Saturday, October 23, 2010

Has Media unleashed headline war against RSS

This entry pertains to media hype that RSS leader was ‘charge sheeted’ by Rajasthan ATS in Ajmer Blast case.

It seems media has unleashed a headline campaign against RSS. A headline campaign without any substance to backup. Surprisingly most of time information in the body is radically different from the headline.

NDTV reports RSS leader chargesheeted for Ajmer Blast However the text in the body reads

Police say there is not enough evidence to frame charges against Indresh yet, but there's every possibility he will be questioned.

NDTV should clarify whether senior RSS leader, Indresh Kumar’s name appear in charge sheet or was he charged? There is a huge difference between the two. A person can only be called charge sheeted if he is charged under sections of IPC! Indresh Kumar is not an accused unless he is charged under sections of IPC!

Times of India also reports RSS leader chargesheeted in Ajmer blast case but in first para itself TOI writes

A senior RSS leader's name figured in the chargesheet in the 2007 Ajmer blast in Rajasthan

TOI continues

ATS sources said Indresh has not been made an accused in the case as further investigation is underway to ascertain whether he had any links with the blast.

So even though TOI headline says RSS leader was chargesheeted, body says he is name ‘just’ figures in chargesheet and he is not even an accused!

IBN also reports on similar line that RSS leader chargesheeted in Ajmer blast case but IBN fails to carry information which even TOI & NDTV carried. Also, IBN mentions that their news report was based on inputs from PTI. However PTI news on same subject is RSS leader's name figures in chargesheet in Ajmer blast. PTI clearly mentions

A senior RSS leader's name figures in the chargesheet filed by the Rajasthan ATS against five accused in the 2007 Ajmer blast.

ATS sources said Indresh has not been made an accused in the case as further investigation is underway to ascertain whether he had any links with the blast.

Please note no where PTI mentions RSS leader was chargesheeted. 

All these makes one wonder is this Hype being created to take nations attention from congress wrongdoings which has been hogging headlines.

PTI report


NDTV report


Times of India report


IBN report


TOI plays with words

TOI report Narendra Modi presided over ’02 riots: Zadaphia tells SIT - The Times of India

The free dictionary defines presides as

pre·sid·ed, pre·sid·ing, pre·sides

1. to sit in or hold a position of authority, as over a meeting

2. to exercise authority; control

For a layman like me; Headline would mean Zadaphia told SIT Modi oversaw (or lead) the riots.

In the body of the news TOI, what exactly Zadaphia told SIT

Zadaphia has told the SIT that it was Modi who kept in touch with senior police officials and bureaucrats during rioting. The former minister alleged that he was sidelined by Modi and was not called for official meetings which were conducted by Modi during the riots.

So Zadapia had actually told SIT that Modi presided during the riots and he called police officers. I am not sure if that’s a crime. Isn't leader of state take direct control over affairs during such an crisis and if I am not wrong Narendra Modi was also the Home Minister in 2002. Isnt it logical that Minister of Home and not his junior (mos for home) presides over meetings


Friday, October 22, 2010

You will not read this in National Media

Kudos to Telegraph for reporting this shocking news which almost all of the national media blacked out

The telegraph reports Congress young guns in rape glare

A 27-year-old Youth Congress worker sent to Patna mid September as an observer for the National Student Union of India elections. She is introduced to congress leader Shamsher Alam. Alam lures her on the pretext of getting her a post in the Congress Sewa Dal takes her to Ranchi, kept in captivity and sexually abused.

Finally Alam’s estranged wife, who has filed a case of dowry-related harassment and intimidation against her husband helps her to escape!

This when Rahul Gandhi himself is in charge of the Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India (NSUI).

This is not first time Youth Congress/NSUI leaders have been accused of such incidents. Telegraph also reports

Naina Sahni, the wife of former Youth Congress leader Sushil Sharma, was burnt alive in a tandoor at a New Delhi hotel in July 1995. Sharma was subsequently convicted of the murder and Delhi High Court has confirmed his death sentence. Jessica Lal was killed by a Youth Congress leader, Manu Sharma. Sarla Mishra had allegedly committed suicide in Bhopal several years ago after being exploited by powerful leaders during Congress rule.

