Tag Archives: Narendra Modi

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…

‘Onions suck out bacteria. Neem sanitiser works for 15 days. Brahmins in Bhopal were saved by prayers over fire”: advice from a top Kannada publisher, an ex-BJP MP, to fight Coronavirus

Vijay Sankeshwar, the transport operator who founded Vijaya Karnataka and Vijaya Vani, shocking the Deccan Herald group and The Times of India group respectively, has offered his sage advice on how to combat #Coronavirus. Dripping with desi and swadeshi, the advice, although well intentioned, is questionable for its science. Sankeshwar, who was awarded the Padma…

From Chinese-made phones and Chinese-made laptops, on programs sponsored by Chinese unicorns, a new weapon of mass distraction is unleashed on day 69

India is rocketing up the COVID charts (now No. 7 in the world) , but somehow, as befits a nation on day 69 of the lockdown, someone, somewhere seems to have decided that there is only one way of defeating it: by boycotting Chinese products. The ostensible provocation, of course, is the Chinese incursion across…

Propaganda is king as newspapers open their sanctum sanctorum to be defiled by the ghostwritten schoolboy essays of Narendra Modi & Co

Newspaper maaliks and managers may think no one reads the editorial and op-ed pages. But thankfully the media managers of the Narendra Modi government do. So, to mark the first anniversary of the second term of the BJP-led NDA government, newspapers allow their sanctum sanctorum to be defiled by ghost written schoolboy essays of various…

Hundreds of stringers lose their livelihood as Telugu daily ‘Eenadu’ shuts down its pioneering hyperlocal tabloid supplements to combat fall in ad and circulation revenues

Eenadu, the influential Telugu newspaper which pioneered hyper-local journalism before anybody in the country had even heard of the term, has shut down its local supplements and let go of hundreds of stringers who were reporting for it, as the shadow of COVID grows darker over India’s print media industry. The newspaper, which played a…

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…