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Why India no longer trusts anti-Modi media

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Why India no longer trusts anti-Modi media

Some TV networks are so viscerally opposed to the PM that they no longer attempt to hide their bias.

27-11-2015

MINHAZ MERCHANT


Four pillars are needed to hold up a structure. Take one away and the structure tilts.

In a democracy, the four pillars are the executive (government), the legislature (Parliament and state assemblies), the judiciary and the media. Each of these pillars has had its moments of turbulence: the executive and the judiciary during the Emergency; and the legislature through the decades when state assemblies were routinely dissolved and President's rule imposed.

The media, before and after independence, faced several challenges. Under colonial rule, newspapers like The Times of India often toed the British Viceroy's line. Many others though were nationalist and suffered colonial interference. After independence, the Emergency marked a new low point. Most newspapers lost their nerve and bent their spine.

The late 1970s and 1980s were the golden period of Indian media. The Emergency was gone. New publications were launched. Specialised Sunday papers made their appearance. So did specialised magazines.

In the 1990s, television was nascent but neutral. News had not yet fallen hostage to vested political and business interests. When did media's fall begin? The seeds were sown in the late 1990s when the first BJP-led government took office. It was around this time that Sonia Gandhi displaced Sitaram Kesri as Congress president.

In 1984, the BJP had two MPs. In 1999, it had 182. In 1984, the Congress had 414 MPs. In 1999, it had 114.

It is within these numbers that lie clues to the schisms that would develop over the next 16 years. The media was drawn into this political vortex. Senior editors in the 1980s and 1990s were (relatively) politically neutral. The concept of paid news was notably absent. I launched my first media company, Sterling Newspapers Pvt Ltd, in the 1980s. Our journalists researched, interviewed, wrote and edited without fear or favour. Very few editors had fallen prey to external influences: political parties, business houses, foreign intelligence agencies and power brokers.

The real change came in the 2000s. By then the Indian Express group had acquired Sterling Newspapers with our cache of nearly 100 editors, writers, designers and marketers. I set up a new media firm soon after that and began hiring a new generation of young editors and correspondents.

But things had changed. By 2004, when the Congress-led UPA government returned to office, more and more journalists had begun to cosy up to politicians and business houses. Between 1998 and 2004, when the NDA was in office and LK Advani home minister and then (from 2000) deputy prime minister, it did not even occur to me to seek an appointment with him though he had been a regular columnist in one of our publications for over 10 years. That was the arm's length approach to politicians we had always maintained.

As I once wrote: "The first principle of journalism is to keep politicians at arm's length. Do not socialise with them. Do not curry favour with them. Do not treat them as friends. In a democracy, journalists and politicians have to be natural adversaries."In short, keep the relationship professional.

When the Congress-led UPA government took office in May 2004, we found ourselves receiving invitations to interview UPA ministers. Soon after he assumed charge as finance minister, P Chidambaram conveyed to our Delhi bureau chief that he would be happy to accede to our request for an exclusive interview.

We did the interview in Chidambaram's North Block office. This was followed in the next few months and years by exclusive interviews with (then) Industry and commerce minister Kamal Nath, (then) petroleum minister Mani Shankar Aiyar and the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mufti Mohammad Sayeed who hosted us to a sumptuous Kashmiri lunch at his residence along with daughter Mehbooba. Not once did we attempt a further meeting with any of them beyond the strictly professional.

But on every trip to Delhi - and Srinagar - from 2005 onwards, I noticed a distinct change in the interaction between journalists and politicians. It is around this time that the scourge of paid news became an epidemic. Many journalists became PR intermediaries for political leaders. It was inevitable that PR would overwhelm journalism. The Radia tapes were recorded in 2008-09. Unofficial versions were circulated in early-2010 and finally published by two weekly magazines in November 2010. They revealed the nexus between politicians and journalists.

The nexus has only grown stronger. It has also - since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in May 2014 - become more brazen. The masks have slipped. Pretence has been dropped. Shame at violating the principles of ethical journalism has evaporated. Paid news and private treaties are not the issues any more: they are far too common. The real cancer is the politicisation of journalism.

