Friday, February 11, 2011

Indias Twitter War – Indias Egypt

If you are a newbie in twitter,  it would look like there is a war brewing up in Indian Social Network. A open and ferocious war between liberal open minded secular enlightened (LOSE) folks and bigoted right wing Hindu activists (“Internet Hindus” (IH) in LOSE parlance). A war in which no prisoners will be taken.

Sagarika Ghose hints that IH are an organised syndicate and likens them to “swarms of bees” which “come swarming after you at any mention of Modi, Muslims or Pakistan!”. Ashok Malik calls the IH’s “a collective of the intellectually inadequate, the professionally frustrated and the plain bigoted”. In fact, he goes one step further and writes “The Left has its universities, journals and institutional support system. It is a commentary on Internet Hindus that they only have multiple email accounts.” Things have come to such a head that Barkha Dutt once a strong votary of free speech now finds merit in regulating cyber space (I am sure her opinion might have hardened post Radiia tape episode). IH’s also have never lost an opportunity to call LOSE folks Pseudo Secular & Neo liberals.

But can this be explained so simply? Is this a skirmish of ideologies? In fact is this a clash of ideologues at all? 

To understand this phenomenon , we have to first understand nation culture. Nation culture is defined as general attitudes, belief systems, values, and traditions, particular to a nation. The Hofstede Model of Cultural Dimensions is one of best tool available to analyzing a country’s culture.  I will not bore the readers with all the cultural dimensions of Hofstede. The one which is most important for this discussion is dimension called Power Distance Index (PDI) which looks at the degree of Inequality between people in a society.  According to Hofstede, the power distance index shows the extent to which people perceive inequality as normal.

PDI of  India is 77 (United States is at 40) compared to a world average of 56.5 which indicates a high level of inequality of power and wealth within the society. Indians live in a very hierarchical society with Power centralized as much as possible in a few hands. The power elite don't like to share power or space with ‘Aam Admi’ who they perceive to be less equal.  The power elite (PE) (phrase coined by Charles Wright Mills) is described as consisting of members of the corporate community, academia, politicians, media editors, military service personnel, and high-profile journalists.

Even after independence, Indian Power Elite has kept the modes and means of mass communication under their control.  Even through the era of 24 hour of television news they managed to largely keep information distribution centralized and hierarchical as this was key to maintain their social status in society. To make things worse PE’s often even  covered the tracks of corrupt and facilitated their continuance in power, why would one want to upset a well balanced apple cart? Now a days, the so-called ‘news’ on some mainstream TV channels and in some newspapers is nothing more than thinly-disguised propaganda to serve the interests of select few. Post 26/11, in a short space of time, new media and social networks have blitzkrieged their way into India's consciousness and usage, increasingly replacing traditional media. Now with advent of social networks like twitter things are coming apart on the PE’s.   Social media has created a level playing field of fully leveled, distributed information and communication. It is helping the common man on the street to cross verify and cross refer information from the comfort of home within a matter of few minutes,.

Now, As opposed to mass media defining the parameters of debate and discussion, the reverse is happening. The discourse is being set using social media which is then filtering out into traditional forums (remember Radiaa Tapes, Tharoors holy cow statement which traditional media did not broadcast initially). Perhaps for first time in history, the press has started getting ‘bad press.’ A story seems doctored? Commentators will comment. A reporter misinforms his readers; they will make sure they set the record straight. When people in positions of authority – regardless of how high up the food chain they are – do (or say) something unacceptable, there will be blogposts and tweets and status updates on Facebook and endless comments about it. The gap between the common man and the politician or the bureaucrat, has been bridged. In pretwitter days, Aam Admi could not even dream of interacting and questioning the power elite (remember Barkha, Congress Spokesman etc being barraged with some tough questions).  In fact, things have come to such a head that common man is  now turning to social network for ‘authentic’ information.

PE’s who have enjoyed fruits of high PDI are now finding the ground slipping under their feet (literally). Those who have never been questioned or talked back now find being  questioned and ridiculed just like any other individual. Scams or indiscretions of PE’s which would in ordinary times never seen daylight gets discussed and distributed freely. Power elite who have lived within the environment protected by their ‘elite’ status are now quaking in their boots. And their outburst against the ‘Aam Admi’ in twitter is just a manifestation of this cultural shock. Isn't it common sense that a country with more than 85% Hindu population will have higher concentration of Hindus in social media? In such case wont it be nobrainer that majority of people asking questions would be Hindus. The term ‘Internet Hindu’ itself seems to be delusional outburst of some PE who instead of accepting the reality found it easier to portray herself as victim and rakein some sympathy from fellow PE’s perhaps working on principle that only crying baby gets fed first.

