In an opinion piece in The Times of India, the academic and international affairs analyst Kanti Bajpai says an India under Narendra Modi will be marked by “soft-fascism—a society marked by slightly less extreme levels fo authoritarinism, intimidation, chauvinism, submission and social Darwinism as classical fascism—and he includes the media as being among the four factors responsible for it.
“Big business and middle classes are helping line up media behind soft fascism. Media is influenced by big business, which funds it through its advertising, and by the middle classes, who work in it.
“Today, both stand behind Modi and together they have helped rally millions of Indians behind Modi-ology.
“It is another matter that media may well come to regret its role. Those who were in the media when BJP was last in power seem to have forgotten that this is a party that is not particularly interested in, or indulgent of, journalistic independence.”
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It is a shame that media fascists imagine the advent of soft fascism if Modi becomes the Prime Minister. For ten years they spread liies and fiction about Modi and blocked the truth about Gujarat riots, separating them from their context which is Sabarmati immolation. I have followed Gujarat reporting from March 1, 2002 and wrote six articles on its reporting for The Hoot, India’s leading media watchdog. There was a picture of a boy supposed to be Muslim and pleading with a policeman to spare his life. This picture was very widely circulated and picked up by foreign media too. Where is the policeman in the picture? What is the locale? How do you know he is a Muslim boy? He could be any street urchin posing for a photograph for a hundred rupees. It is a trick picked up from western press. The entire Gujarat reporting was one-sided and abjured alternative interpretation.
The Editors” Guild luminaries visited Gujarat after the riots ran themselves out. Their version was based on hearsay. The title of the report was extremely provocative and communal. Why did three editors of the English media visit Pakistan at that time? Is it because Pakistan is a Muslim country and they would fete the editors for their ant-Hindu fervour.
According to Indian legal system any court–from the court of fitst instance to the Supreme Court — can suo motu try Modi. They didn’t. If Modi can becomes a prime minister only if a majority of the voters vote for him.
I have been journalist for more than half a century, most of the time operating from that self-styled Fleet Street of India.I have the same contempt for our media as Kanti Bajpai has for Modi. Bajpai also seems to forget the plight of the press ubnedr Congress emergency.
Behind the aggrandisement and narcissism, Narendra Modi is actually a very desperate man. He knows that unless he can win this election and become the PM, his political career will end.
Modi’s style of politics depends very heavily on using the mass media. Unfortunately for him, his personality makes him a dud for this kind of medium. (All the “negative publicity” he has received in the medium is when he was being his true self). So he has to resort to stage managed publicity stunts, through PR firms, to generate “positive publicity”, which obviously require a lot of moolah.
Fortunately for him, his lack of scruples and conscience endears him to the corporates. And so, currently, his coffers are full to buy all the publicity he needs (thanks to the “generosity” of his corporate pals).
But this also means that the moment he loses his CM’s chair, he will be useless for them. And they will dump him.
In Gujarat, every passing term has seen the Congress vote-share increasing at his party’s expense.
For more than a decade, he made sure that Gujarat didn’t have a Lokayukta that could probe corruption charges against his government (so that he could freely deal with his corporate buddies who make Gujarat “shine”).
Law and order is a state subject and being a CM thus gives him a tremendous advantage in ensuring that no investigation against him or his colleagues can be initiated.
But the moment a Congress government is elected, you can be sure Modi and his friends will be spending most of their time in court fighting many corruption charges.
Now this is all, of course, apart from the ongoing court enquiries on his role in the Gujarat riots. The supreme court is already reviewing the lower courts judgement, and all indications are that it won’t be in Modi’s favour.
A congress government in Gujarat will make this situation worse – law and order being a state subject, they will be able to file many cases against him. Many more government official may also feel more free to talk openly about the riots.
And that surely won’t help him in court or be good for his career.
Then there is his personality – due to his psychological condition, he has also made many enemies within his own party and none of them will hesitate to stab him at an opportune moment. His enemies in the party also know that he will be untouchable if he becomes a PM. And they certainly won’t go out of their way to make it easy for him.
All in all, this will be a make or break election for him.
All Assam Media Employees Federation (AAMEF) has expressed serious concern at the sudden closure notice issued by the management of Sangbad Lahari, a Bengali daily published from Guwahati and Shillong, that would render over 50 direct and 100 indirect media employees jobless. The notice from Mr S. Choudhury, general manager of Shillong Times Pvt Ltd, said the management has decided to close down the publication of Sangbad Lahari from April 1 next due to reasons beyond its control. The management has however offered a month’s salary to its employees as a token of support to them.