Saturday, February 5, 2011

Martyr Sandeep Unnikrishnan's uncle death–Facts that were never reported!

Uncle of Martyr Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who attempted self-immolation on Thursday outside Parliament, died on Friday night. One would have expected media to report such a shocking incident as headlines. but it is shocking that media is going overboard to downplay the incident
K Mohanan, a native of Kozhikode in Kerala, poured kerosene on his body and set himself afire outside Gate No 4 of Parliament House near Vijay Chowk. He was admitted to the Lohia Hospital with  98 percent .
Most of the media houses (NDTV, Hindustan Times, Indian Express) report the cause of his drastic action as
"He was disturbed at the death of Sandeep. He wanted to feel the pain Sandeep might have suffered when he was shot at by the terrorists,"
Hindustan Times in their report 26/11 hero’s uncle sets himself afire report
told doctors at the Capital’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital that he wanted to “feel the pain that his nephew must have felt”.
NDTV in their report 26/11 hero's uncle sets himself on fire, dies says
Mohanan had told doctors that he was unhappy at the way the victims of the Mumbai attacks were treated by the government. "He was disturbed at the death of Sandeep. He wanted to feel the pain Sandeep might have suffered when he as shot at by the terrorists," the official said.
Indian Express in their report Self immolation: 26/11 martyr Maj Unnikrishnan's uncle dead says
Mohanan had told doctors that he was unhappy at the way the victims of the Mumbai attacks were treated by the government. "He was disturbed at the death of Sandeep. He wanted to feel the pain Sandeep might have suffered when he was shot at by the terrorists," the official said
IBN  in their  report Unnikrishnan's uncle dies after immolation bid goes even further and reported the cause of his drastic action as unknown
Although it was not clear why he took the drastic step, some reports say he was disturbed over his nephew's death. He was apparently also upset with the government's apathy in treating 26/11 victims.
The impression we get from all the media reports is Mr. Mohanan took the drastic action to “feel the pain Sandeep might have suffered when he was shot at by the terrorists” and “upset with the government's apathy in treating 26/11 victims”. Note the operational word is victims of 2611 not perpetuators of 2611!
Media Watch fails to understand how a person who suffered 98% burn would be able to narrate reasons for his drastic action! It is plain that there is much more than what media was reporting. Media Watch after much search stumbled upon following information which sheds new light on the incident
A diary was recovered from Mohanan's belongings which revealed why Mohanan resorted to this extreme step.  The diary read,
“the administrators and representatives of the political parties could not do anything for the victims of the 26/11 attack. It was actually a war against two nations. Wasn’t the decision that was taken by the government on the Kandahar incident a reason for the Mumbai attack?... Anyone can come to India and do anything in India... Indian democracy is a curse for India itself... the enemies are utilizing this... why is the government delaying the introduction of a bill in Parliament against terrorism?.... Democracy should be for the well-being of the nation, and it should not make way for terrorism... Sandu mon (Sandeep Unnikrishnan) you are forgotten every passing day... but I will never forget you.”
Now we know why Govt was overzealous to suppress this information!
It is more shocking to know that Media knew that K. Mohanan was going to commit self immolation, they instead of trying to stop or save him, preferred to record the incident ! According to police
K Mohanan informed a few mediapersons, who parked their OB vans outside Parliament House, before taking the extreme step. Some of them recorded the incident on their cameras without anyone trying to save his life.
Yes you heard it right!  A screen shot of one of alleged videos is below. Media Watch is SHOCKED

Media Watch contacted IBN for clarification on this issue. IBN replied that "by the time journos reached, he had already immolated."

Screen Shot

Martyr Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s uncle dead


Reading between lines - Rahul supports foreign varsity bill

Media headlines announced Rahul Gandhi supports foreign education bill

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi has supported the foreign universities bill at the parliamentary standing committee meeting of the Human Resource Development Ministry on Monday.

So noble indeed. Who will not support such a noble venture of providing quality education to India. Except for you know the usual suspects

There has been opposition to opening up the Indian higher education sector to foreign players by Left parties and BJP.

But wait a sec, why is BJP opposing

BJP MPs are understood to have raised the question of foreign universities not being required to provide reservation for socially and economically backward students. Sources said that BJP MP Kirti Azad argued that keeping foreign universities outside the ambit of reservation would result in keeping children from disadvantaged sections out of these universities.

So if we read between the lines. Is Rahul Gandhi pushing for a Foreign Education Providers' Bill in which foreign universities are not required to provide reservation?

Rahul Gandhi we know of is a strong votary of reservation, atleast in public. Its only last year while interacting with students at National College, Basavanagudi he defended the policy of caste-based reservation in education and employment.

What changed between last year and this year? Also, should the headline not read, Rahul Gandhi supports foreign education bill without reservation?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Let the cat fight begin

No marks for guess, who is she referring to.

Censorship by ‘pay-to-print'– P. Sainath

This was published in The Hindu on February 4, 2011

The year 2010 saw journalists, their associations and unions hold more conferences and seminars on one professional issue than any other. And it wasn't on the Wage Board or the Radia tapes. Hundreds of journalists across the country attended these meetings. Dozens stood up and spoke of their own experiences of the subject. Of how it demoralised them and ruined their profession.

Yet, the main topic of their discussion found no mention in the very newspapers, magazines or television channels they work for. Sometimes, the fact of the meeting being held, perhaps as an event attended by a High Court judge, was reported. But the subject discussed was not. In newspapers and TV channels, choking with stories on corruption, this is the one story you are the least likely to see. The media are their own worst censors when it comes to reporting on ‘Paid News.'

Just before the 2009 Assembly elections in Maharashtra, a large newspaper group in the State brought its editors together for a meeting in Pune. A lively discussion ensued on who would win the elections and the extent to which money power would play a role. Generally, it was agreed, winning a seat in the State legislature would cost Rs. 3 crore to Rs. 5 crore. (That was a huge underestimate, given the expenditures that actually followed.) With 288 seats in the Maharashtra legislature, a party had to win at least 145 in order to rule. This meant an expenditure of between Rs. 435 crore and Rs. 725 crore by the party or front that triumphed. On just the winning candidates.