According to an article in Mint published on January 8, 2013, "In the aftermath of the 2009 general elections, a news report by Rediff.comcited Congress MP Kapil Sibal as saying that over 150 media publications were owned by individuals affiliated with the Congress party. The report said that with the impressive win under its belt, the Congress party would activate this machinery to 'carve a legend out of Rahul within a decade.' "


An existential threat

Sonia Gandhi was among the first in the Congress to spot Narendra Modi's potential as a threat to the Congress' political hegemony. Hermaut ka saudagar invective in 2007 sparked a chain of abuse that lowered standards of political discourse which have today become mainstream.

A campaign of vilification was launched against Modi by the Congress in 2013 which saw him as an existential threat - a fear that would be borne out in May 2014 when the Congress plunged from 206 Lok Sabha seats to 44.

It was now that the mainstream media lost the plot. A large section had been co-opted by the Congress and by 2013 was fully embedded into its ecosystem. Some columnists were so obsessively - and often viciously - anti-Modi that they achieved three unintended objectives: one, they eroded their own credibility; two, they generated unexpected support for Modi among readers who felt he was being unfairly maligned; and three, they caused widespread revulsion in the public for mainstream media.

Television fell victim as well. Anchors took sides, again violating professionalism and journalistic integrity. Foreign media took the cue from biased, politically affiliated Indian journalists. The New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post and The Economistcarried stories that failed the test of neutral journalism. Facts were mangled and interpretations distorted. The victim: the newspapers' own reputation.

Some Indian television networks are so viscerally anti-Modi today that they no longer attempt to hide their bias beneath a veneer of journalistic professionalism. The charge of being an in-house channel of the Congress does not bother them anymore.

The Modi government's abysmal media management has further emboldened sections of the media grown fat on old largesse. No longer do they fear a backlash to even serious charges of being fronts for politicians' money laundering. They know they have defenders of the faith within the highest echelons of the NDA government. Protection is assured - at least till the prime minister wields the axe.

Fortunately, there are still many honourable and upright journalists across media - print, online and television. Alas, there are many more who are not.

Why India no longer trusts anti-Modi media
 

Jacob Martin

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Trust in Indian media has been damaged irretrievably since the Radia tapes. Ironically, people like Barkha Dutt, whose integrity was shattered by that episode, still get prime-time slots in NDTV. That seriously brings the English media into question. I make it a point to not watch NDTV just because of that.
 

Sky lord

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The media is vital to our democracy, we simply cannot have a democracy without reliable media and instead of worrying about this, the nation is obsessing over what some vague Bollywood actor should or should not say!

I always thought that the rot started in the 70s and 80s when the KGB used to pay of some senior journalists to tilt to the left. Things are obviously much much worse now and The general public seems not to care . We need to be worried.....very worried. Where is the national debate on this?

@nForce @Abingdonboy @magudi @Guynextdoor2@Tridibans @zebra7 @Spectre
 
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magudi

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We have Jamia Millia aluminis as editors in some of these 'prominent' news traders so their bias should come as no surprise to anyone
 

Bang Galore

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I was watching an interview that CNN-IBN's Bhupendra Chaubey was doing with Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and he seemed unable to get past the intolerance stuff. He kept trying to get her to say something highlightable while ignoring her remarks about the work that is getting done or what was connected to her own field. Was pretty pathetic. I was wondering what next, ask everyone who comes to India to talk about the tolerance issue? Come to think of it, that is precisely what some journalists tried yesterday when they asked the Pakistani HC his opinion on the intolerance debate. Luckily he was circumspect enough to say it was India's internal matter.

Hot Seat: We really need to focus on economic development, says Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw:IBNLive Videos
 

dadeechi

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Why India no longer trusts anti-Modi media

Some TV networks are so viscerally opposed to the PM that they no longer attempt to hide their bias.

27-11-2015

MINHAZ MERCHANT


Four pillars are needed to hold up a structure. Take one away and the structure tilts.

In a democracy, the four pillars are the executive (government), the legislature (Parliament and state assemblies), the judiciary and the media. Each of these pillars has had its moments of turbulence: the executive and the judiciary during the Emergency; and the legislature through the decades when state assemblies were routinely dissolved and President's rule imposed.

The media, before and after independence, faced several challenges. Under colonial rule, newspapers like The Times of India often toed the British Viceroy's line. Many others though were nationalist and suffered colonial interference. After independence, the Emergency marked a new low point. Most newspapers lost their nerve and bent their spine.

