Tag Archives: Narendra Modi

More people watched Narendra Modi speech announcing COVID package than the IPL finals

Over 19 crore people watched Narendra Modi’s speech announcing a stimulus package across 197 TV channels, according to BARC data reported by Mint. This was slightly lower than the 20.3 crore who tuned in to watch the prime minister announce the lockdown in March but both figures are higher than the viewership for the 2019…

J-POD || Podcast || “Jair Bolsonaro is a bad version of Donald Trump. Social media has ruptured the narrative. Steve Bannon is the common thread” || Shobhan Saxena on Brazil, India & the US

*** There are many politically incorrect things Narendra Modi has done in office and gotten away with. But none has been more questionable than inviting Brazil’s loathsome president Jair Bolsonaro as chief guest at the Republic Day in January 2020. Bolsonaro, a retired military officer, had been in office for less than a year, but he…

J-POD || Podcast ||”Pakistan media has not tried to find a scapegoat for #Coronavirus like Indian media. Imran Khan has handled media better than Narendra Modi” || Mehmal Sarfraz on what No. 142 can learn from No. 145

*** Coronavirus has had a strange effect on Indian media. Pakistan has vanished off the radar. Well, not entirely but substantially. A sudden intimation of mortality has distracted desktop dvesh bhakts from their core group activity, of protecting India’s borders—by building walls in the minds of Indians; by spitting hatred at their neighbour so that it…

J-POD || A podcast on journalism || “The newspaper business is in danger. It’s an unprecedented challenge for survival. We were in denial till Coronavirus struck” || N. Ram, Chairman, ‘The Hindu’ group

*** To look at the deep and debilitating impact #Coronavirus has had on jobs and salaries and workplaces merely through the prism of journalists and editors in India, would be to take a very limited view of what is a larger, systemic problem, one that haunts those way above the payscale of employees. Barring the…

Who runs “PIB Fact Check”? What is their experience of journalism? Who has certified them as “fact-checkers”? 12 questions Indian news media should ask ‘Press Information Bureau’ as a new form of control and intimidation takes shape.

The outbreak of the #Coronavirus pandemic has seen a clear shift in media strategy of the Narendra Modi government. Suddenly, an image-conscious regime has spotted an opening to up the game and control independent news flow—and seized it. On the one hand, the prime minister, who has not held a press conference or met a…

J-POD || Podcast || Three things journalists can do in #Coronavirus season to save their jobs || Must-hear advice from Mumbai Press Club president Gurbir Singh

Journalistic solidarity in India began to crack when media managements started using the contract system of employment to break unions at the cusp of liberalisation in 1991. With newsrooms increasingly split between secure “wage board” employees and higher-paid contractual staffers, journalists became islands. To each her own. #Coronavirus has had many effects, but it has…

Job cuts, salary squeezes, and shutdowns in #Coronavirus season violate due process and the law (and Narendra Modi’s call): Mumbai Press Club to media houses

Full text of Mumbai Press Club statement *** “The Mumbai Press Club is dismayed and shocked at the announcement of several media houses shutting operations, firing staff and announcing mid-stream and unilateral cuts in salaries of journalists and other employees. “Almost acting on cue, several of these media groups, citing restricted business operations and falling…

India’s most successful English evening newspaper ‘Star of Mysore’ suspends publication for the first time in 43 years due to #Coronavirus lockdowm

The 21-day lockdown imposed by the Narendra Modi government on March 25 to combat the #Coronavirus pandemic had an immediate impact on an already beleaguered print media which suddenly found advertising and circulation revenues plummet. Now, the 15-day extension of that 21-day lockdown, which was to end on April 15, has seen India’s most successful…

156 stories, eight editorials, and five cartoons over 15 days: how ‘Dainik Jagran’ kept up the constant Islamophobic dog-whistling on ‘Tabhlighi Jamaat’, as if India would be free from #Coronavirus if only…

The communalisation of the #Coronavirus pandemic in the media, just when the humanitarian crisis sparked by Narendra Modi‘s imposition of the 21-day “lockdown” with a 4-hour notice on March 25 was taking shape, is much too much of a coincidence. As the sight and plight of thousands of migrants walking back home from the big cities…

Q: How free is India’s “free press” if it has to depend on government ads to survive after the Coronavirus? A: Don’t even ask that question, or else.