The editors discussed a few known names of those who had that kind of money power. At this point, the daily's financial managers spoke up. If there's that kind of money being spent, said the cash-box boys, we should get a decent share of it. What, after all, is election expenditure but campaign and propaganda expenses? Detailed plans for ‘pay-to-print' were soon under way in one of the biggest media groups in the State.

Other groups were already ahead of them. A couple of them had already gained on this front during the parliamentary polls. The taste of success in that round had whetted their appetites.

Maharashtra, after all, sees more money than any other State being spent on worse things. Some media groups set themselves targets of 20 to 30 per cent of what they perceived would be the money splurged by the major candidates. Some even assigned cash targets to their different branches. This did not mean forgoing money from the defeated contestants or even the ‘other side' or front. It simply meant that you targeted a lower level of recovery from them. Losing candidates, alas, don't pay up.

Paid news comes in many packages: pre-paid, post-paid and yet-to-be-paid, for instance. There are also deluxe tariffs and aam aadmi tariffs, the former in crores, the latter in lakhs. Sadly, these media groups met, even exceeded, their targets.

But it's not just during elections that paid news or its Euclidian variants occur. The crazy saturation coverage of Davos in some channels was not caused by breathless public interest or media curiosity. It had a lot to do with ‘partnerships' and corporate subsidies the public can't see, and won't be allowed to see. Some channels sent out ‘rules' to their journalists of things that just had to be done. Rules with no particular journalistic rationale at all.

Now we have yet another Group of Ministers, yes, one more, to deal with Paid News. Has the Prime Minister reviewed its composition? It could end up hugely embarrassing to have a member of the GoM whose family owns a major newspaper that could be affected by any inquiry. Or another who, it might turn out, has represented corporate media groups in the past as a lawyer.

“Any news or writing appearing in a media (print or electronic) for a price in cash or kind in consideration” — that is how the Press Council of India (PCI) defined ‘paid news' last year. A lot of this, of course, boils down to advertising disguised as news coverage. In the 2009 elections, powerful media groups connived at the violation of spending limits in the polls by rich candidates and parties. Paid news did more damage to the media's coverage of those polls than any other factor. (Meanwhile, the odium the media earned themselves in the 2009 polls and after, saw this year's Padma awards giving journalism a wide berth. Less Padma, More Lakshmi?)

It is a scam worth more millions than anyone can accurately estimate. Most other institutions of Indian democracy and regulatory structures have tried doing something about it. But in the free media, there was a costly silence. Consider this: the Election Commission of India (ECI) has tried hard to curb the menace with a strong crackdown that actually saw candidates in the recent Bihar elections pulled up in over 87 instances of ‘paid news.' The ECI has also drawn up new guidelines and rules to help its officers spot and stamp out what is essentially a media management-driven racket. It now has a special division dealing with money power and paid news. And it has taken up a major case: of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan's huge media blitz during the 2009 election campaign.

Almost nothing of this has been reported in the media, barring The Hindu and a couple of other publications. The hearings in the Chavan case have been fascinating too — with near-zero coverage. The ECI, normally treated with great respect by the media, has seen many of its initiatives on the ‘paid news' front simply being blanked out. So the public gets to know very little about how alive the ‘paid news' issue is. Will the case get bogged down in challenges of jurisdiction and in the courts, or will we see a decisive result, given the firmness of this ECI? As news, or as an issue, it ought to fascinate the media. But there is silence because, while Mr. Chavan stands accused, it is the media who are on trial.

Or take Parliament. It saw an astonishing consensus on this subject. The issue came up through a vital calling attention motion moved by Sitaram Yechury of the CPI(M), a clinical dissection of the problem by Arun Jaitley of the BJP, and with members from all parties in total agreement that ‘paid news' was disastrous for democracy. Across the spectrum, MPs demanded an end to the practice. Not a word on this Parliament debate appeared in most of the media. Much earlier, the country's Vice-President had detailed the ‘double jeopardy' that paid news placed Indian democracy in. One, it wrecked the concept of a fair and free press. Two, it undermined the democratic electoral process of the nation. Later, President Pratibha Patil voiced her concern over the damage this was doing to free media.

Or look at the Securities and Exchange Board of India. SEBI was disturbed by what ‘private treaties' between the media and private corporations were doing to news. (These ‘treaties' opened the floodgates for paid news.) It felt that such backdoor deals where corporates pay media companies in shares for advertising, plus other favourable coverage, could mislead investors. They “may give rise to conflicts of interest and may, therefore, result in dilution of the independence of the press vis-à-vis the nature and content of the news/editorials in the media ...” SEBI, therefore, got the PCI to make mandatory the disclosure of any such links. It sought to ensure that such disclosure would have to be made in any “news report/article/editorial in newspapers/television relating to the company in which the media group holds such stake.” Following this, one of our largest dailies carried a tiny line below a piece linked to the Lavasa private city project in which it admitted to having a minor stake. In the kind of font size that had Sherlock Holmes reading newspapers with a magnifying glass.

The PCI set up a two-member sub-committee, which produced a devastating 71-page report on Paid News (see The Hindu, April 22 and August 5, 2010). Buckling under pressure from powerful media owners, the PCI then betrayed its own ideals and the public by suppressing its report. However, that report is freely available online, even if banished from the PCI's website.

So the ECI, Parliament, SEBI and top political leaders have all contributed to the fight against the slaughter of honest journalism. Even the spineless PCI did so, before deserting ship. But in the media there is near-total silence. True, there are the exceptions. And the fact that all those journalists went public at those meetings shows how deep their resentment runs. But institutionally, the media's failure is huge and, if not reversed, will extract a terrible price. The corporate media have censored the Paid News story, browbeaten their own journalists and cheated the public of information it has every right and need to know.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

None of Media Houses reported this sad and shocking news as Headline

As media in India is busy reporting Egypt and more fashionable news, Uncle of Maj Sandeep Unnikrishnan has attempted to immolate himself. Reports suggest he was upset by slow pace of 26/11 Probe.  He has been admitted to hospital with 70% burns.