Finally yes there is a war brewing in social media. It not a war between self appointed liberals and so called bigots. Its a tussle between haves and yesteryears have nots or Aam Admi. While the former is trying to maintain high PDI statusquo, the later is using technology (and numerical advantage) to create a more level playing field.

The current struggle in twitter can be summarized as Indias equivalent of Egypt!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

India - The BANANA Republic

Media will never show you this

Disappearing news

It looks like all original news about 'President Patil cooked food and washed dishes for Indira Gandhi is disappearing from net. This is only one I could find this was also a cut and past in a discussion forum


Interestingly, if you click on the ling below it takes you to different news


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shocking that Midday carried screenshots of JNU Scandal

Media Watch is shocked that Midday has carried screenshot of JNU Sex Scandal where a girl was videographed with her consent or knowledge.

Miday claims to be largest selling tabloid in India. Are these pictures we would expect our young kids to be exposed to? If intention of Midday is to generate money from such screenshots, they should consider entering pornography business

Media Watch is shocked!




Attack on Journalist – the untold part

Most of the Media, reported How Maulana Ahmed Shah Bukhari, the shahi imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid attacked a reporter for asking ‘difficult’ questions during a press conference.

As per report from DNA, Things were fine till the time Abdul Wahid Chishti, a reporter from an Urdu daily, decided to grill the maulana. As he started asking difficult questions, Bukhari started getting infuriated. The journalist asked why the entire land, now recognised legally as Ram’s birthplace, should not be handed over to Hindus. He also reasoned that such a land could not be used for a mosque according to Shariat (Islamic law).

This was clearly more than what the shahi imam could put up with. He flew into a fit of anger and started shouting at the journalist. At one point, he even said, “It is because of traitors like you that Babri Masjid was demolished”, and told the journalist to shut up and leave.

Soon afterwards, Bukhari’s men told him that the journalist was talking to TV channels outside. At this, he leapt out of the conference hall asking his aides to catch hold of the scribe and beat him up. As his men attacked Chishti, some journalists grappled to stave them off. Bukhari was shouting at the top of his voice threatening the journalist with dire consequences.

Video of the Incidence is as below

Most of Newspapers omitted to report one critical piece of information. Mohammad Wahid Chisti is a swayamsewak. Yes.. He is from Muslim Rashtriya Manch of RSS. He is currently busy with nationwide grih sampark abhiyan (door-to-door campaign) against the UPA to tell the people how the Congress leader was directing central investigating agencies to target the RSS for political gain

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pune Land SCAM – Is Media trying to mislead?

