Archive for the ‘viewpoint’ Category

Swapan on NDTV show on Barkha

November 30, 2010

I was amazed to see Mr. Swapan Dasgupta being part of wash-up and ‘chor machae shor’ on NDTV. Initially, when the show began I tried to sympathize with Barkha thinking that she is just like any another person we meet who is drunk in his/her  success and made a mistake without realizing the consequence of it.

However,  the more I heard her the more I got convinced that it is more of a chor machae shor thing.    I did not understood why Mr. Dasgupta did not stood up for the truth.   May be because he was too polite.  May be because  he is also part of the elite  1984 type  gang which decides what should be given as news to general gullible people.  However,  if this debate is the standard, then I am sorry to say  my respect for news media has gone down exponentially. Although, there were positive signs too.    At least in my opinion, two person came out as hope for media in this whole thing. One is of course editor of Open magzine, who asked lot of sensible question.  Also, he needs to be respected because he did not behave as part of 1984 gang , who thinks that just because they won’t talk about it aam janta will forget about it.   Another person was  Sanjaya Baru, who called Barkha dutta bluff several times.  Of course because, I respect opinion of Swapan dasgupta I was more disappointed with him.  I expected a lot more from him.  Here are my questions to him

  • Why did not you objected when Barkha said her 15 year career was spot free? This is far from truth everyone knows Chetan Kunte’s story.  She has this tendency of  trying to control the story. She did not really managed to come clean in that episode.
  • When she tried to question ethics of Open and Outlook magzine in publishing these tape, why did not you object?  A few people seating at top cannot decide to censor such info from public. These tape even in mildest sense (if we give benefit of doubt to Barkha), gives an impression that Indian media is too cosy with politician-buisnessman nexus.  If we do not give benefit of doubt, the tape definitely create an impression that it is politician-buisnessman-newsman nexus.
  • I do not understand how Barkha can claim that open and Outlook has violated the ethical norm of not publishing  raw tape. At best such supression of valid news is trying to hide each other crime.  In the worst case, (what we saw for at least a week) if a valid news is blacked out it is the kind of moral corruption in the sense of 1984 ala Orwell.
  • I am amazed how NDTV can claim that PR person of two of the largest buisness house in India contacting with one of big media house and asking its star reporter to act as conduit between govt and allies is such a minor story (with all hoopla going about telecom since formation of UPA II) that it did not bother to follow on lead. If they are really that dumb,  I wonder how many head really rolled because of this mistake.
  • Finally,  at least I have not seen such  extra moral consideration in previous sting operations! Is it because your own tribe is involved?

The  points is aam aadmi is shocked with this censoring and  media needs to come out clean on censor issue first.

Imperialism and Islamism: a View from the Left

December 18, 2009

I do not consider  leftism to be enlightened and almost always find their world view to be highly one dimensional.  One of the biggest problem with left is that it is so sure of its moral righteousness that it never question its position.   An interesting  exception, I found today in an article  from Pervez Hoodbhoy

As a product of the Age of Enlightenment, the Left is obligated to uphold reason and the scientific method. It must therefore let facts hold sway over belief. But sadly, even with evidence staring in the face, some comrades seem locked into a state of denial, choosing to direct all their anger towards America and the West – no matter what.

A personal example: a video had just been broadcast on Pakistani television channels (May, 2009). It showed a 17-year old girl in Swat writhing and screaming in pain as a hefty, hooded, Talib thug mercilessly flogged her . She was accused of going to a market unaccompanied by an “allowed” or mehram male member of the family. A rare protest demonstration by Islamabad’s embattled secularists and left-wingers followed. Fearing the suicide bomber, and challenged by hostile students from a nearby madrassa, the small but noisy crowd made its way towards the Presidency. But every cry from one side “Down with Taliban” would find an echo, “Down with America”, from other protesters of the same group. Onlookers were probably confused whether it was the Moulana Fazlullah or Barack Obama that had ordered the flogging.

There are bigger examples. Hugo Chavez certainly gained the admiration of the international left (and mine too, I might add) for standing up to American bullying in Venezuela, but he was exceedingly short-sighted in defending Ahmadinejad against the unconscionable election rigging in Iran. Robert Mugabe, known for his cronyism and widespread use of torture, still receives support from parts of the Left because of his bluster against Britain.