Media Watch prays for his fast recovery and shares his disappointment and frustration. It is more disappointing that Media which should be showing this as headline has totally blacked this out from their main news!

TOI which has even space to publish news like Kangna's secret tattoo for beau in front page does not have space for this news in their front page. 

IBN has published it in their sidebar

Please let media know your outrage!

The untold facts about “Harsher Report”on the attacks on churches

Last week finally Justice B.K. Somasekhara Commission of Inquiry appointed by Govt. of Karnataka to inquire into the incidents of attack on Christian places of worship in Dakshina Kannada submitted his much awaited report. During the course of Inquiry, the Commission received 1019 petitions and examined 754 witnesses spread over a period of 300 days of judicial sittings. 34 Advocates representing various concerned sections of the society including the Govt. presented their case before the commission and the final arguments were heard over a period of 53 sittings. As many as 2437 documents were marked by the Commission as exhibits in addition to 34 Material Objects in the form of Electronic storage documents.
According to the commission findings
There is no basis to the apprehension of the Christian petitioners that politicians, BJP, mainstream Sangh Parivar and state government directly or indirectly are involved in the attacks
Justice B.K. Somasekhara Commission of Inquiry may have given a clean chit to Sangh Parivar but it seems that NDTV is not willing to rest the matter. NDTV in their news article Karnataka church attack: A harsher report digs up another report by a former judge of the Karnataka High Court Justice MF Saldanha who conducted parallel independent inquiry. According to Justice MF Saldanha’s “independent inquiry”
state police was involved in the attacks, and that the then Bajrang Dal state leader, Mahendra Kumar, says he was asked to carry out the attacks by government representatives.
Justice MF Saldanha is within his rights to conduct an independent inquiry. But NDTV should have been more responsible while reporting this news. It seems that knowingly or unknowingly NDTV missed out some salient facts about this news. 
NDTV failed to inform that Justice Michael F. Saldanha is president of the Catholic Association of South Kanara! Yes you heard it right… Justice Michael F. Saldanha is president of the Catholic Association of South Kanara (a district in Karnataka also known as Dakshina Kannada), Dakshina Kannada is the place where violent incidents had taken place! It is difficult to believe that a Inquiry conducted by  president of the Catholic Association of South Kanara would be impartial. In fact, Justice Saldanha himself says
any commission or inquiry set up by the government to investigate its own actions in unlikely to be impartial.
Wont the same logic be applicable to Justice  Michael F. Saldanha  also?
Also, Justice Michael F. Saldanha has always been harsh critic of BJP govt in Karnataka. He was among Christian leaders who opposed the state government passing a bill aiming to ban cow slaughter as
the move targets food habits of religious minorities
International Institute for Religious Freedom in a report India: Anti-Christian Violence Soars in Karnataka reports Justice Michael F. Saldanha views
Brahmins from Udupi district and Mangalore city have played a leading role in Karnataka's Hindutva movement. This is unsurprising, as Hindu nationalism is driven primarily by Brahmins desperate to preserve caste privilege. As those at the very top of the Hindu caste system, powerful Brahmins have the most to lose from any spread of Christian egalitarianism. So they are compelled to fight Christianity -- unless of course, the Holy Spirit transforms and humbles their hearts
It is shocking that a Justice of High Court could hold such views!

In view of the above, NDTV should introspect whether a inquiry report from Justice Michael F. Saldanha would be impartial or not? If it cant be impartial wont NDTV be misleading its viewers

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Media sensationalizing a trivial matter

This entry is pertaining to news item 'They closed my account as I am a Muslim'  which appeared in NDTV, IBN and MidDay.

The headline of the news gives an impression that Syndicate Bank closed the account of one Khalid Ali Abbasi was closed because he was a muslim. NDTV reports

He went to find out why his ATM card was not working. He came back insulted and abused. His fault? He was a Muslim. Khalid Ali Abbasi, an 18-year-old Political Science student of Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, had gone to Syndicate Bank's Yamuna Vihar branch on January 22 to inquire why his ATM card was not working.

It is really difficult to imagine that a bank would close an account because of someones religious affiliations! Moreover, a Bank Manager cannot unilaterally close an account in violation to banking guidelines! If you read further down the actual cause become more clear.

Khalid Ali Abbasi asked the bank manager why his ATM card was not working, he was told it takes 24 hours for the card to get activated. Dissatisfied with reply, He started throwing tantrums. He said he was not keen on opening an account with Syndicate Bank in the first place and then he threw his passbook on Bank Managers table and told him to close his account, saying he was not interested in banking with Syndicate Bank 

The above sequence of event looks more likely and believable.

NDTV and MidDay should be more cautions in choosing their headlines. Sensationalizing sensitive issues can have disastrous effect on society 

IBN further sensationalizes the issues by linking it with an earlier report by them where they had alleged that muslims find it difficult to get accommodation. IBN says 

an investigation carried out by media website Cobrapost revealed that Muslims in Indian metro cities were finding it difficult to get accommodation.

It is shocking how IBN is trying to blow a minor incident out of proportion, This controversy about difficult  in getting accommodations is not new.This was first raised by Shabana Azmi in 2008 when in an interview she claimed that she and her husband Javed Akhtar could not buy a flat in Indian city of Mumbai due to religious discrimination. In the same interview, She had even claimed that

Indian democracy unfair to Muslims

But according to some in film fraternity, she owns not 1 not 2 but four flats in Juhu, and a house in Khandala. The fact remains, there are certain Parsi societies that do not allow non-Parsis. In Bandra, there are many societies that do not allow non-Christians. There are some who do not allow Hindus who eat non-vegetarian food. Ask any bachelor who have lived in Mumbai he will narrate the same story irrespective of his caste, color or creed. This doesn’t mean secularism and democracy of our country is in danger


Propaganda war against BSY continues–now TOI takes lead

If it was MidDay yesterday, today its TOI. In front page news today, TOI has reported

Astrologer Bhanu Prakash Sharma told TOI he has suggested the CM offer suryanamaskars in the nude for a couple of days. This is to ward off the evil forces which may pose a danger to his life and post as the 'CM's celestial configurations" are changing.

