Catholic Church must apologise for falsely accusing NDA government of hate crimes – Jaideep Mazumdar

Cardinals Baselios Cleemis & Oswald Gracias

Jaideep MazumdarThe Nadia incident is not the first one in which the Church has been caught crying wolf. As this article proves, the spate of ‘attacks’ on churches in Delhi in late 2014 and early 2015 that created such a furore were simply acts of burglary or vandalism. But Christian missionaries made a huge hue and cry over it and even made it an issue at global fora, thus defaming the country. – Jaideep Mazumdar

The rape of a 72-year-old Catholic nun at Gangnapur in Ranaghat sub-division of Nadia district [WB] in mid-March, 2015, sparked outrage across the country. The immediate verdict by the Church, opposition political parties, commentators and the so-called Left-liberal cabal was that the alleged rape, and the looting and desecration of the Convent of Jesus and Mary at Gangnapur was a hate crime and yet another attack on minorities after the Narendra Modi government came to power.

The alleged rape and loot at the Catholic establishment was preceded by a series of alleged attacks on churches in some parts of the country. Thus, when the Nadia incident occurred, large sections of the media, the opposition parties and others were already conducting a high-decibel campaign against the new National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, accusing it of orchestrating and supporting attacks on minorities and minority institutions. The allegations—mostly fake, as they later turned out to be—were even given credence by minority organisations like the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI).

In the Nadia nun rape case, too, the CBCI alleged it was a hate crime. Dripping sarcasm, CBCI president Cardinal Baselios Cleemis told the media before visiting the nun and the convent in Bengal that “not only cows, but human beings too need to be protected”. The cardinal was alluding to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) proposed cow protection measures. He went on to indirectly blame Prime Minister Modi and the BJP-led NDA government for the alleged attacks on minorities. His colleague, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, one of the eight cardinals from across the world appointed by Pope Francis on his advisory board to help him govern the Catholic Church, repeated the false allegation of “frequent attacks on Christians in the country” and said he was worried about “the future of the country”!

Articles like this appeared in many publications severely criticising and condemning not only Modi, but also the BJP, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh and their leaders.

Less than two weeks after the incident at Nadia, the Bengal police arrested one of the accused from Mumbai. Far from being a Hindutva foot soldier, as the CBCI, the media, commentators and the opposition had alleged, the man was a Muslim and, that too, a Bangladeshi! His interrogation by the police in Bengal (ruled by the vehemently anti-BJP Mamata Banerjee) revealed that the perpetrators of the crime were all Bangladeshis and the motive was dacoity.

On Tuesday [Nov. 6], a Kolkata court held only the prime accused, Nazrul Islam (a Bangladeshi national), guilty of rape. Four other members of the gang—all of them Bangladeshis, three of them are Muslims—have been held guilty of only committing a dacoity. Hence, the gang-rape theory was discredited by the trial court, which held the four other accused guilty of dacoity and criminal conspiracy.

Thus, the court verdict is a resounding slap on the faces of those who gave a communal colour to what was a case of dacoity. Moreover, the nun was not gang-raped, as was alleged. And also, contrary to the false accusations of the CBCI, there was no deliberate desecration of the chapel inside the convent. The gang of dacoits had gone to the convent to get hold of valuables and, when the nun resisted their attempts, she was reportedly raped. What, incidentally, remains unanswered is how the small convent had Rs 12 lakh (the amount allegedly taken away by the gang) in its cash box. But that is another matter altogether.

Given this, the two cardinals—Baselios Cleemis and Oswald Gracias—should now apologise for communalising the Nadia incident and levelling false allegations against the BJP and the NDA government. It is only fair that they publicly retract their earlier statements about the Nadia incident being another in a series of attacks on minorities in India. They should apologise to Prime Minister Modi for criticising him.

Apologies and retractions are also due from those in the media, who created and publicised the false narrative about attacks on minorities increasing after the NDA came to power in mid-2014, the commentators and the opposition parties.

But the Nadia incident is not the first one in which the Church has been caught crying wolf. As this article proves, the spate of ‘attacks’ on churches in Delhi in late 2014 and early 2015 that created such a furore were simply acts of burglary or vandalism. But Christian missionaries made a huge hue and cry over it and even made it an issue at global fora, thus defaming the country.

The false attacks even became an issue in the Delhi elections in 2015 and after the victory of the Aam Aadmi Party, Delhi archbishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto told the media that the verdict was a vote for change. This was his highly political statement: “The people of Delhi voted against the BJP and its attempt to polarize the voters in the name of religion. The result of these elections is a message to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi: he should think seriously about his behaviour”. So much for the Christian clergy keeping away from politics!

The point here is that the CBCI and its cardinals and archbishops should publicly apologise and retract their intemperate and hurried statements about attacks on minorities in the country. So should all the media persons, commentators and the political parties. Because such statements feed a false narrative about India having become unsafe for minorities post-May 2014. And that only serves to defame the country. The Catholic church, least of all, has no business defaming India. – Swarajya, 8 November 2017

» Jaideep Mazumdar is a senior journalist who has reported for The Times Of India, Open, The Outlook, The Hindustan Times, The Pioneer and other news organisations. He lives in Kolkata and writes on politics, society and other subjects from North, East and North East India as well as Nepal and Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Dacoits

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Why does a particular class of people dislike Modi and Yogi? – Amrit Hallan

Amrit HallanI started taking note of Narendra Modi when he was being heavily trolled by those who identified themselves as left-liberal, and most of them pretended to be non-political. – Amrit Hallan

Ever since I started taking active interest in politics, one thing that has continuously intrigued me is what sort of intelligence people use to arrive at a particular political and ideological thinking?

What makes them decide which politician to support and whom to oppose?

What moral and ideological compromises are they ready to make to support and promote their preferred politicians?

Of course, as the title of the article suggests, when I’m writing this, my focus is going to be on Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath, because otherwise a whole research paper can be written.

I chose Modi and Yogi as they face the most strident opposition from a particular class of people, and here I’m not talking about political parties because they are supposed to take a contradictory stand. I’m talking about supposedly “non-political” or “neutral” people. I remember I started taking note of Narendra Modi when he was being heavily trolled by those who identified themselves as left-liberal, and most of them pretended to be non-political.

I’m writing about Modi and Yogi because they are targeted the most by not just our own, often self-righteous, news media and the coterie of intellectuals and activists, but also by the foreign press (although the foreign press has its own reasons).

Their every move is observed, given a different version, and seeded and propagated through television, print media or the Internet, to portray them as bigoted, communal villains.

Positive news is totally ignored or it is turned into something negative.

Even if you don’t support both of them, just for the sake of objectivity, just observe the way the news media reports about Modi and Yogi and then compare this to the way the same news media reports about, say, Arvind Kejriwal, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Yadav, Mamata Bannerjee, or even Sasikala in the South. If you cannot spot the difference then you shouldn’t be reading further, would be my advice.

The stunt that Sasikala pulled after Jayalalitha’s death wasn’t just a mockery of our political system, it was also a criminal activity, but no, our news media decided to be totally “objective” and report the happenings as they were. They simply say that her family is called the “Mannargudi mafia” as if they are not talking about a mafia but an RWA.

There was no outrage. The democracy didn’t come under threat. Minorites didn’t feel vulnerable. The Constitution wasn’t insulted. The foreign media didn’t put Indian on their op-ed map.

The same sense of objectivity suddenly vanishes when it comes to something that the BJP does. Take for example the anti-Romeo squads started by the new BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. The hatred for whatever the BJP does is so steep that a scheme launched to protect the women of the state is projected as an attack on personal freedom. Just imagine, in which country would you term the targeting of eve teasers, roadside goons, and even prospective rapists, as an attack on personal freedom?

