Thursday, June 4, 2020
Home Opinions Why I lost faith in Indian media and Indian journalism

Why I lost faith in Indian media and Indian journalism

Also Read

Smiran Bhandari
You can contact me at smiranb@gmail.com or you can reach me on Twitter @smiranb
 

In my younger days, I used to be fascinated with the field of journalism. It seemed like a very noble profession. The idea of pursuing truth with unbridled curiosity was very seductive to me. I was also under the impression that our Indian journalists were highly independent and objective. I would lap up their perspectives without any doubts and completely trust their point of views. Admittedly, I was very naive and gullible. Later on, I started understanding the hidden agendas and vested interests that would dictate how any piece of news would be distorted, manipulated and twisted to suit the requirement of news agencies. The experience of realizing that my opinions were not actually my own but were spoon-fed to me with ulterior motives was akin to an internal bubble getting busted with a pin.

Over the years, I saw the country deal with one scam after another like Commonwealth Games (CWG) scam, 2G spectrum scam and Coal-gate scam. It was mindboggling to see the humungous amounts that were being looted from the coffers of the country. Any citizen would have been seething with anger to see the tax-payers money be swindled by the powerful. Yet there were a handful of journalists who seemed rather flustered instead of angry. The topic of corruption by the then ruling party, Congress would make them uneasy and queasy. These were the same journalists and anchors whose opinions I used to hold in high esteem namely Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai, Sagarika Ghose, Karan Thapar, Nidhi Razdan, Sonia Singh and Amrita Rai.

Suddenly, reputed and highly respected channels like NDTV would turn into Congress apologists and would instead target the then opposition party, BJP at every given opportunity. This behaviour led me to investigate the ownership details of NDTV which was publicly available as it was a listed entity. 61% stake was held by Prannoy Roy and his wife, Radhika Roy. Radhika would turn out to be the sister of Brinda Karat, the Vice President of CPI (M) and wife of Prakash Karat, the then General Secretary of CPI (M). That explained the anti-BJP stance of the channel but it still did not explain the open favouritism towards the Congress Party.

Digging deeper into the shareholding pattern, I noticed that 14% of the shares in NDTV were held by Oswal Greentech Ltd which was promoted by Abhey Kumar Oswal, the father-in-law of Congress MP and industrialist Naveen Jindal. Co-incidentally, Naveen Jindal is the same person who made the allegations that Zee News was trying to extort Rs. 100 Crore for not airing negative stories. After digesting these pieces of information, I looked at NDTV with new eyes. The nexus between media and politicians was getting more evident.

One of the most well known faces of NDTV is Barkha Dutt. Now whenever she appears on screen, I cannot help but smile. Taken at face value, she would appear to be the epitome of liberal values who espouses important ideals like secularism, tolerance and freedom of expression. But her true picture emerges once you go through the transcripts of the Radia tapes. It turns out she is a glorified wheeling dealing operator who acts as a middleperson between Corporate Lobbyists and Congress Party. In the tapes, she is caught actively participating in the haggling of ministerial berths for none other than A. Raja. The very A. Raja who as the Telecom Minister, freely distributed a valuable national resource like spectrum and caused a loss of Rs. 1,76,000 Crore to the exchequer. No wonder she was mighty uncomfortable when the 2G scam was uncovered.

NDTV is not the only media corporate with ties to political parties. Shobhana Bhartia who promotes Hindusthan Times Media was nominated to the Rajya Sabha on the recommendation of the Congress Party. The Times Group too has historical deep-rooted ties with Congress starting from the time of Jawarhal Lal Nehru and the “Times of Indira”.

 

There are numerous other examples of political ownership and connections in media. This insidious and incestuous relationship exists with the main objective of distorting public opinion and manipulating issues to suit the agenda of a political party. Since it is done under the guise of neutrality, there is a large element of deceit inbuilt into this kind of mechanism of providing news. A newspaper like Hindu does not hide its left leaning ideological inclinations so it cannot be accused of deceit. Likewise, the newspaper Pioneer openly states that its ideology is biased towards right-wing conservatism.

