Times of India

Irony died a million deaths in Tharoor’s column

Shashi Tharoor’s edit piece in Indian Express on Saturday reminded me of my probation days in journalism with the Times of India in the 80s. My editor would look at my typed report, run circles in red every second line and send the paper flying towards the dustbin: “What the hell do you want to say?”

Chuckling, I set about circling Tharoor’s piece (see image), and literally ran out of ink. The man is as confused as his party, touching every base and sticking to none. “Jaana-tha-Japan-Pahunch-Gaye-Cheen-Samajh-Gaye-Naa” kind of delirium. A piece as bald as palm of my hand. Let’s stick to a few specific ink-circles, and not all, for I can’t afford to bore and lose you, my readers.

“Our attacks (on BJP) are based on our own convictions and about what is good and proper for the nation”:  So using “neech” and “chaiwala” are part of your convictions. A wild attack on RSS as murderer of Mahatma Gandhi is part of your conviction. Blaming Centre for violence in “Sterlite” is part of your conviction. Blaming BJP for murder of Gauri Lankesh’s murder in your own governed state is based on your conviction. “Ease of doing business” and a “7.7 GDP growth” in your view is not “good and proper for the nation.” Impeachment of Chief Justice of India (CJI) is good and proper in your view.

“Congress’ core belief…inclusive growth, social justice, abolition of poverty, protection of minorities, women, dalits and adivasis”:  Inclusive growth, social justice, abolition of poverty? Are you joking Mr Tharoor? Anyone earning above Rs 33 is not poor is how Congress removed poor and poverty.  Six worst communal riots happened under UPA and you call it protection of minorities. Women? Ask Shah Bano. And remember how you had to apologize for making fun of our own Miss World 2017?  Dalits? That’s why Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar could get Bharat Ratna only in 1990 and that too not under Congress’ regime. Further, why your heart didn’t beat for a murdered Dalit youth leader found hanging by tree in Bengal? Was it because he worked for BJP? Adivasis? Then how did Maoists and Naxalites proliferate in India?

“Congress is political embodiment of India’s pluralism…preservation of secularism”: Your kind of equality under “secularism” doesn’t extend to Hindus and their problems. “Secularism” ought to be equality; not appeasement of minorities. The world “secular” too is an insertion in the Constitution by your leader Indira Gandhi after suspending the Parliament and slapping the “Emergency” on the nation in the 70s. Secularism is nothing but a cloaked dagger by Congress to keep it plunged in India’s heart.

“We too share Hinduism, albeit an inclusive version of the faith, rather than a bigoted one”: Oh really? May we ask you Mr Tharoor where’s your reaction on 24 BJP/RSS workers killed in Karnataka under Congress rule? Where’s Congress’ concern for Hindu lives as they are butchered in West Bengal and Kerala? Show me one tweet where you have offered condolence to Hindu lives lost? Congress standing by Hinduism almost sounds like an abuse.

“The need of Rural India represents political opportunity to Congress (e.g)…the mounting farmers’ suicides”: So, tragic lives lost is a political opportunity to Congress??? But then what else do you expect from a party which clings to a dynasty and cries democracy in the same breath?

“(Congress must) Help citizens in interactions with the police…”:  Now that could only happen if both citizens and police trust you with your intentions. I don’t know how policemen feel after Rahul Gandhi stormed a police station and scolded a policeman in uniform. As for citizens, they still speculate about an unfortunate death in a Delhi five-star hotel as you would recall. Where’s credibility of Congress and its leaders with the citizens of this country?

From housing to transport to potholes-on-roads to drinking water to education to healthcare to public parks to sanitation to waste management, Tharoor leaves little for imagination and a lot for mockery in his piece. Empty rhetoric, typical of Congress, the sound of an empty biscuit tin. Mr Tharoor, irony has died a million deaths in this juvenile piece of yours.

Grand Opposition Alliance? You must be joking

Indian Express ran a front page story on Tuesday with the screaming headline: “Maya to Party: Back SP again in coming bypolls…” Times of India, the same day, ran the headline “Maya won’t support SP in bypolls.” One of them for sure is lying.

It doesn’t take long to detect who’s lying. The Times of India story is based on a press statement by the BSP. It’s exact words are: “BSP will not activiate its cadres in any bypolls in future, the way it did it in Gorakhpur and Phulpur.” The backdrop of these developments is the upcoming bypolls in Kairana and Noorpur assembly seats in UP.

Yet Indian Express has completely ignored the press statement. It’s telling its readers—in line with it’s primary function of propaganda abroad—of a communion between the two “warring kingdoms” even though a schism has occurred. (Meanwhile, it’s gleefully jumping up and down in concocting a schism between Reserve Bank of India and the government as its second front page lead).

So create schism where none exist and bury a schism where it does exist!!! Who bells the cat? Surely not your sanctimonious Editors’ Guild or Press Council of India!