The other day Captain Amrinder Singh was saying that he will never have anti-Romeo squads in Punjab because he believes in personal freedom. Fair enough; he is a politician and one of his jobs is to show himself different from his political opponents. But then a journalist, who should be objective and unbiased, giddily tweeted the statement as if the anti-Romeo squads were exclusively launched to mount attacks on personal freedom, not even making an effort to present an alternative view that the squads are for reining in the unsavoury elements in the society. Very few in the media explain the fact that these squads are not non-state groups of voluntary people; they are police persons.

The closure of illegal slaughterhouses was similarly reported as an attack on the eating habits of the minorities and all those who eat meat. In any other country, people would be happy that illegal establishments are shut down because they don’t follow the hygienic guidelines prescribed by the rule books, but no, not in our country. All hell broke lose. Even the so-called legal restaurants couldn’t procure meat for the legendary kebabs and people started collapsing due to malnutrition and hunger!

As this article points out, compare the liberal outrage and media coverage shutting down of illegal slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh generated with the same about shutting down of legal liquor business in Bihar.

Why is it so? Why is the BJP in general and these two individuals in particular, are so disliked?

BJP is not the party of the “ecosystem”

The intellectual class is mostly Left dominated. In the late sixties and the early seventies, Indira Gandhi made a deal with the Left and sold her soul to secure her political position. All major educational institutions and news organizations came to be under Left-dominated intellectuals. It became a mutually-supporting system: the Left would provide political support and look the other way when her government crossed the line, and the Congress would let it have a free run at educational, literary and media institutions.

The BJP is anti-Left, or at least that’s the general perception. So the Left-leaning individuals and organizations naturally want to keep the BJP away from power centers, and for that they are even ready to partner with anti-national forces.

The Leftist ecosystem further draws material support from all political dispensations whose sole purpose is to keep the country in a constant state of turmoil by pitting one caste against other, one linguist group against other, one class against other, and so on. The BJP strives to bring all these communities together under the umbrella of nationalism, which disturbs the conventional vote-banks.

Primarily this is the reason why the Leftist intelligentsia (that consists of sundry artists, self-declared intellectuals, variety of NGO workers, activists, sundry writers, socialist economists and of course, journalists) abhors Modi and Yogi—their rise means the decline of the Left-favouring ecosystem.

Narendra Modi is someone who strengthens BJP

I can’t say anything for the BJP, because barring a few people, the party isn’t much different from other parties, with the only difference being that it pretends to represent the interests of the majority Hindu community more vocally.

Narendra Modi completely turned around the BJP, a party that was in complete doldrums after losses in 2004 and 2009 general elections. They were almost happy playing the second fiddle to the Congress after string of defeats.

Take Narendra Modi out of the picture and the party would have either receded further or would have still been in the opposition benches, and quite smug at that. The BJP was an old and rusted Ambassador car that Narendra Modi turned into a Porsche with hard work, statesmanship and political acumen.

So, whatever the position of the BJP right now is, it is all because of Narendra Modi. And this is one of the crucial reason Modi is disliked. Now Yogi Adityanath appears to be doing the same to the party in the so-called cow belt.

Modi and Yogi are workaholics

This can be upsetting for people who are not used to working very hard and for whom things have come easily through connections, serendipity and “jod-tod”.

They both seem to have an infinite supply of energy. Just imagine, ever since Narendra Modi has become the PM he has not taken a single leave. Many cannot relate to this obsession with work.

In fact, people (his supporters and admirers) have started worrying that if he doesn’t take rest it may take a big toll on his health and consequently, he won’t be able to accomplish all that he wants to accomplish.

Yogi Adityanath, after becoming the CM, took 50 major decisions in the first 150 hours. From the first day onwards he has sent an unequivocal message to the bureaucracy, the education system and the police, that he means business when he talks about improving the situation in the state. Many of the major pre-poll promises that the BJP made have already been put into motion.

Modi and Yogi work like sadhaks (who think their work is a holy mission)

So much decisiveness and hard work unnerves people who are not used to our systems working efficiently. Somehow, they have internalized the concept that we’re not supposed to have efficient systems; such systems are only for developed countries, the first world nations. The Indian masses are supposed to live in wretchedness.

There is this inferiority complex that makes them believe that the people of India do not deserve good governments and efficient political leaders.

Additionally, when you don’t like working hard, even indirectly, you don’t want to be compared with people who work hard.

Even if somehow they can come to terms with the fact that India could have such leaders, they wish that such leaders would have emerged from their own ideological and political pool rather than from a political party they despise. It would be a stuff of dreams for them if a Rahul Gandhi or an Akhilesh Yadav or even a Kejriwal could have even 10% of the motivation that Modi and Yogi have.

How come a saffron-clad monk is way too smarter than their IIT-educated Magsaysay Award-winning crusader who is featured in the list of the top 100 influencers in the world, they must think? How come the “social engineering” pioneers fail to improve the lot of people for decades and Modi and Yogi start making a positive impact from the word go?

Modi and Yogi have a vision

Most of the politicians in our country don’t have a vision, neither for their parties nor for the country. Their only vision is to get elected and form the government so that they can carry out various scams and enjoy immense power; their vision does not extend beyond that.

This is a big reason that they are constantly running like headless chickens. They have been making the same old promises for the past 50 years. The Congress has been trying to “hatao gareebi” and uplift the “gareeb kisaan” for the past 60 years and if you leave it to the party, it will go on “hatao-ing gareebi” for the next 200 years, making the country poorer.

Mayawati has been trying to uplift the Dalits for years. Mulayam Singh Yadav has been trying to improve the lot of Muslims and Yadavs, election after election. Mamata Banerjee cannot see beyond blatant Muslim appeasement. Lalu thinks that its his rustic crassness and unapologetic corruption that gets him the votes. Nitish is too opportunistic for his own good. AAP rides on the wave of sheer stupidity. Except for Chandrababu Naidu, politicians in South score no better.

Within 30 days, Yogi Adityanath has set deadlines for making the roads pothole free. Schools have been instructed to furnish fee-structure by a deadline to ascertain if complaints about over-charging is true or not. To tackle the menace of mass cheating in exams, action has been promised within 3 hours after registration of complaint. Yogi government has declared that in the next 5 years there will be 6 new AIIMS and 25 new medical college in the state.

Modi and Yogi don’t just say this should be done or that should be done. They set definitive goals with well-defined deadlines.

The haters are frustrated by the fact that the leaders of their choice don’t manifest such traits. They can’t accept the fact that a “chaiwala” and a saffron-clad monk are far smarter and hard-working than their chosen ones who converse in accented English while sipping the costliest champagne and whiskey.

Modi and Yogi are proud Hindus and flaunt their Hindu beliefs unapologetically

This can be one of the biggest reasons why people dislike Modi and Yogi. The entire leftist cabal has thrived on demeaning Hindu rituals, Hindu culture and Hindu history.

The Leftist intellectuals and people who are influenced by them or who want to carry forward the agenda, have ensured that the concept of Hinduism becomes a strange mishmash of misconceptions in our country. People are not proud of their religion. Even if they are proud, they want to view Hinduism from a Western perception rather than from an indigenous, Dharmic perception. Let alone being assertive or being protective towards their religion, they don’t mind if other religions overtake Hinduism.

Modi and Yogi on the other hand practice their religious beliefs unapologetically. Modi’s insistence during his first American visit that he won’t interrupt his upvaas (fast) attracted vicious scorn from the so-called liberal and leftist intelligentsia simply because these people are not used to mainstream politicians practicing Hindu ways of life publicly, especially when visiting Western countries.

They don’t want the Western world to look at Hinduism from a strict adherent’s point of view. They want the Western world to look at Hinduism from their own myopic and biased view. They want the Western world to look at India from their point of view and if someone else, unapologetically promotes Hindu beliefs, they scoff and raise a hue-and-cry.

