The Indian media overall is a whore with none of the ethics of a whore, a fact that’s pretty much self-evident now. Yet there are very few exceptions, and once in a long while somebody in this well-oiled and smoothly-functioning corporatized whoredom gets stung by the call of conscience and for a change, begins to tell the truth. That’s when the carrot-and-stick trick, as old as mankind, is employed. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: India is not a democracy and the Indian media is only as free as the government allows it to be. And no other party has perfected this trick as well as the Congress.
Case in point: DNA & Aditya Sinha. More specifically, this irrational, illogical, and factually-vacuous rant against Narendra Modi, which is presented, quite accurately under a “column” entitled reductio ad absurdum.
Aditya Sinha really attracted attention first with his fiery anti-UPA articles when he was head of the New Indian Express based out of Chennai. His election analyses, his boxing punches thrown at an 87-year old relic, and his relentless attacks on the Spineless Wonder and the Bosserina and her Brat were all right on the money. And then he joined DNA after R Jagannathan (aka the Barkha Dutt of FirstPost) quit. At DNA, Sinha continued the job he was doing at New Indian Express kicking the UPA’s ass at regular intervals.
And then on September 18, he wrote about Ambika Soni’s adventures in arm-twisting. He closed the piece with a heroic:
As for being critical of the ruling party, isn’t that what being the “watchdog of democracy” is all about? And which self-respecting journalist would support an oligarchic government bogged down by corruption? This does not mean that DNA attacks only for the sake of attack…The government apparently feels no shame that an emerging power like India should be witness to such clumsy attempts at arm-twisting the media. From our side, however, all news will continue to be treated on merit, even if it shows the government in poor light. For DNA, it serves the public interest to expose faulty decision-making, malfeasance and corruption. Loss of business can be measured, but the loss of credibility cannot. Above all, that someone in government tried to be petty and vindictive is, to us, validation that we were doing our job right.
Pretty valiant eh? Now let’s take him on his word and examine how he performs with regard to his self-stated courageous parameters:
- all news will be treated on merit even if it shows the government in poor light
- serves public interest to expose faulty decision-making, malfeasance and corruption
- loss of credibility cannot be measured…validating that DNA was doing its job right.
A good instance to examine his performance is the aforementioned piece of prosaic rampage that he went on on November 13 against Narendra Modi. This is as sudden, as random, and as surprising coming from Sinha given that he has never taken any stand on the Gujarat Chief Minister so far. Because it’d be cruel to attribute this sudden screed to Sinha’s temporary suspension of sanity, we need to conclude that the heat that Ambika Soni generated from her ministerial cabin had a huge part to play behind Sinha’s mindless vilification of Modi. And so, let’s begin the examination.
You don’t need to go far because Aditya Sinha gets it completely wrong from the first sentence:
This week’s court conviction of 31 people for crimes including murder during the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat makes it clear that state Chief Minister Narendra Modi will never be prime minister of India.
Sinha echoes this familiar refrain that’s typically employed by semi-brained analysts and braindead TV divas and alcoholic academics: that Modi wants to become the PM. Till date, even as I write this, Modi hasn’t expressed any such intention. Dear Sinha, do you really want a career in reading Modi’s mind? But even on purely logical grounds, how can anyone relate this conviction with Modi given that Modi wasn’t named an accused in any riot? Oh, Sinha also needs to stop assuming that his readers are idiots: since when has something like a conviction stopped an Indian politician from becoming a minister? Here’s a partial list, Mr. Sinha: Lalu Prasad Yadav, Sheila Dikshit, Jagdish Tytler, and the who’s who of DMK. Do these names mean anything to you especially when used in connection with “conviction” and “minister?” It’s pretty surprising that Aditya Sinha chooses to diss Modi than laud the judiciary in Gujarat that convicted these 31 persons. Exactly how many convictions have happened in the tons of Congress-sponsored communal riots from Independence till date? Forget riots in the plural and let’s take just one riot. The 1984 “Rajiv-Gandhi earth shakes” riots. Can you, Mr. Sinha tell us how many were convicted in that bloodbath? The number surely isn’t 31. Hell, I’ll be surprised if it’s even 13. Mr. Sinha, your colleagues in the media routinely yelp about how they have “grave suspicions” about the impartiality of the judiciary in Gujarat. Now that it’s been proven otherwise, why do you still choose to adopt the Path of Selective Blindness? Who’s more serious about justice, Mr. Sinha?
