One journalist’s plant is another’s campaign

MOUNT PLEASANT, MI: The political crisis sparked by the communist parties’ stand on India’s nuclear deal with the United States is remarkable for one other reason: the strong pro-deal stances taken by English language newspapers based in New Delhi. Almost to a man, they have backed the deal, and ripped the Left for opposing the deal.

But how much of it is good, hard-nosed journalism, and how much of it is fed by American diplomats, who have a vested interest in seeing the deal through, over chocolate cookies?

K.P. Nayar, the Washington-based correspondent of The Telegraph, Calcutta, has a fine piece in today’s issue of the paper. He ends with the paragraphs below which show how maleable New Delhi’s journalists are or can be, for whatever reason.

“In the end, the nuclear deal with the US is not a disease that is eating into the UPA government. The deal is merely symptomatic of what is wrong with it.

Last year, another aide to US Ambassador David Mulford offered me a story. Actually, it was more of a campaign to change government policy than a single story. I turned it down, but shortly thereafter, the US embassy in New Delhi did manage to change policy in New Delhi by running the campaign in another newspaper.

“That is what happens to a government which is more concerned about opinion in the plush drawing rooms of South Delhi than in the soggy shanties of Bombay’s Dharavi. It is subtle subversion of this kind that Prakash Karat is resisting with his ultimatum, not just the nuclear deal. And there are several members of the UPA cabinet who agree with Karat in principle although they do not endorse his tactics, if only because they may end up losing their jobs”

Read the full article here: Left smarting

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