Mayawati may change her mind and support SP in UP bypolls in coming days. But that’s a different matter altogether. The issue for the moment is that Indian Express willfully spikes a story which shows not all is well between “babua and bua.” It also ignores Mayawati chiding an “immature Akhilesh Yadav” for SP’s devious role in the recent Rajya Sabha poll.

Meanwhile Indian Express, which catches even a sneeze of the “piddi”, completely ignores the words of Ranjan Chowdhury. The West Bengal Congress chief has plainly said that “Mamata Benerjee is an opportunist leader.” Chowdhary has claimed that Mamata can’t be trusted as anti-BJP voice. He has cited the instance of Mamata siding with Telangana Rashtriya Samithi (TRS) which in turn supports BJP inside the Parliament. He has accused Ms Banerjee of inviting BJP in West Bengal in the first place, “who espoused the policy that BJP was not untouchable;” and during her regime “hundreds of RSS shakahas were opened.” Chowdhury further says: “In future, if she thinks she will gain more benefit by allying with BJP, she will do it.”

Tellingly, Chowdhury says: “Mamata is aspirational and wants to become the PM. She does not express her desire in words but her actions make her ambition amply clear.”

So there you are: BSP doesn’t trust SP; Congress doesn’t trust Mamata; one part of the left says join Congress, the other says don’t.  And we have Congress declaring in plain words—in the words of Chowdhury—that all “the regional parties want is to ensure that they are able to extract their pounds of flesh whoever comes to power. Or, if they are lucky somebody can become a Chandrashekhar or Deve Gowda (as PM).”  Chowdhury’s words betray the Congress anxiety in case Rahul Gandhi misses out on Prime Ministership.

So this is the bunch of opportunist opposition who don’t care a hoot about what happens to you or me or to this country. All they want is to extract their “pounds of flesh,” as Chowdhury says. Yet our English mainstream media is swooning over the Grand Alliance in offing.

I mean how shameless could they really get!

Why Mainstream Media wants to keep you “uneducated”

There is a good reason to believe that mainstream English newspapers in India keep masses uneducated. Most of it stems from bias. A lot has also to do because journos themselves are uneducated. They can’t speak or write on any subject coherently. At best they are quote-renters. At worse, remotely controlled by compromised bosses, politically aligned. The whiff of money and power also keeps them drugged.

Look at the data issue currently clouding our mornings. Aadhaar of course is unpalatable to these journos. In the name of data breach, for months at end, the mainstream media is trying to discredit it. So when Union Minister of State, KJ Alphons made a spirited defence of it, Hindustan Times on its front page accused him for kicking up a “fresh row.” The stable of Times of India called it “bizarre.” Indian Express buried it on Page 10.

What Mr Minister has done is to ask a few simple questions:

  • Aadhaar only asks for your name and address to go with identification. When a telephone directory can have your name and address, why not Aadhaar?
  • When you apply for US Visa, everything of yours, including your body, is laid bare, so why object Aadhaar?
  • Not a single breach of Aadhaar data has occurred in the past three-and-a-half years.

A sensible and responsible media ought to have reflected and posed these questions to its readers in response:

  • When you give your personal details to earn loyalty points and discounts in a shopping mall, why not Aadhaar?
  • When you give your personal details for mobile numbers, Facebook, banks and passports, why not Aadhaar?
  • When in order to get a blue tick on twitter, you give all your personal information, why not Aadhaar?

Yet, all we get is the minister being accused of being “bizarre” and “kicking up a row.” Row? Who’s in opposition? Obviously the mainstream media itself is offended and nobody else.

Never would you see an English mainstream media applauding Aadhaar for ostensibly eliminating fake subsidies, throwing out middlemen out and; securing direct subsidies to poor and needy. Damn it, I would let government put every bit of me under a scanner if the rampant corruption could be rooted out.

Those in support of corrupt practices are obviously corrupt. The implication is clear for mainstream media. Yet in the name of privacy, they are using hammers and axes of lies everyday to dismantle Aadhaar. And to keep us “uneducated” on Aadhaar’s overwhelming benefits.

Since “data breach” is the current flavour, in the wake of Facebook outrage,the English mainstream media has gone berserk on the NaMo App. Indian Express has spilled over columns and pages in ugly multi-layered headlines on NaMo App to convey private information of its users are being passed on to US companies. This has followed on Rahul Gandhi claiming that the Prime Minister is “spying” on “personal data” of users.

Now all these dim-wit English mainstream media would never care to inform its readers that one could use NaMo App without giving any information. Yes, without giving any information!

The attempt clearly is to hijack the current outrage over Cambridge Analytica’s alleged data theft of Facebook users. Yet English mainstream media would hide the most logical fact from its readers and indulge in hysteria.

