Thursday, May 21, 2015

Good Video links

Will document all good video links (related to politics) here:

Prime Minister's reply to President's address in Lok Sabha - 2015:

Prime Ministers reply to President address in Rajya Sabha - 2015 –

Emotional and Brilliant speech by Hukumdev Narayan Yadav (BJP MP from Bihar):

Arun Jaitley's reply on Land bill:

GST Bill - Arun Jaitely's reply:

Rajdeep's interview of Smriti Irani:

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Some unique aspects of Modi's visits...

The following article was written for MyInd Makers. Pasting it here for reference. 

In February this year, replying to the motion to thank the President, Prime Minister Modi told us that during his visit to Japan, he had discussions with Shinya Yamanaka, a Nobel Laureate, on how his research in stem cells can be used to control sickle cell anemia amongst tribals in Madhya Pradesh; He further told us that during his visit to Australia, they had discussions on using Australian research to increase the yield of pulses; and also on another Australian study that will help in increasing nutrition value in bananas!
This is perhaps the first time that a Prime Minister has spoken about such issues while on foreign visits. And these are just one of the many unique factors that have been guiding his foreign policy so far.
PM Modi has begun to take these visits beyond the formalities of formal meetings and strict dinners. Every country he has visited thus far, we have learnt more about the history and traditions of that country; and also learnt the various Indian connections we have with those countries.
During his recent visit to France, he visited the Neuve Chapelle war memorial. I had personally never heard of this war memorial and I suspect many Indians hadn’t. I now know that this war memorial has been constructed as a tribute to the thousands of Indian soldiers who perished fighting valiantly on the battlefield, in World War 1.Mr. Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit and pay homage at this memorial.
Selected works of C.V.Raman were presented to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Many were stumped, because we had no clue why CV Raman’s books were chosen. In the Prime Minister’s own words - Sir CV Raman's work finds extensive application in diverse areas, even quantum chemistry – in which Chancellor Merkel holds a doctorate. Sir CV Raman had a deep connection with Germany. He was inspired to pursue science as a career by famous German scientist von Helmholtz. Now well known terms like Raman Effect & Raman Spectrum  were coined in 1928 by a German physics professor Dr Peter Pringsheim
There are many examples of out of the box thinking on Foreign Policy which we know has distinct Modi stamp.His visit to the Mahabodhi society, while in Srilanka,or to a Gurudwara, while in Canada, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper accompanying him signified that out of the box thinking. Prime Minister’s  reference to "Ramayana trail in Sri Lanka and a Buddhist Circuit in India" or to the Melbourne Cricket Ground, while in Australia, along with many cricketing legends from both the countries went beyond regular diplomatic protocol. Consider Prime Minister’s  visit to the Fiji Islands (I mean, how many of us would have even cared about Fiji!) but we now know why Fiji figured in his itinerary. Fiji could serve as a hub for stronger Indian engagement with Pacific islands.  The thought process and team work that goes into planning these diplomatic visits is unheard of before. Prime Minister has indeed hit the diplomatic ground running right from the first day in office.
Modi has understood that personal chemistry between leaders is a basic prerequisite for co-operation between countries to work. Take a look at the collage of pictures below.