This brand of ideology based journalism is acceptable as what you see is what you get. The problem arises when mainstream media agencies like NDTV use their news platform to highlight hidden political agendas and motives under the garb of neutrality. This is tantamount to manipulation of public opinion and is a breach of responsibility that is entrusted upon the media.

This kind of underhand arrangement between mainstream media and political parties allows a certain amount of impunity towards the crimes of political parties. A recent example is the disruption of Rajya Sabha by Congress on frivolous and flimsy grounds. This kind of behaviour is highly objectionable and unacceptable.

 

Yet, due to the subservient and servile attitude of media agencies who found no fault with this kind of behaviour, Congress could get away with harming the country’s prospects in broad daylight. But as an eternal optimist, I do believe things will change for the better. I have faith in the words of Abraham Lincoln who stated “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time”.

  Support Us  

OpIndia is not rich like the mainstream media. Even a small contribution by you will help us keep running. Consider making a voluntary payment.

Trending now

Smiran Bhandari
You can contact me at smiranb@gmail.com or you can reach me on Twitter @smiranb

Latest News

What to believe?

Our forefathers never had the EXISTENTIAL CRISIS moment this generation is having. They were too busy getting themselves out of subpar life they were in that they never had time to ask these questions or time for that matters.

आजादी मिली सिर्फ भारत के लेफ्ट में

हमें तो आप के इतिहासकारों ने इस बात की भी आजादी नहीं दी की हम महाराणा प्रताप, वीर शिवाजी के बारे में किताबों में पढ़ सके उसमें भी तो आपने भारत पर अत्याचार और चढ़ाई करने वालों की जिंदगी के बारे में लिख दी कि वो ही इस महान देश के कर्ता धर्ता थे।

एक मुख्यमंत्री जो भली भांति जानता है कि संकट को अवसर में किस प्रकार परिवर्तित करना है: भारत के सर्वाधिक लोकप्रिय मुख्यमंत्री के प्रयासों...

भारत के इन सेक्युलर, लिबरल और वामपंथियों को यह रास नहीं आया कि भगवा धारण करने वाला एक हिन्दू सन्यासी कैसे भारत के सबसे बड़े राज्य का प्रशासक हो सकता है। लेकिन यह हुआ।

2020 अमेरिका का सब से खराब साल बनने जा रहा है? पहले COVID-19 और फिर दंगे

America फिर से जल रहा है: आंशिक रूप से, जैसा कि हिंसा भड़कती है, पुलिस और उनके वाहनों पर हमला किया जाता...

Corona and a new breed of social media intellectuals

Opposing an individual turned into opposing betterment of your own country and countrymen.

Why peaceful borders with India pose a threat to Pakistan’s sovereignty

Although a religion may have some influence on the culture of the society as a whole but it can never disassociate an individual from the much broader way of life which defines culture. Indonesia is a great example of the above stated distinction.

Recently Popular

रचनाधर्मियों को गर्भस्थ बेटी का उत्तर

जो तुम्हें अग्नि परीक्षा देती असहाय सीता दिखती है, वो मुझे प्रबल आत्मविश्वास की धनी वो योद्धा दिखाई देती है जिसने रावण के आत्मविश्वास को छलनी कर इस धरा को रावण से मुक्त कराया.

The one difference between the Congress of today and that of before 2014

For the sake of the future generations, for the sake of our children, please read more books about how Congress had been ruling the country and be aware of the dangers.

Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul was right to call out rising intolerance

The libertarians need to know free speech is not licence for hate speech. Our fundamental rights are not akin to First Amendment Rights, as in the US. There are reasonable restrictions and they have a purpose.

श्रमिकों का पलायन: अवधारणा

अंत में जब कोविड 19 के दौर में श्रमिक संकट ने कुछ दबी वास्तविकताओं से दो चार किया है. तो क्यों ना इस संकट को अवसर में बदल दिया जाए.

Entry of ‘Scientific corruption’ in Tamil Nadu politics and how to save the state

MGR and then Amma placed the politics of dynasty and family rule in Tamil Nadu to the corner but the demise of Amma has shattered the state and is pegging for a great leader to lead.