Telegraph also narrates an incident in which happened during ineraction of Rahul with students of Dr. Harisingh Gaur University

During an interaction in Sagar in the Bundelkhand region, a girl described NSUI leaders as “goons.” The student of Dr. Harisingh Gaur University said the student wing of the Congress was “good for nothing” and was known for disrupting classes. A thunderous applause followed.

Its only yesterday congress had Said 

"After Jayaprakash Narain it is Rahul Gandhi who has addressed the concerns, aspirations and needs of the youth,"



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Was Rahuls ‘spontaneous’ train ride in Mumbai stage managed


February 2010. Rahul Gandhi visits Mumbai amidst MNIK controversy and if media is to be believed made history by traveling in local train after breaking his usual security cordon

NDTV reported the incident as Rahul Gandhi snubs Sena, takes Mumbai local

When in Mumbai, Rahul Gandhi decided to do as Mumbai does.
So, in a last-minute decision that undoubtedly left his security men in a cold sweat, Gandhi decided to take local trains instead of the helicopter that was on stand-by for him. He travelled both first and second class, and bought tickets that were paid for by a quick stop at an ATM on his way to Andheri station.

So per NDTV Rahul made a last Minute decision to ride local train which left his security in cold sweat.

TOI also reported the incident though not as dramatic as NDTV. TOI reports In Mumbai, Rahul takes local line, derails Sena gameplan

Rahul Gandhi—in a move that sent out a strong political signal to regional parties like the Shiv Sena and the MNS—forsook the safety of a chopper ride and chose to take the local train to move around in Mumbai for a couple of political functions on Friday.

So Media wants us to believe that Rahul Gandhi breaks security cordon without any forewarning to security personnel.

But it seems fact is something different. Rahul Gandhi himself inadvertently let the cat out in one of his interviews about his breaking of security cordons. Rahul Gandhi's press conference in Kolkata(Part-1) 25th April 2009

It is agreed with my security people that I will do that and they chose a place from the area where I was allowed to do that. I’m not actually breaking security. It is discussed with my security people and they allowed me…

So these much publicized Rahul breaking security cordon to meet common man is all stage managed to nth degree!

Also, Following is the picture of a non peak Mumbai  local train.


Now look at the screen Grab of train Rahul traveled. Have you ever seen a Mumbai local so empty.


Reminds me of Sarojini Naidu’s comment

To keep Mahatma Gandhi poor, we have to destroy treasures. His poverty is very costly.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CWG Scam: Propaganda war begins

Todays Media Hall of shame covers media coverage of IT & CBI raids in connection with awarding of contracts for the CWG.

Almost all the major media houses (NDTV, TOI, IE & HT) has reported this as

NDTV: CWG scam: Income Tax raids at BJP leader's office

TOI: CWG scam: CBI raids BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal's house

IE: CWG probe targets BJP's Sudhanshu Mittal

NDTV in its news article writes

Among them, the office of senior BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal, whose relatives were allegedly given major contracts for different aspects of the Commonwealth Games.

NDTV continues

On Monday, Income Tax officials visited the offices of the Organising Committee, headed by Suresh Kalmadi. Sources say financial documents linked to the broadcast rights for the Games are being studied for alleged tax evasion

So per NDTV IT Officers ‘Raided’ BJP Leaders house but they ‘Visited’ (not raided) office of OC chairman Suresh Kamadi. So one visit was called Raid and other becomes an innocent visit. I am really tempted to ask NDTV did Kalmadi offer IT officers tea when they were visiting Kalmadi. Also have they forgotten Kalmadi is also a senior congress leader

Surprisingly, what was left unsaid in most of news articles is clarification from IT dept. Hindustan Times in their article CWG probe: I-T raid on BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal carries the clarification -

Let me clarify, these are search operations. The task assigned is to look into the books of accounts and related documents, examine the records and take custody of them, if necessary," the official said.

"We are searching for irregularities, if any, in execution of contracts. We are looking at all contractors. Whoever the contractor is, we are looking. I can't name any specific company or person,"

So these were just search operations and IT officers visited offices of all contractors. Sudhanshu Mittal may or may not be guilty only time will tell but its highly objectionable that media is creating a wrong impression by twisting and misrepresenting the facts.

The timing of this news release also is suspect. This comes just before BJP President was to make a major announcement wrt CWG corruption.