Most visits and handshakes and meetings earlier by Indian organizations were restricted to norms of protocol and niceties. This warmth and one-one interactions (over tea, on a swing, on a boat ride, over a walk) firmly establish a new and a welcome precedent – something leaders world over might want to emulate too.
Whilst massive thrust and focus on many of Narendra Modi’s visits have been on “Make in India”, he has silently also bought back focus on some ancient wisdom that makes India unique. Almost every world leader was gifted with a copy of the Bhagavad Gita (Xi Jinping got a Mandarin version too!). Getting 170 countries from the UN to vote for International Yoga Day on June 21st must rank as one of the biggest victories of this foreign policy. A matter of immense pride for the nation indeed! 
However, the most significant aspect of all his international visits has been this – his interactions with the Indian diaspora. Be it stopping by the road to greet the crowds or address large town hall gatherings (where one does not need to lobby to get a seat!), PM Modi has acknowledged the massive contributions this community has made to the growth of our country.
NRIs’ are an often derided lot back home. They are criticized just about everywhere - in movies, in articles, and even in interviews. Though their contributions to the growth of our country are immense, such acknowledgement seldom comes their way. PM Modi has contributed well to remove this stigma. Every single such community reception has been a roaring hit - a testimony that the NRIs finally felt fully recognized for their efforts.
Unfortunately, the media coverage has been a little skewed on this front. Ramana Mupalla wrote a detailed piece on this website on India’s Modi-fied foreign policy and the print media still does better given the time and space it has to react. TV Media coverage however has been peripheral at best or hypocritical at worst. We were witness to this sorry spectacle of one journo asking random people off the street in NY, whether they knew the Indian PM. We were also witness to behavior by a senior journo outside MSG in NYT that can be easily classified as crass. Or this discourse that sought to spread lies about his shawl and suits, or this discoursethat tried to bring in the mythical “attacks” on churches.The French Rafale deal was criticized purely on the ground that this goes against “Make in India”. The deal signified pragmatism over emotion which is the mainstay of Modi doctrine. This website carried a superb piece that explains this deal in more detail.
Does this mean there have been no flaws so far? Not at all. It is human nature to step on the wrong foot. A great beginning to theHannover Messe fair seems to have had a lackluster ending. The criticism about the plaguing problem of execution in India is something that Modi does realize and is working towards. A couple of references to politics back home (for example, reference to Scam India) were definitely avoidable, but those still do not take away the strides we have made on foreign policy front. Here’s wishing many more success stories in the future.

Rahul back to his antics

The following article was written for Niti Central. Pasting it here for reference.

