Tag Archives: Narendra Modi

45 years after Indira Gandhi’s Emergency, ‘The Hindu’ publishes an ad announcing the death of media in Delhi, in 2020, under Narendra Modi

When Indira Gandhi imposed the Emergency in June 1975, a young journalist took out a 22-word classified advertisement in The Times of India in Bombay. It read: “O’Cracy, D.E.M., beloved husband of T. Ruth, loving father of L.I. Bertie, brother of Faith, Hope and Justicia, died on June 26.” The journalist was Ashok Mahadevan, then…

J-POD || Podcast || “Facebook’s deals with newsrooms, big editors’ proximity to its execs has prevented Indian media from investigating its BJP bias” || Kunal Purohit on ‘WSJ’ and ‘Time’ revelations

20 years ago, “Web 2.0” ushered in social media. It was free, it was fast, it was fun. Anybody with a phone could take part, and almost everyone did. It instantly connected friends, families, communities. Major political events like the ‘Arab Spring’ in Egypt briefly showed the potential of interactive, user-generated content to be a…

In editorials on Dr Kafeel Khan’s release, 6 out of 8 English newspapers cannot even take the name of his chief detractor, “India’s No.1 CM” Yogi Adityanath

Dr Kafeel Khan is, without doubt, one of the most egregious victims of majoritarianism in contemporary India, where a vengeful state unleashes the blunt instruments at its disposal to “teach a lesson” to a member of the minorities—and is cheered on in this naked display of brutality. The paediatrician’s cardinal sin was to flag the…

TV news channels are a gone case. But why are India’s vast and influential language newspapers burying India’s staggering economic collapse?

On the last day of August 2020, India and China were once again locked in horns at the border. As India’s COVID graph spiralled upwards, India’s economy plunged, contracting 23.9% year-on-year. Jobs, lives, livelihood, families, businesses have been ruined after months of a poorly thought-through lockdown, even as crony capitalism of the Ambani and Adani…

How Steve Bannon was shaping India’s shrill anti-China rhetoric on Zee-owned ‘WION’ and ‘Times Now’ even before the Ladakh intrusion

Steve Bannon, the former investment banker who was editor-in-chief of the right-wing US website Breitbart before he became a key architect of Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential election victory, has been arrested, masked and charged with swindling nearly $1 million (approximately Rs 7.5 crore) in the name of building the wall on the US-Mexico border. But…

Facebook, BJP and Narendra Modi: The real story about the ‘WSJ’ expose is not just Ankhi Das’s role, but how FB began meddling in Indian politics before 2014

Facebook’s shady role in Indian politics—hunting with the majoritarian hounds and fuelling the communal fires, for a price—has been blazingly apparent for over eight years now. But it has taken a devastating expose in The Wall Street Journal to reveal why Indian media has been so disinterested in such a juicy story. The August 14 WSJ…

Narendra Modi and Barbra Streisand: a short story on how not to bury a secret, in 12 newspaper screenshots

Besides all her other achievements, the American singer-actor Barbra Streisand contributed the “Streisand Effect” to the dictionary of the digital age, when she sued a photographer for distributing aerial pictures of her mansion, in 2003. At the time she sued the lensman, Kenneth Adelman, the photographs had been viewed just six times—twice by her own…

The subtle signals newspapers send in the manner in which they display Amit Shah’s claim of being COVID positive

Union home minister Amit Shah admitted that he had turned COVID positive through a tweet on Sunday. Across the country, the news is the lead story in most newspapers, if not second lead, but the display in some newspapers is revealing of how sections of the media are increasingly mindful of how they are perceived…

J-POD || Podcast || “In 1962, media was more independent, less subservient. It lampooned Nehru, Krishna Menon mercilessly. Modi is trying to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by managing headlines” || Jairam Ramesh

*** When WhatsApp becomes the chief source of information, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that India was a mere 15 years old as a free nation when China invaded in 1962. An impressionable teenager, whose population was 45 crores, whose GDP was a mere $4,200 crore. On the other hand, when China intruded…

J-POD || Podcast || “Google and Facebook think tying up with Reliance Jio will open doors, shut out competitors. Indira Gandhi bludgeoned media with ‘jhatka’; Narendra Modi uses the ‘halaal’ technique” || Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

There once used to be a time when any new announcement by Reliance Industries would be put under the microscope by the media and examined with a fine toothcomb.  A rights issue, a new venture. a tie-up, even a routine annual general meeting (AGM). Everything would be inspected with forensic detail by newspapers like the Indian…

