious why Lata Mangeshkar did not figure in NDTV's list.After all she praised Namo...But for someone who has won every conceivable honour and recognition in the last 50 years, these things should not matter.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are welcome and are not moderated so as to allow free speech. However, comments that are off topic, abusive, defamatory or slanderous may be deleted. Comments disclosing personal information of individuals/entities will be deleted.Comments appearing here do not imply endorsement by author of this blog.