There is a photo comparison that often goes viral every few months: in one photo they show Jawaharlal Nehru showing to a group of foreign dignitaries a poor, emaciated snake charmer sitting on the floor; in the adjacent photo they show a collage of photographs showing how Narendra Modi shows majestic Indian temples to foreign dignitaries and makes them participate in the grand Hindu rituals.

For example when the Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe visited India Modi took him to participate in the aarti in Varanasi. Recently Modi took the Australian PM to Akshardham Temple.

Such activities are a strict no-no among the class that dislikes Modi and Yogi. They squirm in great discomfort when Modi promotes Hindu rituals among the visiting dignitaries.

Yes, if you take some foreign dignitary to Jama Masjid or to a church, you are being secular and inclusive, but the moment you take someone to a Hindu temple, you have crossed the line and you are pandering to the Hindutvavadi forces.

The narrative goes somewhat like this: highlight non-Hindu religious beliefs while totally neglecting Hindu religious beliefs then you are fine. But if you highlight Hindu religious beliefs  it becomes incumbent upon you  that you also highlight non-Hindu religious beliefs. If you don’t do that, that is, you highlight only Hindu religious beliefs, then you must be branded as communal.

Even common folks with no specific political affiliations have internalized such biases.

Modi and Yogi inspire the people of the country to do their best

Which other Prime Minister prompted you to keep your county clean the last time? Which Prime Minister advised you to cease defecating in the open and start building indoor toilets? A senior BBC India journalist from Uttar Pradesh commented on television that the Prime Minister of the country shouldn’t indulge in such petty things as advising people to build toilets, such is the state of our intellectuals.

Which Prime Minister said that India shouldn’t​ just manufacture products but should manufacture the best products in the world? Take your cues from Germany, not from China. Which Prime Minister said before that our population is not a problem but an opportunity?

Our intellectual class, and people who like to think that they are smarter compared to the others, find inspiration very off-putting. If someone inspires you then you are forced to work or at least show the others that you should be working. Inspiration is for losers. They are too smart and evolved to be exposed to such inspiration.

Modi and Yogi are the antithesis of the atrophying “chalta-hai” attitude

Our chalta-hai attitude has been our undoing. Chalta-hai means dismissively accepting whatever is happening around us. If the government doesn’t work, chalta-hai. If we have a dilapidated infrastructure, chalta-hai. If there is rampant corruption, chalta-hai. If there are no schools and colleges, chalta-hai. If there is no health care for the poor, chalta-hai. If people don’t want to follow rules, chalta-hai. Kya karein? Saale Indians hain hi aise.

Both Modi and Yogi challenge this chalta-hai attitude. Why should things be mediocre in our country?

Modi and Yogi have dismantled the caste-minority political formula

The rajneetik samikaran (political arithmetic involving castes and minorities, especially Muslims) mentality still refuses to go among our Leftist journalists, intellectuals and  social commentators.

A big defence against the so-called communal politics, according to the Leftist intelligentsia and its political masters, used to be the caste and religious vote-banks that were​ initially controlled by the highly corrupt Congress party and then its various regional offshoots.

In the recently concluded UP elections the BJP has broken this vicious nexus. It has proven that Muslims no longer control who gets to form the government. The backward castes have realized that their champions were actually charlatans.

The ground level caste politics was backed with pseudo-intellectual explanation of these fault-lines in the society. Alternative reading and JNU brand sociology was presented as gospel facts, but Modi and Yogi are showing how these theories are flawed and failing.

The failing class can’t digest their own failure, so now they have to hate and pray that the duo fail in their mission. – Opindia, 19 April 2017

» Amrit Hallan is a content writer. He lives in Noida.

Indian media Left dominated!

Are Christian and Muslim nations ok and Hindu nations not? – Maria Wirth

The New York Times leads the world media in Hindu-baiting!European newspapers follow The New York Times!

Maria WirthNeither the West nor Muslim countries want a strong India. India was the cradle of civilisation and over most of the known history economically very powerful. They may fear that based on her ancient culture, India may rise again to the top. – Maria Wirth

I sometimes wonder who influences whom: the Indian mainstream journalists the foreign correspondents or the other way round, as they always hold the same view. Or is there even a directive from the top of the media houses about who must be protected and who can be abused?

Obviously, Hindus can be abused. I was shocked when I recently checked articles in major newspapers like The New York Times on the appointment of Yogi Adityanath as chief minister in Uttar Pradesh. Like in the run-up to the general elections in 2014, when a Modi victory loomed large, the media went berserk. The gist was: By appointing Yogi Adityanath, Prime Minister Modi has finally shown his true face of a Hindu fundamentalist who wants to make India a “Hindu nation” where minorities have no place. The articles peddled untruths and drew unacceptable conclusions. The Swiss NZZ for example wrote that it is hardly possible for Prime Minister Modi’s government to call itself the representative of all Indians after appointing a figure like Yogi Adityanath.

A Hindu nation is projected as the worst possible scenario by the wrongly called “liberal” media. Yet, the same media don’t react when America or most other western countries are referred to as Christian nations. Nor do they get agitated about the numerous Muslim nations; not even about those which still have harsh blasphemy laws. Why are these ok, and a Hindu nation is not ok? They don’t explain; they just insinuate that minorities (read Muslims and Christians) will suffer in a Hindu nation.

Maybe they came to this conclusion because minorities like Jews or Hindus suffer in certain Christian or Muslim nations though the media hardly pulls those countries up for it. However, even otherwise, this conclusion is wrong, as Hindus have a different mind-set. They are open towards other views, unlike “good” Christians and Muslims who feel obligated to make everyone believe what they believe, if necessary by deceit or force.

Hindus cannot be put into one single box. There are too many different ways to reach the goal of life. As it were, there are many minorities within Hinduism. But they all are based on the Vedic insight that everything, including our persons, is permeated by the same divine essence which is called by many names but is ultimately ONE. Our human consciousness (atman) is one with the cosmic consciousness (Brahman) and to realize this, is the goal and fulfillment of life. “Satyam vada, Dharmam chara” the Veda exhorts—speak the truth and do what is right under the given circumstances. And find out who you really are: you are not a separate entity but in the depths of your being one with all.

From this follows that “good” Hindus are those rare human beings whose dharma makes them regard all others as brothers and sisters. Their dharma makes them further respect nature and not harm unnecessarily any living being.

Hindus do not, unlike Christians and Muslims, divide humanity into those who are chosen by God and those who are eternally damned. Hindu children are not taught to look down on those who are not Hindus, unlike children of the dogmatic religions who are taught that their God does not love those others unless they join their ‘true’ religions.

Hindus are also comparatively kinder to animals. The great bulk of vegetarians worldwide are Hindus.

Hindus never fought crusades or jihads to establish their dharma in foreign lands. In fact, they didn’t need to, because they convinced most of Asia merely by solid arguments. Yet, for the past thousand years Hindus were at the receiving end of jihads and conversion campaigns and millions of Hindus were killed in cold blood because they were Hindus.

It has to be held in favour of Hindus that they held on to their tradition and did not succumb to the pressure and even violence brought on them to adopt blind belief that only one particular person has revealed the full truth. Instead, they continued trusting their sages who never asked for blind belief, but asked to verify their insights through experience.

So why do media worldwide get so worked up about “Hindu fundamentalists” and a possible “Hindu nation”. What is wrong with the fundamentals? There is nothing wrong with the fundamentals. But there is one major difference: For Hindus, the Divinity is in all and all is in the Divinity, whereas for Christians and Muslims the Divinity is separate from his creation watching us from somewhere.

The concept of Divinity is also different. For Hindus the best description for the absolute truth is sat-chit-ananda (it is true, aware and blissful). The many personal gods help the devotee to realize the Absolute. Christians and Muslims perceive Divinity in its highest form as a personal, superhuman entity who is jealous of other gods. The first commandment in Christianity and a very important issue in Islam is the claim that nobody must worship other gods except the “one true god”, which both religions claim is only with them.