It is shocking that entire news is based on claim from a single person. and it seems no effort was made to verify the facts.

Media Watch would like to remind media that during the height of Radiia controversy, one of main complain from involved journalists was that they were not contacted to verify the authenticity. Why cant Journalists extend the same consideration to others?

Screenshot of TOI News


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Outrageous Article in Midday

This entry to Media watch pertains to extremely distasteful reporting in Midday. We can understand Middays zest to condemn beliefs of BSY but it donot give them the right to misrepresent and insult Hindu beliefs.

Midday claims that Bhanuprakash Sharma, the CM's family priest has advised him as

"His zodiac sign is Scorpio. Rahu will enter this sign shortly, which could mean that his enemies might harm him. Such dasha brings insult and shame. To overcome this, naked surya namaskara is performed,"

The fact is Bhanuprakash Sharma or Veda Brahma Bhanu Prakash Sharma guruji (as he calls himself) is an self proclaimed  astrologer who claim to perform rituals and ceremonies to ensure better luck for their clients. He also claim that he had earlier advised JD (S) leaders and now guides BJP leaders including chief minister B S Yeddyurappa. Leaders like G Vijaya and Ambarish take his advice before making decisions. For the looks of it and simple google search it seems that Bhanuprakash Sharma is a fake out to get some cheap publicity!

Then Midday goes on to claim that

Yeddyurappa had visited Bhadrakaali temple in Kerala to perform the Shatrusamhara ritual, which involves sacrificing a donkey to subdue one's enemies.

The fact is Shatrusamhara pooja is a very common pooja which is conducted in almost every temple in kerala and it definitely donot involve sacrifice of donkeys!

Media Watch sincerely hope this article was written as a satire. Even if it was written as a satire such misrepresentation of facts insults Hindu beliefs and is not acceptable. Lastly drawing nude photo of CM of a state elected by popular mandate is extremely distasteful.

Media Watch strongly demand that Midday withdraw this article and issue an apology.

Details of Mediawatch conversation with Abhijit Majumder; Editor of MidDay

@i_panchajanya: @abhijitmajumder Sir We strongly protest this extremely distasteful reporting by Midday request its withdrawal & Apology

@abhijitmajumder: @keshda @i_panchajanya We've done the story through confirmed sources, but I'll still look into it

@i_panchajanya: @abhijitmajumder I am a keralite I can assure you no donkey is ever killed for shatru samara pooka @keshda

@abhijitmajumder: @keshda @i_panchajanya There's always scope of error on our part, but the reporter wrote what he was told. We don't have agenda in this

@i_panchajanya: @abhijitmajumder thanks sir for taking time to clarify Can you please atleast retract shatrusamhara part. Its very offensive @keshda

@abhijitmajumder: @i_panchajanya @keshda We are double-checking on the shatrusamhara bit. If there's a mistake, we'll certainly carry a clarification

@i_panchajanya: @abhijitmajumder Sir as we await your decision, we are extremely grateful you took time to give repy. Wish all editors were as responsive

@i_panchajanya: @keshda agree @abhijitmajumder thanks we await ur feedback. Can I put our conversation on blog. It will be a good guidance for others

@abhijitmajumder: @i_panchajanya Sure, you can @keshda

Media Watch thanks Mr. Abhijit Majumder; Editor of MidDay for being responsve to our requests. We wish all editors of our media houses is like him.



Media Watch Effect: IBN withdraws earlier version of report

After the uproar on IBN mischievous reporting of PM and HM’s address at the CMs’ Conference on Internal Security. IBN has with drawn the previous report

The current version looks as under


The previous version looked like below


Though the link remains same 

I am not sure how the managed to get the time exactly same for both reports.

IBN mischievous reporting of PM and HM’s address at the CMs’ Conference on Internal Security

This entry is pertaining to IBN reports in PM’S Address at the CMs’ Conference on Internal Security. According to IBN

Apparently exercising caution in referring to rightwing groups, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today expressed concern over threats from various sources including religious fundamentalism while Home Minister P Chidambaram spoke about "new groups" that are suspected to be behind some terror attacks in recent years.

Then IBN goes on to mix their commentary with the actual news in such a way that the entire news is twisted out of context. IBN reports

Addressing a conference of Chief Ministers on internal security both of them avoided any direct reference to right wing groups which have recently come under the scanner over thier alleged involvement in cases like Malegaon, Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Ajmer blasts.

The fact is Manmohan Singh didnot make a single reference implicit or explicit on right wing groups. PM Manmohan Singh said

we all need to be conscious of the fact that serious challenges and threats – primarily from left wing extremism, cross border terrorism, religious fundamentalism and ethnic violence – still persist.

Then IBN also reports in same news

The Home Minister''s reference to saffron terror on an earlier occasion had created a controversy with BJP and RSS attacking him and some Congress leaders distancing the party from it. Both the NIA and the CBI have made considerable progress in busting the terror networks being operated by members of the RSS and other small Hindu groups who are allegedly involved in bomb blasts at Malegaon in 2006 and the Samjhauta train blasts.

Media Watch fails to understand what is the purpose of IBN dragging those issues into this news when  neither PM or HM made any reference to right wing groups?? Unless it was done with the the intention of misleading the readers

PM’S Address at the CMs’ Conference on Internal Security

P. Chidambaram Address at the CMs’ Conference on Internal Security

Thanks to @centerofright for the lead



IBN/HT Youth Survey – Something is not right!

Recently HT and CNN-IBN conducted a youth survey to understand what the Indian youth thinks. Two major issues raised by the survey has caught Media Watches attention.
First point is regarding the question: Who are the best living role models in India. Sachin Tendulkar won hands worn with 19% vote and Rahul was no where near the top with less than 10% votes.

Second Question: How will you describe your political views? It was surprising to see moderate included as a political view. The youth survey pitted moderate against Right Wing and Left Wing?

