We Indians have been at the receiving end from our mainstream English media for a long time. However things are not as they were earlier, much still needs to be done. Blogs and Twitter have been our favorite ground where we have taken on mainstream English media with some success; we are hoping we would be able to make a very significant and positive contribution towards ethical journalism being reintroduced in India.
Earlier this week we witnessed one of those rare interactions between the Prime Minister of India and the who’s who of the electronic media. Text of PM Interaction with Editors of Electronic Media. By Mr.RajeevSrinivasa. No we had not even finished airing our deep disappointment and distress at what had transpired in the course of the meet.
We were convinced that there would be a few dirty tricks that Congress was going to pull on BJP in order to deflect the spotlight that is firmly focused on its misdeeds; nothing seems to shake this focus long enough for Congress to up the ante on some other issue & divert our attention from itself.
Maybe we are guilty of having let our guard down for just that short moment in which NDTV put out a report on February 18, 2011 11:08 IST “Advani apologizes to Sonia for black money allegation” This was Sonia Gandhi's Letter. Reply by Mr.L.K. Advani - not only this turned to be untrue & baseless, my initial reaction to this when I read it on the twitter was .
Soon other sympathetic newsmen &.newswomen, publication & Media houses were ratcheting up the cacophony. Twitter was buzzing, discussing or some plainly lambasting Mr. Advani without having perused the contents of his letter.
BJP leaders upset over Advani apology to Sonia Gandhi.
By late evening NDTV had changed the headline from Apology to regret. This also is untrue, if the sentence is read in its entirety the import of the word regret is different than what NDTV would have us believe. What stand out in this incident is the willingness of select media houses & persons, who are perpetually indulging in falsehood and misreporting.
How long and how far can this be carried by these motivated individuals and media houses. Democracy in India is what gets eroded and subverted every time a motivated report is put out. Equal is the damage when important events & incidents concerning negative actions of Congress are not reported.
Gujarat seems to have become an enemy nation for our Media at the bidding of Congress party and UPA. Nothing positive is ever reported about that state. Even when a positive report does emerge there is a visible disquiet and an attempt to somehow negate it by juxtaposing some old report or a fictitious new report is published.
Politics is not the arena of the media. Media is a messenger and must play its role without taking sides.
Latest on this issue as on 21st Feb 2011
A plain reading of Advani’s letter shows that he has not regretted for the task force report mentioning Sonia’s name at all. Yet, thanks to the media spin, the whole country believes he has. Why does India's self-righteous fourth estate censor anti-Sonia Gandhi news reports? "'Distress' and 'Regret'"
"That his baiters are deliberately touting it as an apology is a sad commentary on their intelligence or sheer bankruptcy of political issues. None of this is likely to affect Mr Advani personally or dent his stature politically. Yes it will give enough ammunition to his adversaries to hit out: yet again. But then it is not the first time that they have: neither is it the last. Because Mr Advani follows the dictates of his mind and refuses to give in to detractors, or their misinterpretations, he will remain a target for those who neither understand his politics nor comprehend his approach to personal issues like the one Mrs Gandhi’s letter raised. I don’t claim to either but at a human level, I find his response to Mrs Gandhi befitting and expected from a seasoned politician and a well bred human being like Mr Advani. Had it been any other, it would not only have been disappointing but fallen short of standards of decency." A spineless government : Just People. by Kumkum Chadha
Advani, who remains chivalrous towards women, replied that if she had denied these frequent publications, the BJP task force would have certainly considered the denial. Advani's letter does not even remotely admit that what he had stated at the press conference was untrue. The relevant sentence of his letter is, "I deeply regret the distress caused to you." The distress had not been caused by Advani but by the respectable Swiss publications, the Soviet book, responsible newspapers, a leader of the Janata Party and even me, more than once. Advani did not say in his letter that he or the task force were impressed with her denial and believed it to be true. Advani has not apologised to Sonia Gandhi. by Mr. Ram Jethmalani
welcome a debate and discussion on this…As always, please keep your tone civil, your language polite…no sweeping generalisations please and no personal abuse. Thank you.