Thursday, August 17, 2017

Partition of India: The British and the BBC continue to be imperialist fraudsters they've always been

Compare this brief Partition documentary produced by BBC with a number of YouTube videos produced by amateurs like Sanwal Dhami, Desi Infotainer, IK Pind Punjab Da, Keshu Films Multani, Muhammad Sarfraz, and you will be convinced that this imperialist propaganda organisation has not even learnt the basics of sensitively reporting on a human society in 94 years of its absolutely shameful existence. This BBC clip is a beautiful example of how misleading imperialist propaganda can be produced in which people of the Indian Subcontinent are portrayed as emotive fools who are hopelessly divided among themselves on the basis of caste and creed. The sketchily, insensitively and selectively put together footage of the tearful response of a Muslim man returning to the house he was born in in India is contrasted with a British accented voice-over that is supposed to be "clinically observant, calm, rational and dispassionate". The viewers are supposed to feel the pathos arising out of BBC's reduction of Partition of India into a silly melodrama (with no sensible resolution) and be immensely thankful for the calm rationality that the British accented voice-over (and the consoling hug of British raised son of the Muslim man) provides to the emotional and disunited fools that people of the Indian Subcontinent are. Needless to say the British continue to be the colonial-imperialist butchers, spreaders of falsehood, sowers of discord, and shameless fraudsters. We need no less than an international tribunal to try the British imperialist criminals for the monstrous crimes against humanity that they have committed in the last three centuries. And BBC represents the very worst and the most mendacious of colonial-imperial propaganda broadcasters. I think there is a clear case for a social boycott of BBC across the former British colonies and for a demand that this shamelessly imperialist propaganda organisation be closed down.

The following are the Web links used in this post.

1. 'This is not my country' | My Family, Partition and Me: India 1947 - Episode 1 | BBC One

2. Sanwal Dhami's YouTube channel with videos featuring people of Indian Punjab who were witness to the Partition.

3. Desi Infotainer YouTube channel that has published a lot of Partition of India stories told by Pakistanis.

4. IK Pind Punjab Da channel on YouTube with videos that feature old Pakistanis who'd first-hand experience of the Partition of India.

5. Keshu Films Multani's YouTube channel that has short documentaries featuring people and families who had to flee their homes in what became Pakistan in 1947 and to settle in the divided India, primarily Haryana.

6. Muhammad Sarfraz's YouTube channel with videos featuring people in Pakistan who were witness to the Partition of India.


Friday, July 28, 2017

Here's a reminder of the 'undeclared Emergency' of the UPA-II era that elicited no 'Award Wapsi'

Published way back in September 2012, this interview with R. Jagannathan, the then editor of Firstpost, dates back to UPA-II era. 

It is a striking illustration of all the government intolerance, censorship, intimidation, even Emergency-like situation that was going on then -- not to mention massive corruption scandals like 2G and public outrage over them.

One is absolutely struck by the likeness that the issues raised by the interviewer, Madhu Trehan of News Laundry, bear to the issues that are being raised now in the Narendra Modi era in order to build the false narrative that Modi's rule has pushed India into an abyss of barbarism and totalitarianism.

Trehan talks about cartoonist Aseem Trivedi's arrest, Kapil Sibal's crackdown on social media, censorship (including of Jagannathan's article on Chidambaram), journalist Kanchan Gupta's having been summoned by a high-level government panel for answering questions on something he published, and such other issues and idiocies and ineptitude of the government led by Manmohan Singh.

Trehan even wonders if an Emergency like situation is upon us because of all the imperious and repressive measures taken by the UPA-II government.

So this interview brings before one's eyes the frightful scenario that prevailed in the year 2012 without a large section of the Media and 'Award Wapsi'/'Not in My Name' gang hollering that an undeclared Emergency was upon us as they have been doing ever since Narendra Modi has become the prime minister.

Watch the interview to understand what a massive fraud this section of the Media and 'Award Wapsi' gang have been perpetrating on the people!