Readers ought to be aware of a very common tactics used by these presstitutes while running down BJP and Prime Minister Modi.   Whenever a valid accusation is made by BJP against its opponents—like the engaging of Cambridge Analtyica by Congress—a counter allegation is hurled at BJP and the headlines in newspapers next day read: “BJP and Congress trade charges over Analytica.” This is the same tactics presstitutes use when BJP workers get killed in Bengal or Kerala. Opposition are nudged to similar allegations in return and newspapers next day report: “BJP and Left trade charges on political murders.”

The only option left with the neutral citizens of this country is to call out this “fraud” of the presstitutes. Keep hammering away at their moral credibility till they are left without even a fig leaf to cover their shame.

And keep informing their mistruths to unsuspecting readers who pay for being told lies.

MSM Fake News Monitor: Times of India on Taj

 

(Facebook has set out 10 tools to check Fake News. A few give-aways are headlines, source, evidence and photos. Times of India in today’s edition has been found out in peddling a Fake News).

Times of India today published a Front Page anchor: “Controversy erupts over absence of Taj Mahal from UP tourism booklet.”

The news report, which stretched from Front Page to inside pages and had a few other screaming headlines in between the sheets, is so bogus that I wouldn’t have bothered to pick it up but for the propagandists running away with the Fake News and Social Media full of “communal” Yogi Adityanath and his nefarious designs to push the Hindutva agenda.

I won’t bore you much but here are the facts:

(a) UP government has published a tourism booklet, “Uttar Pradesh Paryatan Apar Sambhavnayen (Uttar Pradesh Tourism: It’s High Potential)” which has mentioned ongoing projects and Taj Mahal doesn’t find a mention in it.

(b) The booklet has mentioned ongoing toruism projects such as ones in Varanasi, Mathura, Ayodhya, Gorakhpur, Devipatan, Naimisharanya, Allahabad, Chitrakoot, Kushinagar, Bundelkhand, Mirzapur and Sonbhadra.

(c) The UP government has also added that indeed a World Bank-assisted Rs. 156-crore development project on Taj Mahal is due and would begin as soon as the Centre’s clearance is secured.

But the Fake News perpetrators and propagandists would have none of it. The fact that Taj Mahal doesn’t find a mention since the booklet is strictly about ongoing projects hasn’t cut any ice with them.

There is no gainsaying by Times of India that it has presented viewpoints of both sides. This story in itself is a non-starter. Tending a sick child in the family isn’t a neglect of the other child. If at all, the UP government deserves praise for maximizing the potential of tourism in the state. And reserving Rs 156 crores for Taj Mahal is better than all those secularist frauds could ever manage.

Thus you have all the jokers lining up and doing their acts. There is Brinda Karat, Raj Babbar, Abhishek Sanghvi and Rajeev Shukla, among others, who are horrified at this “communal” designs on Taj Mahal and how Hindutva is tearing the secular fabric of this country apart.

Times of India, for good measure, remembered Yogi Adityanath having said a few months ago that “foreign dignitaries visiting the country used to be gifted replicas of Taj Mahal, which did not reflect Indian culture.”

And frankly, why there shouldn’t be a word about Taj Mahal? A mausoleum created by an emperor who married his departed queen’s sister as soon as she was dead? I agree this is unrelated as is the fact that thousands of workers were dismembered once the mausoleum was done. There is little doubt that Taj Mahal is beautiful to behold at. But should it stop us from praising our magnificent temples? Does promoting our stunning heritage is a sign of communalism?

The propagandists don’t realize that running down India’s magnificent heritage isn’t palatable to majority in this country. Time is not far when this majority would come out and say; “To hell, with your secularism.”

Hindus have suffered for over a thousand years now. In the past they were ravaged by Muslim invaders and British imperialists. In independent India, it was the turn of modern rulers. Now Hindus are coming out of their slumber. All those who only wish ill of them would be chased down to the end of this world. 

Why Rajdeep Sardesai blocked me on twitter

(This is a reprint from NewsBred).

I found myself blocked on twitter by Rajdeep Sardesai today.

My tweets to him have never been abusive; rarely personal even though there is good enough reason to be so since we shared the same newsroom in the Times of India in the 90s. But I understand that the “Freedom of Expression” is not a two-way street. Stupid, we aren’t meant to practice what we preach.

Still, I was obliged, conscience-wise, to peek into his tweets of the last four days. No, I wasn’t looking for his sermons on illegal Rohingyas. Or if he is disparaging about Bullet Train. Or if he is in the pack of the wolves dancing around the embers of Demonetization. Or if their creativity is still on its feet in stitching “Sangh Parivar” with the murder of Gauri Lankesh.

All the above issues are meant to convey their concern for India. How their heart beats for India’s proud history of welcoming refugees. How India’s economic slide kicks them in the guts. How their souls are scorched at the fanciful waste of Bullet Train. How they die a thousand deaths at the plight of “independent” journalists in today’s India.