In the summer of 2003, the then leader of opposition in the Andhra Pradesh assembly, Dr. YSR, went on a padayatra. He walked continuously for ~1200kms, covering ~10-12 kms every day. There is a widespread belief that this padayatra was one of the primary reasons why the Congress party came back to power in AP in 2004.
In 2012 – Chandrababu Naidu, then leader of opposition in the AP assembly, went on a ~2500km padayatra. This went on for nearly 6 months, with just minor breaks in between (and only once because of health issues). Though the party couldn’t make a mark in Telangana region, for the obvious reasons, this padayatra (coupled with other factors) is believed to have bought back Naidu into power (albeit in the post-bifurcated AP).
In 2015, Around mid-April, many news papers reported that Rahul Gandhi will undertake “country-wide” padayatra. Some reported on where it will start, some reported possible routes Rahul will take; some were even ecstatic that the 56 day holiday he took is materializing into something! As is the want of the Congress party, bits and pieces of “leaks” were being fed to the media – but none of them of course confirming anything. Since the concept of padayatra is not alien to people from the telugu states, I was eagerly awaiting the details of Rahul Gandhi’s padayatra.
And then he flew into Maharashtra. He visited the Vidarbha region, undertook a padayatra for 15kms for that particular day, and flew back to Delhi. About 15 days later, he flew into Telangana (well, technically to Nanded in Maharashtra and drove to Adilabad in Telangana). And undertook a padayatra for 15 kms for that particular day and flew back to Delhi. We are yet to know when and where this schedule will be repeated again.
Through these two tours, Rahul Gandhi has totally re-written the concept of Padayatra! YSR was ~53 years when he walked ~1200kms. Chandrababu Naidu was ~63 years when he walked ~2500kms. Both of them went through this like some deeksha – unwavering in their focus. Neither of them descended on a town, addressed the people and flew back to the luxury of their home – Rahul’s flash tours brings back the nostalgic memories of what he did during 2004-2014 when even his party was in power.
Public memory is short – otherwise the media would have reminded us that Rahul Gandhi resorted to these exact same antics earlier too. Media hyper-ventilated when he took the local train in Mumbai; when he went to Dalit homes to eat food; when he took world leaders on a poverty tour of Amethi; when he went to popular food joints at various cities; when he went and “fought” for the people of Niyamagiri etc. None of these visits had any positive impact on a single person – infact the Dalits whom he visited still languish in the same abysmal conditions. The 2014 results were supposed to be an eye-opener, but all that Rahul Gandhi could figure out was that he should just repeated these antics more frequently.
Take for example the Padayatra in Telangana. After flying in, in a private jet, and arriving at the starting point in a convoy, Rahul Gandhi started his padayatra. 5 families were chosen by the Congress party. Rahul Gandhi visited these five families – and handed them over cheques for Rs. 2 lakhs.  What message is being sent when only 5 families in distress could be attended to, in an entire day?  If the farmer in Telangana is in distress, one of the primary reason is power supply. The supply of power to the farms was erratic at best – the state was reeling under a power crisis for the past 4 years. For three of these years, the Congress party was in power. Now, we have Rahul Gandhi coming and lecturing on how the party helped farmers!
Or take the example of the Padayatra in Vidarbha. The Congress has been in power in the state for 15 years. Statistics of farmer suicides in Vidarbha show us the high level of distress in the region for the last 15 years. Yet, Rahul Gandhi went to Vidarbha and blamed the incumbent BJP government for not doing anything for the farmers! After his visit to Punjab (same pattern again – fly in –> take train –> meet someone –> fly back), Rahul Gandhi accused the Modi government of being a “suit-boot” ki sarkar. On other tours, Rahul Gandhi has always ridiculed the aspirational programs of various governments – and mostly focused on announcing of various doles.
The underlying argument by Rahul Gandhi being this – farmers should not dream of wearing “suit-boot”; farmers should not dream of getting jobs for their children; farmers should not dream of good housing – they must remain poor; they must stick to farming, even if it is not bringing in returns; and they must continue to depend on the mercy of the Congress party to receive doles! Rahul Gandhi has never once offered any scientific solutions to the farming crisis. Modi government has been experimenting with a variety of features (soil health card for example). KCR has setup an ambitious Mission Kakatiya project – aiming to provide water to agriculture by restoring lakes etc. Rahul Gandhi has now termed KCR to be a chota-Modi – that is his the seriousness with which he debates the agriculture issue.
The disastrous leadership of Rahul Gandhi is evident in how little Amethi has progressed. That he takes pride in giving poverty tours is a reflection of the backwardness of his thought process. The superfluous nature of his visits might excite the cadre of the congress party, but will have little impact on the lives of the farmers. The English media might get excited with his utterances, but his lies will now not go un-noticed. In this day and age of information overflow, it is a pity that Rahul Gandhi thinks he can get away with hyperbole and lies.

Why #ShameonArunJaitley trended ...

The following article was written for Niti Central. Pasting it here for reference.