In all likelihood the Hindu view comes closer to truth. When the first translations of Vedic texts appeared in the West, the greatest minds in Europe were greatly impressed by Indian thought. It did spread among scientists, too, who used it to push the frontiers of science further. It is no coincidence that modern science discovered that all is one energy after Vedanta became known in the west. It is also no coincidence that the Church lost much of its power in Europe when some of India’s wisdom filtered down to the masses

Why then are the media worldwide so worried about a nation where the Hindu roots are fostered? Where Sanskrit is taught, which is the most perfect, dignified, powerful language on earth and which is useful even for NASA? Where yoga is practised in schools, which is an ideal means for all-round development and which, on a deeper level, helps to find fulfilment in live? Where Vedic philosophy is studied, which inspired the new scientific discoveries for example in nuclear physics? Where the amazing wisdom of Mahabharata and Ramayana becomes common knowledge, which is already taught in business seminars abroad? Where children chant “Loka samastha sukhino bhavantu” (let all be happy) instead of Humpty Dumpty, which happens already in certain schools in the West?

Yet as soon as Hindus make suggestions for India to keep its Hindu character or rather, to gain back its Hindu character, as even after Independence, the youth was encouraged to abandon it, there is an outcry by the media that “Hindu fundamentalists” want to make India a Hindu nation and exclude religious minorities. Ironically, “Hindu” is a geographical term, with the same root as Indian—people who lived beyond the Sindhu or between the Himalayas and the Indian Ocean.

So why would Indians who rather recently converted to Islam or Christianity not be proud of the achievements of their ancestors? India was the cradle of civilization, a knowledge hub and the richest country on earth. It was known for its wisdom. Greeks, including Pythagoras, are said to have come to India for knowledge and today everybody knows his name, but not the name of the Indian mathematician—Baudhayana—who originally discovered the Pythagoras theorem. Surely Christians and Muslims cannot have any objection that students are taught this fact or the fact that the Rishis of the Rig Veda (10.22.14) knew many thousand years before Copernicus that the earth goes around the sun. Surely they also cannot have any objection that students chant “May all be happy” in Sanskrit, the language of their forefathers. If someone calls such teaching communal it is malicious. If someone objects to this teaching, should not he be shouted at by the media instead of those who want to revive their ancient culture? Is not he the one who tries to divide society and not those who say “Vasudhaiva kutumbakam” (all is one family) due to their philosophical outlook?

Hindus are the exemplary role model for “how not to exclude others”? Where else have religious minorities flourished and grown like in India? Is not the relative harmony in this amazing diversity in India generally admired abroad? Media persons need only to look around in the world to realize this fact.

Why then are Hindus of all people accused of excluding others?

The reason may be this: neither the West nor Muslim countries want a strong India. India was the cradle of civilisation and over most of the known history economically very powerful. They may fear that based on her ancient culture, India may rise again to the top. Is it the media’s job to put Hindus perpetually on the defensive by spreading this bogey of Hindu fundamentalism and prevent a better education policy which would give India an edge?

“Imagine, India would become a Hindu nation!” the media shout infuriated. The problem, however, is that they don’t imagine it and don’t ask basic questions. If they only imagined what a Hindu nation looks like, they might start propagating Hindu nations all over the globe for harmony and peace in the world.

One day, when people have become tired of blindly believing strange things, and when nobody is threatened any longer with dire consequences if he stops believing in those strange things, the world may be grateful to Bharat Mata that she has conceived and preserved over millennia those eternal, precious insights for the benefit of humanity. – Maria Wirth Blog, 21 April 2017

» Maria Wirth is a German author and psychologist who has lived in Uttarkhand for decades.

Yogi Adityanath

Indian media must stop being naive about terrorists – David Frawley

Media

Vamadeva Shastri (David Frawley)Terrorists seem better defended and have more tears shed for them by the media than the numerous people they have killed. Whether it is Ishrat Jahan, Afzal Guru or Burhan Wani, the media has inflated their importance, turning them into propaganda images. – Dr David Frawley

The war on terror has become a big media event, perhaps the biggest today. It is also a big political event. Terrorist attacks can be viewed for possible major electoral gains. India is perhaps more caught up in media news about terrorism than the rest of the world. That Pakistan has been a jihadi state promoting terrorist attacks on India highlights the issue.

Political gains

Part of this media event consists of glorifying terrorists as victims or heroes, posting their pictures and expressing sympathy for their causes. This includes questioning whether such individuals should be called terrorists, and if it is lawful to try to eliminate them by preemptive measures.

Some journalists emphasise protecting the human rights of terrorists, making sure they have fair trials before being punished, to the extent of trying to ignore their atrocities. Unlike India, the USA promotes its war on terrorism by trying to eliminate as many terrorist leaders as possible by drone attacks. No media reporting or scrutiny is part of the process. India has terrorist encounters along its borders and inside the country. The media expects to be given all possible information and to monitor the battles against terrorists in person if possible. It appears that the media feels that without their presence and approval such battles cannot be legitimate. The media seems to function as if they were an independent branch of government, necessary for validating the veracity and success of terrorist operations. But they seldom keep track of the victims of terrorism.

While terrorists gain fame, those they kill fall into obscurity. The media fails to note that by excusing terrorism or overemphasizing the rights of terrorists, they may further abet terrorism. Since India has a sizeable Muslim minority, raising questions about Islamic terrorism has special possible electoral advantages.

We are reminded of Digvijay Singh of Congress who went so far to promote the release of a book claiming that the 26/11 Mumbai attacks were actually done by the RSS, not by Islamic terrorists at all. Not surprisingly, after terrorist attacks, the opposition seems to come together to defend the rights of terrorists against India’s central government, which they want to denigrate as anti-Muslim. This use of the terrorist card in an effort to gain the Muslim vote is cynical and manipulative.

Don’t be naive

Terrorists seem better defended and have more tears shed for them by the media than the numerous people they have killed. Whether it is Ishrat Jahan, Afzal Guru or Burhan Wani, the media has inflated their importance, turning them into propaganda images.The media claims that there may be something illogical about the details of terrorist encounters.

Naturally if there are terrorist attacks, or any type of fighting, there are bound to be uncertain or unexpected factors, as in the chaos that surrounds any battles—as well as different accounts as to what exactly transpired. Terrorists cannot be treated like professional soldiers or ordinary criminals, expected to fight or surrender in a predictable manner. Terrorist groups, which now include suicide bombers, are not rational people that you can have a fair discussion with.

Proxy war

Can there be excesses in the war on terror? Certainly, perhaps more than in ordinary wars. A major consideration on the battlefield is to try to avoid civilian casualties along with those of your own soldiers. In dealing with terrorists, the best way to be certain of this is to deal with terrorists quickly. It is better to err on the side of protecting the possible victims of terrorist aggression,rather than trying to insure terrorists are always treated kindly and with due legal process. Terrorism is not a law and order problem. Terrorism is a proxy war that has not only religious but also political implications.

Terrorism today is supported by various nations, either directly in the case of the Islamic State or Pakistan, or indirectly in the case of other countries. Terrorists are not criminals but guerilla fighters, specially trained to inflict as much damage as they can, and deception is one of their primary modes of operation. To treat them like misguided criminals is naïve, and may provide them more opportunities to inflict damage and further harm the innocent. – Daily-O, 5 November 2016

»  Dr David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) is the director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies and the author of more than 30 books on yoga and vedic traditions.