Surely, such “conscience-keepers” of the nation would have shed a tear at the demise of Arjan Singh, Marshal of the Indian Air Force, in the Capital on Saturday. I wanted to check on Sardesai, if he has extricated himself from the morass of mud-slinging and spared a thought for the departed hero.

But I found myself blocked by Sardesai!!!

So I did the next best thing. I turned to Sagarika Ghose, his wife. Surely, the woman who has a new biography on Indira Gandhi to her name and thus, by inference, had time to research many wars of the 60s and 70s, would remember late Marshal Arjan Singh and his legendary deeds.

But there’s not a single tweet from Ms Ghose! (There of course is a retweet but that’s like registering a presence in a funeral). It’s so much like Congis–with whom her family has had a roaring stand–who rarely have had a great respect for our military heroes.

Remember the death of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw on June 27, 2008? The then present UPA dispensation in the Centre, were all missing from the funeral of India’s greatest military hero. Neither President Pratibha Patil, supreme commander of our armed forces nor Prime Minister Manmohan Singh; neither the then defence minister A.K. Antony nor the three Service chiefs attended Manekshaw’s funeral.

Manekshaw’s various run-ins with the Indira Gandhi could be the reason. I am not sure if Ms. Ghose has it mentioned in her book—those loyals who have read it must inform me. Or the book has the facts that the 1971 War hero’s status and dues were held up for decades. (It was only due to the initiative of former  President APJ Kalam that a cheque of Rs 1.3 crores was sent to the late Marshal on his deathbed.)

Next I logged on to Sitaram Yechury’s twitter account. He is another one who can’t see his beloved India going to pieces under the Modi regime. It’s another matter that those who protect India’s sovereignty are not quite sure of his time for them. He too wasn’t present, by all accounts, at Field Marshal Manekshaw’s funeral.

Yechury too hasn’t offered any condolence on Marshal Arjan Singh. All he has done is to question Modi government for its indifference to death of India’s “most senior serving military officer.” Indifference? Is the whining Communist leader indeed talking about Marshal Arjan Singh? Isn’t he aware that Arjan’s son Arvind Singh is overwhelmed at the present government’s response to his father’s death?

I next turned to two other Congress Seniors: Digvijaya Singh and Manish Tewari. The two have been much in news for their colourful vocabulary in public lately. Abusive like the drunk thugs you often find on the streets; with little association to decorative representative offices such as ones of former Chief Minister and Union Minister. Digvijaya predictably had no time for Marshal Arjan Singh’s death (does India-Occupied-Kashmir ring a bell?) And Manish Tewari? No prizes for guessing this one too.

You would expect these people to use Marshal Arjan Singh’s death as an opportunity to present their credentials as well-wishers of Indian army, and by inference India. They have often held the grouse that their patriotism has been questioned by Hindutava agents; that they are shown as anti-Indian armed forces. But doesn’t their lack of respect for Indian soldiers and heroes only confirm the impression?

Maybe they thought that Marshal Arjan Singh’s death has come at a wrong time. Only when they were going hammer and tongs against the Modi government, the death of war hero has allowed Modi to showcase his sincerity and respect for India armed forces.  Only, when they had Modi pinned to the wall—or so they thought.

What’s a career without credibility in public life? And what delusion, like a she-Hindi author who painted Modi-praisers as no better than asses in recent days? Better by asses than filth-loving pigs.

Oh yes, and if anyone could update me on Rajdeep Sardesai on Marshal Arjan Singh.

Mr Sibal, you ain’t fooling anyone!!!

Kapil Sibal, former telecom minister in the UPA government, in an Oped article in Times of India (May 2, 2017) today, has urged “Asli Hindus” to distance themselves from Hindutva which, in his view, is nothing but fundamentalism in the name of Hinduism and mirrors intolerance, casteism and a sedition-happy government.

The trouble is Sibal saying so is like the devil quoting from the scriptures. He was the father of the notorious amended 66A section of the IT Act under UPA which could land anyone in jail for three years for “offensive” tweets. Anyone arrested had to apply for a bail under this cognizable offence.

The need for this draconian measure was to crush dissent against the corruption in the UPA government. A Jadavpur University Professor, Ambikesh Mohapatra, was arrested in April 2011 for merely forwarding on email a cartoon on Mamata Banerjee. Similarly, cartoonist Assem Trivedi, in solidarity with Anna Hazare’s crusade against corruption, was arrested and had to shut-down his website.

This was like an Emergency; a true muzzling of freedom of speech and expression. In the end, Supreme Court had to step in and squash the amended 66A Act, terming it “unconstitutional.”

This “unconstitutional” move went all the way up to your door, Mr. Sibal. It isn’t like Una, Dadri or Alwar where Modi government is being dragged for no role of their own.