This ladies and gentlemen, is the nature of Sinha’s venom-spewing and I’m still on the first sentence.
Starting with the second sentence, and onwards, Sinha sends his imagination on a crazy F1 circuit wildly zipping at insane speeds and spitting out words like “egoistical,” “aggression,” and “ruthlessness” along the way. The fact that he’s lucky to live in a poisonous atmosphere that lets him get away with mere invectives than evidence helps his ranting a great deal. But wait, he does give a semblance of “evidence” when he says:
…indeed he is contemptuous about making shows of generosity towards Muslims, as evidenced during his fast (an attempt to appropriate Anna Hazare’s effective anti-Congress tool) when he refused to wear a cap offered by a Muslim.
This is like saying DNA is a crap newspaper because it’s not printed on UV ultra gloss paper. It’s a different matter that this very piece by Sinha is evidence itself that DNA is indeed, a crap paper but let’s let that go. So, Aditya Sinha’s equation seems to be this: Secularism=Wearing a Skullcap. By this token, the Congress party, Lalu, Mulayam and the whole despicable political spectrum has perfected the Art of Wearing Skullcaps and throwing Iftaar parties to an extent that leaves the poor minorities…well, poor. 60+ years of minority-generosity—a generosity, which for 45+ years was bestowed the Congress party itself—has resulted in the poor minorities actually regress from worse to worser. But Modi refusing to wear a skullcap suddenly becomes THE ACID TEST that proves he’s not generous to Muslims. This also passes off as analysis.
Oh and then the Gujarat Riots Cottage Industry’s latest heartthrob, Sanjiv Bhatt. According to Sinha’s non-existent reasoning,
…no matter how compromised the credibility of police officer Sanjiv Bhatt may be, Modi’s government’s attempts to discredit him mirror the clumsy attempts by the Congress party to discredit Anna Hazare’s team.
What are you exactly advocating Mr. Sinha? That the rogue cop’s crappy credibility is not a matter of concern? That the Gujarat government must not act against his vile deeds because it’ll be perceived as being vindictive if it acts? Are you really that dumb or ignorant of the facts of Bhatt’s sorry deeds? Bhatt is facing heat for crimes he committed in 1990, 1996, and 1997, years when Modi was not even in Gujarat politics. Congress party’s screw-Anna-everyday antics was—and remains—harassment. Gujarat government’s action against Bhatt is an investigation that has strong legal grounds. If Aditya Sinha can tell us the brand of banned substance he’s smoking, we can refer it to the NCB.
By now, we’re familiar with Aditya Sinha’s brand of demonizing Modi—let it be said that it’s definitely not an analysis or argument. A pattern, a kind of formula emerges: discredit every demonstrable positive achievement of Modi with two parts of invective and three parts of credit-theft. Ok, I made up that two and three parts bit. But you get the picture.
India Inc can’t stop gushing about how Modi…will be the one to take India to the next stage of rapid economic growth, but these are contestable claims. I wonder whether or not Gujarat, which has traditionally seen high economic activity in India, would have grown without Modi at the helm. I also wonder how many Gujarati industrialists are willing to concede that their rise and success is due to Modi. In any case, the crony capitalism and the corporate complicity in big-ticket corruption during past few years are evidence of how little India Inc really cares for India.
