There is an “Intellectual Moron” called Shiv Visvanathan who has spent years ranting against Narendra Modi. Earlier he was with some think-tank in Gandhinagar and now he is with some Jindal University. One can understand his desire to see Modi lose elections and not become PM owing to political preferences. But he is an IM because like all other IMs he refused to see reality even when it kissed him every single day. Post elections SV wrote a confession (like the other IM Dileep Padgaonkar) called “How Modi defeated liberals like me”. Oh, in case you missed it, the title is self-bestowed: “liberal”. Here’s a small excerpt:
“At first the message (not being ashamed about being a Hindu) irritated me and then made me thoughtful. A colleague of mine added, “You English speaking secularists have been utterly coercive, making the majority feel ashamed of what was natural.” The comment, though brutal and devastating, was fair. I realised at that moment that liberals like myself may be guilty of something deeper… I am raising both sets of fear to understand why Left liberals failed to understand this election. Mr. Modi understood the anxieties of the middle class more acutely than the intellectuals. The Left intellectuals and their liberal siblings behaved as a club, snobbish about secularism, treating religion not as a way of life but as a superstition. It was this same group that tried to inject the idea of the scientific temper into the constitutions as if it would create immunity against religious fears and superstitions. By overemphasising secularism, they created an empty domain, a coercive milieu where ordinary people practising religion were seen as lesser orders of being”.
Lying and misleading even in a supposed confession is the hallmark of an IM. SV talks about religion and secularism without admitting that the entire prejudice of his Fiberals is against Hindus. They are fine with Islam and Christianity. They also fear Islam. This is a thread that runs through all the so-called Fiberals that populate our MSM. They are cowards by their very nature. Earlier, this IM didn’t take signals even from the students he is destroying with his ideology. Read this:
“I have spent hours talking to people. My engineering students adore him. They tell me “he is for security”. He is decisive. He understands the majority. He is for “us”. In fact, they feel that academics like me are short-sighted. Modi, they say, is the future. I asked many of them who were tipping 20 why they did not opt for Rahul. They argued that Rahul was young but he did not represent the youth. The youth loves success; it is aspirational, it is upwardly mobile, and Modi inspires such attitudes. Rahul, they felt, was a young man of 50. He had no achievements of his own. He inherited a job and a position while Modi earned it. In an emerging meritocracy, either as politics or the market, Modi scored high”.
Which part of what the students are seeing is difficult for any man with common sense hard to see? But, you see, our IMs are simply not gifted in the department of common sense. Like a box of parrots they will keep on repeating monotonous nonsense without any relevance to ground realities. That brings us to the topic of another meeting of “confessions” that an organisation called RedInk (which is into publishing and literary agents business) recently held to discuss almost the same topic: “Did the media stoke the Modi-wave”? The discussion was moderated by Uday Shankar of Star India and participants included Arnab Goswami, Rajdeep Sardesai, Kumar Ketkar and Piyush Pandey (of Ogilvy, that managed Modi’s ad campaign). Watch an edited excerpt from the show (9.40 mins):
From 1.17 in the above video Rajdeep confesses quite a few things that he could have before and during the election campaign, especially about Rahul Gandhi. He says: “A section of the media has converted journalism into supari journalism. Journalists must ask themselves why they elevated Narendra Modi to God. He’s not a messiah. They did this to get interviews. Arnab was the only one who raised questions to Modi. When I last did an interview with him he made me sit on the foot-board of the bus. I’m fine with that but will ask him the questions he has to answer”. Really? Rajdeep has poor memories of his shoddy interview and incompetence. When he did get a chance with Modi in October 2012 all Rajdeep did was ask the silliest of questions, some of it repetition of questions asked before. Modi handled him like a kid on the bus floor with his answers. Fortunately, I have documented it for Rajdeep: “NaMo Interview –Sardesai’s Sheer Incompetence”. But Rajdeep thinks all the other journalists are idiots who can’t do interviews like him (he spares Arnab because he was seated close by). If at all there was “Supari Journalism” as Rajdeep calls it, then it’s he and his dubious deputy who have been doing “supari” jobs on Modi for a long time. Talk like Moses and act like a goon.
Rajdeep then says “Rahul Gandhi can do anything but politics. He is not a politician of the 21st century, not a communicator. In politics, Rahul Gandhi is in kindergarten”. What was he doing when his own team was going gaga over Pappu? Remember the tweets of Pallavi Ghosh and Sagarika Ghose? All the oohs and aahs about his speeches at CII and other meetings. What is it that they didn’t see then that they see now? The circus clown Arnab Goswami had another take (considering he is reputed for “Foxification” of Indian news media). He had a theory that because he is based in Mumbai he is not “romantically” associated with any political figure and that the belief that Modi’s speeches or interviews generate TRPs are not scientific. Okay, who was bragging about the rage the Modi interview created on Twitter-world?
As for Modi impacting TRP ratings, it’s a fact of life with TV channels because Modi makes a connection with people and every rally of his has been like a major festival with vast crowds. The earthiness and sharpness of his answers also make Modi pleasant to watch in interviews. Who would know that better than Rajat Sharma? Caravan reports: “At a seminar in Gujarat last year, Rajat Sharma, the owner-editor of India TV, said, “The TRP of our news channel increases by more than 60 percent when Narendra Modi is there on TV.” Modi’s interview with Sharma’s India TV in April this year “garnered the highest number of eyeballs in the Indian news television genre,” according to the channel’s website, which doesn’t provide a clear frame of reference for the claim”. Arnab did say there was no “scientific evidence” for this TRP claim but I am certain his own reports will bear out what Rajat Sharma claims.
So, even the confessions aren’t coming out clean. There’s a fantastic moment when Rajdeep says news coverage has been reduced to a “he said, she said” format. Guess who said that first, Rajdeep? I pointed this out in “News traders and interviews” (see below the video in the post). But even before that I have termed this format the “Salma-Sabrina” type of news reporting and interviewing. Salma says something, Sabrina quotes it and they hold debates over it and question everyone, including Sagarika’s uncle, about it. Most of it based on zero facts. It is not just on TV, even when he tweets or writes articles, Rajdeep quotes lovers and other strangers he runs into as soundbites for his news (Fantasy Evidence for Hatred). Where did this start from? Only two days back Barkha Dutt was blabbering about the Pune murder incident without having the slightest grip on facts. She was raging. Do these people really think their lies can sell forever?
Finally, in a moment of acceptance that seemed somewhat sincere, Rajdeep said: “We have lost the capacity to go beyond our headlines… We are now caught in our arrogance. We really do not care anymore. Arrogance will lead to the downfall of journalism”. That acceptance is not enough. Rajdeep must think of bogus headlines of “One billion votes” or the “he said, she said” type news reporting and writing that he has indulged in the past. And all this even when Rajdeep was doing “election trackers” that were clearly showing the signs. Why get bogus panellists like Shiv Visvanathan, Ram Guha, Dileep Padgaonkar or similar IMs whose positions are incompatible with truth and realities of politics and the masses. All that people want is simple, honest reporting. I don’t trust the confession of people like Shiv Visvanathan or Dileep Padgaonkar. They are gone cases. But if Rajdeep is serious about what he confessed then he can still turn around his career and reputation. Casual confessions are more dangerous than lies.