In mature democracies around the world, the news media goes out of its way to underline its independence to the outside world—to convey that they are credible businesses not beholden to governments, businesses or other vested interests for their survival and journalism. #CoronaVirus seems to have blown away even that little figleaf in the world’s…

How Hindi newspapers in the “cow belt”, force-multipliers of the BJP in the North, lent wholesale legitimacy to Narendra Modi’s cringe-worthy #9pm9minutes photo-op

Media scholars believe that the rise of newspaper circulation in the “Hindi heartland”, disparagingly known as the cow belt, is concomitant with the rise and growth of the BJP on the back of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement leading to the demolition of the Babri masjid in Ayodhya. Certainly, the reforms of 1991 helped in making…

“We are all in a deep mess. The time has come for every business to press the ‘reset’ button, especially print media”: newspapers and magazines in the age of #GoCoronaGo: going, going, gone?

*** In 1988, Andrew Grove, the founder and former CEO of the American chip-manufacturing giant Intel, wrote a book titled Only the Paranoid Survive, in which he floated the concept of the “strategic inflection point”. “A strategic inflection point is a time in the life of a business when its fundamentals are about to change.…

How language newspaper owners “advised” Narendra Modi on how to shape his response to COVID, six hours before he announced a 21-day lockdown

Narendra Modi‘s relationship with the news media since becoming prime minister in 2014 has been built on conspicuous contempt and confrontation, but behind the scenes, chummy co-option and cultivation has been a constant endeavour. Modi likes the world to believe he is not bothered with what the “news traders” of the mainstream media say, when…

While the social order collapses spectacularly, HT and TOI open their doors for its political masterminds to expound on their ‘vision for a better tomorrow’, and an ‘action plan’ to get there

*** After 66 months of unbridled ‘Lok Kalyan‘, it might appear to any ordinary mortal with 1MB of common sense that there is not very much new that Narendra Modi has to offer humankind any more—nothing that hasn’t been heard before. Nothing that has not been seen through by voters in Delhi today—or in Jharkhand, or…

When Narendra Modi told an impressionable journalist that his glasses cost only a few hundred rupees; that he wore a simple Indian watch; that he got his clothes stitched from the same tailor each time

After eight, maybe nine, years of carefully coiffured image management, there is nearly nothing about Narendra Modi‘s expensive wardrobe that is debatable. Anybody blessed with even just one functional eye can see that he changes his clothes virtually hour of the day, rarely ever repeating colours. Anybody who can type a question in a search-engine…

A Hindu bomber detonates the Mangalore ‘bomb’ in the face of Kannada news media. And a newspaper suggests mental tests and medical treatment for the ‘real terrorists’: embedded editors, owners and TV anchors.

Karnataka is the outlier in peninsular India—the only state in the South that the BJP has managed to come to power, by hook and by crook. Twice. There is a plethora of political reasons for this, including caste realignment, but there can be little doubt that the Kannada media has played a hands-on role in…

In America, Jeff Bezos has the First Amendment and the institutions to protect media freedom. How will Amazon’s founder deal with the Narendra Modi regime’s apparent ‘Washington Post’ problem?

Over 67 months, the Narendra Modi government has overtly, covertly and expertly extended the Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) of the #GujaratModel—freezing government ads; bringing corporate pressure on owners; filing bogus FIRs; trolling, name-calling; denying access and licenses; getting editors replaced; owners changed, etc—to get mainstream media to toe its line and manufacture consent. Suddenly, it…

To mark Narendra Modi’s “unprecedented” 69th birthday, 11 newspapers in 7 languages respectfully open their editorial pages for the perfect “bow job” by his party colleagues

Narendra Modi turns 69 today. In itself, the number ’69’ is not ‘abhut purva‘ as the alliterator-in-chief himself might say, except for its more popular connotation. Turning 69 is not any different from turning 67 or 68, and certainly not as significant as turning 70. The pradhan sevak is still a sexagenarian. At best, one could…

The Drumbeaters of Dystopia: Wrapped in the tricolour, Indian news media can barely contest the establishment narrative in Kashmir—global outlets can only find holes in it

*** Forty days into the Kashmir “lockdown”—stupid American jargon for a brutal and undemocratic suppression of fundamental rights—there are three, possibly four, “narratives” of what is happening in the valley. There is the local Kashmiri view, which we do not know much about, and possibly they themselves don’t. There is the mainland India view, which…

After 64 months of ‘desh seva’, Indian political journalists are so unused to demanding answers from the man at the top that there is shock—OMG!—shock when a science journalist does

Not a single dawn sees its dusk in the social media age without the honourable members of the media inserting themselves into a story and putting up a cringe-worthy sideshow, perfect for a future newspaper called The Daily Tamasha. And so, in the year of the lord 2019, it is ISRO’s failed mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-2,…