The late 1970s and 1980s were the golden period of Indian media. The Emergency was gone. New publications were launched. Specialised Sunday papers made their appearance. So did specialised magazines.

In the 1990s, television was nascent but neutral. News had not yet fallen hostage to vested political and business interests. When did media's fall begin? The seeds were sown in the late 1990s when the first BJP-led government took office. It was around this time that Sonia Gandhi displaced Sitaram Kesri as Congress president.

In 1984, the BJP had two MPs. In 1999, it had 182. In 1984, the Congress had 414 MPs. In 1999, it had 114.

It is within these numbers that lie clues to the schisms that would develop over the next 16 years. The media was drawn into this political vortex. Senior editors in the 1980s and 1990s were (relatively) politically neutral. The concept of paid news was notably absent. I launched my first media company, Sterling Newspapers Pvt Ltd, in the 1980s. Our journalists researched, interviewed, wrote and edited without fear or favour. Very few editors had fallen prey to external influences: political parties, business houses, foreign intelligence agencies and power brokers.

The real change came in the 2000s. By then the Indian Express group had acquired Sterling Newspapers with our cache of nearly 100 editors, writers, designers and marketers. I set up a new media firm soon after that and began hiring a new generation of young editors and correspondents.

But things had changed. By 2004, when the Congress-led UPA government returned to office, more and more journalists had begun to cosy up to politicians and business houses. Between 1998 and 2004, when the NDA was in office and LK Advani home minister and then (from 2000) deputy prime minister, it did not even occur to me to seek an appointment with him though he had been a regular columnist in one of our publications for over 10 years. That was the arm's length approach to politicians we had always maintained.

As I once wrote: "The first principle of journalism is to keep politicians at arm's length. Do not socialise with them. Do not curry favour with them. Do not treat them as friends. In a democracy, journalists and politicians have to be natural adversaries."In short, keep the relationship professional.

When the Congress-led UPA government took office in May 2004, we found ourselves receiving invitations to interview UPA ministers. Soon after he assumed charge as finance minister, P Chidambaram conveyed to our Delhi bureau chief that he would be happy to accede to our request for an exclusive interview.

We did the interview in Chidambaram's North Block office. This was followed in the next few months and years by exclusive interviews with (then) Industry and commerce minister Kamal Nath, (then) petroleum minister Mani Shankar Aiyar and the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mufti Mohammad Sayeed who hosted us to a sumptuous Kashmiri lunch at his residence along with daughter Mehbooba. Not once did we attempt a further meeting with any of them beyond the strictly professional.

But on every trip to Delhi - and Srinagar - from 2005 onwards, I noticed a distinct change in the interaction between journalists and politicians. It is around this time that the scourge of paid news became an epidemic. Many journalists became PR intermediaries for political leaders. It was inevitable that PR would overwhelm journalism. The Radia tapes were recorded in 2008-09. Unofficial versions were circulated in early-2010 and finally published by two weekly magazines in November 2010. They revealed the nexus between politicians and journalists.

The nexus has only grown stronger. It has also - since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in May 2014 - become more brazen. The masks have slipped. Pretence has been dropped. Shame at violating the principles of ethical journalism has evaporated. Paid news and private treaties are not the issues any more: they are far too common. The real cancer is the politicisation of journalism.

According to an article in Mint published on January 8, 2013, "In the aftermath of the 2009 general elections, a news report by Rediff.comcited Congress MP Kapil Sibal as saying that over 150 media publications were owned by individuals affiliated with the Congress party. The report said that with the impressive win under its belt, the Congress party would activate this machinery to 'carve a legend out of Rahul within a decade.' "


An existential threat

Sonia Gandhi was among the first in the Congress to spot Narendra Modi's potential as a threat to the Congress' political hegemony. Hermaut ka saudagar invective in 2007 sparked a chain of abuse that lowered standards of political discourse which have today become mainstream.

A campaign of vilification was launched against Modi by the Congress in 2013 which saw him as an existential threat - a fear that would be borne out in May 2014 when the Congress plunged from 206 Lok Sabha seats to 44.

It was now that the mainstream media lost the plot. A large section had been co-opted by the Congress and by 2013 was fully embedded into its ecosystem. Some columnists were so obsessively - and often viciously - anti-Modi that they achieved three unintended objectives: one, they eroded their own credibility; two, they generated unexpected support for Modi among readers who felt he was being unfairly maligned; and three, they caused widespread revulsion in the public for mainstream media.