Of course, everything is contestable in Modi’s case. If Modi says the Sun rises in the east, it immediately becomes contestable because Modi said it. That’s right: the Gujaratis’ business acumen ensures the state’s prosperity even if the government stops power and water supply, digs up roads, blows up highways and ports…the Gujaratis’ business acumen will miraculously generate power on its own, get water on its own, and the rest. Mr. Sinha, ever heard of something called government policy-making? That is what makes a state or country prosperous. Policy and its clean, honest, and transparent enforcement is what makes the government a facilitator of economic (and other) progress. I know you know all this but you’re on that illegal trip. The last I heard :
- nobody ever asked Gujarati industrialists who they attribute their success to
- the said Gujarati industrialists haven’t told any such thing
- even if a few have, it’s their business and views and not good for Sinha’s already-smoked-up sensibilities to second-guess them.
India Inc is made up of hundreds of thousands of businesses. Mr. Sinha, are you seriously telling us that the ENTIRE India Inc is complicit in corruption? If you do, that itself says a lot about how you perceive people in general. Yad bhavam tad bhavati: you perceive something according to how you’re mentally wired: if one is a seasoned debauch, the word “pussy” doesn’t automatically conjure up the image of a cat. Also, crony capitalism is another of those bastard children that was begotten when Nehru put his socialist fantasies into practice.
The worst from Sinha’s scurrilous pen comes next . For no…err…logical reason, he draws up a parallel between Rick Perry and Narendra Modi.
Anybody who thinks that Modi is the man to rescue the nation from the Congress should also look at the parallels thrown up by the coming US presidential elections. President Barack Obama has unfortunately had to hold office during a time when the global economy has spluttered and faces further “lost years”. His leadership has been found wanting by his voters and all precedent points to his being a single-term president — if he faces a strong opponent. Trouble is, Republicans don’t seem able to find a strong candidate to take on Obama. In the run-up to their primary process, each Republican candidate looks more ridiculous and unelectable than the next. An apt analogy might be that Narendra Modi is the Rick Perry of Indian politics. Except that Rick Perry did not preside over the murder of nearly a thousand Texans.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is fiction. Here’s why:
- India is not America. The internal realities confronting the two nations are vastly different, not comparable by any yardstick.
- Obama inherited a badly-mauled economy, whose destructive seeds were sown during an earlier Democrat’s Presidency—Clinton’s. India for the most part, has been mauled—and continues to be mauled—for about 50+ years by a single dynasty. This is a mauling and a loot unparalleled in any nation that calls itself a democracy.
- This mauling has exploded in the nation’s face under UPA 2.0 and the aftermath of this explosion is hurtling India down the path of irreversible destruction in small bits everyday.
- America has a functional democracy. India has a mobocracy or a mafiocracy if you will.
- America’s current problem is rooted in the greed of some rich people and thanks to some institutions and people that are still robust and honest, there can be some course correction provided tough measures are taken. India’s problem is rooted in the greed and power-hunger of one dynasty, which is propped up by thugs and charlatans and convicted criminals whose career progression led them to occupy powerful berths in the nation’s cabinet.
- The only exception to this thuggery, etc is Narendra Modi whose record as Chief Minister for 3 consecutive terms has been solid with no corruption and staggering economic growth.
As for analogies, the fact that Aditya Sinha has compared Narendra Modi with Rick Perry proves that he, Aditya Sinha himself, can be compared to Rick Sanchez. Mr. Sinha, go look him up. If you’re unwilling or lazy or still under the influence of that vile substance, check out profile #49 here. Rick Perry is a conservative Christian who belongs to the Republican Party. Does Aditya Sinha seriously imply that Modi is a “conservative Hindu?” Is there even something like a “conservative Hindu” in the Indian political parlance? The chances of me still having faith in Sinha’s sanity—despite this I-hate-Modi piece—hinge dangerously on his answer to this question.
And hey, Mr. Sinha, while we’re on comparisons, why don’t you think it’s fair to compare Rahul Gandhi with Sarah Palin? Or will Big Momma Ambika Soni take your paper’s case again if you do that and have you write yet another imposition that tasks you with suspending your sanity yet again? Dissecting the result of one such suspended-sanity was unfortunate enough for me. Please spare me. And your readers. And yourself.