It is surprising that HT/IBN has included moderate as a political view in the survey and pitted it against right wing and left wing! Is IBN/HT of view that Right Wing and Left Wing political views are not moderate thus extreme? Any student of statistics will tell HT/IBN that respondents in a survey if given a choice will invariably vote for the middle ground which is ‘Moderate’ in this case. Thus its not surprising that ‘Moderate’ option got largest votes. It is interesting to note that inspite of right wing being positioned as extreme view, it got overwhelming 30% votes. Media Watch hopes IBN/HT was not trying to pass of ‘congress ideology’ as Moderate.
Secondly, It is surprising that only two political leaders (Rahul and Sonia) were included in the survey which tried to identify “Best living role model for youth”. Dont IBN/HT think 30% of respondents who identified themselves as Right Wing may want to chose a leader from Right Wing? Media Watch is of opinion that If such an option of Right Wing Leader was available, he/she would have been in top three!. Media Watch also hopes that this was not an attempt to foist Rahul Gandhi as a Youth Leader which failed due to lack of votes.
Also read a previous survey:
Media Says Nation wants Rahul to be face of CWG. Really?

Children From Sexual Offences Bill, 2010 – What Media did not report

India today woke up to the news on Children From Sexual Offences Bill, 2010. According to this new bill twelve-year-old children will be legally permitted to have non-penetrative sex with children their age. Aparna Bhat, a Supreme Court lawyer who was part of a National Commission for Protection of Child Rights group that drafted the latest Bill said

the gradation of age down to 12 years was to decriminalise sexual exploration by two children

Its intriguing why would National Commission for Protection of Child Rights group that drafted the latest Bill  would choose the age of 12? Why not 13? why not 11?

Media Watch hopes this new move by government has nothing to do with reservations All India Muslim Personal Law Board has with Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA). Under the PCMA, the marriage under the age of 18 is not permissible.

In the year 2002, All-India Muslim Personal Law Board had gone to High Court to challenge the legal age of marriage and getting it reduced to age of 12 (yes exactly 12). According to Fatima who took this case to high court

"Muslim personal law says you can marry at 12, so I didn't see a problem with it. There are lots of bad things in society these days, so the sooner a girl gets married, the better.

In early 2010, a petition was filed by one Zakia Begum seeks quashing of FIR against her. She claims that PCMA is unconstitutional because it interferes with freedom of religion granted by the Article 25 of the Constitution.  FIR was lodged just a few hours before the marriage could be solemnized against Zakia Begum. Senior counsel Yusuf Muchhala, appearing for AIMPLB told the Bombay High Court 

We are not happy with this law

Surprising even additional solicitor general Darius Khambata representing the central government argued in support of Zakia Begum. He claimed that since the marriage was not solemnized, the FIR stands invalidated.

"Under the Act, only solemnization of marriage is an offence . Attempt (to marriage) is not (an offence)," Khambata told the court. He also brought Section 11 of the Act to the notice of the court and argued that "while it expressly prohibits promotion of child marriage , it applies only if the marriage actually takes place."

The Bombay High Court would soon be examining this aspect, with reference to the marriageable age of a Muslim girl. judges said.

"We will lay down a law (in this regard)...If this (marriage of minors) is allowed, tomorrow 12-year-old girls will be married off,"

Monday, January 31, 2011

IE: Please use adjectives with discretion

News article “Irom award shot in arm for anti-AFSPA campaigners” from Indian Express informs us that activist Irom Sharmila has been conferred with “prestigious peace award” by Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM).
I was wondering how IE has arrived at the conclusion that this is a ‘prestigious’ award?
Has this been conferred before to other eminent personalities? Fact is this is first time such an award has been given!
Has this been given out by a prestigious institution? The award is being given by IIPM which has comein for some severe criticism. In fact, The University Grants Commission (UGC) has recently issued another public notice against the Indian Institute of Planning & Management (IIPM) saying that it is “not a university within the meaning of Section 2(f) of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956”. It added that as per Section 22 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, IIPM does not have the right of conferring degrees as specified by the commission under Section 22(3) of the UGC. It has also clarified that IIPM is neither entitled to award MBA/BBA/BCA degree nor it is recognised by UGC.
IE should me more discreet before using using adjectives which may be misleading!
Interestingly even Hindu carried same news but gave ‘prestigious’ a miss.

Secular Media did not see this


Pak flag

Pakistani flag was hoisted today at Lal Chowk of Kashmir.

Hindu reported the incident as

Kashmiri protestors hoist a flag on to a clock tower in Srinagar on Saturday

Hindu just saw ‘a flag’ being hoisted from lal chowk! poor fellows didnot even realize that its a pakistan flag!

IBN reports one person getting  injured as he fell down while putting up flag but guess the reporter missed looking at which flag was being hoisted!

AFP is only news network which reported the incident. They reported

Protesters streamed towards Lal Chowk where they hoisted green Islamic and Pakistani flags atop a clock tower, shouting: "Our nation, we'll decide its fate

Shockingly, Rajdeep Sardesai Editor-in-Chief justified his actions as under

IBN_Pak Flag

Pakistani flag for reference

TOI says Security men ‘KILL’ civilians

Todays entry to Hall of SHAME is shocking article “For the first time, securitymen kill more civilians than terrorists in J&K” from TOI which paints an extremely negative image of our armed forces.

TOI lays DUSU loss squarely on ‘CWG’

ABVP has swept the DUSU election after a gap of 08 years and It seems (atleast from Headlines) that TOI has found the main cause for NSUI loss in DUSU election …. its not price rise or  ineffective UPA Governance,……..Its CWG..  Of course what will youth know about serious issues like price after all its their parents purse which is getting effected….
Seems TOI also forgot to tell us that Congress leader and ‘youth’ icon, Rahul Gandhi, who is also in-charge of NSUI, had personally reviewed election preparation and candidates etc
If its loss its CWG.. Had it been a win you know who would have taken the ‘credit’ for that

NDTV, Match fixing & Ajay Jadeja

Cricket lovers across the nation are gladdened to see every Media House taking a strong stand against match fixing in cricket. As expected NDTV also has taken a strong stand against match fixing. The seriousness of NDTV can be gauged for the fact that this week on the Big Fight NDTV is focusing on match-fixing in Cricket.
So far so good, what we would like to know is whether NDTV would be inviting Ajay Jadeja, their cricket expert to Big Fight . I am sure he would be able to give good insight on the bane of match fixing. Afterall, his career was halted (in December 2000) due to a five-year ban following damaging, though inconclusive, findings in a CBI inquiry on match-fixing. Though he contested the ban, In November 2004 his plea seeking permission to play international cricket was dismissed by the Delhi High Court after no one appeared on his behalf when the petition was taken up for hearing. However, a Division Bench subsequently permitted him to play domestic cricket
We are no one to advice NDTV who they should employee.  But as a private person, I find it highly inappropriate that a person who is banned from international cricket for match fixing is employed with national media and is offering expert advice of cricket. What standard are we setting and what message are we giving to future generation?
Alleged CBI Report on Ajay Jadeja can be read here.