Indian army at Nagrota

Tunnel from Pakistan side to Nagrota

Pakistan grenades recovered from jihadis in Nagrota Cantonment Jammu

Nagrota Indian Army Officer's cremation near Pandharpur Maharashtra

Who controls the Indian media? – Gautam Sen

Indian Newspapers

Gautam SenThe alleged oppression of minorities is the political bridgehead that modern evangelical organisations have entrenched in the public consciousness, relentlessly distorting its reality and using it ruthlessly to fuel discontent within India. – Dr Gautam Sen

India happens to be one of the very few major countries in the world whose dominant media is controlled directly or indirectly by foreigners. The usurpation of control has actually been by Americans, much of it through surrogates of evangelical organisations that are in fact quasi-government agencies [i.e. World Vision]. Paradoxically, Leftist Indian political parties supposedly hostile to a US presence in India have been subdued with alacrity by these quasi-state religious agencies, which have been operating effectively in other parts of the world as well. In Latin America, where liberation theology offered succour to the poor, the very same neo-fascist, American evangelical organisations, working in conjunction with the US State Department and intelligence services, ousted them. In India, most English-language media outlets, are, in effect, vying with each other to accelerate the fragmentation of India in consonance with Anglo-American goals.

Viceroys to India in the decade before independence, Linlithgow, Wavell and Mountbatten are destined to prove prescient about its innate fractiousness. The alleged oppression of minorities is the political bridgehead that modern evangelical organisations have entrenched in the public consciousness, relentlessly distorting its reality and using it ruthlessly to fuel discontent within India. By deliberately misrepresenting the Godhra communal riots as genocide, though both communities suffered, the media has gleefully incited Islamic terrorist attacks against Hindus and harsh international condemnation of India. As a corollary, the rise of the BJP inspired them to equate mundane nationalist aspirations with the oxymoron of Hindu extremism. Yet, there is resounding silence on the role of the minority community in providing succour to Islamic terrorism through vote bank politics and concealment from attention. India-Forum: Strategic Security of India, 11 November 2010

» Dr Gautam Sen formerly taught at the London School of Economics.

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WHO CONTROLLED THE INDIAN MEDIA IN 2006

(This popular Internet list has been completely discredited!)

NDTV
Allegedly funded by Gospels of Charity in Spain. Supports Communism.  Recently it has developed a soft corner towards Pakistan because the Pakistan president has allowed only this channel to be aired in Pakistan.  Indian CEO Prannoy Roy is co-brother of Prakash Karat, General-Secretary of the Communist Party of India.

CNN-IBN
Allegedly funded solely by the Southern Baptist Church in the USA. It has branches in all countries of the world with headquarters in the US. The Church annually allocates 800 million dollars for promotion of this channel. Its Indian head is Rajdeep Sardesai and his wife Sagarika Ghosh.

TIMES OF INDIA, MID-DAY,  NAV-BHARTH TIMES, STARDUST,  FEMINA,  VIJAYA TIMES, VIJAYA KARNATAKA, TIMES NOW
Allegedly Times Group is owned by Bennet & Coleman. Eighty per cent of funding is done by the World Christian Council. The balance  of twenty per cent is equally shared by an Englishman and an Italian. The Italian Roberto Mindo is a close relative of Sonia Gandhi.

STAR TV
Allegedly it is run by the Australian Rupert Murdoch who is supported by St. Peters Pontifical Church in Melbourne, Australia.

HINDUSTAN TIMES
Allegedly owned by the Birla Group, but hands have changed since Shobana Bhartiya took over. Presently it is working in collaboration with Times Group.

THE HINDU
Allegedly an  English daily started over 125 years by a Sri Vaishnava Hindu family.  It has been recently taken over by the Joshua Society in Berne, Switzerland. Edited by Communist Sinophile N. Ram. He also edits the newspaper’s fortnightly Marxist magazine FRONTLINE. THE HINDU is known in Chennai (Madras) variously as “The Sapper” (because it supported the British during the struggle for Indian independence) and “The Old Widow of Mount Road” (because of its lugubrious, cliche-ridden style of writing and incomprehensible editorials). More recently it has acquired the sobriquet “The Chindu” (because it is “China’s National Newspaper In India”).

INDIAN EXPRESS & THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS
Allegedly it is divided into two groups. THE INDIAN EXPRESS in North India and THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS in South India. Founded by the Hindu freedom fighter Ramnath Goenka. Controlled by Acts Ministries who has a major stake in the INDIAN EXPRESS. THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS is still with its North Indian counterpart.

EENADU & ETV:
Allegedly to date this Hyderabad newspaper is still controlled by an Indian named Ramoji Rao. It is under concerted attack by the Christian Church, the Andhra Pradesh Christian chief minister Y.S. Rajashekhara Reddy and the Congress Party.

ANDHRA JYOTHI
Allegedly the Muslim Party of Hyderabad known as MIM along with a Congress minister has purchased this Telugu daily very recently.

THE STATESMAN
Allegedly it is controlled by Communist Party of India.

KAIRAL TV
Allegedly it is controlled by Communist Party of India (Marxist).

MATHRABHOOMI
Allegedly leaders of the Muslim League and  some Communist Party members have major investments in the newspaper.

ASIAN AGE & DECCAN CHRONICLE
Allegedly these popular newspapers  are owned by a Saudi Arabian company. Its chief editor was M.J. Akbar until early 2008. New chief editor unknown. These newspapers are aggressively pro-Christian (Roman Catholic), anti-Hindu newspapers. The Deccan Chronicle was the first South Indian newspaper to carry H1 banner headlines declaring ‘Hindu Terror’.

DOORDARSHAN
Allegedly India’s national TV network broadcasting in all corners of the country. Since Sonia Gandhi’s Congress Party has come to power, all DOORDARSHAN stations carry Christian missionary programmes dubbed into the regional languages. – Intellibriefs,  23 December 2006 


Must read article Hinduphobic media in bed with politicians by K.A. Krishna Rao


Inside the Invisible Government: War, Propaganda, Clinton and Trump – John Pilger

Propaganda

John PilgerTo the militarists in Washington, the real problem with Trump is that … he seems not to want a war with Russia; he wants to talk with the Russian president, not fight him. … Did he really mean it? Who knows? … But what is clear is that Trump is considered a serious threat to the status quo maintained by the vast national security machine that runs the United States, regardless of who is in the White House. – John Pilger

The American journalist, Edward Bernays, is often described as the man who invented modern propaganda. The nephew of Sigmund Freud, the pioneer of psycho-analysis, it was Bernays who coined the term “public relations” as a euphemism for spin and its deceptions.

In 1929, he persuaded feminists to promote cigarettes for women by smoking in the New York Easter Parade—behaviour then considered outlandish. One feminist, Ruth Booth, declared, “Women! Light another torch of freedom! Fight another sex taboo!” Bernays’ influence extended far beyond advertising. His greatest success was his role in convincing the American public to join the slaughter of the First World War.

The secret, he said, was “engineering the consent” of people in order to “control and regiment [them] according to our will without their knowing about it”.

He described this as “the true ruling power in our society” and called it an “invisible government”.

Today, the invisible government has never been more powerful and less understood. In my career as a journalist and film-maker, I have never known propaganda to insinuate our lives as it does now and to go unchallenged.

Imagine two cities. Both are under siege by the forces of the government of that country. Both cities are occupied by fanatics, who commit terrible atrocities, such as beheading people. But there is a vital difference. In one siege, the government soldiers are described as liberators by Western reporters embedded with them, who enthusiastically report their battles and air strikes. There are front page pictures of these heroic soldiers giving a V-sign for victory. There is scant mention of civilian casualties.

In the second city—in another country nearby—almost exactly the same is happening. Government forces are laying siege to a city controlled by the same breed of fanatics. The difference is that these fanatics are supported, supplied and armed by “us”—by the United States and Britain. They even have a media centre that is funded by Britain and America. Another difference is that the government soldiers laying siege to this city are the bad guys, condemned for assaulting and bombing the city—which is exactly what the good soldiers do in the first city.

Confusing? Not really. Such is the basic double standard that is the essence of propaganda. I am referring, of course, to the current siege of the city of Mosul by the government forces of Iraq, who are backed by the United States and Britain and to the siege of Aleppo by the government forces of Syria, backed by Russia. One is good; the other is bad.

