Tag Archives: Sanjay Gandhi

‘Indian media’s bias ominous for democracy’

New York City-based human rights and media activist Partha Banerjee, in Counter Currents, detects an eerie similarity behind “the media-supported rise of Rahul Gandhi” as the next potential prime minister of India and the rise of Rajiv Gandhi and his brother Sanjay:

“I must say I’m frustrated to see the rampant bias in favour of the ruling party [in the Indian media]….

“The role of government as well as private media such as Zee TV, NDTV, Star-Ananda, CNN-IBN, The Times of India, etc., along with their many local and regional offshoots, to show extreme bias for parties and candidates of their choice is gravely ominous for democracy.

“”Contrary to the much-touted American media doctrine of a fair and objective reporting—doctrine they always preach but seldom practice—the new Indian media have resorted to an unrestricted, one-sided coverage of the Congress Party and its leaders.

“Sadly, even now during the election times, voters can find nearly no reporting of the fact that a vast majority of Indians still have no access to health care, education, drinking water or electricity. One wouldn’t know that in India, a world-record number of farmers committed suicide because of economic desperation and multinational companies’ forced seed-bank replacements.

“We don’t hear about the destruction of Indian environment and massive pollution and energy crisis. We don’t hear about the extreme lack of women’s rights (sure, we now have more fashion shows and jewelry models on the catwalk!). We don’t hear that India is now the fastest-growing AIDS country (and contrary to Thailand or USA, talking AIDS is still very much a taboo).

“We don’t know that police brutality and abuses on social and religious minorities are abysmal. We’re never told that international organizations have called India as one of the worst countries to protect human rights and promote equality. We’re not reminded that India has seen a massive number of communal riots, big and small, in recent years: not just in Gujarat, Ayodhya or Mumbai. And that our governments have failed miserably to protect us from terrorism.

“And that is why Indian media’s suppression of truth and generous donation to ruling class’s rampant lies are even more worrisome. In their election coverage today, opposition parties find minimal amount of time and importance. Third parties and especially those who have mass support to boycott elections are not given any time at all. Big media have belittled opposition alliances, and brought them to ridicule.”

Read the full article: Incredible India (Elections): Jay Ho!

Also read: How the media misses the woods for the trees


How media misses the poll woods for the trees

RAJEEV RAO writes from Bangalore: Watching the coverage of the 2009 general elections the last few days, I am struck by how little coverage there is in the electronic media on any governance issue that really matters.

It is all about alliances, breakups, hate speeches, Varun Gandhi, criminals, Sanjay Dutt, who will be prime minister, etcetera, etcetera.

I understand that these are compelling topics.  But is there no time that any media could muster to talk about and grill the wannabe leaders about what they are going to do after getting elected?

It is as is the purpose of elections is elections itself—and not governance.

At least these wannabe leaders will start thinking and preparing about it rather than coming and glibly talking and supporting or condemning Varun Gandhi.

It is not that the voter is not bothered about issues. Yes, he is probably too busy trying to point out to the media that these issues matter as well.  But, he will listen if politicians present their view on real issues, he will evaluate and at least a few will separate the wheat from the chaff, and those few might just matter in the end in a close election.

There are enough and more issues to cover—corruption, terrorism, reviving economy, infrastructure development, women’s reservation, reservation (this will mean more fights on TV, but better before elections rather than after on this one), rural education, primary education, healthcare, girl education, foreign policy, the list can go on.

The last three chief ministers got re-elected only for one reason: governance (Sheila Dixit, Raman Singh and Shivraj Singh Chauhan), and that is the only thing that is completely missed out in all election coverage.

Or I have completely missed the point on the Indian elections?

Crossposted on churumuri.com