On the night of April 14th, NDTV telecast (yet another) interview with the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. This show was titled “Townhall with Arun Jaitley”, where two categories of people would got to ask questions to Mr. Jaitley – citizens and then “eminent citizens”. There was an uproar on twitter. So much that #ShameonArunJaitley became a trending topic in no time.
On the morning of April 16th, there was news that Smriti Irani would attend an event #ExpressAdda being conducted by Indian Express. No topic trended, but there was outrage on this too.
And on April 16th again, Rediff published a detailed interview of Piyush Goyal with Sheela Bhatt. Tweeple were happy with the “aggressive” stance taken by Piyush Goyal for some queries from the media.
There was some outrage earlier too, when many ministers gave exclusives, particularly to the English TV media. Yours truly also wondered many times why do the ministers give exclusives to a media whose viewership is pitiful compared to vernacular media channels!
The outrage against the ministers is primarily because of the strong dislike/hatred towards the Lutyens’ media. The outrage is a reflection of the frustration that despite proven incompetence of this section of the media, bigwigs of the government continue to grace their studios/events for exclusives.
We will first discuss why this dislike and frustration exists before referring to a key trend  – the GoI is perhaps listening to the voices of the tweeple.
So why are Tweeple angry with NDTV (or for that matter Indian Express or other media)? Since relating to contemporary events is easier, let’s focus the answer by citing from the interview mentioned above.
The “language of intolerance”. 
In the interview with Arun Jaitley, Barkha Dutt rephrases a question as “intolerance building up for contrarian opinion”. She cites utterances of a few MPs and gets agitated. Then she brings in the most civilised debater in the entire world – Suhel Seth to pose a question to the Mr. Jaitley. Suhel Seth made it to the show as an “eminent citizen”. Sample his questions below:
“Why can’t you control some of the dolts around you?”
“Why can’t they be thrown into the Arabian Sea?”
To her credit, Barkha makes a passing reference that the usage of the word “Dolt” is part of the language problem. She doesn’t find any problem with “Why can’t they be thrown into the Arabian Sea?” Infact, Barkha Dutt will continue to entertain the “eminent citizen” Suhel Seth on many of her upcoming shows – regardless of the language he resorts to. And then on the same show, with a straight face, the Finance Minister of this country is asked about language used by few politicians (referred to as “motor mouths” by Barkha!).
The “attack” on Churches
Social media has been shouting from the rooftop – The “attack” on churches is one of the biggest lie that the entire media propaganda machinery resorted to. At around the 47th minute, Arun Jaitley lays bare the facts of the “attacks”. Barkha Dutt even nods approvingly for some of them. Jaitley blames the media for this fear-mongering. He asks Barkha if they have shown the results of the investigation with the same lightening speed with which they reported the incidents. No answer from Barkha.
On the same day, NDTV’s senior journalist Sunetra Chowdary, while covering the PM’s tour to Germany, gets to interview only one industrialist, Mr. Sanjay Kirloskar, who in the most bizarre coincidence has an opinion on this topic and this is the headline we get:
Even when facts are called out, these people just refuse to accept fault and make amends.
The Land Acquisition Bill/Ordinance
Arun Jaitley gave a detailed speech in Rajya Sabha describing why certain changes were necessitated. Nitin Gadkari has addressed a couple of press conferences to present the viewpoint of GoI. Despite this, most of the English media continues to praise Sonia Gandhi’s efforts in uniting the opposition in opposing this bill. Barkha (yet again) repeats questions like why is this bill so important for the government!  And then finally adds – “Did you make a political error of judgment?”
Zero references to all points made in favour of the bill, so far by the government. So Arun Jaitley again had to repeat what he spoke in the Rajya Sabha. Not only was Barkha totally dis-interested in this, she insisted that Arun Jaitley respond only the political question part of it and not the operative part of the bill!! She kept on insisting on whether a Joint Session will be held (same question asked earlier by other journos) – caring little for the arguments that Jaitley made.
Playing the role of the adversary
Barkha Dutt says that media’s primary role is to play the adversary to the government to a certain healthy level. Is lying and total mis-interpretation of facts “healthy” then? Without this introspection, what is the point in ruing that people are not liking NDTV? She talks about “intolerance building up for contrarian opinion”. I suggest that you visit her timeline on how “tolerant” she was to the trending hashtag #ShameonArunJaitley.
The anger of the tweeple towards NDTV and other media is because of their intolerance towards facts and their obsession with creating controversies.
So why were people angry at Arun Jaitley?
At around the 36th minute, he says that if only a section of media is doing things wrong, it is “better to look the other way”. Tweeple believe that this “looking the other way” has cost the BJP very dearly in the past. They believe that every lie must be countered, and if it has to be done in a language that will rattle the Lutyens’ establishment, then so be it!
It’s one thing to give an interview (or a series of interviews) to media that constantly critiques you on performance. However, to ignore the lies; the hidden agenda; and the hypocrisy on display (especially if it brings bad name to the country) and to continue to encourage them by giving exclusives, is what angered the tweeple.
I do not agree with the hashtag that trended though – such a hashtag first trended as #ShameonTimesNow for their blatant disregard to basic journalistic norms. For tweeple to continue to use that on a senior minister was unfortunate, there was nothing “shameful” for appearing for yet another interview.
The same tweeple have helped in ushering in a sea change in the discourse over the past few years – setting a perfect example on how Internet Activism can do good for the country. That this Internet Activism was hijacked recently for #NetNuetrality is a different story  – even before a reasonable counter could come, we were just bombarded with how the Internet will just die! Anyways, coming back to our topic!
The anger is that the government is not listening to tweeple (the same people who selflessly worked towards an NDA victory) at all – however the three interviews I mentioned at the beginning of this article tell a very different story. Here’s how.
At around the 47th minute, while illustrating the example on “attacks” on churches, Arun Jaitley says – “I now go beyond TV news for facts”. This is a perfect example of “Better late than never”.  Social media has been crying hoarse about the exact same thing for years now! That Mr. Jaitley told this on the face of NDTV, from NDTV’s studio, was quite gratifying to note. It was also gratifying that all through the interview, he has sought to repeatedly put the media (and Barkha Dutt too) on the mat – by questioning their disregard for facts.
Smriti Irani attended the Express Adda event and said this – The rule in my family is if it is in the express don’t believe it. She ensured that questions were only based on her office and work – answered them effectively and criticised the media on their face, when required.
In his detailed and in depth interview to Sheela Bhatt, Piyush Goal, while detailing various aspects of the coal auctions, also gives it back to the media in an aggressive fashion. For example– “Did I not just explain it to you? Is there something you have not understood?”, and “Are you not contradicting yourself?…I suggest you make up your mind what you want to ask!”
This is precisely why I believe that this is the government taking the feedback from tweeple. The government has two choices – to completely boycott the Lutyens’ media or to counter the Lutyens’ media using their platform. The GoI cannot afford to choose the former option. It would be good though, if senior ministers in the GoI choose a variety of such platform – English, Hindi, Vernacular (TV and print), Online publications – to put forth the agenda and counter the views.
I got a little carried away when Jaitley was on NDTV. I still believe that he should also appear on Hindi channels more often. But if the recent trend is anything to go by – we will see a new aggression within the government to counter the lies by Lutyens’ media. And in depth interviews that focus on performance of the ministries. Here’s to a better discourse!