What is seldom reported is that both cities would not be occupied by fanatics and ravaged by war if Britain and the United States had not invaded Iraq in 2003. That criminal enterprise was launched on lies strikingly similar to the propaganda that now distorts our understanding of the civil war in Syria. Without this drumbeat of propaganda dressed up as news, the monstrous ISIS and Al-Qaida and al-Nusra and the rest of the jihadist gang might not exist, and the people of Syria might not be fighting for their lives today.

Tony BlairSome may remember in 2003 a succession of BBC reporters turning to the camera and telling us that Blair was “vindicated” for what turned out to be the crime of the century. The US television networks produced the same validation for George W. Bush. Fox News brought on Henry Kissinger to effuse over Colin Powell’s fabrications. The same year, soon after the invasion, I filmed an interview in Washington with Charles Lewis, the renowned American investigative journalist. I asked him, “What would have happened if the freest media in the world had seriously challenged what turned out to be crude propaganda?”

He replied that if journalists had done their job, “there is a very, very good chance we would not have gone to war in Iraq”.

It was a shocking statement, and one supported by other famous journalists to whom I put the same question—Dan Rather of CBS, David Rose of the Observer and journalists and producers in the BBC, who wished to remain anonymous. In other words, had journalists done their job, had they challenged and investigated the propaganda instead of amplifying it, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children would be alive today, and there would be no ISIS and no siege of Aleppo or Mosul. There would have been no atrocity on the London Underground on 7th July 2005.  There would have been no flight of millions of refugees; there would be no miserable camps.

When the terrorist atrocity happened in Paris last November, President Francois Hollande immediately sent planes to bomb Syria—and more terrorism followed, predictably, the product of Hollande’s bombast about France being “at war” and “showing no mercy”. That state violence and jihadist violence feed off each other is the truth that no national leader has the courage to speak.

“When the truth is replaced by silence,” said the Soviet dissident Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.”

The attack on Iraq, the attack on Libya, the attack on Syria happened because the leader in each of these countries was not a puppet of the West. The human rights record of a Saddam or a Gaddafi was irrelevant. They did not obey orders and surrender control of their country.

The same fate awaited Slobodan Milosevic once he had refused to sign an “agreement” that demanded the occupation of Serbia and its conversion to a market economy. His people were bombed, and he was prosecuted in The Hague. Independence of this kind is intolerable. As WikLeaks has revealed, it was only when the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad in 2009 rejected an oil pipeline, running through his country from Qatar to Europe, that he was attacked.

From that moment, the CIA planned to destroy the government of Syria with jihadist fanatics—the same fanatics currently holding the people of Mosul and eastern Aleppo hostage. Why is this not news? The former British Foreign Office official Carne Ross, who was responsible for operating sanctions against Iraq, told me: “We would feed journalists factoids of sanitised intelligence, or we would freeze them out. That is how it worked.”

The West’s medieval client, Saudi Arabia—to which the US and Britain sell billions of dollars’ worth of arms —is at present destroying Yemen, a country so poor that in the best of times, half the children are Hillary Clinton & Muhammad bin Nayefmalnourished. Look on YouTube and you will see the kind of massive bombs—“our” bombs—that the Saudis use against dirt-poor villages, and against weddings, and funerals. The explosions look like small atomic bombs. The bomb aimers in Saudi Arabia work side-by-side with British officers. This fact is not on the evening news.

Propaganda is most effective when our consent is engineered by those with a fine education—Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Columbia—and with careers on the BBC, the Guardian, the New York Times, the Washington Post. These organisations are known as the liberal media. They present themselves as enlightened, progressive tribunes of the moral zeitgeist. They are anti-racist, pro-feminist and pro-LGBT.

And they love war.

While they speak up for feminism, they support rapacious wars that deny the rights of countless women, including the right to life. In 2011, Libya, then a modern state, was destroyed on the pretext that Muammar Gaddafi was about to commit genocide on his own people.  That was the incessant news; and there was no evidence. It was a lie.

In fact, Britain, Europe and the United States wanted what they like to call “regime change” in Libya, the biggest oil producer in Africa. Gaddafi’s influence in the continent and, above all, his independence were intolerable. So he was murdered with a knife in his rear by fanatics, backed by America, Britain and France. Hillary Clinton cheered his gruesome death for the camera, declaring, “We came, we saw, he died!”

The destruction of Libya was a media triumph. As the war drums were beaten, Jonathan Freedland wrote in the Guardian: “Though the risks are very real, the case for intervention remains strong.” Intervention—what a polite, benign, Guardian word, whose real meaning, for Libya, was death and destruction.

According to its own records, Nato launched 9,700 “strike sorties” against Libya, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. They included missiles with uranium warheads. Look at the photographs of the rubble of Misurata and Sirte, and the mass graves identified by the Red Cross. The Unicef report on the children killed says, “most [of them] under the age of ten”. As a direct consequence, Sirte became the capital of ISIS.

Ukraine is another media triumph. Respectable liberal newspapers such as the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian, and mainstream broadcasters such as the BBC, NBC, CBS, CNN have played a critical role in conditioning their viewers to accept a new and dangerous cold war. All have misrepresented events in Ukraine as a malign act by Russia when, in fact, the coup in Ukraine in 2014 was the work of the United States, aided by Germany and Nato.

This inversion of reality is so pervasive that Washington’s military intimidation of Russia is not news; it is suppressed behind a smear and scare campaign of the kind I grew up with during the first cold war. Once again, the Ruskies are coming to get us, led by another Stalin, whom The Economist depicts as the devil.

The suppression of the truth about Ukraine is one of the most complete news blackouts I can remember. The fascists who engineered the coup in Kiev are the same breed that backed the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Of all the scares about the rise of fascist anti-Semitism in Europe, no leader ever mentions the fascists in Ukraine—except Vladimir Putin, but he does not count.

Many in the Western media have worked hard to present the ethnic Russian-speaking population of Ukraine as outsiders in their own country, as agents of Moscow, almost never as Ukrainians seeking a federation within Ukraine and as Ukrainian citizens resisting a foreign-orchestrated coup against their elected government.

There is almost the joie d’esprit of a class reunion of warmongers. The drum-beaters of the Washington Post inciting war with Russia are the very same editorial writers who published the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

To most of us, the American presidential campaign is a media freak show, in which Donald Trump is the arch villain. But Trump is loathed by those with power in the United States for reasons that have little to do with his obnoxious behaviour and opinions. To the invisible government in Washington, the unpredictable Havan for Donald TrumpTrump is an obstacle to America’s design for the 21st century.

This is to maintain the dominance of the United States and to subjugate Russia, and, if possible, China.

To the militarists in Washington, the real problem with Trump is that, in his lucid moments, he seems not to want a war with Russia; he wants to talk with the Russian president, not fight him; he says he wants to talk with the president of China. In the first debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump promised not to be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into a conflict. He said, “I would certainly not do first strike. Once the nuclear alternative happens, it’s over.” That was not news.

Did he really mean it? Who knows? He often contradicts himself. But what is clear is that Trump is considered a serious threat to the status quo maintained by the vast national security machine that runs the United States, regardless of who is in the White House. The CIA wants him beaten. The Pentagon wants him beaten. The media wants him beaten. Even his own party wants him beaten. He is a threat to the rulers of the world—unlike Clinton who has left no doubt she is prepared to go to war with nuclear-armed Russia and China.

Clinton has the form, as she often boasts. Indeed, her record is proven. As a senator, she backed the bloodbath in Iraq.  When she ran against Obama in 2008, she threatened to “totally obliterate” Iran. As Secretary of State, she colluded in the destruction of governments in Libya and Honduras and set in train the baiting of China. She has now pledged to support a No Fly Zone in Syria—a direct provocation for war with Russia. Clinton may well become the most dangerous president of the United States in my lifetime —a distinction for which the competition is fierce.