Television fell victim as well. Anchors took sides, again violating professionalism and journalistic integrity. Foreign media took the cue from biased, politically affiliated Indian journalists. The New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post and The Economistcarried stories that failed the test of neutral journalism. Facts were mangled and interpretations distorted. The victim: the newspapers' own reputation.

Some Indian television networks are so viscerally anti-Modi today that they no longer attempt to hide their bias beneath a veneer of journalistic professionalism. The charge of being an in-house channel of the Congress does not bother them anymore.

The Modi government's abysmal media management has further emboldened sections of the media grown fat on old largesse. No longer do they fear a backlash to even serious charges of being fronts for politicians' money laundering. They know they have defenders of the faith within the highest echelons of the NDA government. Protection is assured - at least till the prime minister wields the axe.

Fortunately, there are still many honourable and upright journalists across media - print, online and television. Alas, there are many more who are not.

Why India no longer trusts anti-Modi media
Trust in Indian media has been damaged irretrievably since the Radia tapes. Ironically, people like Barkha Dutt, whose integrity was shattered by that episode, still get prime-time slots in NDTV. That seriously brings the English media into question. I make it a point to not watch NDTV just because of that.
The media is vital to our democracy, we simply cannot have a democracy without reliable media and instead of worrying about this, the nation is obsessing over what some vague Bollywood actor should or should not say!

I always thought that the rot started in the 70s and 80s when the KGB used to pay of some senior journalists to tilt to the left. Things are obviously much much worse now and The general public seems not to care . We need to be worried.....very worried. Where is the national debate on this?

@nForce @Abingdonboy @magudi @Guynextdoor2@Tridibans @zebra7 @Spectre
We have Jamia Millia aluminis as editors in some of these 'prominent' news traders so their bias should come as no surprise to anyone
I was watching an interview that CNN-IBN's Bhupendra Chaubey was doing with Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and he seemed unable to get past the intolerance stuff. He kept trying to get her to say something highlightable while ignoring her remarks about the work that is getting done or what was connected to her own field. Was pretty pathetic. I was wondering what next, ask everyone who comes to India to talk about the tolerance issue? Come to think of it, that is precisely what some journalists tried yesterday when they asked the Pakistani HC his opinion on the intolerance debate. Luckily he was circumspect enough to say it was India's internal matter.

Hot Seat: We really need to focus on economic development, says Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw:IBNLive Videos
Nothing surprises me after this episode.



