Not so dear Pratap Bhanu Mehta,
Sir, I would like to start with John Swinton, former chief of staff, The New York Times.
Caution : You may find this man and especially his words inconvenient or more suitable word is ‘Intolerant’. But this is what he has said while addressing New York Press Club,
“There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.
There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.
The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?
We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”
Now, I entirely leave it up to you whether ‘Presstitute’ is more appropriate word or ‘Intellectual Terrorist’, to address a journalist. In fact, anyone who has associated with journalists can hardly avoid the truth in such words. And best evidence lies in the actual product of journalists and what actually happens, especially involving stories of corruption and abuse of power. I’m delighted to let you know about the money laundering accused NDTV, in which’s defence you’ve written that article. It seemed to me that you held NDTV on very high esteems, the holy and hence inviolable media house.
You tell me,
What should WE, the people of India, call an unholy alliance of some in the Establishment with Lutyen’s Delhi with an intent to dethrone the elected government by various means, be it false cry of Intolerance or Minorities Under Attack ; for the treachery of journalists in the name of broadcasting facts and truths ; for the (ab)use of media power to help enemies during live military operations, be it in Pathankot or during 26/11 or in Kargil war ?
You called the declared Emergency of 1975 ‘All On The Surface’ that means superficial and that without naming who imposed it, and fearmongering of Undeclared Emergency under the Modi government. What should we call it ? How wicked one can be ?
Surely those who accused you and your ilks of propagating spurious intolerance were very unfair. How can a normal theft in a church should not have been considered as ‘Christians Under Attack’ ? How can murder of a Muslim who stole cattle, which is too a breach of law, should not have been considered as ‘Persecution Of Muslims Under Hindu Supremacists’ Government’ ? Bhakts, term used to address supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, says that the media has crossed all the fences in the name of Freedom Of Press.
Manipulation of truths, spinning of stories, projection of lies and suppression of actual events are not new lows of Indian Mainstream Media. Any opposition to this menace of media is either being portrayed as tyranny of Bhakts or abuse of power by the State. Is it ? Well, the media is always right. After all it is the fourth pillar of democracy.
There is a documented increase in misuse of power of media to create law and order problem. Elected government of Narendra Modi is being projected as anti minority, fascist, warmonger and what not by the media. But this cannot possibly portend tyranny of media, right ?
Freedom of this and freedom of that is being misused by media to make crucial decisions of this government irrelevant. Cultivation of collective narcissism to stifle the views and voices of common citizens, Promulgation of dogmatic definition of Freedom to shield treachery, constant search for contrived enemies of Modi with a sole purpose of making their hatred towards the man relevant by giving them platform on national media. What would you call it, Treason ? No. It’s Freedom Of Press.
As long as non-BJP parties and their governments are concerned, no one, I repeat, no single chief minister of any party except Arvind Kejriwal of AAP, who has neither credibility nor relevance now, is crying that Modi is not letting them govern. Have you heard Naveen Patnaik, Nitish Kumar, Akhilesh Yadav, Jayalalitha and even Manik Sarkar making as similar accusation of interference as of Kejriwal ? If you had no love lost for Kejriwal or if you had stepped out of your AC chamber, you would have know that the Central government has given full autonomy to state governments. Truth is Arvind Kejriwal lacks conviction of governing Delhi. All he want, being an anarchist, is Anarchy, Chaos, Unrest. If he had any intention of governance he wouldn’t be roaming in Punjab, Goa and Gujarat looking for alliance partners.
It seems, you have not understood the purpose of academic institutions. It’d be better if you had sorted out correctly the difference between students’ exercising their rights and sloganeering ‘Bharat Tere Tukde Hoge.. Inshallah.. Inshallah..’. Might be because your pseudosecularism resisted you to do so. I don’t know since when sloganeering destruction of India is considered as exercising one’s right, since when sloganeering against the verdict of the honorable Supreme Court after due legal process and calling it ‘Brahmanical Judicial Killing’ is considered as one’s right, since when sloganeering in support of Kashmiri Secessionists and Secessionism is considered as one’s right, since when supporting Naxalites and Maoists and celebrating martyrdom of our soldiers is one’s right. I’m sorry sir, I am unaware of such rights.
Mr. Mehta, it is appearing to me that you’ve learnt a different definition of freedom and right, OR is it because in hubris of power of pen you’re trying to subvert people’s mandate to this government. I call it treason. You might call it freedom of press.
There are attempts of character assassination of Modi by media. False accusations were being made on certain religious leaders. On one hand media preach unbiasedness in reporting crimes while on the other eminent media personalities were caught lobbying for certain corporates for some percent of brokerage in return. We saw that in Radia tapes where top notch Senior Eminent Journalists of India can be heard making deals on behalf of corporates. Intellectual Terrorists ? Maybe. Press-titutes ? Most probably.
First practice what you preach, I read somewhere.
When tyranny of judges was challenged by the government, it was being propagated that the government was intended to dominate the judiciary. Is judiciary holier than thou ? Has judiciary upper hand on discourse than executives ?
Creating hysteria of emergency when government clamps down on NDTV for jeopardizing national security, creating hysteria when government question the media over a ploy being plotted to tarnish the image of the government, is called freedom of press.
As what I said earlier, your basic definitions of Freedom and Right are different from the real ones. Yours are ideologically influenced. You wrote, ” The Cult Of Propaganda Reigns Supreme. ” Truth has been spoken sir. You said it at last. Didn’t we witness it since 2002 ?
The purpose of propaganda was, is and always will be to suppress truth and finish off that person, by hook or crook, whom you all hate the most, Narendra Modi. It is to impugn reputation of Narendra Modi who demolished all the barricades of the establishment, which you belong, and because of which you all want him dethroned, needless to say, by hook or crook. But this should not be treated as the tyranny of media, right ?
Well, at last I’d like to conclude by letting you always remember two things Mr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta. No single person’s freedom of speech should ever be exploited to jeopardize national security. So should dare not you and your ilks too. And, with great freedom comes great responsibilities. You just cannot exploit freedom for your personal gain by neglecting your responsibilities.
Certainly not yours, Aniruddh H Desai