Chidambaram

HT blanks Sibal story; Express gives its own slant

What’s OpIndia.com? Apparently nobody since Hindustan Times completely banned the Kapil Sibal “land scam” story which has propelled the remarkable website on to the national consciousness.

Who is Smriti Irani? Again nobody since Hindustan Times, leave aside the investigative story, didn’t  even consider the presser of India’s Human Resource Development minister worthy of coverage. Every other story, from a Karnataka chicken to dime-a-dozen weather reports, mocked at its readers in complete disdain today.

Indian Express, typically, covered the story inside its covers but with a completely outrageous slant. It manipulated the story not as an alleged “land scam” but as Sibal allegedly siding with a “money launderer.” You see, scams—that too made-up– exist only for a particular political party in a particularly hostile mainstream daily. (Mischievous that the newspaper is, it covered its tracks with the mention of “land” in its online story).

These are the newspapers who are awarded and feted on fake “Panama Papers”—a CIA operation which is distributed to select media outlets around the world who then acquire a halo, claiming to have worked themselves to ground in heroically unearthing this massive scam. I mean how fake could you really get!!!

These newspapers run “investigative report series” on environmental hazards in Goa; every sneeze of a Dalit; every sweat of a Muslim, every strand of hair on a Dravidian mirror but try making them cover a scam concerning Congress or Left! It’s sunk on a sea floor without much ado. There are relaxed norms for columnists–such as Sibal, Yechury or Chidambaram–who are above reproach or probing questions.  (And by the way why Surjit S. Bhalla has stopped appearing in Indian Express since becoming a member of Modi’s Economic Advisory Council? Any idea, sirji).

But could heat on them would lessen any degree only because the English mainstream media plays the cover-up game? Unlikely. Such are the avenues and platforms—social media and TV channels—available to readers that truth is out despite wool being pulled over their eyes by presstitutes.

And it is these rogues who beat their breasts on the “freedom of press” having done their best to slaughter the cause of independent media.  All its “star” go into a slumber when their masters are grilled by unassailable facts. The more they stretch to cover, the more torn undies get in the process.

Congress is over in our lifetime

The other day, having a conversation with a senior Congress leader, I smelled the smoke of a pyre that has burnt itself out. Skin, veins, eyes, organs, blood all reduced to ashes; dying embers long dead. Yet here was this man, almost a ghost, preening on his party’s excellent future.

The recent assembly elections had just been out. Congress had met the fate which once was Pompeii’s—buried under the fire, pumice, debris and rocks of Mt. Vesuvius’ eruption. Wiped out of history’s consciousness. One day, Congress like Pompeii could be rediscovered—for the time being it’s irrelevant in India’s scheme of things.

This idiot couldn’t comprehend the significance. That Congress was still around in 11 states in the 2014 election debacle; that it’s tally now is left only to seven—only one state of consequence in Karnataka. Bihar lost since 1990; UP since 1989; MP since 2003; booted out of Tamil Nadu since 1967; the same as in West Bengal; a spent force in Andhra Pradesh and the newbie Telengana. Gujarat? You said it. Maharashtra, Karantaka, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan is a disaster hidden from this joker’s view.

It didn’t register with him that Congress’ alliance is bad news for unsuspecting regional satraps these days. Ask Left who has been left singed in West Bengal; or DMK in Tamil Nadu which is in the midst of self-flagellation. It also escaped him that BJP rules in 16 of 29 states and has approval of 45% of population—contrast to Congress’ 6-7% share.

Yet this imbecile chose to fly in the face of logic. He pointed out Congress return from the disaster of Emergency-hit 1977; on how it came back to bite its critics from the hopelessness of 1989 and 1996.  Under the leadership of Rahul Baba, Congress could only look up.

The fact is Rahul Gandhi has brought Congress closer to extinction. He still believes in such sycophants ignoring the verdict of nation’s electorates. It’s lost on him that Rahul Gandhi’s presence in Bihar in 2010 was worth no better than three seats; that similar was the case in Uttar Pradesh in 2012. Frankly, Congress can’t be guaranteed a double-digit Lok Sabha seats in 2019. This is extinction, a Pompeii-fate nothing less.

I see a certainty in this prediction. Outside the ambit of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, there have been stalwarts from time to time who redeemed the struggling party. Sardar Vallabhai Patel unifed India; Lal Bahadur Shastri blazed the Green Revolution and PV Narasimha Rao introduced a liberalized vision to a largely socialist India.  But these were exceptions. The Nehru-Gandhi dynasty never allowed a credible second line of command to grow within the party. Starting with Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru—in the manner John Mathai and C. Rajagopalachari were cast aside—to Indira Gandhi to Sonia Gandhi, credible voices were never allowed to grow. Manmohan Singh…P. Chidambaram even didn’t fight the elections. AK Antony was disgraced; Pranab Mukherjee moved to Rashtrapati Bhawan. The next round of leaders are Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid who already have lost face in elections.  

The arrogance of dynasty, like a Banyan tree, stunts the growth of everyone under its’ shadow. There’s hardly a credible leader left with the party. Those with any respect or vision long left the premises to take roots in their regions. And lo and behold, it’s Congress which is seeking them out far and wide in India.

Sonia wanted authority without responsibility; so is the case with Rahul Gandhi. They aren’t too keen to get their hands dirty and prefer to surround themselves with dim-wits like the one I ran into the other day.

