Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Indian media at it again -The Chaplain Saga and Karan Thapar

Many people must have read about the differences of opinion between Arun Jaitley and Sudhanshu mittal/Rajnath Singh. The media has gone to town saying that the BJP is breaking apart and are trying hard to make this an important issue in the polls. Add to this the Charlie chaplin controversy emanating out of Karnataka! The truth shows that the media was involved in creating this baseless story. Now these so called "eminent" personalities of the art and literature circles threaten to carry out a protest march! It must be mentioned that all these people whose names are in the article are known hindu-baiters.

One can only conclude that the media is trying hard to distract the public from the reall issues of Christian separatist terrorism in the North-East, Islamic jehadi terror all over India, Christian missionary attacks on hinudism, Bad economy, Poor foreign policy, Corruption................

Here is an interview of Ravi Shankar Prasad by the great pseudo-secular Karan Thapar. I think Devils advocate is a very appropriate name for this segment!


The questions he asks are very disappointing and borders to scolding a child as to why he behaved in a certain way! Ravi Shankar Prasad keeps his cool (just barely) and this just gets more on Thapar's nerves.

Sample this,

1. Karan Thapar: The reason he took that drastic step was because at no point during the negotiation did the BJP do what was the rational, sensible and logical thing to do: which is to say to him we understand you want a reallocation of seats, this is the minimum we can live with.
You never indicated what your minimum was, instead delayed, you prevaricated, you added anger and concern to his already frustration, you misread him and you mishandled the negotiation as a result.
Ravi Shankar Prasad: I am afraid Mr Karan Thapar, we do not need to have negotiations to please Karan Thapar. (Brilliant answer) We are old handlers of allies. As far as Mr Navin Patnaik is concerned, we have fought the Lok Sabha together and the assembly elections together, and therefore we trust each other. These kind of hagglings keep going on in the initial state. And finally we comes to a stage when we find a way out. That way out was not allowed to be found out! That happened because of pressure from the allies, his friends in his party who were keen to break up the alliance for their own sake. Navin Patnaik would reject the same.

(Thapar acts as if BJP is responsible to him)

2. Karan Thapar: Are you saying to me that today, when the BJP has become a story itself on the frontpage, has it not done any damage to your image?
Ravi Shankar Prasad: No, I can only tell you this. One cannot be very happy about it, to be very honest with you. But the way in which you are presenting it, is something that I do not buy at all. There are issues and they will be addressed. There is no problem.

(Now, who is responsible for making it front page news?!!!)

3.Ravi Shankar Prasad: I do grant you the flourishes of your English.
(Good retort)

4.Karan Thapar: When? You keep saying that they will be addressed.
Ravi Shankar Prasad: I am not supposed to be accountable to Karan Thapar.

A very good counter interview by Arun Jaitley!


Arun Jaitley: Survive to do what? Five-year ago if a television carried a programme which was critical about my party, I will be deeply concerned but today the credibility is going down. There are such a large number of channels these days that an individual channel doesn’t matter, what really matters in news content of a large number of channels is - cinema, cricket, crime, occasionally some crisis and even in those crisis there will some shallow tangential news which will be passed off as a breaking news and therefore the credibility of that news even of that survived or commercially driven channel is not very high.

Arun Jaitley: Are we rushing to instant conclusions because they make more attractive headlines, I think politicians have conventionally went for this kind of populism, but is media also going for it?

Arun Jaitley: I’ll give you two or three illustrations which have deeply disturbed me. Five or six months ago, we had a severe situation in Jammu and Kashmir, a province that matters a lot to India - you had the land row at the Amarnath Shrine Board, you had a reaction in the valley and you had a counter agitation to a counter agitation - now you had serious journalists commenting that the time has come that we must think seriously if Kashmir goes, it goes and then five or six months later you have elections which are perceived to be fair elections. How do you explain what was being written by serious political commentators six months ago?

(Thapars answer shows he is a Kashmir Separatist sympathizer)

Arun Jaitley: Come recently, you had campaigns over the last few years on how strong the anti-terror steps are against a particular community. And suddenly after the Mumbai attacks of 26/11, the same set of serious channels of electronic media started deflecting from the real issue. They whipped up anti-politician sentiment, whereas the issue was how India can tackle terror. Now is that a serious approach to journalism which mainstream media can have?

Arun Jaitley: I can quite understand media informing, media educating, media holding a mirror to the society and to individual politicians. But media doing such u-turns takes the credibility from one of the strongest limbs of Indian democracy.

Arun Jaitley: Of course. Take for instance the headlines on electronic media. Till 25/11, the Malegaon incident was Hindu terror. And 26/11 the slogan was - terror has no religion.

Arun Jaitley: Coming to another point. You’ve interviewed a large number of Pakistani politicians and representatives. Watching you interviewing them, (reading) your columns, I’ve always got the distinct impression that you’ve stood for making borders irrelevant and a greater cooperation between the two countries. How do you as a political commentator - post 26/11 - see the situation today?

Check out the webiste for Thapar's answers. I only wish Jaitley was more prepared with facts and news paper cut outs and taken Thapar to task on his partisanship instead of letting him go so easily!

For someone who wants to know the ideology of Mr. Karan Thapar, here is an article by him stating his stand very clearly,

A befitting reply is given here


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