Following is the Web-link used in this post.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Anand Ranganathan rips apart the fraud that the media has been perpetrating on the public

Here is a lovely article by Anand Ranganathan (who also works for News Laundry that I recently criticised in one of my blog-posts) on the criminal level of selectivity shown by the media in India in building a false narrative that Narendra Modi government has pushed India into an abyss of barbarism.

Published on 29 April 2017, this is not just an opinion piece, but a veritable research piece with a large number of citations of reportage, including news of what was going on during the tenure of the previous government.

The following are the comments I posted below the article, headlined 'Farook And The Art of Selectivity', on the News Landry website.

It's a lovely article and I have nothing but respect and admiration for Anand Ranganathan for embedding in it a whole lot of reportage to substantiate and enliven his argument. 

I am gratified that Ranganathan has used in the headline the name of Farook who was murdered in March 2017 in Tamil Nadu by some Muslim fanatics for making public his atheistic views -- without the media, except the Indian Express, making even a whimper over Muslim intolerance and terror.

It's because Farook's death occurred when I was doing some of my own research into threats to social media users and bloggers in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

And I was absolutely stunned to see that ordinary social media-using 'Muslims' across the entire social-media-scape of these three countries have virtually turned into Al Qaeda or ISIS when it comes to openly abusing and threatening people who can even remotely be imagined to have used critical words for Islam or its prophet.

There is absolute terror going on on social media platforms from 'Muslims', complete with the vilest 'Ma-Behn' expletives and abuses.

I personally reported, for instance, some of the posters of abusive, even murderous, videos on YouTube, including one in which a Muslim man resolves to hunt down and kill Ashu Parihar, a young Indian woman, whom he accuses of having insulted the prophet, and even gives two of his phone numbers to potential informers.

There is another video featuring a Muslim man, apparently a Pakistani, who calls the young woman a whore and many other hate-filled names, invokes Modi ("Modi jaise ke kutte desh mein rahne wali"), and threatens to kill her.

None of these videos has been removed by YouTube and none of them has become the subject of mainstream media's reportage.

So a gargantuan fraud and a criminally selective level of propaganda has currently been going on in India with active involvement of the mainstream media.

Even the better reporters in the media, such as Indian Express that ran a very special 'Junaid Lynching' edition on 25 June 2017, have been guilty of high levels of criminal selectivity to build a narrative that suits them.

I feel that almost all journalists of the mainstream media have turned into trolls. Everybody is a troll now!

And the worst of them are guys like Siddharth Varadarajan and jokers like Prem Shankar Jha who published on 25 June on The Wire an entirely mendacious propaganda piece -- complete with whoppers like Kumar Vishwas and Kapil Mishra belong to the RSS! -- on how an undeclared emergency is upon us. 

The following are the web-links used in this post.

Monday, June 26, 2017

भारतीयों, अपनी संस्कृतियों और परम्पराओं को 'रिलिजन' कह कर अमृत को विष न बनाओ!

'रिलिजन' एक विनाशकारी अवधारणा है. इस से दूर रहने की आवश्यकता है.