Indeed, such outrageous were your moves and utterances as a minister, that Supreme Court had to intervene once again and bring the guilty to book. I of course am referring to the 2G Scam.  It was you, as telecom minister, who rubbished all the investigations under the 2G spectrum scam, be it of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), CBI, Justice Shivraj Patil report, or by the one of telecom regulator, TRAI.  You even made the absurd claim that your predecessor A. Raja’s spectrum allocation in 2008 caused no loss to the exchequer!!! It was only after Supreme Court bristled in anger that you had to buckle down. It’s a reminder to you readers that 2G scam was worth 170,000 crores.

After such a “distinguished” record as one against the dissent or contempt for authorities such as CAG and TRAI, don’t you think your moral stances are a little facile? Do I need to remind you of the “intolerance” of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru against iconic poet Majrooh Sultanpuri who was put behind bars in Arthur Jail Road in Mumbai for a year for a rebellious poem penned by him? The poem went something like this:

“Aman kaa jhandaa is dharti pe

kisney kahaa lahraane na paae

ye bhii koii Hitler kaa hai chelaa,

maar le saathii, jaane na paae!

Commonwealth ka daas hai Nehru

maar le saathii jaane na paae!”

(Who has stopped the flag of peace from blowing in the air on this land? Is this someone a disciple of Hitler and we must not let him get away with this. Nehru is no better than a slave of Commonwealth and he ought not to be allowed to get away with it).

Do I need to remind you of the number of sedition cases which were filed while UPA was in centre? Or films which were banned by Congress? And who amended Article 19 (I) to rob people further of their freedom of speech?

This “freedom of speech” and “intolerance” nonsense against the Modi government which is being used to put them in a corner on the Hindutva issue isn’t cutting much ice with the voters of this country. “Asli Hindus” aren’t willing to be drugged any further by anti-India left-liberal-media factions. Newspapers like Times of India could reserve the best space in its edition for your harangues but trust me the people of this country don’t give a damn. Divide and rule won’t work in today’s India.

Sagarika Ghose, which history books are you reading?

An Open Letter to Sagarika Ghose

Dear Sagarika,

 

I read your edit in Times of India today (April 26, 2017). You must remember me for I used to sit next desk to you in Times of India in the 90s. You might as well be remembering K.Dutta, then sport head, who I remember for one particular evocation:  “Its better we laugh amongst ourselves and correct our copy than be a laughing stock to the world.”

Those at desk who ignore this wisdom and clear your copy without cuts aren’t your friends. At best they are fools or at worst, fellow conspirators. They let hacks like you write on subjects about which you knew nothing; and know nothing. If there was a sensible hand on desk, you could’ve been saved this public shame.

First, you start the piece as addressed to Liberal Hindus. I know there is another Hindu on your mind—the Internet Hindu which is a straight lift of the euphemism which presstitutes of the West reserve for Rajiv Malhotra. Don’t tell me that you haven’t heard of Rajiv or that Internet Hindu is your original.

You call upon these liberal Hindus (of your imagination!) to take on the “strident voices” who call for a “holy war” against other religions. Let me tell you no Hindu, yes No Hindu, liberal or illebral, want a “holy war” against other religions. If it was so, you would have heard the war-cry to change the name of “Allahabad” which continues to be one of the most pious holy places for Hindus. Or question the logic of “Lodhi Colony” or “Aurangzeb Road” given the “war” they carried out against Hindus and their temples. Why, even original “Kashi Viswanath Temple” in Varanasi was converted into a mosque and continues to be one to this day.

Hindus don’t want Hindu first. They want India first. But this simple narrative escapes you, either out of ignorance or plain mischief.

You further state that Hinduism has been an amiable religion from time immemorial. WRONG. Hindus were a splendidly martial people. Wish you had read any of the accounts of Greek writers who accompanied Alexander in his invasion of India and declared that very few in the world could match the courage or fortitude of Hindu warriors. Hindus didn’t turn amiable—only their spirit was crushed under the terrible yoke of British. It would be the fate of any people who are under foreign domination. Why even England suffered the same fate after Romans left them after four centuries of domination. England was poked, raided, looted by all and sundry in Rome’s aftermath.

You then mention Akhlaq, Pehlu Khan, attacks on movie directors, meat-eaters, rationalists as a mark of “strident Hindus” which must be kept in check by liberal Hindus. May be this is your concept of “war” which is mentioned in an earlier para. By this definition, any issue of law and order must be placed at the doorstep of “Strident Hindus.” If I may ask you, why Muzaffarnagar riots don’t form a part of your description? Is it because the then government was headed by Akhilesh Yadav, a non-BJP government?

Why this concept of war doesn’t include merciless hacking of BJP workers in Bengal and Kerala? Why is that calling Maa Durga as prostitute by Left-Liberals doesn’t upset you? Why not a word when the Azaadi brigade keeps silence on soldiers or CRPF men being martyred? Why no reflection on Kashmiri Pandit exodus?  But Akhlaq and Pehlu are Muslims and serve your purpose on communal lines. It’s no different than the British Raj who divided India on communal lines. I can see such protagonists are still working overtime to break-up India.

