[To read the full book "Why the Vajpayee Government lost the 2004 Lok Sabha polls", open https://www.amazon.in/Vajpayee-Government-Sabha-polls-analysis-ebook/dp/B08PRW5BNH/ The below is one chapter of it.]
While NDTV (New Delhi Television) has occasionally been criticized by the RSS or the BJP ever after its horribly partisan one-sided coverage of the post-Godhra riots of March-April 2002 and its complete rationalization/justification of the Godhra attack, its true face had never been exposed properly at that time, i.e. till 2006 or so. The true face of NDTV is as bad as the true face of the CPM, as far as people with Hindu ideology are concerned. Communists and nationalists are people with diametrically opposite ideologies. Just as the Marxists hold the Sangh Parivar as their biggest enemies, the Sangh Parivar regards Communists as their biggest ideological opponents (except for radical Islamists). And this chapter aims at exposing NDTV to some extent. However, it must be said that by this time (around 2020), NDTV has largely been exposed as an anti-BJP channel.
On NDTV, in those days, till around 2006 except B.P.Singhal (1931-2012) [one and only exception], ex-IPS and ex-DGP, who was also the younger brother of former VHP international president Ashok Singhal (1926-2015), no one from the BJP or its ideological allies and also political pseudo-secular allies ever attacked NDTV. And neither did the then editor of weekly ‘Panchjanya’, Tarun Vijay nor did the former editor of the weekly ‘Organiser’, Seshadri Chari. Former RSS spokesman Ram Madhav (1964-), who was the spokesman of the RSS until February 2006, did call NDTV as ‘Leftist media’ but being the public face of such a large Hindu organization he had to show discretion in talking on TV.
The truth is that NDTV is not just an anti-BJP, anti-VHP, anti-Sangh Parivar channel like ‘Aaj Tak’ or ‘Star News’ or newspapers like ‘The Hindustan Times’ or ‘The Times of India’ or ‘The Statesman’. NDTV is the de-facto mouthpiece of the CPI(M), at least as far as anti-BJP, anti-Sangh Parivar propaganda is concerned. A channel, which is the de facto mouthpiece of a party, and that too of a Stalinist CPM is far more dangerous to the Sangh Parivar and other Hindu-minded organizations like the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti or the Hindu Mahasabha. The CPM openly hangs portraits of Joseph Stalin (1878-1953), Lenin in its party office in Kolkata. [Link: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/cpm-kolkata-office-beleghat-rajib-biswas-jyoti-basu-2823807/] It did not condemn, and rather supported, the killing of students demanding democracy in Beijing in 1989 by crushing them under tanks, by the Communist Government of China. The CPM of course, is also far from 'honest' and is as plagued by indiscipline, groupism, opportunism and corruption as anyone, but at least it is serious in its opposition to RSS and allied organizations. To know Left’s corruption and crime, read:
CPM is a relatively more committed-to-cause party. The members of most other parties (except perhaps the Muslim League, MIM, TMMK) like the Congress, the RJD, the LJP, etc. are far more opportunistic and have far less ideological commitment than the CPM.
NDTV’s Chairman is Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy is NDTV’s No 2. CPM’s Brinda Karat, who is a Politburo member of the CPM and was also a MP, is the wife of ex-CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat (1948-), the most powerful post of the CPM-akin to that of the sarsanghachalak in the RSS or the President in the Congress or the BJP. And Brinda Karat and Radhika Roy are blood sisters, Radhika being the younger one. And both the bosses of NDTV-Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy are staunch Communists-just like Brinda and Prakash Karat. As a result, NDTV is run directly from the house of the ex-CPM General Secretary. Thus, it is Prakash Karat, Brinda Karat, Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy who run NDTV.
This not the case even with the mouthpieces of other organizations. Journalists with strong RSS ideological commitment edit both the Hindi and the English weeklies of the RSS school of thought. Weekly ‘Organiser’ (English) was edited by R Balashankar and weekly ‘Panchjanya’ (Hindi) was edited by Tarun Vijay as of June 2006. Neither of them is in any way related to any RSS leader. In fact, they are both more journalists than RSS men. The RSS sarsanghachalak never writes in either of these weeklies. Neither did any former sarsanghachalak. They function completely independently. These weeklies have nothing to do with the organisation’s leaders. Congress President Sonia Gandhi at least writes an article in every issue of the Congress Party organ ‘Sandesh’.