भारत के वह लोग जिन पर 'हिन्दू' का लेबल लगाया जाता है
(a) उनका न तो कोई एक गॉड या अल्लाह है,
(b) न कोई एक क्राइस्ट या पैग़म्बर,
(c) न कोई एक किताब,
(d) न कोई एक 'डॉक्ट्रिन' या अक़ीदा, न कोई एक कलमा,
(e) न कोई एक चर्च, न कोई एक मक्का-मदीना,
(f) न कोई एक पोप या एक खलीफा की संकल्पना,
(g) न किसी चर्च को समाज की आस्था और नैतिकता तय करने का अधिकार,
(h) न कोई एक ही तरह की हज का हुक्म,
(i) न कोई सुन्नत पर चलने का हुक्म,
(j) न कोई एक कौम या उम्माह की संकल्पना,
(k) न किसी तरह की खिलाफ़त को कायम करने की अवधारणा,
(l) न सवाब (इनाम) पर आधारित जिहाद की संकल्पना
(m) न औरों को 'कन्वर्ट' करने का जूनून,
(n) न मिशनरी या तबलीगी जमा'अतें कायम करने की धुन,
(o) न सारी दुनिया में अपने चर्च या मस्जिद बना कर जनता को कंट्रोल करने की कोशिश,
(p) न किसी तरह का कोई कैनोनिकल लॉ या शरीअत,
(q) न किसी तरह की कोई एक्युमेनिकल या वैटिकन काउंसिल जो 'डॉक्ट्रिन' में बदलाव करे,
(r) न इस तरह की मान्यता या चेष्टा कि जिसे हम सत्य मानते हैं वह संपूर्ण विश्व पर लागू किया जाना चाहिए,
(s) न यह दावा कि हमारे तरीक़े पर चलने से ही मनुष्य को साल्वेशन या निजात मिलेगी,
(t) न apostasy या इर्तिदाद (‘रिलिजन’ को त्यागने) की अवधारणा और न उसकी सज़ा का डरावा.

तो फिर जिन लोगों पर 'हिन्दू' का लेबल लगाया जाता है वह किसी 'रिलिजन' को मानने वाले कैसे हुए?

और जिस चीज़ को 'Hinduism' कहा जाता है, वह एक 'रिलिजन' कैसे हुआ?

अपने आप को ‘ईसाई’ कहने वाले अपनी ‘ईसाइयत’ को ‘रिलिजन’ कहते हैं. वे ईसाइयत के ‘इतिहास’ को यहूदियत से जोड़ते हैं. सो यहूदियत भी ‘रिलिजन’ कहलाई.

अपने आप को ‘मुस्लिम’ कहने वाले अपने दीन को यहूदियत और ईसाइयत से जोड़ते हुए ‘पैगम्बराना’ परम्परा की अंतिम कड़ी मानते हैं. सो उन्हें भी अपने दीन को ‘रिलिजन’ कहलवाने में कोई आपत्ति नहीं.

पर जिन लोगों पर 'हिन्दू' का लेबल लगाया जाता है उनका 'रिलिजन' जैसी वाहेयात अवधारणा और साम्राज्यवादी व्यवस्था से कोई सम्बन्ध नहीं है.

बल्कि यह भी कहना पड़ेगा कि भारतीयता में 'रिलिजन' जैसी कोई अवधारणा लेश मात्र भी नहीं है.

‘रिलिजन’ में संस्कृति से परे एक बनावटी सामूहिकता और सबकी एक ही आस्था होने का ढोंग है, जबकी ‘धर्म’ की अवधारणा ऐसी है कि प्रत्येक व्यक्ति का अपना निजी धर्म हो सकता है.

‘रिलिजन’ में सोच, आस्था और कुछ हद तक सांस्कृतिक व्यवहार के मामले में समन्वयता (syncretism) को अस्वीकार किया जाता है ताकि सबकी एक ही आस्था होने का ढोंग बना रहे, जबकी भारतीयता की तो आत्मा ही ऐसी समन्वयता है.

इसलिए ‘धर्म’ रिलिजन नहीं है.

और ‘रिलिजन’ धर्म नहीं है.

यदि ‘हिन्दू’ कहलाने वाले लोगों में थोड़ी भी समझदारी है तो वे अपनी विविधता-पूर्ण संस्कृतियों और परम्पराओं को ‘रिलिजन’ की विनाशकारी अवधारणा के ढाँचे में ढलने से रोकेंगे -- न कि स्वयं ही उन पर 'रिलिजन' का झूठा लेबल लगाकर अमृत को भी विष बनाने की मूर्खता करेंगे.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Of course students should be able to burn Adityanath's effigy but there is hate and falsehood in broader propaganda

In this video clip posted today (25 June 2017) by News24 TV channel on YouTube, the anchor discusses an order by the proctor of Allahabad university in Uttar Pradesh that says students cannot burn the effigy of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath because he is some kind of "Dharmacharya".

Having viewed only a part of this interview, I offer the following cursory comments.