With 20 state elections due in next four years, Congress’ use-by-date is over. BJP has reclaimed Chhatisgarh and Madhya Pradesh; grabbed Rajasthan and Goa and has a first-time government in Maharashtra and Haryana.  The “Congress-Mukt Bharat”  is for real.

Express on JNU: Where’s video?

If you are an Indian Express reader you have just been told: you are the dumbest, stupidest, bumpkin, buffoon, idiot, thick-headed, retarded, imbecile reader on this earth.

It’s your choice to live with this tag, readers.

Or why would their lead story of today (February 28, 2016) “VIDEO IS OUT: Kanhaiya assaulted, breaks down, police duck for cover” has no relation at all with the real report, smug as they are with the pig that they believe you are, readers?

Now what this headline tells you: It is that there is video which shows Kanhaiya assaulted, breaks down, police duck for cover, isn’t it?

And what does the actual report tells you?: The report tells you that this video is a deposition of Kanhaiya before the Supreme Court panel.

Spotted the difference? (don’t tell me you are really what Express thinks you are).

So,

The Headline tells you there is a video of “Kanhaiya assaulted.’

The report tells you the video is of “Kanhaiya’s disposition” and not of assault.

In other words, Express believes that you stupid readers wouldn’t go beyond their headline (they actually know their worth, folks). Even if it is the lead story!

Now the next question which crossed my mind was how did they get hold of the video? A smart piece of journalism? That made me look for the SC panelists. One was Kapil Sibal (a multiple minister in the previous Congress government); another lawyer Vrinda Grover who is a board member of GreenPeace whose license to collect foreign funds has been cancelled by the Modi government. Actually Sibal has also been in the programme board of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which has been hauled over to Supreme Court by a writ petition.

I might be suggesting a NGOs+Congress+Marxists+Media collusion here but so dumb are you readers that I am confident I could get away with it without you suspecting anything.

There are usual suspects littered in this edition of Indian Express: Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, Admiral Ramdass, Sharad Pawar, Chidambaram, Nitish Kumar, our revered academic institutions voices (this time it’s missionary college St. Stephen’s principal), going after government on JNU issue. (Actually you must admire Mulayam, Jayalalitha, Mamata, Lalu, Shiv Sena to hold their tongues so far). Central minister Uma Bharti is actually lucky to get two paras in support of Modi, buried many pages deep inside the newspaper.

It’s a rogues’ gallery with Express passing the board-room bulletin as news for us asinine readers.

And don’t you believe anyone loves cricket in this country. On a Sunday edition, there is no front page mention of India beating Pakistan on a cricket field. Never mind this was India’s only seventh T20 match against arch rivals this millennium and that Virat Kohli played a knock which Sachin Tendulkar would’ve been proud to own up. (May be, showing Pakistan in a losing, poor light would’nt suit the agenda).

Fortunately, inside there is a full page interview of about-to-retire Delhi police commissioner, BS Bassi. He has replied on relevant issues but newspaper won’t put a word of it on the front page.

Bassi puts it as it is: without any spin, full of logic and reason. All those reporters and editors who have been baying for his blood, beat a hasty retreat. All that posturing went out of the first window. So here’s what Bassi said on key issues (it’s an abridged version of his quotes):

On The Actual Sedition Case: It’s an open-and-shut case (wow). Under section 124A of the IPC it’s a grave offence. It’s been declared valid by the Constitution. (For police) It’s an extremely easy case.

The law says: “bringing in hatred or contempt or exciting disaffection towards state by words or signs or visible representations.”

I am going to crack this case because I know these are the guys who have done it.

Please read the Kedar Nath judgment of 1962.

Country has to deal with issues in Northeast, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and J and K. We have to have a law to deal with anti-national activities.

Debate happens within constitutional norms. But if it’s an anti-national activity, then it doesn’t remain a debate. Society survives because we respect our Constitution. If all of us start disrespecting our Constitution, the country will be destroyed.

Nobody is letting police do the job. Society as a whole should’ve cooperated with us.

On Kanhaiya, Journalists Beaten Inside Court:

Patiala House is a confined place. Use of teargas, lathi etc would have turned Patiala House into another Jallianwalla Bagh.  It’s a prudent practice which police followed. My prudent policing practices also tell me I should have some space to chase away trouble- creators…If I have no such place, it will turn into nothing but Jallianwalla Bagh.

No footage is available of Kanhaiya being beaten. Journalists were still able to cover the event.

I would call it a technical riot because a real riot means arson and people’s heads being broken.

On Journalists Being Questioned:

It’s our job to ask involved persons and seek their reactions (as part of investigations). The thing has been made bigger than the actual event.

There, you have it.

The thing has been made bigger than the actual event. A case under trial has been considered bigger than over two dozen lives lost in the Jat stir. The Jat Stir case that has an aide of ex-Haryana Congress Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, in an audio, apparently egging on a Jat community leader to escalate the violence.  But that apparently doesn’t deserve any space in our beloved newspaper.

Don’t you think the front page deserved this headline (or even in inside pages):

JNU: It’s an Open-and-Shut Case, says Bassi

So we now know the devil who has been quoting from the scriptures. Who thinks bark is bigger than the bite. Who doesn’t know that it’s truth which can set it free.

So Shakespeare wrote:

The devil can cite scripture for his purpose;

An evil soul producing holy witness

Is like a villain with a smiling cheek

A goodly apple rotten at the heart.

In today’s world of deception and lies, truth is a revolutionary act. It’s up to us readers to hold the flag of truth high. And don’t be the fools that our newspapers think we are.