Is it ethical to rephrase somones tweets

In response to Star News-Neilson opinion poll; Fellow twitter user @sureshnakhua tweets

@thenewshour Congress is always worried abt MODI and loses its focus

But Times Now broadcasts a 'rephrased softened’ tweet

@sureshnakua: congress should not lose its focus by worrying about Modi


Is it really ethical to rephrase someones tweet especially when it changes the essence of tweet

Media Watch supports online petition to NDTV

A group of concerned citizens aggrieved by the blatant anti-Hindu bias of the English language media in general and NDTV and its star anchor, Ms. Barkha Dutt in particular have filed the following online petition appealing to the channel to be objective in its coverage. The petition seems to have been an instant hit. Within an hour of filing on Sunday (October 17) night more than a hundred people signed it and this morning by the time this piece is being posted the number is approaching three hundred. The petition may be viewed and signed here: ONLINE PETITION TO NDTV AGAINST BLATANT ANTI-HINDU COVERAGE

Dr. Pranoy Roy,

Chairman & Managing Director, NDTV Ltd.,


cc: Ms. Barkha Dutt,

Group Managing Editor, NDTV Ltd.,


We the signatories of this petition, as concerned Indian citizens (resident and non-resident) would like to register our strong protest for the way in which your channel conducted debates hosted by Ms. Barkha Dutt on the judgement of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on the Ayodhya dispute.

We do hope, as a responsible news channel watched by millions of Indians world-wide, you are not oblivious to your social responsibilities, which include fostering a climate of amity between communities, especially between India’s two major religions. Sadly, we have to point out, that fostering such a climate of amity between the two major religions is not possible by harping on the victim-hood of one side alone. Unfortunately this is the net effect of the debates you telecast and could only widen the chasm between the two, exacerbate tensions and lead to a climate of mutual hatred and ill-will.

We as concerned citizens interested in fostering a climate of amity and goodwill between various communities in the country take strong exception to the following aspects of the post-verdict debates and do hope you will remedy them in future:

1. For instance if your moderator, Ms. Barkha Dutt allows one side to harp on ‘December 6 1992’ ad nauseum, as if India’s history really began on that day or as if that was the only incident responsible for Hindu-Muslim tensions, she could willy-nilly appear to be taking sides in the debate.

2. The other side could equally well argue that ‘December 6 1992’ was merely the culmination of a process of alienation of Hindus aggrieved by centuries of victimisation under alienrulers and decades of discrimination under pseudo-secular Indian rulers. But the fact of the matter is that they don’t get to voice their side of the argument because they are not allowed to, which gives one an impression that Ms. Barkha Dutt is taking sides.

3. One could ask with equal legitimacy, why the 1989-90 events should not be considered a watershed in Hindu-Muslim relations as it was during this period the Kashmir valley was cleansed of its Hindu population, leading to the exile of between 350000 and 400000 Pandits in their own homeland?

However Ms. Dutt and the panellists on the show stubbornly refuse to countenance the question as for them the concept of ‘secularism’ means one thing in Jammu & Kashmir and quite a different thing in the rest of India.

Of course Ms. Dutt is entitled to her views but if airing her views is likely to add to the belligerence that is already prevalent in the air should she not restrain herself from airing them?

4. We are pained to observe that those who advised that ‘everyone should respect the judicial verdict’ and ‘the country has moved on’ till the day of the judgment suddenly began denouncing it as soon as it was delivered. Legal experts say that it would take at least a few weeks to read and digest the 8000+ pages verdict but panellists on your channel were allowed to denounce it almost as soon it was delivered.

5. Panellists who oppose the construction of the ‘Sri Ram Mandir’ were asked loadedquestions like “were you disappointed with the verdict?” As you are aware, in legal parlance such questions are characterised as ‘leading’ calling for a ‘conclusion’ from the witness. This obviously means that the panellist would have to take a stance from which it is impossible to reconcile later even if one wanted to. As Ayodhya is a sensitive issue and is likely to inflame passions on both sides of the divide could such provocative questions be not avoided?

6. In some instances Ms. Dutt was animatedly participating than moderating the debate. She could have opposed or at least protested voicing diatribe as comment, like describing the verdict as a ‘Panchayat settlement’.

7. We believe panellists who support the court verdict could have been given more time. The court has indeed given an opportunity to the two sides to bury their differences and come to an amicable solution. Would not an amicable solution at this stage help the ‘nation to move on’ as indeed it should?