Students' "virodh" is obviously "political"; it's nothing but "politicking". So anchor's question is stupid.

Also idiotic and laughable is the university proctor's contention that Adityanath is some kind of "Dharmacharya".

I think Adityanath is a pretty silly kind of politician who may not even receive the perfunctory respect that people usually give to politicians.

However, the most idiotic and mendacious comments have been made by All India Students Federation's (AISF's) Rahila Parveen who repeats the stale and obviously false accusation that Modi government has been trying hard to gag dissent and opposition.

Any nincompoop who reads newspapers or watches TV or surfs the Net can see that the Media has been floating with most caustic of criticism -- and even abuse and vituperation -- directed against the Modi government right from the time it took office on 31 May 2014.

Today (25 June 2017) Indian Express, for instance, has published a very special 'Junaid Lynching' edition -- all to build the narrative that Modi government has pushed us into a situation where "Hindus" of India are openly threatening, killing and lynching innocent Muslims.

Social media has taken the cue and people have gone berserk in hollering on Twitter that 'Hindus are killing Muslims'.

Junaid's lynching is a horrible act of criminality resulting from fight between two groups of young people on a train and should be condemned, but using it to build a narrative that Modi government is getting Muslims killed is blatant falsehood and hate-filled criminal and communal act in itself.

The same false and hate-filled propaganda was spread around the killing of Zafar Khan in Rajasthan.

What Rahila Parveen and others of her ilk are doing is spreading falsehood and hatred.

The following is the web link used in this post.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Yoga -- and India -- has nothing to do with colonial-imperial system called 'religion'

In this video clip of a TV discussion on International Yoga Day posted on YouTube, a woman anchor and two men discuss the nature and purpose of Yoga. 

The elderly of the two men -- who appears to be Jewish -- says he has been practising Yoga for the last 35 years and has benefited from it.

In response to the anchor wondering if Yoga originates from "Hindu religion", the elderly man says anyone -- a Jew, a Muslim, a Christian -- can practise Yoga without such practice having any bearing on their "religion".

Here is what I think about their discussion.

Not only Yoga, India itself has nothing whatsoever to do with 'religion' which is a concept that only applies to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

'Religion' is a concept that has always been totally alien to India's diverse cultures.

India has never produced anything remotely resembling 'religion'.

So there is no such thing as 'Hinduism' the religion.

The same can be said about other alleged 'religions': 'Buddhism', 'Jainism', 'Sikhism', etc.

India has always had great diversity of cultures and embedded within that cross-pollinated, syncretistic matrix have been various Bhakti Margs, Gyan Margs, Panths, Sampradayas, etc.

None of those Bhakti Margs, Gyan Margs, Panths, Sampradayas, etc., has any similarity with 'religion', i.e. with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

'Religion' is a colonial-imperial system that anathematizes 'syncretism' which is the active principle of all human cultures across the world.

By anathematizing 'syncretism', 'religion' acts as an 'ethnocidal' force in the world.

That is what Judeo-Christianity and Islam are. They are an 'ethnocidal' force.

They act against all human cultures across the world and seek to undermine cultural autonomy and cultural syncretism.

Judeo-Christianity and Islam supplant cultural autonomy and cultural syncretism by stultifying heteronomy and homogeneity.

By undermining cultural diversity and creativity, Judeo-Christianity and Islam also pose a threat to the very survival of human species on Earth.

The following Web-link has been used in this post.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

News Laundry scrubs out Zee News's hypocrisy... and its own!

In a video clip posted on YouTube on May 5, News Laundry (of Madhu Trehan) lampoons Zee News for its hypocrisy in preaching against "media-corporate, media-politician nexus" while practising exactly the opposite.

“The teeny-tiny problem with the show was that it was being aired on, umm, Zee News, by, errr, (Sudhir) Chaudhary,” says the text accompanying the video clip produced by Aaditya Rakheja of News Laundry.

I can see quite well “the teeny-tiny problem” with Zee News pointed out by the News Laundry.