High time Media starts respecting Majority Sentiment

As if on from Sagarika, now even India Today has called Lord Ram ‘Divine Encroacher’. In an article All parties play safe on Ayodhya, India Todays writes

The divine encroacher awaiting permanent settlement in the debris of the desecrated Babri mosque has not stirred the political Ram bhakts into belting out lusty cries of 'mandir wahin banayenge' yet.

We fail to understand how can a responsible media make such insensitive and crude remarks about one of most revered personalities in India.


Has IBN Journalist crossed the red line?


One is used to acidic barbs from Sagarika! but media watch thinks Sagarika has crossed every limit of decency and restrain by speculating if Lord Ram Divine ‘encroacher’ on disputed site.  

Dictionary definition of encroacher is

To take another's possessions or rights gradually or stealthily: encroach on a neighbor's land.

Rama occupies a very considerable place in our daily life of India and in the religious history of the world. He is the embodiment of righteousness and is believed to be the incarnation of the solar aspect of Vishnu. Even in death "Ram Nam Satya Hai" (The name of Ram is truth) is commonly chanted while carrying a dead body to the cremation ground in India. 

Statement of Sagarika has hurt religious sentiments of millions of Hindus across globe especially during such ‘troubled times’.

Media Watch strongly demand Sagarika and her employer IBN should apologize to the nation. 

Sagarika has since deleted this tweet

Please also read Editorial slandering of Hindu symbols by CNN-IBN

IE please get your facts right

IE reports
In a near sweep, BJP's students wing ABVP today bagged three out of the four top posts in the Delhi University Students Union after a gap of seven years, giving a jolt to Congress' NSUI.
Its surprising that a national newspaper of IE stature is not aware that ABVP is NOT student wing of BJP. For unaware
Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad(ABVP), founded in 1948 and formally registered on July 9, 1949 is the largest student organization in the world. ABVP drew its inspiration from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

NDTV & Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd has stake in Emaar MGF

Early this year, Two of India’s leading media houses, New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) and Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (BCCL) picked up minority stake in Emaar MGF Land Ltd in a pre-IPO placement for Rs25 crore each

What is Pre-IPO Capital? Well it's exactly that, capital that is raised prior to an IPO. pre-IPOs are usually offered at a considerable discount to the anticipated IPO price. For example, if company X believed that they will list for $1, they may offer shares in a pre-IPO capital raising at $0.25. Should they end up listing for $1, then you make 4 times on your money at the IPO. Pre IPO is considered highly risky investment

This makes one wonder what is media houses doing in such risky ventures which are not even their core business. Media houses investing in real estate companies!!! What about the conflict of interest? Whats the guarantee that such ventures will not impair impartial reporting on affairs pertaining to that group?

Press council of India had raised this concern their report on paid news

In addition, owners of media organizations have financial relationships, including share-holdings, with advertisers, resulting in only favourable information about such advertisers getting disseminated and unfavourable information against them getting blacked out.

Emaar MGF is responsible for construction of Common Wealth Game Village 2010

Disturbing caption at IE


Disturbing caption by IE-

Kashmiri people shout anti Indian slogans at Barzla Hospital in Srinagar. 

Not separatist but kashmiri people!

Kahin pe nigahen Kahin pe Nishana

IBN publishes article Congress anxiously waiting for Ayodhya verdict but has a disturbing picture which has no relevance either to news

1. Whats relevance of this picture in a news item related to congress anxiety abt RJB verdict

2. Why IBN chose such a strident picture in these troubled times. I would like to remind IBN Editor in chief Rajdeep Sardesai his own comments to us in twitter

@i_panchajanya is the aim of a channel to exercise restraint, or to inflame passions? we live in troubled times.


Sagarika has to elaborate

CNN IBN journalist Sagarika Ghose asks -

jama masjid shooting. wonder who most wants the cwg games to fail? which group would most want to see UPA discredited?

Very intriguing question Indeed. Please reread the question. Question is “which group would most want to see UPA discredited?” NOT India but UPA. Since Sagarika didnot explain what she had in mind while asking this questions. Lets try to speculate -

1. Does Sagarika think some group has done this ghastly act to discredit UPA? 

2. Since question is not about discrediting India as a whole, Does it mean it was carriedout by local organization in India?

3. One of first questions every investigative org would ask - who will gain the most by discrediting UPA? Which naturally would be political rival of UPA?\

Questions galore.. Media watch sincerely hope Sagarika would explain to nation what she meant? One donot expect vain words from a senior journalist like her. 



Media behavior as we Countdown to RJB Verdict on Sept 24.

Sept 16: IBN  face the nation topic is “whether the urban educated class is anti-Muslim.”

Sept 16: IBN Cobrapost conducts investigation “Is there an anti-Muslim bias in urban housing societies?” and arrives at conclusion

A Cobrapost special investigation report has revealed that Muslims in Indian metro cities find it difficult to get accommodation. There are certain societies in some cities that do not rent out to members of particular communities.

This controversy is not new.This was first raised by Shabana Azmi in 2008 when in an interview she claimed that she and her husband Javed Akhtar could not buy a flat in Indian city of Mumbai due to religious discrimination. In the same interview, She had even claimed that

Indian democracy unfair to Muslims

But according to some in film fraternity, she owns not 1 not 2 but four flats in Juhu, and a house in Khandala. The fact remains, there are certain Parsi societies that do not allow non-Parsis. In Bandra, there are many societies that do not allow non-Christians. There are some who do not allow Hindus who eat non-vegetarian food. This doesn’t mean secularism and democracy of our country is in danger

The question remains why is IBN is broadcasting such sensitive issues during such ‘troubled times’?