8. The moderator on several occasions used the word ‘dissenting judge while alluding to one of the judges on the bench, which gave the verdict. As different judges agreed / differed on different aspects of the complex issue, it would be unfair to selectively use the word ‘dissenting judge’ depending one’s view point and convenience.

9. As the verdict is being slowly digested and excerpts appear on various Internet fora it is now abundantly clear that the Honourable justices have in fact based their judgment on hard evidence and not on faith of the majority religion as large sections of the media seem to imply.

10. Transcripts of evidence tendered by the historians, archaeologists and other expert witnesses of the BMAC, their cross-examination by the defendants’ lawyers and the observations of the Honourable justices should leave no one in doubt that the BMAC has no case at all and that the Masjid was in fact built on the ruins of a temple or a existing temple was destroyed to build the Masjid.

In spite of overwhelming evidence supporting the claim of a temple having either existed or demolished on that site should the media harp on its ‘faith-prevailing-over-evidence’ line thus tarnishing the image of the judiciary, the ‘court of last resort’ for the common citizen? Will it not weaken the common citizen’s faith in the democratic institutions of the country?

On the other hand will not awarding the suit in favour of the Muslims irrespective of the merits of the case be akin to some kind of ‘road justice’, in which the smaller vehicle or pedestrian in a road accident is invariably sympathised? Will it not weaken the majority religion’s faith in the judiciary?

The Ayodhya debate was but one example of the prevailing political culture – which your channel typifies – that defines secularism as anti-Hinduism.

We are of the humble opinion that the country can ‘move on’ only if every concerned citizen – not least the opinion-shaping bodies like the media - work in tandem for fostering amity and goodwill between various sections / groups of citizenry.

The Honourable Court has indeed accorded the nation a wonderful opportunity to bring about a climate of amity and goodwill between India’s two major religions. Whether the nation seizes it or fritters it away largely depends on the opinion-making institutions like the media.

Will NDTV help or hinder the cause?

Thank you for listening.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Is media Sensationalizing a normal incident?

Todays entry into Media Hall of Shame is the article ‘Dalits fined for daring to drink water from tap’ by IBN which purposely highlight discrimination against Dalits.

According to the IBN article

In a shocking incident in Rajasthan, three Dalits were fined Rs 45 thousand by a Panchayat for daring to drink water from a public tap.

So if we read between the lines the headline conveys -

  1. Dalits were not allowed to drink water from this public tap
  2. When they dared to drink they were fined Rs. 45,000 by panchayat

IBN continues with a bizarre statement

These Dalits have been discriminated against not just by the upper castes, but also by Muslims.

Do IBN have any proof to claim that these dalit were discriminated by upper caste Hindus also? Or is IBN of opinion that every Dalit in India is being discriminated by upper caste Hindus? One would expect IBN to backup such claims with proof. It is shocking to see such sweeping statements which can cause disharmony in the society from a national media.

Also, in such incidents one would have expected IBN to publish story from both sides point of view. 

Further investigations reveals totally different side of this incident

This incident was reported by Hindustan Times as  Dalits fined for fighting for water with Muslims in Bikaner

So if one were to go just by headlines HT wants us to believe that Dalits were fined for drinking water with Muslims! Surprisingly even though both IBN and HT stories were reported by two different reporters even with totally different headline the message is similar which makes one wonder about the motives. HT reports

The upper castes, it seems, are not the only ones who discriminate against Dalits.

Again, why drag upper castes into this Incident? 

But unlike IBN, HT did publish a detailed statement from victim which let lets cat out of bag

“We were drinking water from the public tap used by our Meghwal caste. Gheesu Khan (another villager) was filling his pots nearby. Some water splashed on to his pots and he started fighting with us. He then called the sarpanch, Gope Khan, who fined us R15,000 each.”

This completely changes the picture. So unlike what IBN (and even HT)wanted us to believe

  1. These Dalits did use this tap regularly. In fact the victim himself says that this tap was used by meghwals. So unlike what IBN wanted us to believe there was no need for them to ‘daring to use’
  2. A fight started due to splashing of water and not because dalits took water from this tap
  3. Actually, I think the fight started because the victims took objection to accused filling water from their tap!
  4. Lastly, the fine was for the fight! not for filling water!

Its shocking how media has blown a small fight over water splashing out of proportion!

IBN News


Hindustan Times news