Thursday, April 4, 2013
Fox News in the US has this tagline of “Fair & Balanced”. Not everyone thinks they are but it’s a line that’s been borrowed heavily in the Indian media too. Supposing there was a matchbox with a few match-sticks inside and two guys were arguing over how many sticks are inside, what do you think our media would do? Umm… someone like Rajdeep Sardesai would have a heated debate with the two guys and conclude by saying “We’ve had a fair and balanced discussion and we leave it to viewers to decide how many sticks are in the matchbox”. No balance-head, you don’t leave it to the viewers. All you have to do is slide the box open, spill the matchsticks and count them. That will establish the truth. That’s an exercise where one is dealing with tangibles. It’s measureable. Debates are fine when they are about policy or viewpoints on law-making and such topics. Debates are not fine when a news outlet has ample opportunity to establish facts if not the absolute truth. When they don’t, someone sooner or later comes along and establishes facts. Unfortunately, they even turn up at inconvenient times.
Take the case of Digvijaya Singh who falsely claimed with Sunetra Choudhary of NDTV that the Congress never targeted family members of BJP. DS may say what he wants but it’s the job of the news channel to dig, check, verify and confirm if what a politician stated is correct. A news outlet that doesn’t have archives and doesn’t use them if they do should be digging elsewhere. You know where. It’s called a simple fact-check and reporting the correct facts after the interview. Did NDTV do that? Of course not! Why would they? They were happy peddling DS’ lie and I had to write the post “NDTV needs a lie-detector”. There are many such posts on this site on the lies our media has wilfully peddled, especially when it came to Gujarat Muslims, Narendra Modi and the state itself. To list the posts would make a very long list.
In September 2011 I wrote “The make-up and mask of Chachi 420 wasn’t meant to last forever”. This was in the post “SC exposes media’s clean shit” over the lies of petitions against Narendra Modi when the SC returned Zakia Jafri’s case back to the lower court. That post explains many of the lies of Gujarat 2002 which continued to be sung by the media till last year. I won’t say it has stopped because we are close to another major election and the Chachis and Chachas 420 in the media will be back with them in some form or the other. So when social activist, freelance TV panellist and writer Madhu Kishwar (MK) recently came up with a huge volume on Gujarat riots, Muslims etc. titled “ModiNama” the question she gets from Indian Express is hardly surprising. Sounds like MK reported some kind of “coup” doesn’t it? You know, it is unacceptable to our media that some people suffer from a non-terminal disease. MK suffers from that disease too. It’s called “conscience”. Naturally, IE thinks or infers the “timing” is suspicious. Was this a bad time to gate-crash the party of malicious propagandists? Well, let’s take a look at some cases of “good timing”.
Remember Sadbhavna Mission? Immediately after that when Modi was on the Sadbhavna tour, guess who turns up to provoke Muslims into hatred? That would be social warrior Shabnam Hashmi who supposedly works for “harmony”. Her lies and good timing are chronicled in “Hate Engineers”. Then 2012 was an election year and also the 10th year of Godhra and after. I predicted Rajdeep Sardesai will cry in “The Hang Modi weekend”. Rajdeep did cry and showed us how Muslims were going through extreme suffering in Gujarat. Good timing! Not happy? So come elections 2012 and who goes there to do a special show? The Macaulay Putri herself! She subtly hoped that the “Chaiwalla” would invite her to tea. From Ahmedabad to Surat she could see nothing in Gujarat except Muslims suffering and the boss was doing shows on his channel titled “Why Muslims are being ignored by BJP” in Gujarat. Yeah, read all about that in “Rajdeep, CNN-IBN Join Gujarat Election Campaign”. Good timing, wouldn’t you say?
If CNN-IBN was the right eye, it can’t be crying all on its own. Right? So we need the left eye to be crying too. It’s like synchronised swimming. How synchronised? Just look at the pics in the post “The Roman agent in Gujarat” and the extraordinary talent of Barkha Dutt. Of all the places in Gujarat she picks out a Muslim ghetto called Juhapura in Ahmedabad and shows how much Muslims are suffering in the entire state. And she does it in great style over “Gujarati Thalis”. I wonder what she thought about “effete” Gujarati food. She doesn’t stop there, to add spice she imports people to speak about Gujarat. This was just a few days before the December 2012 elections. Good timing again, eh? And even post the elections and results the media showed the world nothing but “Amazing Disgrace”.
So now you know all about timing. That our MSM must have a free run on their lies and fake stories and any rude awakening is a “Bad timing”. The twisted and manipulated debates with their “fixed” panellists are their exclusive preserve. The make-up is starting to melt and the mask is coming undone. So where did Madhu Kishwar come from? Those who have followed her writings may remember she has frequently expressed her disgust at the way the MSM has treated her when she was on such panels. There is a particularly sharp open letter she had also written to Arnab Goswami. Her voice was being shut out. After 11 years she finally decided to find out facts for herself. That’s the only surprise. Why 11 years? She went to the same places that Sagarika, Rajdeep, Barkha, Ansari (of India Today), Teesta Setalvad, Shabnam Hashmi and many others went. She went to find the facts and the truth. The ones named earlier went to find flesh for the skeletons of stories they had already written. So when Bhupendra Chaubey of CNN-IBN asks her if it’s her mission to “remove bias” against Modi he shows why he is alarmed. You see, if you speak against the stories of the MSM and deal with facts, you are an outcast. You are an untouchable or will become one.
Where did it start for MK? It started sometime just before her visit to Vibrant Gujarat 2013. She was probably an invitee. She had mentioned here and there that during her trip she will also find out about the riots, about Muslims in Gujarat and development stories. It appears she came became impressed with Vibrant Gujarat and during that period spoke to people, stayed out late nights in Ahmedabad to see if women were safe, she visited police stations to see if they are responsive. Before she visited the Vibrant Gujarat event she had also run into this site. She must have glanced through some posts here and there. She asks valid questions. Who writes for it? Who runs it? No, I am not in any way suggesting that any material here made a difference to her. But it is proof that she scanned a lot of sites before she reached Gujarat and followed it up with a good deal of ground work. That she did a lot of research unlike our 2-minute noodle TV celebs who have nothing but stories to suit their agenda. So there isn’t really any “timing” to her “ModiNama”.
The awful truth again is that it’s not so much that Madhu Kishwar has made any startling revelations. Nothing of that sort! She has diligently compiled most of what was already out there into a single document with sound facts backing her up. But what she did additionally was go out late, visit police stations and meet ordinary people. The MSM is going to be upset because they are likely to feel “one of their own” has defected. Actually, moving to side of Truth is a lot easier. There’s a reason why the IE reporter and Chaubeji are disturbed. Because they think the “ModiNama” is a build-up to the next general elections. It is certain that there are many more in the MSM who will wonder about the “timing” of it all. Instead, what they should be wondering about is if their own “Good times” all these years of fake stories have ended.