Without a shred of evidence, she has accused Russia of supporting Trump and hacking her emails. Released by WikiLeaks, these emails tell us that what Clinton says in private, in speeches to the rich and powerful, is the opposite of what she says in public. That is why silencing and threatening Julian Assange is so important. As the editor of WikiLeaks, Assange knows the truth. And let me assure those who are concerned, he is well, and WikiLeaks is operating on all cylinders.

Today, the greatest build-up of American-led forces since World War Two is under way—in the Caucasus and eastern Europe, on the border with Russia, and in Asia and the Pacific, where China is the target. Keep that in mind when the presidential election circus reaches its finale on November 8th,  If the winner is Clinton, a Greek chorus of witless commentators will celebrate her coronation as a great step forward for women. None will mention Clinton’s victims: the women of Syria, the women of Iraq, the women of Libya. None will mention the civil defence drills being conducted in Russia. None will recall Edward Bernays’ “torches of freedom”.

George Bush’s press spokesman once called the media “complicit enablers”.

Coming from a senior official in an administration whose lies, enabled by the media, caused such suffering, that description is a warning from history.

In 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor said of the German media: “Before every major aggression, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically for the attack. In the propaganda system, it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons.” – Global Research, 27 October 2016

» John Richard Pilger is an Australian journalist based in the United Kingdom. He has been a strong critic of American, Australian and British foreign policy, which he considers to be driven by an imperialist agenda. He has also criticised his native country’s treatment of indigenous Australians. Pilger has twice won Britain’s Journalist of the Year Award. His documentaries have gained awards in Britain and worldwide.[6][7] The practices of the mainstream media are a regular subject in Pilger’s writing.

Hillary Clinton & Donald Trump

John Pilger

How the media conspires to work against India – Rakesh Krishnan Simha

The Indian Express

Rakesh Krishnan SimhaJournalists such as Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai and Prannoy Roy, who had ganged up to attack the A. B. Vajpayee government, ignoring all its positive contributions, are now doing exactly the same to Narendra Modi. Strangely, they do not even do a token attack on the Gandhi family. Despite the mountain of corruption charges against it, the dynasty is always spared by these so-called journalists. – Rakesh Krishnan Simha

Recently, Arnab Goswami managed, within just four minutes, to focus the attention of the entire nation on the compromised and unethical journalism practiced by certain journalists, who continue to peddle an anti-Indian narrative. Often it is hard to know whether such compromised journalists are working for India or Pakistan. For instance, on the Kashmir issue, even the Pakistani media does not attack India as much as these left-liberal “Indian” journalists do.

Goswami rightly said: “Pseudo-liberals should ask themselves, whether they have a right to comment, to speak or to write one word on the Kargil bravehearts….”

He continued: “Vested interests in some parts of the media have been openly and shockingly trying to echo the Pakistani line. In the guise of backing Kashmiris, these sections—including sections of the media—are doing everything possible to support Pakistan, sitting here in India…. Directly or indirectly, they are supporting the ISI, supporting Rawalpindi, they are supporting Hafiz Saeed.”

Journalists such as Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai and Prannoy Roy, who had ganged up to attack the A. B. Vajpayee government, ignoring all its positive contributions, are now doing exactly the same to Narendra Modi. Strangely, they do not even do a token attack on the Gandhi family. Despite the mountain of corruption charges against it, the dynasty is always spared by these so-called journalists, who are in reality influence peddlers and brokers—or to use a more appropriate Hindi word, dalals.

You may have wondered how these shady individuals operate. Well, here’s a peek at what goes on behind the scenes in the nation’s newsrooms.

Communal News ReportingCase Study 1: Fuelling the communal cauldron

One of my earliest encounters with such unethical journalists happened during the 2002 Gujarat riots. I was the chief copy editor at a leading Delhi-based national daily, and what you’re about to read is straight from the trenches.

The daily had a Gujarat bureau with an experienced and well-connected local reporter, but for some inexplicable reason, it dispatched a crime reporter based in New Delhi to cover such a major communal clash. From reporting on court matters, this 20-something reporter, whom I’ll call Vinod, suddenly found himself in the middle of a riot.

One of the stories that Vinod filed and which made it to the paper’s front page was an incendiary—and unsubstantiated—piece about a “Muslim cyclist”, who was “passing through a Hindu majority residential area” and got lynched by a “Gujarati mob”. The mob, he claimed, grabbed “loose concrete blocks from the footpath to crack open his skull, resulting in his brains spilling on the ground”.

The shocking thing was that we were just two hours from publishing this rabble-rousing report—not backed up by any official statement—on the front page. At a sensitive time, when the media needed to be extremely cautious about what it published, the reporter and the editors were dumping more fuel into the communal cauldron.

Now at this daily—which in 2002 had a print run of 900,000 copies—speed rather than accuracy was all that mattered. During a presentation before us journalists, the printing division’s head had told us—perhaps with a bit of an exaggeration—that each half hour delay meant the paper would print 25,000 fewer copies. Minor errors, therefore, did not warrant delays. In fact, if there was a delay of more than 5 minutes past 11.00 pm, the following morning we had to provide a pretty good reason why we overshot the deadline. Needless to say, the heart stopping deadlines had caused frequent burnouts of journalists.

Despite such pressures, I decided to call up the reporter and get the story sorted. Here’s how the phone call went:

Delhi Bureau: Did you see the man being killed?

Vinod: No. But I have reliable sources who did.

Delhi Bureau: So, who is your source?

Vinod: There was a group of people outside this housing society, who showed me the exact spot where the mob killed the man.

Delhi Bureau: How do you know for sure that the man was a Muslim?

Vinod: According to the same group of people, the man had a long beard. In fact, these people wanted to kill me too because they thought I was a Muslim.

Delhi Bureau: What was a Muslim man doing, cycling through a Hindu majority area on the third day of a major Hindu-Muslim riot?

Vinod: Maybe he was lost.

Delhi Bureau: How do you know his brains spilled out?

Vinod: The same group of people showed me bloodstains on the footpath.

Delhi Bureau: And you believe they are telling the truth?

Vinod: Yes.

Delhi Bureau: So, the group that you claimed threatened to kill you is now your authentic source?

Vinod: (Stammering) Look, all of them couldn’t lie.

Despite the winter chill, I could sense Vinod loosening his tie (he often wore ties, even in summer). In all those years at the paper, he was not used to being questioned like this. However, being a glib operator, he thanked me for calling him and said he would try and clear all my doubts.

My biggest worry at that point was that the following day, the graphic details would inflame people in other parts of Gujarat and India and spark more violence.

There was no point appealing to my line editor’s journalistic ethics or his concern—if any—for India’s image. The hole in the story that I had just discovered would not matter, when the deadline trumped everything. Plus, this was a pro-Congress newspaper. So, there was the possibility that Vinod was the management’s hitman, in which case I would be victimised too.

There was only one way out. I told the line editor that such a gory piece could either spark riots in Delhi or would lead to a lawsuit. Personal safety and career being existential matters, he quickly asked me to find a replacement story. A couple of hard-core communist journalists protested, but were overruled.

Unlike NDTV, which was deliberately inciting violence by broadcasting news from the riot-affected areas in a slanted way, the daily probably wasn’t doing it as official policy. It was just a bunch of leftists gone berserk. However, Vinod wasn’t wedded to any ideology. He was just a fake news manufacturer.

Years later, I mentioned the riot story to one of his former bosses, who told me: “Vinod is a complete fraud and I would not for a second doubt, if he himself concocted the Gujarat story. Once under pressure to do a major story for the Sunday magazine, he just didn’t show up and sent a message, saying he wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t come to the office.”

Vinod is now a corporate consultant at a Mumbai-based headhunting firm and no doubt peddling snake oil.