You take your nonsense further by writing that Hindus never sought political power. Which history or religious books you have been reading Ma’am? Hindus have always believed that “shastra” and “shaastra” go together. That’s why you see our gods, Ram, Krishna etc with a weapon in their hands. ALWAYS. It’s not “Krishna, Ganpati are playful” as you mention.  “Shaastra” can’t be defended without “Shastra.” Real Hindus know that. It’s been an old ploy to keep Hindu placid and non-violent, that “Amaan ki Aaasha” nonsense, which Britishers made good use of—by also promoting Mahatama’s Ahimsa—that served to keep their subjects docile. Please don’t try this trick on us. Not Again.

You say that Hinduism survived because of its “inwardness” despite enjoying no political patronage. Again which history books have you been reading.? All these splendid temples came up without any political patronage? The trouble is you have been reading books which treat North India’s history as the real Indian history.  They had a motive in ignoring Pandyan, Chola, Chera, Satavahana, Pallava, Kadambas, Gangas and Chalukyas history.  You are a spokesperson of the same divisive brand. It won’t work. No longer, Ma’am.

There are other inane references—such as “Azaan” issue,  social medi trolls—which turn your piece nothing better than a rambling. The “Azaan” issue was not just about one religion. Sonu Nigam had called for a similar restraint on all religious noises. Social media trolls, well but for them, presstitutes would still be up to their tricks. Now they are being questioned and their lies are being made public. Indeed, they are the copy-editors you must submit your copy henceforth.

Padmavati: History as per se Times of India

My first instinct on reading this Times of India (29.1.2017) headline was that the likes of Romilla Thapar and Irfan Habib have been pressed into service by that bird of the same feather, the English Mainstream Media. The actual piece though relies on the evidence of two Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) historians and one from Delhi University.

First thing first. The reporter could’ve asked 10 different historians and would have arrived at a completely different conclusion if she had chosen so. That’s the first bias, the report is not balanced which is the first lesson a journalist is taught but probably this one was given a licence to be illiterate.

I need to dwell on Romilla Thapar and Irfan Habib as my reflex reaction for these two Left-Congress promoted, pampered and fattened historians for decades peddled the lie that Saraswati River never existed and that Aryans indeed drove the original inhabitants of our land into southern India on whom the title of “Dravidian” was affixed. The Aryans gave us Sanskrit language and Vedic literature which we ignorant believed to be indigenous. Both claims have been proved to be bogus. There has been no evidence of Aryan invasion in India, our genealogy has been shown to be unbroken for 8,000 years, Or for instance this matter of Ashoka’s remorse after Kalinga War is humbug. This is THE real history. But if you go to interpreters like Thapar and Habib, or for that matter these illiterate AMU scholars and DU professors, you surely would arrive at the bogus confirmation of your own agenda..

This brings us to the history bit. We all know history is written by the conquerors. You write what you want to be read. You hide what you want to hide. That’s the method every historian adopts. Surely, our despicable English mainstream media does. India treats its history not as “Itihasa.” It’s always people’s history, not kings. That’s why you don’t find any king’s burial in Mohanjodaro or Harappa or for that matter in Kalibangan, Rakhigarhi, Hanumangarh etc.

Itihasa” as History is an  affix West stamped on us in order to hijack and distort our cultural heritage. In India, Itihasa is never removed from oral traditions. It relies more on “smriti” (memory) and “shruti “(oral) traditions, not on written documents. It’s because our Rishis and Yogis understood that history will always be victim of misrepresentation. That’s why Hinduism has never relied on historical timelines which is central to Islam, Christianity and Judaism—all Abrahamic religions.  Our Rishis and Yogis relied on smriti and shruti. India has always relied on oral traditions, not on written traditions which West employs less to document but more to twist and manipulate to their own ends. History is never for masses to understand in West. They are subjected to State control. That’s why you have so many historical societies in West. Trust me, the history that reaches us is mostly fraud.

History must never be treated in literal sense. Certainly not in written manner. Those tales which are passed on orally, through shruti, are far more reliable chronicles than the documents which paid historians and propagandists like English mainstream media indulges in. In such descriptions, 100 years from now on, the deaths of Akhlaq and Rohith would duly find mention in history but the deaths of BJP workers in Kerala, Karnataka or in West Bengal would go completely unreported. That’s history for you.

So in that sense, the reporter’s attempt to say Padmavati is not history is right. By another logic, those who say that Padmavati is real history are also right. It’s defenders could “historically” claim that Khilji’s lust for Hindu queens is an unassailable fact. Khilji fell for  Queen Kamala Devi  of Gujarat and the daughter of King Ramachandra of Devagiri. Even Amir Khusro, the court poet of Khilji, in his Khazain-ul-Fatuh, makes a covert allusion to Padmavati episode.

