Monday, September 2, 2013


Why is electronic media showing a pro-Congress bias?

By Meenakshi Lekhi

Mukhiya mukhu so chahiye, khan paan ko ek Paale poose sakal ang, Tulsi sahit vivek.
Kabir’s doha, when translated, means this: just as the mouth receives food that nurtures all parts of the body, the leader must be driven by similar wisdom.
The Congress-led UPA is possibly unaware of this, as is obvious from the current political and socio-economic crisis it has got India into. The consequences of over several lakh crores of loot in the last nine years through the 2G, coal and other scams are now being felt across the nation. India has been assaulted like never before.
While many believe that this government is weak and paralysed, the back story suggests the contrary. The present Congress government seems to be a rogue regime run with an iron fist on the lines of several authoritarian or autocratic regimes around the world. Its actions speak louder than words. The actions of this regime have ensured massive unemployment, encouraged imports that destroy local production capacities, and, most importantly, have facilitated the criminal loot of national resources.
Biased journalism? Getty Images
Biased journalism? Getty Images
On the political front, this regime continues to engineer a separatist mindset, by fortifying ethnic groups as vote banks and by dividing India. Be it Left-wing terror, jihadist terror or any anti-India movement, the Congress is found to be creating, nurturing and controlling divisive tendencies. The root cause of all problems such as casteism, communalism, law and order or social unrest lies in illiteracy, unemployment and poverty. Survival insecurities and religious fundamentalism are being used as weapons of political mobilisation and mayhem.
A closer look at the UPA’s support structure reveals how India’s institutions are being subverted. Parties supporting the UPA, such as the SP, BSP, DMK and many others, are being kept in line by the Congress party through the use of state power in the form of CBI, Enforcement Directorate, NIA, etc. Deceit and criminal intimidation have become legitimate tools of governance.
The Congress party’s 57 years of rule have created artificial pressure groups to deceive the masses. It has planted its supporters in the executive, the media, and industry to justify and legitimise its sins.
Let’s take the example of the mainstream media (MSM), especially the television media. It has a pro-Congress bias. The pattern is like this: suppress most cases of Congress-run corruption while highlighting individual and nationally irrelevant issues. Remember how embarrassingly silent the MSM was on the cash-for-votes scam that allowed UPA-1 to continue in office? Cameras were also focused on the antics of some Hindu Sena activists near a Karnataka bar in January 2009.
Similarly, when the Indian economy is in a shambles, the nation is reeling under corruption, inflation has raised the cost of necessities, and there is huge unemployment and loss of job opportunities, the mainstream media finds Asaram Bapu to be the main news point. While the role of the state government is not discussed, there are regular repetitions of this episode. There are no updates on gigantic scandals such as Satyam, NREGA, Augusta Westland, and sale of Railway Board jobs. FIRs against Sheila Dikshit, Jagdish Tytler and CBI cases against Andhra Pradesh ministers are not even reported, forget taking them up for prime-time discussion. Similarly, ethnic riots in Assam, UP and nearly 5,000 cases of major and minor riots post-2004 are conveniently forgotten. The MSM has never questioned the communal credentials of the Congress party which has a history of overseeing riots in the country even while being in alliance with communal parties such as MIM, TNMMK and the Muslim League.
India’s MSM has maintained complete silence involving Congress leaders and their family members in corruption cases under the disguise of editorial freedom of choice. The ethics of journalism are completely forgotten while dealing with anyone other than the Congress. The IPLsaga too was part of the same unwitting efforts at cover-up. At a time when the Central government was at the receiving end of the stick and being pulled up and censured by the Supreme Court for its role in the CBI investigations into Coalgate and the mama-bhanja sale of Railway Board jobs, the media was focused on N Srinivasan’s resignation drama at BCCI. Time and again, there is an attempt to make the Indian public forget the gigantic scams involving public funds while playing IPL(private money) sagas, turning encounters into fake ones, and mocking leaders from the opposition while protecting the misdeeds and criminality of the Congress regime!
The time has come to ask honest questions from the Indian media. Will the fourth pillar display integrity and act as the custodian of the right to information or ignore its duty, especially when the nation is going through a crisis? Even as I am writing this piece, important information on the indictment of Sheila Dikshit by the Delhi Lokayukta, and court orders for the registration of FIRs against her and Jagdish Tytler is in the air. But I wonder whether it will make it to prime-time discussion.
The author has been a socio-political activist for over 20 years, is a practicing lawyer and national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

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