But NDTV was run directly from the house of the CPM General Secretary till the time Prakash Karat was the General Secretary from 2005 to 2015. ‘The Times of India’ carried a story on this on the editorial page in 2005, a few months after Prakash Karat was elected as party General Secretary in place of 88-year old Harkishan Singh Surjeet (1916-2008). Karat was interviewed on NDTV Hindi’s ‘Takkar’. ‘The Times of India’ reported in a tongue-in-cheek remark on 6 August 2005:
“(A day before NDTV was going to air an exclusive interview of CPM party boss Prakash Karat) A CPM legislator joked that a Karat interview on NDTV will be Direct to Home or DTH. That’s because Karat’s wife Brinda and NDTV boss Radhika Roy are sisters. ‘No, no’, corrected a party legislator, ‘It won’t be DTH. It’ll be DFH-Direct From Home’.”
Looking at those who run NDTV we will find that all of those who run NDTV are staunch Leftist-minded people. Except some people like Rajdeep Sardesai, who is as good as a Communist in terms of anti-BJP attitude, those who used to run NDTV were staunch Leftists. Prannoy Roy, Radhika Roy, Abhigyan Prakash, Abhisar Sharma, Vinod Dua, Pankaj Pachouri, etc are all Leftist in thought. Even among the more knowledgeable people in the Sangh Parivar, who at least understood in those days that the channel NDTV is horribly anti-Sangh Parivar, very few knew that Radhika Roy and Brinda Karat are sisters. The leaders know it, but not the ordinary workers, and the masses also don’t know this.
Some would say- “If someone’s in-laws are murderers, does that make them murderers?” or “The fact of being related to Brinda Karat makes no difference to their reporting”. It is not that. It is the fact that those who run NDTV, namely Radhika Roy and Prannoy Roy are as staunch Communists as Prakash and Brinda Karat, and are as heavily biased as Brinda and Prakash Karat.
In November or December 2007, the then BJP spokesman Ravishankar Prasad said on a debate on NDTV Hindi that ‘NDTV is biased against Narendra Modi and BJP’ to which the anchor said- ‘Bias could be in your way of thinking. If we were against the BJP or Narendra Modi, then why would we have invited you on our program and given you a platform to air your views?’ The answer to that is simple- for credibility. If no BJP participant is invited and only Congress and other BJP opponents are invited (which is also done often, as we saw in Chapter 6) it would immediately expose the channel. Inviting a BJP participant in a live debate of half an hour does not change the narration or reporting of the channel in the remaining 23 and half hours of the day, in which it reports horribly biased against the BJP. NDTV should not even pretend to be neutral and unbiased against BJP, its reporting, manner of conducting debates etc. has been seen in Chapters 5 and 6 to know how biased it is.
We have already seen how the NDTV’s strategy of attacking the RSS and the BJP and other Hindu-minded organizations or even pseudo-secular parties of the NDA. But let us see a few additional points here.
In August 2004, the then HRD Minister Arjun Singh (1930-2011), who is more known for his role in the Churhat lottery scam of the 1980s, alleged that the RSS killed Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), for which the RSS sued him. This provoked a Congress-RSS clash. For the debate, at 7-30 pm on 15 August 2004 NDTV invited Congress spokesman and great lawyer Devendra Nath Dwivedi, and from the ‘RSS’ side, a former journalist and a member of the BJP’s National executive. It was the biggest mismatch in terms of cleverness. NDTV deliberately invited this man, and not the then RSS spokesman Ram Madhav. Again, it was a case of ‘weak’ Hindu candidate, since NDTV knew very well that this man is not a good debater, and Ram Madhav is a very good one. Moreover, for much of the debate, he was on the phone line, which made it very difficult for him to argue. And he was asked questions as if he was the RSS’ spokesman. And he miserably failed to answer those and did not even say,
“I am not the spokesman of the RSS, nor the editor of ‘Organiser’. If you have Devendra Nath Dwivedi, a Congress spokesman, then there should be the RSS spokesman here.”
NDTV had a programme ‘Gustakhi Maaf’ in Hindi, and ‘Double Take’ in English, which was very popular, involving the dummies of political leaders. NDTV did criticize the Congress and at times, even the Left for token. But that criticism is something which is already known to the masses and causes no harm to the Congress at all. For example, Congress leaders are painted as sycophants of Congress President Sonia Gandhi which they are. But the BJP is attacked for its ideology. BJP’s criticism in ‘Gustakhi Maaf’ is over ideology, but no other party is criticized for ideology, certainly not the Left, which supported the Muslim League’s demand for Pakistan pre-1947, supported the Razakars’ anti-India acts in Hyderabad in 1948, and accused India of starting the war with China in 1962 and said ‘China’s Chairman is India’s chairman’, opposed India's Nuclear tests in both in 1974 and 1998 while supporting China's in 1964 and called Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose as 'Tojo's Dog', drew a cartoon of a donkey with Netaji's face etc. Congress is never attacked for banning the film ‘Da Vinci Code’ in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Tamil Nadu possibly on the orders of party President Sonia Gandhi, who is herself a Roman Catholic. But the BJP is horribly painted as a party of fanatics over the film ‘Fanaa’.