However, I can also see another "teeny-tiny problem" with the issue that News Laundry has highlighted, but deliberately omitted to mention, namely that all mass media companies -- and not just Zee News -- are neck deep in corrupt media-corporate-politician nexus.

Abhinandan Sekhri alias 'Nikku' of News Laundry, for example, is one of the oldest associates I know of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Sekhri is the founding trustee along with Arvind Kejriwal of the latter's NGO called Public Cause Research Foundation (PCRF).

His association with Kejriwal goes back earlier than 2008 when I had started to work with Kejriwal and his team. So I know him personally.

I have never known Sekhri doing any worthwhile journalism, but I recently found myself sitting through an interview he had done with his old pal, Chief Minister Kejriwal, on the occasion of the unveiling of Pran Kurup's book.

That interview was remarkable for Sekhri’s pusillanimity and Kejriwal's brusqueness.

Sekhri did not do a very good job of sounding intellectual and 'politically' mature without asking, of course, the obvious questions of his old friend -- such as 'How far have you gone in pushing forward the investigation and prosecution of various scams perpetrated by the Sheila Dikshit government?'.

(That was Kejriwal's campaign promise. Remember? And has come back to haunt the AAP Supremo.)

Sekhri (and News Laundry) has also been understandably silent on the Rs 200 crore PWD scam  -- not to mention fund-raising scam (illegal payments made to AAP by Mukesh Kumar and Hem Prakash), medicine and ambulance procurement scam and other scams -- of the government led by his old buddy Kejriwal.

It's rather interesting that a news outlet run by the brother of Sekhri's employer at News Laundry has recently carried the sleazy details of Kejriwal's PWD scam in which chief minister's brother-in-law Surendra Bansal has also been involved.

The pot calling the kettle black, News Laundry?

While calling into question the trustworthiness of Zee News' reportage, the holier-than-thou News Laundry failed to mention the fake news purveyed by a number of supposedly "sober" media outlets. 

For instance, I recently posted a blog that talks about a fake news about a "coup" in Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) peddled by the Wire, NDTV, the Quint, Janta ka Reporter, The Deccan Post, and India Herald. 

Prannoy Roy of NDTV, of course, has had long association with Kejriwal too, often reflected in things like removing an inconvenient story from the "independent" news channel's website.

(Shouldn't someone see the "media-politician nexus" here, involving media outlets like News Laundry and NDTV?)

Even news agencies like ANI have been getting into the act, filing stories such as the one discussed here that can't be deemed anything but fake news.

So News Laundry's arrogation to itself the role of 'launderer' of Zee News without looking at itself and the rest of the mass media is no less hypocritical and dishonest than the latter's preaching of media morality. 

The following web links have been used in this article in the order of occurrence.


Monday, June 12, 2017

The Religion of Peace: Learning to Kill in the Holy Month of Ramzan!

There is an interesting post on Facebook page 'Secular Pakistan'.

It’s a colourful invitation by Jamiatur Rasheed, a Deobandi madrasa in Karachi, asking Muslims to register for a programme at its campus in the ongoing holy month of Ramzan, which includes a presentation on Ghazwa-e-Hind (final Islamic battle for India).

The notice can also be found on The Picta (online Instagram posts viewer) where it has been posted by Majlis-e-Ilmi Society which is one of the institutions of Jamiatur Rasheed-Karachi.

The Davanagari transcript of this notice is given at the bottom of this article. 

The notice calls upon Muslims to register for '
Itikaaf' -- an Islamic practice of staying in a mosque for a certain number of days and devoting oneself to ibaadat and learning -- at Jamiatur Rasheed; the registrations closed on Sunday, June 11.

The charge (including boarding and lodging) for the 'Itikaaf' at Jamiatur Rasheed, including a presentation on Ghazwa-e-Hind as well as classes on blessings and jurisprudential issues of waging Jihad, is Rs 2500.

The invitation also cites free Wi-Fi at the campus.

A person seeking registration was required to bring a surety of a ‘reliable personage’, a photo copy of his ID card, and two photographs.