64 MPs urged Obama to keep visa ban for Modi
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Sixty-four members of India’s Parliament, 25 from the Lok Sabha and 39 from the Rajya Sabha, petitioned U.S. President Barack Obama to advise the State Department to hold firm to its 2005 decision to deny Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi an entry visa, owing to his association with the 2002 Gujarat riots, in which more than a thousand people, many Muslim, were killed.
In their letters to Mr. Obama, one from each House of the Legislature sent on November 26 2012, the MPs from 15 political parties across 15 states said that they “respectfully urge [Mr. Obama] to maintain the current policy of denying Mr. Modi a visa to the U.S.” considering Mr. Modi “presided over one of the worst sectarian massacres in the history of independent India, which led to the killing of over 2,000 people, the rape of hundreds of women and the displacement of over 150,000 people.”
Although the letters were sent nearly eight months ago their release to the media appears to be timed to coincide with the ongoing trip of BJP President Rajnath Singh to the U.S. East Coast. Mr. Singh is visiting New York and Washington for a slew of mostly private meetings with friends among the Indian-American community here, although he has been quoted saying to reporters in New York that he would “appeal to the U.S. government to clear US visa to the Gujarat CM.”
Reacting to the release of the letters Ahsan Khan, President of the Indian American Muslim Council said, “It is noteworthy that Mr. Modi evokes such strongly negative reactions from elected representatives in India as well as the U.S., across the ideological spectrum.” Raja Swamy, a representive of the Coalition Against Genocide remarked, “After long having denied any desire on the part of Mr. Modi to acquire a U.S. visa, Mr. Rajnath Singh's visit to the U.S.,to lobby lawmakers here for Modi’s visa reeks of hypocrisy.”
The petitioners in the letter to Mr. Obama hail from a diverse range of Indian states, including Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, and Andhra Pradesh.
Among them are several members of the Congress Party, the DMK, Sitaram Yechury of the Communist Party and pro-Dalit leader Thol Thirumaavalavan of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi.
The letters from New Delhi were sent out even as senior State Department Officials including erstwhile Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland and now-retiring Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, were quoted saying that Mr. Modi was “welcome to apply” again for a visa and that the review of that application would be “grounded in U.S. law.”
Alluding to these comments among “disconcerting” reports that the State Department could be considering a change in its “longstanding policy” with respect to Mr. Modi’s U.S. visa, the Indian MPs were unequivocal in their request that Mr. Obama recognise Mr. Modi’s “personal complicity in the pogrom,” as documented by India’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and others.
While some of these State Department comments came in April this year, in May pro-Modi lobbies faced strong “push back” when the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which monitors religious freedom violations abroad, urged the State Department not to reconsider the decision to deny Mr. Modi a visa.
The letters from the Indian MPs noted that along with the USCIRF’s recommendations a number of U.S. Congressmen wrote to then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to express their profound concern over a possible visit to the U.S. by Mr. Modi in March 2005 and again in June 2008, and it was based on these concerns, that the visa denial was “rightly kept in place.”
Similar to the USCIRF report the MPs’ letters referenced the conviction of a sitting member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly, Maya Kodnani of the BJP, and described it as a “damning indictment of the Modi administration,” and “proof that the pogrom was planned and executed at the highest levels of the state government.”
The MPs also made a broader case for the Obama administration to stick to its line in the sand so far as Mr. Modi’s entry into the U.S. was concerned. They argued that the visa ban would be consistent with U.S. law and the shared values of the U.S. and India.
It was important for the ongoing struggle for justice in Gujarat, they noted, where over 16,000 survivors of the 2002 pogrom continue to live in refugee colonies lacking basic amenities and of the hundreds of women raped in 2002 there have been convictions in only two cases.
Further, the MPs cautioned, any change in the policy to deny Mr. Modi’s visa application “would legitimise human rights violations and seriously impact the nature of U.S.-India relations by sending a message that the U.S. values economic interests over and above the universal values of human rights and justice.”
In this context the MPs highlighted Mr. Modi’s “relentless efforts” at rehabilitating his image, including a campaign by his PR firm APCO Worldwide to create “an illusion” of Gujarat as a prosperous, progressive state. “The reality on the ground could not be further from the truth,” they said.
The initial denial of visa by the U.S. was issued under Section 212(a)(2)(g) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, which makes any foreign government official who was responsible for or directly carried out, at any time, “particularly severe” violations of religious freedom ineligible for a visa.
List of petitioners: Rajya Sabha
1. Hussain Umar Dalwa
2. Dr. K.P. Ramalingam
3. M.P. Achuthan
4. A.S.M. (unclear)
5. Sabir Ali
6. G.N. Ratanpuri
7. Dr. B.K. Mukherji
8. Sitaram Yechury
9. Mohammad Adeeb
10. A.A. Jinnah
11. S.T. Thangavelu
12. S.D. Sharik (MP J&K)
13. Ali Anwar Ansari
14. Pradip Bhattacharya
15. Dhiraj Prasad Sahu
16. Shantaram Naik
17. Dr. E.M.S. Natchiappan
18. V. Hanumantha Rao
19. Anandabhaskar Rapolu
20. T. Ratnabai
21. Anil Caad
22. Biswajit Daimany
23. Joy Abraham
24. Pakaj Bora
25. Avinash Panda
26. Vandana Chavan
27. Ishwarlal Jain
28. Prof. Alka Kshatriya
29. Praveen Rashtrabal
30. Mahendra Singh Mara
31. Mohammed S.
32. Mohammed Ali Khan
33. Pravez Hashmi
34. Dr. Vijay Laxmi Sadho
35. Dr. Abhishek L.S.
36. Eknath M. Gaikwad
37. Jayawant G. Awale
38. Sanjeev G. Naik
39. Marotrao Kowase
List of petitioners: Lok Sabha
1. Abdul Rahman (Vellore, TN)
2. Dr. Mehboob Beg (Anantnag J&K)
3. S.D. Shariq (Baramulla, J&K)
4. S. (unclear) (WB)
5. M.I. Shanavas (Wayanad, Kerala)
6. A.A. Jinnah (TN)
7. Shafiqur Rahman Barq (UP)
8. Mohammad Abrarulhaque (Kishanganj, Bihar)
9. Mohammad Sahu Yusin (UP)
10. Mausam Noor (WB)
11. Jassen Khan (Ladhak)
12. P.L. Punia (Barabanki)
13. Kamal Kishore (UP)
14. S.S. Ramasubbu (Tirunelveli, TN)
15. S. Ahmed
16. J.K. Ritheesh (Ramanathapuram, TN)
17. R. Thamaraiselvan (Dharmapuri, TN)
18. Asadudin Owaisi (Hyderabad, AP)
19. Jon K.M. (Kerala)
20. M.B.R. (unclear) (AP)
21. Ch. Lal Singh (Udhampur)
22. Thirumaavalavan (Chidambaram, TN)
23. Kadir Rana (Muzaffarnagar, UP)
24. A.S.M. (unclear) (WB)
25. E.T. Mohamed B. (unclear) (Kerala)[/URL]
 