NDTV painted the CPM as a party of angels. Sample what happened on Sunday, 18 July 2004 in the debate called ‘Mukabala’ on Hindi NDTV. In this, NDTV invited RJD’s Raghuvansh Prasad Singh (1946-2020), BJP’s Sushil Kumar Modi (1952-), and the CPI’s Gurudas Dasgupta (1936-2019) on the issue of ‘tainted ministers’. It was a pathetic sight to see a demoralized Sushil Kumar Modi in a defeatist mind being bullied by both Gurudas Dasgupta and Raghuvansh Prasad Singh. It was 3 against 1 with all 3, including the anchor Dibang, attacking the BJP over its ‘tainted’ ministers (L K Advani, M M Joshi accused in Babri demolition) and the Babri demolition. Dasgupta never uttered a word against criminals of the RJD like Mohammad Shahbuddin or against Raghuvansh Prasad Singh. And to see BJP leaders take a beating in silence is something we all must be used to. Modi should have given hard-hitting replies. He should have condemned both Singh and Dasgupta for making it 2 against 1 and Dibang for being partisan and putting 2 against 1, and making it 3 against 1. He should have threatened a complete BJP boycott of NDTV for its bias.
And as for the Left’s hypocrisy, it kept claiming morality and yet never uttered a word against the tainted ministers of the UPA government like Taslimuddin, Lalu Yadav etc and claimed that ‘Not a single member of Left MPs is such on whom a finger can be pointed’ when in reality as many as 8 out of the then 59 MPs of the Left were also facing criminal charges- 3 of the CPM, 2 of the CPI and 3 of the RSP and the Forward Bloc.
NDTV as usual helped the Left in this. All channels never highlighted publicly and repeatedly this fact that 8 of the 59 Left MPs were facing criminal charges. One Left MP belonging to the Forward Bloc (Lok Sabha member from Purulia in West Bengal) was in fact convicted of a charge as serious as rape in a case of 1982 on 12 May 2006. [Link is: https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-mp-gets-10-years-for-gang-rape-1029055]
The Left fought both the 2000 and the 2005 Bihar Assembly polls in alliance with RJD, a party with many criminals. The Left supported the RJD in Bihar in the 2000-2005 term. The Left also allied with the RJD in the February 2005 Bihar elections. [Only during the November 2005 Bihar Assembly elections did a Left party, the CPI, criticize the RJD’s non-performance and criminalization. CPI refused to ally with RJD, and instead allied with the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of Ram Vilas Paswan (1946-2020) and said that ‘It is not enough to be secular. Work too should be done.’] NDTV never objected to that.
In 2003 there was a debate on English NDTV when the CPI’s Gurudas Dasgupta was invited for the debate ‘Right to Strike’. A member of the audience asked the CPI leader, “Why strike? Why not ask in a polite and dignified manner?” Dasgupta said, “Teachers of Bihar were not given salaries for 6 months. They asked for it in a polite and dignified manner but nothing happened and finally they had to strike against the government.” Mr Dasgupta and NDTV, above was all fine. But how did your party dare to talk of supporting the workers’ and the teachers’ strike against the government when your party supported the same government of Lalu Yadav they were opposing and had not paid them salaries for six months?
Looking at the UPA of 2004-09, the Left won a huge majority in both Kerala and West Bengal in the State Assembly elections of May 2006. Balbir Punj (1949-) of the BJP rightly attributed the win of the Left in a debate on Zee News on 11 May 2006 to the fact that,
“The Left has succeeded in creating the impression that everything good the UPA does is because of it and everything bad it does is in spite of it.” And this was of course, courtesy NDTV which played a major role in creation of this impression.
As mentioned earlier in the chapter on defaming Hindu leaders, NDTV never reported the scientific rigging in West Bengal of the Communists. The murderous poll-rigging CPM cadres were painted as angels and Comrade Biman Basu’s case was also ignored.
Whenever petrol prices were hiked in India by the UPA Government, the CPM leaders wanted to take to the streets and wanted the space of the opposition. Whenever inflation occured, the same happened. But when inflation went down, credit went to the Left (which was giving crucial outside support to the UPA) for bringing it down, according to NDTV. A reader wrote in ‘The Times of India’ in August 2004 in the ‘Letters to the editor’ column:
“I have never voted for the Left in my life. But looking at the sincere effort they are doing in trying to control the petrol prices, I may consider voting for a Left party in the next elections.”