MUDRA Bank - media coverage

The following article was written for Niti Central. Pasting it here for reference.

One of the consulting editors of the Indian Today group (whom I also call as the sermoniser-in-chief) suddenly bestowed upon us this piece of gyan yesterday:
In all the noise of news, @PMOIndia Mudra bank initiative deserves a mention. Let's hope it helps 'fund the unfunded'. Good move.
The Prime Minister launched the MUDRA scheme yesterday. The modalities of this scheme was announced in this year’s Union budget. The Consulting Editor anchors a show at 9pm, every day, for a full one hour. Here is the link for the program from last night Please watch his headlines for the first two minutes. ZERO mention of the launch yesterday. Even some news related to Shoba De was headlined, but the initiative that “deserves” a mention could not find place on *his* show. He sent the above tweet a few minutes after  his show got over. So when he sermonised to us that this initiative “deserves” a mention, where exactly did he mean?
It took several articles by the likes of Gurumurthy, R. Vaidyanathan, in various publications, for us to understand the concept of MUDRA and how it will immensely benefit the small entrepreneurs in the country (Samples 1 , 23) . Or this easy to understand graphic. We learnt nothing by watching the 9pm show run by this consulting editor!
Last month, there was this sudden found love for farmers. A barrage of tweets and a 9 pm show was conducted on this too.
Hope to focus on a bigger issue tonight on News Today at 9: rising farm suicides. Wish we would 'outrage' about that.