jamahir

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a lying bullshit title - "india no longer trusts anti-modi media"... i live in india and so do most india-origin progressive anti-sangh people including the award returnees and including the late m.m. kalburgi, and we all welcome any news agency that calls the bjp government for what it is - fascist.

first the penchant of the sangh for all-encompassing words...

when modi visited usa last year, modi fans used a crass propaganda trick - "new york welcomes modi"... the only new yorkers who liked or promoted the modi visit were kannada and telugu mediocre/unrequired software engineers and gujju motel owners and their families and community friends and the city government. :lol:

when modi rang the new york stock exchange's bell, in the same area ( wall street ) were anti-capitalist protestors of the "occupy" movement with banners who want the stock exchange closed. :lol:

and there were india-origin protestors in new york ( protests replicated on his canada visit )...



when modi visited silicon valley, pro-sangh media in india or censored media in india didn't show this picture...



the modi fans in britain tried the vomit-inducing trick again... this website ( UK WELCOMES MODI - INDEX ) exemplifies their comedic efforts... half of these british-indians welcoming modi would have been participating in the "ganesha drinks milk" mania of 1995... yeah, modi attracts great intellectuals indeed. :coffee:

maybe as we speak, the actuarians and tall greys have already sent a radio signal to welcome modi to alpha centauri system. :rofl:

kya hai bey?? kitna jhooth bolte ho tum log !!

coming to indian media, why is pro-modi ( pro-sangh ) media good and anti-sangh media or neutral media bad?? one cannot forget how the pro-sangh "zee news" "journalist" who had gone to late farmer gajendra singh's village, tried to twist the words of mr. singh's brother so that "aam aadmi party" can be blamed for mr. singh's death and no blame go to the delhi police which is under control of the central government ( bjp ).

at the moment, modi and his government are sitting embarrassed from the aftermath of fan-boy pahlaj nihalani's international comedy short film "mera desh hai mahaan". :lol:

let modi distance himself from the sangh, we will speak then.

good morning.
 
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Jacob Martin

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calls the bjp government for what it is - fascist
Ergo the lack of faith. Clearly they (and you) do not know what the word "fascist" meant in practice. The only country today that comes close to the classic German/Italian/Spanish model are Russia and Turkey (and here I am not passing a judgment on them in any way). India is a chaotic land with pockets of tolerance as well as intolerance. It is very nice and convenient, but extremely dishonest, to attack India at all times for being a country without a collective will and common direction but suddenly change the tune while talking about the BJP/Sangh Parivar.
 

magudi

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Nothing surprises me after this episode.



64 MPs urged Obama to keep visa ban for Modi
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No point in blaming those signatories modi bought it upon himself. You gotta be a naive Muslim hating 'kattar Hindu' to believe that modi had no role in 2002 fiasco. If there were any sense of morality left in him or the party he represents he would've resigned.
 
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Jacob Martin

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and there were india-origin protestors in new york ( protests replicated on his canada visit )
As for the photos, in the first one, we can clearly see posters against 84 Sikh Riots as well. So it was a congregation of malcontents, not Modi-specific. In the second one, we see two persons in a much larger group carrying Anti-Modi banners, while you can also see banners supporting Digital India. Again, a mixed crowd of people, with at best a few (two?) Modi-baiters. You make it sound as if the entire crowd was an anti-Modi protest.
 

magudi

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let modi distance himself from the sangh, we will speak then.

good morning.
Good morning bhai

How about you start by distancing yourself from Gaddafi then so that we can start taking you seriously.
 