Jamiatur Rasheed, which claims to provide free Islamic education to its regular students and boasts a computer lab and a swimming pool, publishes four magazines on Islam, including a children's weekly in English called 'The Truth International'.

According to the Wikipedia, "Ghazwa-e-Hind or the final battle of India is an Islamic term mentioned in some "good" Hadiths in particular predicting a final and last battle in India and as a result, a conquest of the whole Indian sub-continent by Muslim warriors."

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

CBI raids on Prannoy Roy: suppression of dissent within media organisations

Government is not the only suppressor of voices of dissent. A lot of suppression of dissent also takes place within media organisations.

I'd say that to people discussing the CBI raids on NDTV founder Prannoy Roy's homes, in general, and NDTV executive editor and anchor Nidhi Razdan in particular.

In a discussion on DD News over Monday's CBI raids on NDTV founder Prannoy Roy's homes, elderly journalist Urmilesh talked about journalists being booted out of media organisations for fighting for wage board (which recommends salary hikes of media personnel).
Urmilesh seemed to suggest that while there is lot that's wrong with the media scene in India, the government has chosen to focus only on the wrongdoing of NDTV's Prannoy Roy.

Urmilesh's point reminded me of Press Trust of India (PTI) where I worked from 2000 to 2005.

At PTI we used to get salaries and salary hikes according to wage boards and the top-most demand of the employees union would be for a new wage board to be set up.

Urmilesh's point also reminded me of how M.K. Razdan, then editor-in-chief and CEO of PTI -- who is also the father of NDTV executive editor and anchor Nidhi Razdan -- engineered a division in the PTI employees union causing prolonged workers' unrest, even violence, and leading to firing of several employees. The division in the PTI employees union -- which was effected by handing favours to the workers who sided with Razdan -- weakened the collective bargaining power of the workers as well as the voices of dissent and turned PTI into an even more authoritarian organisation than what it already was. As for his own career, Razdan had such a relationship with the governing board that he got many extensions to his tenure as editor-in-chief and CEO of PTI, which added up to about 15 years over his age of retirement. All service norms were twisted to favour Razdan who drew top-bracket salaries and perks for over two decades during his stewardship of PTI. His salary was reported to be Rs 25 lakh per month early this year when he was reported to have finally retired.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Prannoy Roy is ‘independent media’ and Kejriwal is ‘Swaraj’

We 1.3 billion Indians are “officially” living under “Goonda Raj” because Business Standard columnist Ajai Shukla’s former employer Prannoy Roy is being investigated by the CBI for allegedly causing losses of Rs 48 crore to ICICI Bank.

“Prannoy Roy of NDTV being raided by IT Dept. (sic) India officially a Goonda Raj, anyone critical of govt will be crushed by official machinery,” Ajai Shukla tweeted on Monday.

What is “official” in India?

That which members of the extended NDTV club say is “official”.

And Prannoy Roy the individual is equal to the “independent media” in India as Nidhi Razdan, another member of the NDTV club, suggested in her tweet on Monday.

“A message to those in the media who are still independent and do their job by fearlessly asking questions. We won't be intimidated,” Razdan tweeted.

NDTV gave a demonstration of its “independence” on Monday by suddenly withdrawing from its website, without a word of explanation to the writer or the readers, a blog -post authored by sacked Delhi minister Kapil Mishra in which he lays bare some of the dirty tricks and false propaganda that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been employing to smear members of his own party.

The blog post headlined ‘Yeh hain Arvind Kejriwal ke Brahmastra’ was uploaded on NDTV Hindi website late Sunday evening. That’s when I read it.

It was no longer on the website this morning.

Linked below is an Aaj Tak report based on Kapil Mishra’s blog post.

Mishra tweeted this morning about the removal of his blog-post from NDTV Hindi site.

बहादुर @ndtv ने AK की सच्चाई वाला मेरा ब्लॉग बिना बताये हटाया। AK का नाम आते ही NDTV के लिए सिर्फ बागों में बहार है।

Censoring material that favourite politicians like Kejriwal find uncomfortable is just one instance of the “independent” journalism that NDTV does.

