Tag Archives: Narendra Modi

“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…

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…