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vayuputhra

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Nothing surprises me after this episode.



64 MPs urged Obama to keep visa ban for Modi
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The Hindu
Narendra Modi

V Geetanath
»

B Rishikesh Bahadurdesai
»

Zahid Rafiq
»

TOPICS
diplomacy
India-United States

http://www.thehindu.com/news/nation...to-keep-visa-ban-for-modi/article4945209.ece#
politics
human rights

Sixty-four members of India’s Parliament, 25 from the Lok Sabha and 39 from the Rajya Sabha, petitioned U.S. President Barack Obama to advise the State Department to hold firm to its 2005 decision to deny Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi an entry visa, owing to his association with the 2002 Gujarat riots, in which more than a thousand people, many Muslim, were killed.
In their letters to Mr. Obama, one from each House of the Legislature sent on November 26 2012, the MPs from 15 political parties across 15 states said that they “respectfully urge [Mr. Obama] to maintain the current policy of denying Mr. Modi a visa to the U.S.” considering Mr. Modi “presided over one of the worst sectarian massacres in the history of independent India, which led to the killing of over 2,000 people, the rape of hundreds of women and the displacement of over 150,000 people.”
Although the letters were sent nearly eight months ago their release to the media appears to be timed to coincide with the ongoing trip of BJP President Rajnath Singh to the U.S. East Coast. Mr. Singh is visiting New York and Washington for a slew of mostly private meetings with friends among the Indian-American community here, although he has been quoted saying to reporters in New York that he would “appeal to the U.S. government to clear US visa to the Gujarat CM.”
Reacting to the release of the letters Ahsan Khan, President of the Indian American Muslim Council said, “It is noteworthy that Mr. Modi evokes such strongly negative reactions from elected representatives in India as well as the U.S., across the ideological spectrum.” Raja Swamy, a representive of the Coalition Against Genocide remarked, “After long having denied any desire on the part of Mr. Modi to acquire a U.S. visa, Mr. Rajnath Singh's visit to the U.S.,to lobby lawmakers here for Modi’s visa reeks of hypocrisy.”
The petitioners in the letter to Mr. Obama hail from a diverse range of Indian states, including Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, and Andhra Pradesh.
Among them are several members of the Congress Party, the DMK, Sitaram Yechury of the Communist Party and pro-Dalit leader Thol Thirumaavalavan of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi.
The letters from New Delhi were sent out even as senior State Department Officials including erstwhile Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland and now-retiring Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, were quoted saying that Mr. Modi was “welcome to apply” again for a visa and that the review of that application would be “grounded in U.S. law.”
Alluding to these comments among “disconcerting” reports that the State Department could be considering a change in its “longstanding policy” with respect to Mr. Modi’s U.S. visa, the Indian MPs were unequivocal in their request that Mr. Obama recognise Mr. Modi’s “personal complicity in the pogrom,” as documented by India’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and others.
While some of these State Department comments came in April this year, in May pro-Modi lobbies faced strong “push back” when the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which monitors religious freedom violations abroad, urged the State Department not to reconsider the decision to deny Mr. Modi a visa.
The letters from the Indian MPs noted that along with the USCIRF’s recommendations a number of U.S. Congressmen wrote to then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to express their profound concern over a possible visit to the U.S. by Mr. Modi in March 2005 and again in June 2008, and it was based on these concerns, that the visa denial was “rightly kept in place.”