It has long been acting as Kejriwal’s propaganda aid, serving to spread his canards, as I explained in a blog-post of my own on 15 May.

I wrote about how NDTV had put out a ridiculous story based on information from unnamed AAP “sources” (obviously Kejriwal or his gang) about a “coup” attempted by party member Kumar Vishwas against the ‘Supremo’.

Kejriwal, the NDTV Indian of the Year 2011, has been duly returning the favour to his old friend “Dr. Roy”.

“We strongly condemn raids on Dr Roy n NDTV group. Its an attempt to silence independent and anti-establishment voices,” Kejriwal tweeted on Monday.

Nobody knows more about “independent and anti-establishment voices” in the media than Kejriwal.

In March 2014, he famously declared that TV channels had been paid “heavy amounts” to promote Narendra Modi and that, if his party came to power, he would send all of those media people to jail.

(The Broadcast Editors Association had then condemned Kejriwal's "irresponsible" statement with the words that “BEA feels that such statements are a conspiracy to dilute the credibility of media.")

It’s a different story that it’s Kejriwal who was caught on camera the same month pre-scripting and fixing an interview with Punya Prasun Bajpai of Aaj Tak.

And I still remember the summer of 2011 when Kejriwal personally told me that he’d had enough of Shekhar Gupta (editor of Indian Express which was then acerbically critical of Anna Hazare-led Jan Lokpal Andolan) and “we are now looking for some ‘material’ on him” to pay him back.

As for “Dr. Roy” of NDTV and Arvind Kejriwal, it has been a long association.

I can trace it at least to 2009 when I was working with Kejriwal on ‘National RTI Awards’ and NDTV was one of our media partners in publicizing some of the success stories emerging from that exercise.

Kejrwal then had a hotline with “Dr. Roy”. I recall “Dr. Roy” sometimes directly texting Kejriwal from his summer retreat in Dehradun.

But then, it was a time when Kejriwal’s love affair with the media was blossoming.

ZEE News (of Subhash Chandra, now a BJP-sponsored member of the Rajya Sabha) had even given him a 15-minute exclusive slot in the evening on 3-4 days of a week to explain his concept of ‘Swaraj’ to the public.

Kejriwal has long since fallen out with ZEE News and has been branding that and some other channels as biased against him.

Far from sending to jail media people, who received “heavy amounts” to promote Modi, Kejriwal the Chief Minister has been appointing journalists on the governing bodies of colleges in Delhi as the Caravan article linked below explains.

“Sharad Sharma, a reporter at NDTV who is on the governing body of Kamla Nehru College with (Saba) Naqvi, has written paeans to Kejriwal’s honesty and integrity on NDTV in Hindi,” said the Caravan article published in June 2016.

“When he went to cover a rally last year before the elections, where Kejriwal was due to appear, he wrote about the ever-increasing crowds to see Kejriwal thus: “the crowd not only listens to Kejriwal, but shouts slogans when he pauses for a break between his words.”

So Kejriwal has a very exacting definition of “independent and anti-establishment voices” in the media.

Meeting his standards is as difficult as putting Sheila Dikshit or Mukesh Ambani in jail.

I still remember Kejriwal was curiously never asked about the clearly dubious nature of the 'political alternative' drama staged in July-Aug 2012 (the last round of Anna Hazare-led Jan Lokpal Andolan) when he appeared in NDTV's Hum Log soon after the event, even though he was so nervous (through fear that somebody would ask that question) that he blurted out that "it could not have been staged".

That Hum Log programme was hosted by Ravish Kumar who often talks very piously of how an intolerant establishment is bearing down on media's right to ask questions.

But then, don’t forget what the members of the extended NDTV club or “honest” politicians like Kejriwal tell you.

Prannoy Roy = “independent media" in India.

CBI investigation into Prannoy Roy’s financial skulduggery = “official Goonda Raj” in India.

Kejriwal = ‘Swaraj’ in India.

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