And while 'national' media obsess with AAP, more farmer suicides being reported. Time to reset at 9 pm today?
In one of the tweets, he even asked Narendra Modi to answer some specifics on why the farmer is suffering 67 years after Independence.

@narendramodi should tell farmer why 67 years after indep, we don't have proper crop insurance scheme. Failing crop biggest concern for now
During yesterday’s launch, the Prime Minister announced some key changes in the compensation packages for the farmer. The country has been hit by unseasonal rains this year. Many senior members of the Union Cabinet have travelled to different parts of the country to directly interact with the farmers. The Prime Minister also mentioned this in his speech yesterday, and highlighted that the existing systems are not robust enough to help the farmer during these conditions. However, the sermoniser-in-chief did not find any of these to be “headlines” worthy (leave being discussion worthy).
Below image is today’s banner headline of the largest circulated Telugu newspaper, Eenadu. Their banner headline is the new compensation package announced by the Prime Minister. The related text also deals with the launch of the MUDRA initiative.

I pasted the snapshot to show the wide gap between how the regional media covers policy related issues versus the noise that the English TV channels churn, day in and day out. Nearly 1 crore people in the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are now aware of this important announcement by the Prime Minister. No serious debate on any policy on any prime time show. I would like to recall what Dr. Prannoy Roy said during the 2009 election campaign.
Sudhir: What do you think the media has learned from this election?”. 
Dr Prannoy Roy: Interesting question, Sudhir. I think the media has learnt or should have learnt not to sensationalise small events.. serious issues like hunger or unemployment do not come into focus because these are hard to sensationalise. But tiny events like shoe throwing or a bollywood candidate are blown up beyond proportion. So media needs to learn to focus on real issues during campaigning.
The grim reality is that Delhi’s media just does not like bread and butter issues. It would be better if they accept this, and spare us their episodic sanctimony.