Similar to the USCIRF report the MPs’ letters referenced the conviction of a sitting member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly, Maya Kodnani of the BJP, and described it as a “damning indictment of the Modi administration,” and “proof that the pogrom was planned and executed at the highest levels of the state government.”
The MPs also made a broader case for the Obama administration to stick to its line in the sand so far as Mr. Modi’s entry into the U.S. was concerned. They argued that the visa ban would be consistent with U.S. law and the shared values of the U.S. and India.
It was important for the ongoing struggle for justice in Gujarat, they noted, where over 16,000 survivors of the 2002 pogrom continue to live in refugee colonies lacking basic amenities and of the hundreds of women raped in 2002 there have been convictions in only two cases.
Further, the MPs cautioned, any change in the policy to deny Mr. Modi’s visa application “would legitimise human rights violations and seriously impact the nature of U.S.-India relations by sending a message that the U.S. values economic interests over and above the universal values of human rights and justice.”
In this context the MPs highlighted Mr. Modi’s “relentless efforts” at rehabilitating his image, including a campaign by his PR firm APCO Worldwide to create “an illusion” of Gujarat as a prosperous, progressive state. “The reality on the ground could not be further from the truth,” they said.
The initial denial of visa by the U.S. was issued under Section 212(a)(2)(g) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, which makes any foreign government official who was responsible for or directly carried out, at any time, “particularly severe” violations of religious freedom ineligible for a visa.
List of petitioners: Rajya Sabha
1. Hussain Umar Dalwa
2. Dr. K.P. Ramalingam
3. M.P. Achuthan
4. A.S.M. (unclear)
5. Sabir Ali
6. G.N. Ratanpuri
7. Dr. B.K. Mukherji
8. Sitaram Yechury
9. Mohammad Adeeb
10. A.A. Jinnah
11. S.T. Thangavelu
12. S.D. Sharik (MP J&K)
13. Ali Anwar Ansari
14. Pradip Bhattacharya
15. Dhiraj Prasad Sahu
16. Shantaram Naik
17. Dr. E.M.S. Natchiappan
18. V. Hanumantha Rao
19. Anandabhaskar Rapolu
20. T. Ratnabai
21. Anil Caad
22. Biswajit Daimany
23. Joy Abraham
24. Pakaj Bora
25. Avinash Panda
26. Vandana Chavan
27. Ishwarlal Jain
28. Prof. Alka Kshatriya
29. Praveen Rashtrabal
30. Mahendra Singh Mara
31. Mohammed S.
32. Mohammed Ali Khan
33. Pravez Hashmi
34. Dr. Vijay Laxmi Sadho
35. Dr. Abhishek L.S.
36. Eknath M. Gaikwad
37. Jayawant G. Awale
38. Sanjeev G. Naik
39. Marotrao Kowase
List of petitioners: Lok Sabha
1. Abdul Rahman (Vellore, TN)
2. Dr. Mehboob Beg (Anantnag J&K)
3. S.D. Shariq (Baramulla, J&K)
4. S. (unclear) (WB)
5. M.I. Shanavas (Wayanad, Kerala)
6. A.A. Jinnah (TN)
7. Shafiqur Rahman Barq (UP)
8. Mohammad Abrarulhaque (Kishanganj, Bihar)
9. Mohammad Sahu Yusin (UP)
10. Mausam Noor (WB)
11. Jassen Khan (Ladhak)
12. P.L. Punia (Barabanki)
13. Kamal Kishore (UP)
14. S.S. Ramasubbu (Tirunelveli, TN)
15. S. Ahmed
16. J.K. Ritheesh (Ramanathapuram, TN)
17. R. Thamaraiselvan (Dharmapuri, TN)
18. Asadudin Owaisi (Hyderabad, AP)
19. Jon K.M. (Kerala)
20. M.B.R. (unclear) (AP)
21. Ch. Lal Singh (Udhampur)
22. Thirumaavalavan (Chidambaram, TN)
23. Kadir Rana (Muzaffarnagar, UP)
24. A.S.M. (unclear) (WB)
25. E.T. Mohamed B. (unclear) (Kerala)
As usual members from Tamil nadu & Kerala are highest that is why others don't support Tamil cause we non tamils were happy when ever LTTE are pounded( as LTTE was a Christian organisation) these Dravidian parties have a thrill when ever they say against Hindus and non Tamils, they are not liked by their neighbouring states.
 

Jacob Martin

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Oh please there are people in media who'd fall over themselves to get a selfie with Modi, not surprising since PR agencies are talking to media houses on behalf of govt. Off the top of my head I can name 6,7 media guys who would give any modi bhakt a run for his money.

Unlike Omar Abdullah, Modi does not have a girlfriend from the media.

Omar Abdullah's girlfriend is Nidhi Razdan, prime-time NDTV news anchor.

PG Times: Indian Media in Bed with Politicans

Evidently, the word hypocrisy has no meaning anymore.
 

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