Sept 17: News Broadcasters' Association (NBA) issues guidelines for electronic media asking them not to speculate about the judgement and not to show the footage of 1992 Babri Masjid demolition.

Sept 19: NDTV discussed Ayodhya verdict: Time for closure?

During the program shows the pre demolition Babri structure. Is this not violation of spirit of NBA guidelines? if you cant show footage of demolition how can you show pre-demolition structure? What was the purpose?


Sept 21: IBN News Congress anxiously waiting for Ayodhya verdict

Are we allowed to ask what is this picture doing in a news on congress & Ayodhya Verdict?


Sept 24: India Today - SC puts amity before Babri Masjid verdict

NBA guideline clearly says not to show not to show the footage of 1992 Babri Masjid demolition. but India Today violates the spirit of directive and shows pic with Karsewaks on Top of disputed structure.


NDTV goes gaga over Rahul quotes in Bengal


'Bengal has to go back to the Bengali people'

Not sure what he meant by this. Bengal is ruled by a Bengali even today, the Govt there is elected by Bengali electorate


Politics is in your shirt, in your pants: Rahul

Politics is in my pants!! Definitely a George Bush movement!

Head You lose; Tail I Win

Bihar election is scheduled in next 30-45 days and it is not surprising that you keep hearing ‘news’ on how JDS is going to split from BJP. 

And how to media report when the much anticipated split is not happening. IE reports  Nitish coming to Delhi, JD(U), BJP deny rift

Taking a “strategic position” ahead of the September 24 Ayodhya verdict, the JD(U) and BJP have dispelled speculation of any fresh rift in the alliance.

So if you read inbetween the lines, does it mean they actually wanted to split but this time round they have taken ‘strategic position’ not to split!



Media Are you sure?

Indian Media has gone to town claiming Congress sells its way to Rs 600 cr corpus

The oldest political party, Congress, generated Rs 598.4 crore during 2007-08 and 2008-09 through the sale of coupons 

Now this gets me thinking….

India's total population in 2009 was 119.8 crore. lets do some maths

Option 1: Every Indian Citizen would have brought coupon worth Rs 4.99. 

Option 2: Since it is not practically possible for every Indian to pay Rs 5 to INC, lets assume 37%  of Indians i.e Vote percentage of INC bought coupons. That would mean 44 Crore Indian brought coupons worth Rs 15 from congress!!

I leave it to readers to make their own judgment.

TOI gets most critical info wrong... again

This entry relates news articles pertaining to suspension of IAS officer C Umashankar on the charges of furnishing false information to obtain his community certificate. And how a “small change'” in critical info changes the complexion of news


Rediff reports
Steadfastly sticking to the rituals, the PM took a bath and removed his shoes and socks before entering the temple.
Rediff should let us know about few temples where you can enter with footwear. Anyway since Rediff has taken the trouble of reporting Manmohan’s Magnanimous Act Of Kindness, We would like to thank PM MMS for respecting Hindu Sentiments, We are also gladdened that he donot consider Sri Venkateswara as myth
As if the above is not sufficient, they also get south Indian dress completely wrong. According to Rediff -
Narasimhan had changed into the Vaishnav attire -- replete with three long tilak on the forehead and a veshti (traditional lungi) -- before entering the temple.
Calling Veshti Traditional Lungi is like calling pant traditional Pajama!

Meet TOI the Judge and Prosecutor

For a layman like me, it seems that every time UPA Govt is facing heat, media releases the Jinn of Gujarat Riot from the bottle to take away the heat from intense focus on congress wrongdoings. Now there is intense public scrutiny on CWG  & Saffron Terror fiasco and we can see the smoke coming out the bottle.

Sensationalization IBN style

This is another sob story published by IBN on how a Dalit boy mercilessly beaten up by lawyers. Well, guess what? the perpetuators turned out to be the boy's own relative, hence another Dalit. I guess someone must have pointed it out, because a few hours later the story was edited to take out Dalit from the headline and body of the story. The URL still says Dalit though.
So question to IBN is why they have to highlight that the boy was Dalit when perpetuators were non dalit and considered it irrelevant when it was realised that perpetuators were infact another dalit. Does seriousness of issues change with the caste of perpetuator?

Is NDTV only Indian television channel to broadcast in Pakistan

Indus Business Journal in an article NBC buys $150m stake in New Delhi TV dated February 15, 2008 claims that
NDTV is the only Indian television channel to broadcast in Pakistan
I have nothing to prove or disprove veracity of this report. But if its true, I would certainly like to know the TRP rating of NDTV in Pakistan during Mumbai attacks of 26/11/2008?

When NDTV Declared victory after 2611 TRP War

Post 2611, NDTV proudly claimed victory after 26/11 TRP Wars.
NDTV Website claims
When it matters, NDTV 24X7 is the most viewed channel
For the target C&S 15+ in the one million plus markets, NDTV 24x7 was the most viewed channel in the Mumbai terror attacks week, followed by Times Now. CNN-IBN was the third watched.
At what cost?

Ok we know Pak Cricketers took Bribe.. NDTV can you please Moveon

Now I am really confused on what's core business of NDTV?

Whose side of story are they reporting?

Today's entry to Hall of shame is Media (HT & NDTV) report of police shooting at Maisuma locality of Srinagar resulting in serious injury of one Yasir Malik, cousin of Separatist Leader Yasin Malik.
I am personally amazed how a INDIAN national media can be so irresponsible in their reporting!

‘Christian’ Journalist working for National Media

Is it proper for a journalist to be identified as ‘Christian Journalist’ especially when working for a National Media. Will it not bias your reporting?
I dont know the answers. But I find it distasteful when somone puts his/her religion as prefix to her profession. Is a Hindu Doctor/Muslim Engineer acceptable Term?

Curious Case of Disappearing News from IBN

This morning IBN dropped a bombshell in which they brought to light alleged wrong doing by Indian Presidents daughter. We have nothing to confirm or dismiss veracity of this news but what intrigued us is by evening this news disappeared from IBN website without a trace & without an explanation.