“The information dissemination lapse is the greatest lapse for India and Indian democracy”: Ajai Shukla’s devastating indictment of media stenography on the Chinese pullback in Ladakh

There are at least 50 reporters in Delhi on the defence beat. But for nearly six weeks, from early-May to mid-June, all but a couple of them were in the dark, or in patriotic denial, of the Chinese incursion into Indian territory at Ladakh. The killing of 20 soldiers on June 15 provided the necessary…

J-POD || Podcast || “Indian TV is not a force-multiplier in Nepal, it’s a force-subtractor. Its sexism, misogyny and ultra-nationalism is ruining India’s ties not just with Nepal but also with China” || ‘Himal’ founder Kanak Mani Dixit

*** Even the most uninformed Indian might be able to understand India’s troubles with Pakistan and China. But even a genius will find it difficult to make sense of India’s current relationship status with Nepal. When it came to power in 2014, the BJP-led NDA government was naturally expected to develop deeper linkages with what was…

“India has ceded territory to China”: near-unanimous newspaper editorials call the Modi government’s bluff—and reaffirm the value of print journalism

Editorials in India’s major English newspapers on the “mutual disengagement” that India and China have agreed upon, are nearly unanimous in their verdict: under “strong man” Narendra Modi, India has surrendered its territory to China. The mature and considered reading of the newspapers is in marked contrast to TV news channels parroting the BJP-led NDA…

For Your Eyes Only: The 15-point note senior journos received on WhatsApp on how to interpret the India-China “mutual disengagement” for their audience

Once upon a time, Indira Gandhi called journalists “glorified stenographers“, but at least there was some dignity of labour in that epithet. For, stenos physically take notes of what is dictated to them, and then take the trouble to transcribe it. The Narendra Modi age has robbed journalism of even that iota of respect. “Headline management” has made the…

“Stop showing satellite pictures of China’s incursion”: TV editors get a patriotic nudge as Army scampers to limit damage of Narendra Modi’s big lie

Hoist by its own petard—which was Shakespeare‘s way of saying “blown by your own bomb”—on China’s incursion into Indian territory, the Narendra Modi government has rolled out “headline management” on a war footing to control the political damage emanating from the prime minister’s naked lie (above). With hitherto “loyal” journalists covering the defence and external affairs…

24 things that happened to the media during the Emergency, besides the three you already know

The Emergency of 1975 is in danger of becoming a cliche, pulled out with rhetorical flourish around June 25 each year to remember Indian democracy’s darkest 21 months. It’s used so loosely as a catch-all scare-word—even by those who have much to hide, especially by those who have much to hide—that for the 81% of…

J-POD || Podcast || “No ruler would be so foolish as to openly declare censorship today. There are enough subtle ways to bring it in quietly” || Coomi Kapoor on the best-kept secret of the Emergency

*** An acclaimed Indian Express journalist, whose husband was jailed during the Emergency of 1975, says governments no longer need to take Indira Gandhi’s route of introducing censorship to control the media or the message that reaches the people. “Parties have found enough ways to control the media without having to formally declare censorship. Governments…

“Ambiguous. Beseiged. Confusing. Disappointing. Dismaying. Evasive. Frightening. Unpardonable. Unsatisfactory. PM should speak again”: editorials on ‘Surender’ Modi’s cop-out

The major English newspapers all have editorials on Narendra Modi‘s brazen lie, without taking the name of China, that “no one has intruded on Indian soil, nor is any one sitting on Indian soil, nor has any post been seized by anyone”, which made a total mockery of the killing of 20 Indian soldiers last…

A sacked ‘Rajasthan Patrika’ journalist’s social media post that shines the light on all that is going wrong in the media, in India in 2020

These are tough times for the media: to own it, to run it, to work in it. A nationally advertised political allergy towards media freedom; a global pandemic that is hurting businesses; and a delicate balancing act that is required just to keep the boat afloat, illustrate the key challenges. Nothing captures all this better…

J-POD || Podcast || “Twitter has not followed due process in withholding account. FIR on a retweet had details very few people know. BJP tends not to focus on quality of content but punishment they will try to inflict” || Aakar Patel

https://soundcloud.com/user-311470525/j-pod-aakar-patel-on-twitter  On J-POD, a podcast on journalists and journalism, Aakar Patel, columnist and former journalist who headed Amnesty International, discusses what he makes of Twitter withholding his account, and who he suspects might be behind it—and why. *** # Twitter emailed me that they had received a “legal removal demand” from the government, that my…