This illiterate reporter states that Allauddin Khilji was India’s most able administrator. She probably hasn’t read of the 20,000 boy-slaves Khilji kept in his harem. She probably hasn’t heard of Jazia Tax or thousands of temples Khilji destroyed. Or Khilji and Malik Kafur dalliance. She chose what good Khilji did. She ignored what was equally true but didn’t suit her agnda.That’s history for you. She says that the “Padmavati episode” was used to demonize Islamic empires. “Demonize” Islamic empire? So were they paragons of virtue?  Isn’t this assertion scandalous?

Only one question to this reporter is enough to put her in spot: If Padmavati is a legend that Hindus have fostered how come they could do it as a subject race? Isn’t it possible that they relied on “smriti” and “shruti.” And hence no written records. Could it be that the chroniclers of Islamic rulers never allowed any written record of that period to survive? The fact that Padmavati has survived in the cultural memory of this land is enough to treat as “sacred” No need to affix it with the burden of “Itihasa” or history.

Where’s Your Freedom of Expression, TOI?

Times of India in its editorial today has cried bucketful on the “harmful” influence of social media on the “news-professionals” like them, and other mainstream media. It offers a sanguine advice to Facebook to wake up to the “fake and misleading news that are downright fabrications.” The edit writer has no doubt that the US polls have been influenced by false information posted as “news” on social media.

For too long news professionals—of which I was a part for three-decades and more—have believed that they know best. For large part of my career I was an international cricket writer and believed only insider knows what’s happening. There was an air about me which suitably got punctured when CricInfo came on to the scene. There was initial mocking, disdain which turned into grudging acceptance to downright admiration for their language, insight and imagination in due course. Men like Rahul Bhattacharrya, Dileep Premchandran and Sidharth Monga earned deep respect with their work.

Sport was one such instance. There were separate fields like politics, social commentary, historical references which began receiving fresh winds of change. Many of us “professional news” gatherers began picking up the minds on social media. Our copies were better for it; our insight only got richer. Most of my fellow print journalists reading this piece would admit, if they are honest, that a lot of their “reporting” happens on the phone only. This claim to being “professionals” is so stupid. At least 99 per cent of we “professional journalists” wouldn’t have read 10 books in our lifetimes.

The Times of India edit increasingly begin pontificating. It says that social media may lead to “medievalisation” of the global community. “It would give spurt to tribal instincts—in the form of racism, xenophobia or communalism—that is exploding around the world.”

Really, how stupid you can get. Newspapers at best offer a bridge of communication between public and public institutions. It ought to put both viewpoints in perspective. But the mainstream media of today completely eschews this role. In its worldview, the unheard must not be heard; the unspoken must not be allowed to speak. The “have-nots” of this world have no reason to question the “haves” to which the modern media is a part. These ivory towers of the world are increasingly being smashed as BrExit and US polls reveal how removed they are from reality. The credit for it squarely goes to “social media” where people are connecting, sharing information and forming their own opinion. You look at our newspapers and you would know who is promoting “racism” and “communalism.”

So troubled are mainstream media with their shaken foundations that they refuse to examine the evidence that is out there in open in social media. For example there is this piece which completely exposes Arvind Kejriwal in a sting operation called K-files. But you wouldn’t find our mainstream media taking it up. Or that most of our mainstream journalists are offered “cushioned” posts by the Delhi government. Again, you wouldn’t hear a murmur. There are pointed referrals to how mainstream media is giving disconnected headlines with the text.  NewsBred has relentlessly exposed this “misinformation” and “spreading of lies” but you would never find a Times of India putting the lens back on its tribe.

The NewsBred links below would offer dozens of such deliberate “misreporting” and “twisting” of facts. If this is what Times of India has in mind by way of “professionalism” the readers are better off without it. The mainstream media is increasingly becoming not worth of our time and certainly not of our money.  This closed shop has crumbled but the rats can’t feel the boiling water in the tub.

http://www.newsbred.com/bjp-asks-express-apologize

http://www.newsbred.com/meet-ndtv-new-ngo

http://www.newsbred.com/barkha-want-freedom-media

http://www.newsbred.com/hindustan-times-no-better

http://www.newsbred.com/press-council-express

http://www.newsbred.com/does-express-has-anti-hindu-agenda

http://www.newsbred.com/you-must-doff-your-hat-times-india

http://www.newsbred.com/express-jnu-devil-quoting-scriptures

http://www.newsbred.com/indian-express-drops-ball-again-jnu

http://www.newsbred.com/express-must-censure-itself-richard-verma-story

http://www.opindia.com/2016/10/man-who-spread-fake-story-about-gau-rakshaks-says-he-did-it-because-he-hates-hindus/

http://myvoice.opindia.com/2016/10/rebuttal-to-column-beyond-the-war-cry-posted-in-indian-express/?_ga=1.268354574.1802080866.1476026352

https://twitter.com/rajeshpadmar/status/767703946026549248

http://www.newsbred.com/hindustan-times-no-better

http://www.newsbred.com/indian-media-sick-and-hurting

http://www.newsbred.com/reuters-and-other-lies-south-china-sea

The so-called “news professionals” are just sound-byte carriers. They go to the source which is likely to offer them the point of view they wish to publish or telecast. Unlike in social media where the news and information is more rigorously debated and evidence is provided with. Every opinion is open to challenge on social media. Unlike the closed shop that mainstream media has become. Mainstream Media is in deep shit and they know it.