My letter countering this charge of course was not published. Why not look at West Bengal where the CPM had been ruling for 30 years or so since 1977 to see what the Left does in power? Why look at the UPA where the Left had given outside support? As Arun Jaitley of the BJP put it, “They want fruits of power and also space of opposition.” Left kept chaffing over (Common Minimum Program) CMP, CMP, and CMP which was formed under Left pressure in UPA 1 era. Thus the Left had power due to CMP. And it also had the space of opposition. And NDTV never attacked the Left in those days, at least not until the Left withdrew support to the UPA Government in 2008.
NDTV reported the BJP’s demand of the resignation of the then Union Railway Minister Lalu Yadav after a train mishap in December 2004. NDTV did not stop here and added its critical, defamatory comments on BJP. NDTV while reporting it openly attacked the BJP like a CPM organ would on 23 December 2004 at 9-53 PM. Hindi NDTV reported:
“These are the double standards of the Bharatiya Janata Party whose own leaders are accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case. They were the Home Minister (L K Advani), the HRD Minister (M M Joshi), and the Sports Minister (Uma Bharti). The BJP has demanded the resignation of a minister (Lalu) against whom not even an FIR is filed. And the BJP had its own leaders charge sheeted in the Ayodhya case. And as for the party’s claim that charges filed in a political agitation are different, the party should at least tell, what was the need to whip up communal passion to put down a 400 year old building?”
My good Marxists! No BJP minister was ever charge-sheeted. When Uma Bharti was, she was not a minister in the government. Only Murli Manohar Joshi (1934-), the then HRD Minister was charge-sheeted on 19 September 2003 in a lower court. Joshi had declared earlier that if he was charge-sheeted he would quit the Union Cabinet and quit he did. After that he appealed in the Allahabad High Court against this decision of the lower court and withdrew the resignation when the charge-sheet was withdrawn on orders of the HC which gave relief to him. [Aaj Tak TV channel found even this relief to Joshi by the HC as bad, and said “Joshi’s dream of becoming a hero by giving resignation has ended”!] Harin Pathak (1947-), BJP MP from Ahmedabad was Union Minister of State for Home and he was charge-sheeted on 7 November 2000 and he quit the cabinet on 11 November 2000 on grounds of moral responsibility and came back only when the charge-sheet was withdrawn.
And L.K.Advani quit the Lok Sabha when his name came in the Hawala scam and he did not contest the 1996 Lok Sabha election because of it and contested only the 1998 Lok Sabha election after a Delhi court cleared him in 1997 where the judge was a Muslim. NDTV did not report any of the above facts and ignored the ethics of the BJP leaders and condemned the BJP, and continues to do so and kept on glorifying the adroit CPM. And in the above case, the BJP demanded Lalu’s resignation not because of the train accident but because Lalu did not visit the accident spot after the accident but instead was in Bihar preparing for the State assembly polls of February 2005.
Let us see further how NDTV glorified the Left. In July 2005, the workers of a factory in Gurgaon, Haryana were lathi-charged by policemen. The Left tried to project itself as a party of the workers and champion of the workers’ interests. The BJP and INLD too had supported the workers’ agitation in Haryana at this time. Why was the BJP’s support to the workers and for that matter the then main Opposition Party of the state of Haryana-INLD’s support to the workers completely ignored? In July 2005, NDTV broadcast ‘The Big Fight’ on this very issue and it invited Kiran Bedi (1949-), a great police officer, and as another participant, an industrialist and as the third participant and the only politician, the CPI’s Gurudas Dasgupta. What is the Left’s locus standi? Why was Dasgupta invited to put forward the workers’ cause? Why not someone from the BJP or the INLD? Or why not someone from the BMS (Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh), the country’s largest trade union, much bigger than CITU and the AITUC? This was of course to project the CPI and other Left parties as the sole champions of the working class. This policy of inviting the sole politician from the Left helped the Left. There was no political opponent of the Left including the Congress who would attack Mr. Dasgupta and the Comrades and neither of the other two participants did, because they were not politicians.