Someone wants us to believe, Rahul is Lord of net also (Updated)

Drums of Campaign glorifying Rahul is getting louder and its now bordering absurdity. Someone wants gullible Indians to believe that Rahul Gandhi is most popular Leader on net.
Several national newsmedia today published similiar themed news in which they tried to portray Rahul as most popular Indian political leader in net

Strange case of missing critical info in TOI News

Lets play a game.
Please read following two news published by TOI.
1. Ex-Arunachal CM Apang arrested for PDS scam
2. Lads office Raided
There is one common link between these two news items and strangely this very important common link is missing from both of these news item. Answer is very easy and I am sure you will figure it out but if you have missed it. The answer is in the end -

Now ET rips off from a blog

Earlier in the day we caught TOI is ripping off from Pakistani forums and now it seems ET is ripping off a para for this article from blog of a professor

TOI Article on Incest

Todays, nominee to Media hall of shame is this slanderous article published by TOI which claims that Incest is social heritage of Haryana! Even though, I have very serious issue with this article which is making sweeping claims based on few & Isolated instances, I will focus my attention to last section of this article which drags Hinduism also into it.

ET see Gandhi Families “formidable Approval” on Vedanta ejection


Rahul Gandhi added the Gandhi family’s formidable imprimatur on Mr Ramesh’s move

Amusingly ET uses the word Imprimatur which means Official approval or license to print or publish, especially under conditions of censorship.

Hindustan Times & Hindu hits BJP below belt



Following is exactly what Rajnath has said.

"What other political parties are doing on farmers' related issue I will not comment on it. But people know who is the son of a farmer and who is the supporters of poor people”

I am not how this can be interpreted as attacking Rahul for supporting farmers agitation!

Guess its all influence of Gandhi… 

Enter Rahul the reader… Sorry Leader

addressing a gathering of tribal people eager to welcome a champion as powerful as ‘Indira’s grandson’, marks a new stage in his political evolution.

Somebody as powerful has ‘Indira’s Grandson’!!… Errr I think to save time editor of ET cut and paste this para from some movie script.

this is the first time he has explicitly offered himself as a leader who would solve a particular constituency’s problems.

So does it mean that before this he was just bluffing?

This Rahul is different from the apprentice politician spending time in rural India, preferably Dalit homes, rambling on about Kalavatis while debating the dynamics of Indo-US nuclear politics and protesting that his first priority is organisational work.

So ET do agree that Rahul was Rambling when he debated Nuclear Deal. Not sure what the difference ET noticed this times?


Economic Times sees Gandhi

Oh NOT the Gandhi below you communal, fascist,  Gandhi family hating Pigs

But the Gandhi Below


Rahul Gandhi – A Photo Essay by NDTV

NDTV wants Indians to contemplate if Rahul is ready for more… and following are the reasons they are giving us to arrive at a decision. yes its the same national media NDTV


He has great dress sense


he even looks cute sporting a beard


he spends nights at homes of dailts


He campaigned tirelessly in the blistering summer heat


It was he who single handedly made great strides into the bastion of Mulayam Singh and Mayawati (not “it was he who”).. Its minor detail that BSP is still ruling and Congress owes its survival at centre to mayawati… some great strides indeed


He took a detour to the nearby Metro station at Dwarka and then boarded the underground train because Capital had gone haywire for several hours following heavy rain.. (minor details Delhi is ruled by Congress for last 3 terms)


He demonstrated spontaneity and out-of-the-box thinking by hopped onto a local train and withdrawing money from ATM.


His train was stoned.. someone please tell NDTV almost every train is stoned in those sectors once in a while.


He was offered flowers and water in a glass but he of course refused  and he demanded to be treated like a common man errr.. do common man not drink water from glass?


and lastly most importantly he is scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family, born to Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi.

Nation is free to make the decision. Please leave your decisions as comments. Perhaps a NDTV journo or congress maibaap will stumble upon this blog…

NDTV live telecast on rally of “Indias Avatar”


They even got the story line of avatar right 

Gandhi  has just landed in a helicopter…

Ultimate proof that HE is avatar


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rahuls Thunder & Opposition Rhetoric

Todays nomination to “Media Hall of Shame” is this article/feature/news (not sure where it should be categorized) by TOI on how Rahul Stole “Opposition Thunder”

First of all, I am confused with the headline itself. What do TOI mean by “Rahul steals opposition thunder”. Is INC not part of opposition in UP? May be TOI is confused because of fact that survival of UPA Govt at centre depends on support extended by BSP to it and till date UPA has not refused support from BSP.

According to TOI, Rahuls claim to fame is because

On Wednesday, Rahul stole the show by leading a farmers' delegation to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention to provide justice to farmers

May be I am not seeing it, there might be something great in leading a delegation of farmers to meet PM who is selected by his mummy

TOI further reports that during the meeting,

The delegation asked the prime minister to amend the archaic Land Acquisition Act, 1894,

Well TOI omitted a minor detail that land acquisition bill has been held up because of resistance from railway minister and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee who opposed the acquisition of land at Singur for the now-aborted Singur project. There is little sign of Mamata changing her views on the pending bill.

And also, on their way back

the delegation also met Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Ok so he also took the team to his Mummy. Afterall which son donot like to showoff to his mummy. Hello Mom, I am home and by the way I have brought some farmers also..

And finally TOI explains how Rahul took away the cake

Significantly, all the Opposition parties are supporting farmers' agitation but are disunited over the issue, all trying to take credit for taking up farmers' cause. Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress held separate demonstrations on Wednesday in support of the statewide strike call given by the KSS. On Thursday, the Samajwadi Party (SP) will hold a demonstration in support of farmers all over the state while the RLD will hold its agitation in New Delhi. But Rahul seems to have taken away the cake.

Ok let me try to decipher what TOI is trying to say. Opposition Parties (Guess INC is not an opposition in UP) are disunited and all of them are trying to take credit(ok I get it….congress is doing all this only as social service). And then Rahul took cake by meeting his mummy and mummies appointed PM!