Another day, Another scam has come into light. This time its a land scam in Pune, which according to division bench of the Bombay High Court could run into over Rs.3 billion, paling the Adarsh Society scam of Mumbai
NDTV in its report This scam is bigger than 2G, say judges Report
what a group of government officials, politicians and real estate builders allegedly pulled off in Pune is no mean feat.
The case is being heard on the basis of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which alleges that land that should have been used by the government to benefit weaker sections of society was granted instead to developers for commercial exploitation. 
We will come to the issue of involved politicians later. But NDTV clearly forgot to mention that the PIL was filed by BJP spokesman Madhav Bhandari 
Economic Times in its report  Pune land scam probe may be given to CBI, says court among other things report
A former minister of state in the Shiv Sena-BJP government between 1995-1999 is said to have signed some of the orders against which the PIL was filed.
Times of India in its report  Pune land scam may be bigger than Adarsh, 2G: HC also mentions
The HC also directed the CBI officers to be in court during the next hearing on February 10. The judges also mentioned the involvement of a former minister of state-a minister when the Shiv Sena-BJP was in rein-who had signed some of the orders that went in appeal. 
From the above reports, one may get an impression that a “a former minister of state - a minister when the Shiv Sena-BJP” is key player in this entire scam.
Media Watch scoured through several old new release on this and has come up with following
As per report published in ,
The case dates back to 2005, when the ULC department had registered a case (444/2005) with the Swargate police regarding certain instances of suspected violation of ULC Act provisions. The department came across these instances during an internal scrutiny of papers. The matter was subsequently handed over to the CID following a government order. It was during the investigation of the cases reported by the ULC department to the Swargate police that the CID stumbled upon the ULC violation case involving land at Wakad, which falls under the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) and the Pimpri police station. Inspector (CID) Ramchandra Londhe then registered a complaint against the suspects with the Pimpri police station on January 3, 2006.
The CID had shortlisted the file of Sanjay Kalate while conducting investigations and had discovered that he had obtained a forged ULC order purportedly issued by former additional collector and competent authority Bhalchandra Awadhal the under Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976. According to the CID, the ULC order dated February 23, 1999 had given a no objection' certificate to builder Mohan Kalate and others that they were not holding excess land at Wakad. Investigations have revealed that Kalate brothers entered into a partnership with Kanerias and others and obtained permission from the PCMC for constructing a building which was granted without verifying the ULC order. The CID said that the Kalates had filed returns under section 6 (1) of the Act on July 17, 2005, but investigations had revealed that they had concealed the fact of obtaining building permission on the basis of fake ULC order.
It took over four years of an assiduous investigation by a team of officers comprising Avinash Mokashi, Anil Bagalkot, Balkrishna Agashe and Sakunde to conclude the probe into the case and file the chargesheet. 
According to a report Patil stalled probe: affidavit published by Hindustan Times;
One of the accused in one of the cases is Yogesh Mhase, who was deputy resident collector of Pune when the alleged frauds took place. Mhase subsequently became the officer on special duty to Patil, a position he held when the CID began investigating cases in November 2006 and continues to hold till today.
a meeting was held at Mantralaya in deputy chief minister RR Patil's chamber in September 2007 when the then state CID chief, SPS Yadav, and investigating officer Avinash Mokashi briefed the minister about the role of all government officers involved in the scam.
Continuing with HT Report Patil stalled probe: affidavit 
“After the meeting [with Patil], Yadav…directed [me] to maintain status quo on all ULC cases,” Avinash Mokashi, who was the investigating officer with the CID for the cases, says in a 65-page affidavit, a copy of which the HT has. 
In his affidavit filed with the high court on July 20 this year, Mokashi further revealed that, based on his recommendation, the department’s additional director general, Jayant Umranikar, had approved in January 2007 the arrest of Mhase and five other government officers in relation to one of the four cases. The police had already arrested ten others accused in the case.
In March 2007, Patil told the legislative assembly that the police was in the process of arresting Mhase and the five accused. The HT has copies of Patil’s statement in the assembly. But Patil not only failed to arrest Mhase, but earlier in the month transferred Umranikar out of the CID and replaced him with SPS Yadav. Patil also transferred Mokashi, in April 2008.
Mokashi filed the affidavit in connection with a public interest litigation petition [filed by state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesman Madhav Bhandari] filed in the high court in June 2008. The petitioner, Madhav Bhandari, requested the court to direct the government to arrest the accused, including Mhase. Because of the state’s “unwillingness” to “prosecute those guilty” and its wish to give them “a clean chit”, the government is cheated of surplus land, the petition says. Patil declined to meet the HT and did not respond to phone calls or text messages. Mhase said he did not wish to comment because the case was sub judice. Umranikar, who has retired, also declined to comment.
Justice BH Marlapalle asked on September 2.
“Mhase’s arrest was approved. Why has he still not been arrested?”
After the high court asked the government on September 2 this year why it had not arrested Yogesh Mhase, home minister R R Patil’s officer on special duty, and five others accused in a case of corruption and fraud filed in 2006 in Pune, the CID filed a charge sheet in connection with the case in a Pune court at the end of the month. It failed to include Mhase in the list of accused.
Instead it decided to arrest a Pune-based landowner, Laxman Dodke, 58, until then a complainant in another of the four cases. According to the CID’s records, Dodke approached them in September 2006 alleging that a local lawyer whom he had engaged had obtained a forged order in his name under the Act. The CID conducted a preliminary enquiry and registered a case on November 29, 2006 at the Deccan police station in Pune and arrested the lawyer. Last month, the CID changed its mind and decided Dodke was a beneficiary of the forged orders. P R Londhe, deputy superintendent of police, CID, who is investigating the case, declined to comment.
Dodke, through his advocate Shrikant Shivde, has sought anticipatory bail from a Pune sessions court, which has granted him protection and directed the CID to explain why it wants to arrest him. It will hear the matter on October 19.
The take aways from above reports
  1. PIL was filed by state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesman Madhav Bhandari.
  2. PIL requested the court to direct the government to arrest the accused, including Mhase. Because of the state’s “unwillingness” to “prosecute those guilty” and its wish to give them “a clean chit”, the government is cheated of surplus land.
  3. It is neither about  an unname minister or “a former minister of state in the Shiv Sena-BJP government between 1995-1999 is said to have signed some of the orders” as media wants you to believe
  4. Main player in this scam seems to be ex deputy chief minister RR Patil's who appointed a key accused Yogesh Mhase, as his officer on special duty. He also prevented arrest of some key accused including Yogesh Mhase,
Screen Shots.