Sunny Deol and Delhi media high priests

The following was written for Niti Central. Pasting it here for reference.
The book author (Rajdeep) was coming to Hyderabad to launch his book for the zillionth time! And he also tweeted about this day long conference at the same venue:
“All day media conclave on media and Muslims at the Maulana Azad natl univ in Hyd. Guests from India and Pakistan. Looking forward.”
I figured it will be self-congratulatory session where everyone from the English media will tell us how awesome they are, when they talk or feel for Muslims on TV. And I didn’t give this any further thought. Until I saw two news reports the next day – one in Times of India and the other in The Hindu.
First, let’s see the report in The Hindu, titled “Modi fails to score on core issues: N. Ram“.
Ram is the editor-in-chief of the Hindu group of publications. Right from the day the government has been sworn in, this newspaper has been on the forefront of the campaign that minorities are not safe in India anymore. Not a single day passes when an editorial or an op-ed does not mention the dangers of “intolerance” (of course because of Modi!). Small incidents, frivolous incidents were all hyped up and an environment of fear mongering was created. And before you would want to pounce on me to show proof, here’s an excerpt from their editorial recently:
“..the statements of RSS leaders and Hindutva extremists are amplified many times over during the periods the BJP is in power
In this background, let’s now see what N. Ram had to say:
” It’s not that everything is bad, but on the core issues of the idea of India, on secularism, policy towards minorities, Article 370, on banning beef-eating, he does not respect the cultures of others,
First, when “everything is not bad”, why are the readers not given details on what is good then? Second, N. Ram is not an authority on what the core values of India have to be. Modi’s policy towards minorities is “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas”. I would love to hear from N. Ram why he opposes such a straight forward policy. Beef-eating is not banned in the country after Modi came to power.
Cow Slaughter is banned in 24 states in the country (this information is also courtesy The Hindu!). It’s been banned much before Modi became the Prime Minister, but N. Ram doesn’t hesitate to openly lie. Modi’s definition of secularism is India First. I would love to hear from N. Ram on why he thinks this is wrong. And of course, they have to end this with a bang, and hence the random statement “Does not respect the culture of others” – zero proof on this statement, but am sure he would have got great applause from those on stage. The headline instead should have been “Modi fails to score on MY core issues: N. Ram
The news report also said, another prominent editor, Shekhar Gupta, addressed the audience! We’ll quickly see what The Hindu report says before moving to a more damning report.
Prominent journalist Shekhar Gupta faulted the secular media for having taken up extreme positions in the aftermath of the Gujarat riots in 2002, as a result of which they found themselves lost after the Lok Sabha elections last year”
I had to read this twice to make some sense out of the timelines. Let me simplify it for you. Because “secular media” did something in 2002, “they found themselves lost” in 2014 elections. 12 full years it took the “secular media” to lose?! It still beats me as to what he is trying to convey here – but what is clear to me is that the obsession with 2002 is not over yet. Or “they” haven’t yet recovered from the loss of 2014, and therefore are clueless on how to counter the developmental agenda of Modi!
But that’s not it. The Times of India gives us a much more detailed account that reveals the mind-set of one of this prominent editors (who is also a Padma Bhushan awardee!).
He noted that movies in the 80s and 90s perpetuated the stereotype of Muslims being terrorists. “Sunny Deol films were totally communal. That was when global terror began and profiling began.”
Ah – there we have it. The root cause has been found. Phew!  The “global terror” incidents was not why stereo-typing happened. Sunny Deol is the reason why stereotyping happened. Shekhar Gupta and his ilk leave no stone unturned in stereotyping all those who pose difficult questions to them as “trolls” – without an exception. This same ilk cries hoarse at being “abused”. And today, we are being told that stereotyping happened because of Sunny Deol’s movies and not because of actual terror that killed lakhs of people across the world. Readers need to ask – is this the quality we deserve?
Now, let’s come back to the “host” – the author of *the* book – Rajdeep Sardesai. The Hindu report tells us that the name of seminar was: “Minorities and the media: at a crossroads“. Rajdeep tells us that the seminar was about “Muslims and the media“. High profile TV anchors are known to take liberties with the truth (posh way of saying they lie!). Minorities in the country do not equal only Muslims, but we should definitely not let facts come in the way of a cheesy title. Hindu report does not mention about what he spoke, but Times of India does. And it again exposes the hypocritical nature of this ilk. Why hypocritical? Sample these:
Many media houses invite Muslim intellectuals from the north, thereby ignoring the voices from the south
Asaduddin Owaisi was unlikely to be invited on a debate on the land acquisition bill because the media was more interested in a “Togadia versus Owaisi” debate
He talks as if “media” is some third party entity! I have often maintained that Rajdeep is the best troll of the very media he works for – he applies this same logic for any topic on which the media is on the back foot. Essentially he accepts that the debates he (and his ilk) conducts are frivolous; not inclusive; often border on selectivism; and of course add zero value to the intellect of the viewer.
Swapan Das Gupta, a prominent voice of the Right, also spoke at the seminar. The Times of India does not mention him at all. The Hindu dedicated a whopping one line. This is precisely the kind of discrimination the voices opposed to the traditional media face. The panel itself was skewed 3:1 (and then near zero coverage on what Swapan said). It also beats me that in today’s age of new media, why can’t the entire video recording of these speeches be put online? Why not let the reader/viewer see the bankruptcy in the arguments of some of the most prominent faces of Indian journalism.
The golden troika of N. Ram, Shekhar Gupta and Rajdeep Sardesai have missed another golden opportunity to introspect and adopt course-correction. Instead we are treated to the mind blowing analysis of how Sunny Deol’s movies have created stereotypes in the country!