Paid NewsCase Study 2: Taking stock

Vinod was not the first news peddler that I encountered. That happened at a Delhi-based reputable business daily, where I did not work. Sometime in 1999, Business World (BW) magazine’s corporate bureau asked me to write about a Gurgaon-based IT firm (let’s call it LMH Systems), which was about to acquire a US-based software company. Here was a pocket-sized Indian company acquiring an American company that was four times bigger. Frankly, it was quite exciting to be able to write about the deal.

Since, I had zero experience in writing a corporate story, the corporate bureau head suggested, I contact Aruna (name changed) a seasoned corporate reporter. Aruna had recently joined BW after quitting her job at the Delhi-based business daily I mentioned above and had written extensively about LMH Systems. She was very nice to me and said I should speak directly to the owner of LMH Systems, who in her opinion was an extremely friendly guy and would provide me any information that I wanted about the deal.

Curiously, she revealed that she owned LMH stock and had made a profit of Rs 60,000, which in 1999 was a tidy amount. She made no effort to hide that it was inside information, which had allowed her to buy the shares, as the company was on the upswing.

But first, Aruna suggested, I read up older stories covered by the business daily’s Mumbai bureau. So I went to the newspaper office and after a couple of hours of manual search (not much on the internet those days) found a bunch of stories that had no bylines, but were datelined Mumbai.

I called the business daily’s Mumbai office and asked them, if they could identify the reporter, who had written those stories. After a few minutes, they came back and told me the stories were written by the Delhi bureau. It was all very confusing to me. If the story was written by the Delhi bureau, then why publish it under a Mumbai dateline?

Having hit a roadblock, I called Aruna, who insisted it was written by the Mumbai bureau. Not being a hard-boiled reporter, I was hesitant about bothering the Mumbai team again. So, I called the newspaper’s Delhi office and told them the whole story. Plus, that I didn’t want to bother the Mumbai bureau again and would really appreciate, if they could tell me who wrote the story from Delhi. This time the person at the other end consulted one of his colleagues and said, “It’s Aruna.”

Not being completely stupid, I now realised what was going on. Since Aruna—or her husband—had acquired shares in the company against the business daily’s policies that no reporter should have a conflict of interest, she had found a neat way of skirting the issue. She was writing stories in LMH’s favour, but publishing them from Mumbai—as a hedge against any investigation.

My suspicions were confirmed a few days later, when I met LMH’s owner at his plush Gurgaon office. He told me that he had met Aruna in the US, where she had a wonderful time travelling all around the country. Perhaps, this disclosure about Aruna’s US trip—most likely a junket—was intended as a signal to me that if I cooperated like her, I too could join the ranks of the jet setters.

P. V. Narasimha RaoCase Study 3: Ganging up against Rao

This case study involves one of India’s finest Prime Ministers. A year after P. V. Narasimha Rao died, one of his sons—I don’t remember which one—visited a close friend of mine at his Greater Kailash office in New Delhi. This friend was a former colleague, who had started his own publishing company.

After Rao’s death, the Congress—or rather the Gandhi dynasty—had started to airbrush Rao’s key role in India’s economic reforms. It was Rao, who had encouraged the unsure and wavering Manmohan Singh to go ahead with liberalisation. Had there been no Rao, we’d still be having waiting list of several years to buy Maruti cars, for example.

But, as the first anniversary of Rao’s death approached, there was a complete blackout by the Congress. To borrow George Orwell’s term from the novel “1984”, Rao was now an “unperson”.

To set right the record, Rao’s son tried to buy a full-page ad in a two of the leading New Delhi newspapers, to showcase the late PM’s contributions to the nation. But, for some reason, his cash wasn’t good enough and neither of the two newspapers would touch the ad.

It was only after he was stonewalled by the media that Rao’s son came to my friend and sought his help in buying ad space. The point is not whether he succeeded or not in getting the space. The point is the Indian media—in this case the owners—ganged up against the legacy of a late prime minister.

See how deep is the rot?

Paid JournalismCase Study 4: The television salesman

This happened during my stint at a leading news magazine, where I was an assistant copy editor. Every year, the magazine had a Diwali special, which had a feel good cover story on the mega deals available for the middle class.

For Diwali 2000, when the nearly 3000-word story landed in my inbox, it didn’t take me long to edit as it was a well-written story by a senior writer. However, one paragraph struck me as rather odd as it mentioned the prices of two flat screen televisions being introduced by a leading company. Not only was the pesky para not germane to the story, it looked like a 200-word thumbs up to the stock market punters. It made the entire article look like a paid advertorial. I deleted the sentences and ran it past the writer, who re-inserted it before sending me the approved copy.

I again got rid of the para and sent it for production. When the layout proofs were sent to the writer, he called me up and asked me to add that paragraph again. I said, maybe he was just being helpful to the reader, but some would look at it as a plug. He hung up and called the copy editor, my boss, demanding that he reintroduce the para.

Finally, a compromise was arrived at. The para was retained, but with some of the more blatant plugs removed. I remember a senior colleague commenting: “Either a brand new TV or a large amount of cash has changed locations in Mumbai.”

They call themselves journalists.

You get the picture. Rajdeep Sardesai, Shobhaa De and Barkha Dutt can rail all they want, but they are no role models.

Dutt was caught on tape scheming with Nira Radia on how she could help broker political deals. During the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, her live telecasts were helping the terrorists move around and target Indian commandos. Last month, she revealed in a tweet that India was rushing forces to Kashmir on Air India flights. What if the terrorists had blown up the aircraft?

Shobhaa De is a soft porn writer; to call her a journalist would be a crime. Rajdeep Sardesai’s shameless provocation of a pro-Modi crowd should be a textbook study on how to get lynched on the sidewalks of New York.

Now check out this list of ‘eminent’ journalists—Dileep Padgaonkar, ex editor of Times of India; Harish Khare, the media adviser to the last prime minister; Ved Bhasin, editor, Kashmir Times; Harinder Baweja, former India Today writer; Praful Bidwai, experienced columnist with communist leanings.

All of them were regular guests of Ghulam Nabi Fai, who was arrested in the US in 2011 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for acting as the front man of Pakistan’s Inter-Services-Intelligence (ISI). The Pakistani spy was arrested in a suspected influence-peddling scheme to funnel millions of dollars from Pakistan to US lawmakers.

According to the FBI, Fai “took dictation from his masters” in Pakistan. He received at least $4 million to manipulate the Kashmir debate in favour of Pakistan. These Indian liberals and media figures had been attending conclaves and meets organised by Fai, at the ISI’s instance, to oust India from Kashmir. You be the judge. What would you call them for acting against India’s interest?

Don’t get me wrong. Most of us journalists are kosher and just want to do a good job, be acknowledged for our work, and hope that our work will make a difference to the country. Many of us routinely turn down bribes and won’t accept junkets or even a token gift.

I know this senior editor, who in my presence banged down the phone on Mulayam Singh Yadav, because the UP chief minister had dared to invite him for a “cup of tea”. (Unfortunately, he has become a communist apologist today.) There is a Rediff writer who prefers to live in a one-bedroom apartment, because that is preferable to taking bribes from political parties. “Can you imagine how soundly I sleep,” he said with a wink.

There is a close friend, who doesn’t mind that all he has to show after 30 years of journalism is a two-bedroom flat in a DDA enclave in Delhi. He refused to be part of his editor’s plan to blackmail political leaders by using his amazing investigative skills.

In 2002, while working at a leading Delhi-based daily, I turned down a Rs 50,000 bribe from a family friend, who is now a builder. He had said: “All you have to do is get a one column article published in your business pages.” I kept my phone off the hook for a week.

What I did was no big deal. Most of the Indian media is honest and upright. However, there is a tiny co-opted minority of journalists, who are in bed with politicians, foreign agents and corporates, and are a huge problem. In 2014 when General V. K. Singh talked about presstitutes, he was on the money. – IndiaFacts, 2 August 2016

» Rakesh Krishnan Simha is a New Zealand-based journalist and foreign affairs analyst.

Indian Media