Mayawatis Shoe is Bad; Rahuls Shoe is Good

This morning India woke up to even bigger scam.; If 2G Scam was worth 1.74 Lakh Crores. The new S Band scam is worth 2 Lakh Crores. But amid all these major issues, it seems that the only news media is reporting today is how Personal Security Officer (PSO) of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's cleaned her shoes

NDTV in their News reports Watch: Maya Memsaab ignores shoe-cleaning

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's Personal Security Officer (PSO) went beyond his call of duty as he, believe it or not, cleaned the Chief Minister's shoes when they got too dusty. But Maya Memsaab ignored him

Times of India in their article report Security guard bends down to clean Mayawati's shoes, opposition slams CM

A personal security officer of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati touched a new low when he bent down to wipe her dusty shoes with his handkerchief during her visit to the district. The incident took place on Sunday when Mayawati was visiting Naunipur village in the district.
On noticing her dusty shoes after alighting from a chopper, PSO Padam Singh, who has been working with her for long and was close to BSP founder Kanshi Ram, started cleaning her shoes.

Its ironical that, congress also condemned the incident

"Getting shoes wiped by a government official is wrong and the security personnel should not have done such an act for the sake of self-respect,

IBN also reported the news . Atleast IBN was not as melodramatic as NDTV and TOI

Media Watch would like to remind Media about almost a similar incident which happened a year back in which Maharashtra’s minister of state for Home Ramesh Vagve took care of Rahul Gandhi’s pair of white coloured Reebok shoes, as the latter walked up to pay floral tributes at the foot of Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar statute near Ramabai Nagar in Ghatkopar, Mumbai. As Rahul tried to untie his shoe laces, Minister of state for Home Ramesh Vagve jumped in, untied the shoe laces, and took care of the pair of shoes till the floral tributes were over. As Rahul returned to wear his shoes, the minister offered him his shoes and helped him in tying the shoe laces. Rahul then proceeded to attend the Dalit Youths meeting in Ramabai Nagar. This inclident happened in full view of Media, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, MP Gurudas Kamath, Kripa Shankar Singh and other Congress leaders.

When asked the Minister said he had picked up the Congress General Secretary’s shoes in apprehension that someone might place a bomb inside it.

“Some parties, especially the Shiv Sena, raised a hue and cry because I held Rahul's shoes. Imagine what would have happened if someone had placed a bomb in them.”


“I also wanted to ensure the shoes were not pushed towards the statue of Ambedkar, who is our deity.”

Media Watch didnot see hysterical media condemning the incident and covering it for an entire day. Or does media think Rahuls shoe is better than Mayawatis?

Neither did congress condemn the incident!

This is the only picture we could locate


According to DC; India is westernized and Hindu rituals are beyond common sense

This entry to Media Watch is pertaining to Deccan Chronicle report Festive rush in all temples all times. It seems that DC has gone out of way potshots at Hindu Beliefs.

Some of salient paragraphs which caught Media Watches attention are

Despite westernisation of the Indian population over the last decade, there seems a multi-fold increase in ‘faithful’ devotees and ardent adherence to religious practices among the general public year after year.

Media Watch would like to understand how DC arrived at the conclusion that Indian population is getting Westernized? Does wearing western dress or speaking in english make them westernised?

DC finishes the article by taking avoidable potshot at the Hindu beliefs

If ‘faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to’, as a German scholar put it, then there is no wonder in people queuing up to offer puja to a brick in Besant Nagar, which has attained a saintly status!

It seems DC is not aware of even basic tenets of Hinduism which says 

God is omnipresent (present everywhere) in it's un-manifest aspect & is always present all around us. Every inch of the space is occupied by Him. Every nook & corner is filled by Him. 



Congress SCAM Counter - Update Feb 08, 2011

Figures Included
2G:        $ 1,400,000,000,000
S Band:    $ 2,000,000,000,000
CWG:      $    50,000,000,000  

Total : $ 3,450,000,000,000

# Please let me know if I missed any major ones
# Bottom figure is %age of GDP

Intention of Media Watch is to update the figures as and when new scams surface