the curious case of the hindu


The Hindu is widely accepted to be one amongst the largest and most respected newspapers in India, amongst a melee of so-called broadsheets that operate largely as business houses with an affinity for power and profits (and Padma Awards and Rajya Sabha seats and government assignments as Communication Adviser (no-pun intended :P) to the PMO) much larger than the UPA II has for scams and coalition-politics (a)dharma!

now porngate hits gujarat

The Hindu carried an article on an “alleged” porngate in the Gujarat Assembly on 22nd March, 2012 (date of print edition). The “news” appeared on the front page of the Kolkata edition (and am sure of various other editions too) and read, After Karnataka, now porngate hits Gujarat.

A journalist (along with others) from a Gujarati daily, Gujarat Samachar, was sitting in the lobby (watching the day’s proceedings) of the Gujarat Assembly on 21st March, 2012 and noted two BJP MLAs (Shankar Chaudhary who represents Radhanpur constituency in Banaskantha district and Jetha Dharwad, who was elected from Shehra in the Panchamahal district) rummaging through their iPads. He was quick to “assume” that they were watching porn and sleaze and solely on that basis he created a brouhaha over it. What a shock to his moral conscience! Poor thing! The absurdity of the exercise takes enormity when you realize that we are a country where morality (vis-a-vis the Right Wingers) and its fake keepers are often panned by the media. This was one instance when the moral police was from the moral-police basher! What classic irony!

“First they started by watching the pictures of Swami Vivekananda, then cartoons and then pics of women. I saw them watching some sleazy photographs of women and “felt” it was wrong. I went to the Speaker’s chamber and complained about it to his Personal Assistant that it was a repeat of Karnataka. He informed the Speaker and the viewing was stopped,” the journalist said. “This went on for about 20 minutes. They were engrossed in watching the vulgar pictures,” he added – as reported by NDTV!

So any journalist, worth his name and “his salt” can “feel” offended and without any validity (to get his assumption and surety cross-checked) can get anything published! I find sleeping and creating ruckus in the assembly very immoral. What about that? Moreover, if the draft report of the CAG (on the alleged Rs 10.76 lakh crore coal scam which NDTV thinks is merely a flawed policy and not a scam) can be misleading why have so much faith in a hazy video shot by a journalist who found the MLAs watching sleazy pictures for 20 minutes and the “viewing had to stopped.” One of the most ridiculous things I have heard and read!

Other newspapers (NDTV taking the cake yet again) across the nation, except for TOI maybe, which surprisingly carried a more sensible form of reporting, were quick to encash on this yet-another tirade of insensible and over-quantified hatred against Gujarat BJP.

CAG report misleading! really?

What surprised me more was The Hindu joining this bandwagon. Actually it’s not surprising considering how The Hindu and Frontline have continuously indulge in this pet cottage industry of hate-Modi and hate-BJP but this allegedly “scandal” was too unsubstantiated and baseless a thing to appear with such strong words and that too on the front page.

Even in The Hindu’s own words, the MLAs were “allegedly” caught watching porn and some of the pictures caught on the video from the distance “looked” pornographic scenes. So, why the rush to score brownie points? Why not be more objective with headlines and reporting and the space a news article gets. The video that the reporter shot in no way indicated that the MLAs were enjoying some erotic scenes while the assembly was in proceeding.

Amazingly, the very next day, 22nd March, 2012, when the nation was hit by yet another potential-scam (reported majorly by TOI), much larger than any that has happened before, The Hindu, went into a weird sense of caution and reported that the CAG report on the coal-scam was misleading! Blah! This sums up the entire scenario and opens up the broadsheet for scrutiny. No one is beyond criticism but The Hindu was considering belonging to a different league.

afraid of twitter trolls mister sardesai?

It is known that the titan from down south is mostly interested in what the politically sidelined Left has to say on any issue and thus when it came to reporting on the two major national parties of India (INC and BJP) things are mostly balanced but of late I have seen a splurge of silly reporting, the likes of which is reserved by IBNLive, NDTV, Tehelka, Hindustan Times, etc. I was majorly disappointed. Even eternal BJP haters like Barkha Dutt and Sagarika Ghose kept mum on the issue and Rajdeep Sardesai asked “if the Gujarat porn case was based on limited evidence?”

a larger part of the article was on how INC thinks that the FSL report was fake!

Yet another shocker came on the third day, 24th March, 2012, when probably embarrassed at their stupidity, The Hindu had to carry a “news” where the Forensic Science Laboratory said that there was absolutely nothing in the iPads that were pornographic or obscene. But this article was tucked deep inside the collage of various other articles which clearly indicates that The Hindu thinks it casual to tarnish the image of MLAs, political parties and governments but considers it unnecessary to undo their mistakes.

It is precisely this arrogant, casual, unverified and unethical journalism, that is slowly eating into the respect that newspapers commanded even a few years ago and they are themselves to be blamed.

Shame on you The Hindu! Shame on you!

talking tokyo, carrying london

One of the loudest noise was obviously by NDTV. I am amazed, a channel so immoral can talk on such things. Let this snapshot from their website do the talking! Without saying, NDTV had a busy day with debates on whether porn should be legalized or not?

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Well written post.
    Most English newspapers are so far disconnected from what is happening on the ground that they cease to matter. Especially since they barely cater to 5% of the total population.

    Doesn’t the fact that Aaj Tak is India’s no 1 news channel mean that most of India anyways doesnt prefer good journalism. 🙂

    But I do agree that the Hindu should walk the talk.

    Reply

  2. thanks for going through it.. agree that journalism is a farce in india but newspapers n news channels, in regional or english language has great reach in india and they do affect the mind of an ordinary voter who would not care to analyze what these papers print or channels show.. it’s like a larger-than-life thing for them.. i just hope the nation becomes more critical of things.. not to the point of becoming a maniac but smart and knowledgeable..so far that happens indians will stay in this filthy loop of unethical and immoral journalism.. things are improving for sure though! but hindu still remains one of the best.. it’s journalism might be bad sometimes but not rotten like practiced by many others! 🙂

    Reply

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