Times of India ends its piece by urging Facebook, Twitter and Google to put a limit on social media. This is the same newspaper which cried hoarse when former Union Minister Kapil Sibal tried to put a restriction on facebook and twitter. The “freedom of expression” doesn’t concern them now.

Of Pentagon, China, India and NSG

The lead story this week by Chidanand Rajghatta in Times of India this week is factually correct on both its major points: (a) China is building forces on Indian borders and (b) China is thwarting US-supported bid for India’s admission into the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The report also states that Pentagon has warned of China’s increasing military presence in various parts of the world.

It’s understandable that millions of TOI readers would be alarmed; and inclined to see US as friend as China as an enemy with aggressive intent. This narrative needs a bigger picture lest the Indian subcontinent, and Asia, is gripped with a heightened arms race. After all, a nuclear flashpoint in South Asia is arguably the greatest threat to life on our planet.

First, the Pentagon assertion that China is increasing military presence around the world. The truth is, it’s US which is operating/controlling around 1000 military bases worldwide, according to International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases. So much so that Pentagon “owns” the biggest land bank in the world. Over 50 percent of world’s weapons are supplied by US corporations.

Just a few weeks ago, US signed a deal to have five military bases in Philippines. US army has a “Pacific Pathways” program where it coordinates joint military operations with Australia, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Mongolia, South Korea and Thailand. Obama administration has approved the sale of1.8 billion dollars worth of weapons to Taiwan, the biggest such weapons supply in years. South Koreawas the leading US arms importer in 2014.

US is hell-bent on controlling the air and seas near the Chinese mainland from its bases in Australia, Guam, Japan and South Korea. A new semi-official report, by the Washington-based Center for International and Strategic Studies (CSIS) details plans for Pentagon’s preparations for war against China. The report titled “Asia-Pacific Rebalance 2025: Capabilities, Presence and Partnerships,” chiefly targets China.

The report is commissioned by the US Department of Defence, at the behest of Congress, under the 2015 National Defence Authorisation Act. It spells out Pentagon’s overall strategy for war against China, known as AirSea Battle.  This involves massive air and missile strikes on the Chinese mainland aimed at destroying key military assets, infrastructure, communications, economy and political leadership. It also involves an economic blockade of China by disrupting its maritime trade route through Indian Ocean. The report is a master plan to boost arms race in Asia that would inevitably place the region and Asia at a holocaust risk.

Enters India into the picture. There is little secret that India is into a massive drive to boost its nuclear and missile capability. Its defence budget has increased by 12% in 2014-15 to over $38 billion. It’s now collaborating with Israel in missile defence technology. It plans to mount MIRVs on nuclear-capable Agni V missile. Indeed, India is one of the leaders in global arms import. Indian Missile Defence Shield is for real.

Given the wariness with which Pakistan and China view India’s armed preparedness, and vice-versa, it’s logical that an arms race has ensued. The Indo-US Nuclear Deal of 2008 hasn’t helped matters. And now India and US have signed a 10-year defence framework agreement. Thus, to portray China’s presence on Indian borders as proof of its aggressive intent needs to be viewed in totality.

Now to India’s 48-nation NSG membership issue. Presently, it comprises mostly of OECD countries although it also includes nations such as Argentina, Brazil, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Turkey and Ukraine. It doesn’t include India. That’s because NSG itself was formed in 1975 in the wake of India’s 1974 test explosion of an atom bomb. Since nuclear mercantilism is also important for rich nations, they made the distinction between nuclear weapons and nuclear power and created NSG. As they say, all is fair in business and war.

The truth is, US wants India—like it does with Indoensia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines—to be tied down in military alignments and facilities to counter China.  It wants a US-led front against the growing might of China. As NewsBred reported last year, US would love a China-India holocaust. It’s nobody’s friend.

If China were to place its military forces off Californian coast and discuss plans to carpet bomb the American mainland, the response of US is easy to guess. And yet, that’s exactly what Washington is doing in its “Pivot to Asia.” It’s up to India, China and Pakistan that they de-escalate rather than spiral the arms race. Trusting each other is better than be a pawn to a master who wants nothing but Asia in flames.