As we have seen earlier, NDTV through its programme KKK (Khabron ki khabar) helped the Left i.e. the CPM stance on US recognizing India as a nuclear state in June 2005. The CPM-led Left Front won the Kerala State Assembly elections in May 2006 allying with terrorists and those very Muslim organizations whom it had opposed all along. The Left and the Congress in the Kerala Legislative Assembly unanimously passed the resolution for the release of Abdul Madani (1966-) in 2006; the prime accused in the February 1998 Coimbatore bomb blasts case, which killed 58 people and nearly killed L.K.Advani who had a miraculous escape as his flight was delayed by over 90 minutes due to bad weather from Thiruvananthapuram to Coimbatore. [Link is: https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/nation/story/20060417-kerala-polls-udf-ldf-woo-abdul-nasser-madani-783375-2006-04-17#ssologin=1]
CPM in Kerala communalized the foreign policy of the country and asked for votes from Muslims in 2006 for opposing US and supporting Iran. NDTV did not oppose communalization of foreign policy. And the Left got together with Muslims and organized massive protests against the visit of the then US President George W Bush (1946-) to India in March 2006, which should have been condemned by all right-thinking people especially the media. A guest like George Bush should have been invited to address a joint session of Parliament, like the then US President Bill Clinton (1946-) had been during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure in March 2000. The Left did not bother at all when Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf visited India in April 2005 despite the fact that Musharraf is the guilty villain of Kargil 1999, which resulted in the death of around 600 Indian defense personnel and continued to kill numerous Indians through proxy war even after that until he was President of Pakistan till 2008. But after the visit of George Bush to India, Left and the JNU (Ultra Left) protested against his visit and called him a ‘mass murderer’. If he was a murderer, he did not murder any Indian. But Musharraf was responsible for the death of many Indians. George Bush did not threaten a nuclear attack on anyone. Pervez Musharraf did. But NDTV kept backing the Left and never once criticized its foreign policy. But NDTV did support the India-US Nuclear Deal after the Left withdrew support to UPA in 2008.
NDTV kept praising Pakistan, holding India equally responsible for all the troubles and tried to paint Pakistan as a normal state whereas Pakistan is not a normal state, at least in the opinion of security affairs expert Brahma Chellaney (1962-). Pakistan is a fundamentalist state, an abnormal state and in his view, it is not a nation that has a military, but a military that has a nation. NDTV showed ‘LoC’ as ‘Love of Cricket’ or ‘Love of Cinema’. NDTV Hindi said, “Now should the borders between the two nations be opened?” and it indirectly advocated open border with Pakistan. One can only imagine the devastating consequences of this- if there is an open border with Pakistan, how easily the terrorists would come in. When Pakistani batsman Yousuf Yohana scored a century for Pakistan in the first Test match against India in Pakistan in April 2004, NDTV Sports reported, “He scored a great century but unfortunately ended up on the losing side.” Unfortunately? At least, it should have mentioned ‘But unfortunately for him, ended up on the losing side’.
NDTV played the CPM’s role in the Ishrat Jahan case. [http://secularjournalists.blogspot.com/2013/06/ishrat-jahan-case-naked-support-to.html] Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year-old student and a member of the Lashkar-e-Toiba attacked and tried to kill the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad on 15 June 2004 along with 3 others. Four terrorists were killed in the police encounter. It was NDTV which started the rubbish of calling them ‘innocent’ and the attack as being ‘fake’ and ‘stage managed’ to get ‘public sympathy’. The Gujarat Congress with its state party leader S.S.Vaghela immediately dubbed the encounter as ‘fake’ and many English newspapers carried letters saying that the attack was fake and stage-managed and that the terrorists killed were ‘innocent’. NDTV did not bother to ask the simple question- “If that 19 year old girl was innocent, then what was she doing with 3 much older men, 2 of whom were Pakistani nationals, in a car armed with explosives at 4 AM in the morning 500 kilometers away from home?” This was the extent of the hatred of Narendra Modi of people of the NDTV school of thought.
Senior Columnist T V R Shenoy (1941-2018) wrote in July 2004:
“Everybody agrees that Ishrat Jahan disappeared from her house on June 12. Her mother Shamima Jahan Sheikh says she kept quiet about her daughter going missing because she didn't want a scandal. This is understandable enough (although some parents might have consulted the authorities to make sure that a child was safe, scandal be damned). But it begs the question: what was Ishrat Jahan doing between June 12, when she disappeared from her mother's house, and June 15, when she was shot in the company of alleged terrorists?
“One theory doing the rounds is that the young lady was kidnapped by the Gujarat police for use in their 'false encounter.'
“Let us assume for argument's sake that the Gujarat police wanted dead bodies to file a charge of an 'encounter.' Why on earth would they choose a completely unknown girl from Thane as a victim? I am sure there are other, far more likely candidates, grown men with a known criminal background, in Gujarat itself. The Gujarat police could have plausibly chosen any of them and there would have been nary a murmur."
The sheer stupidity of the argument, of the Gujarat Police wanting to kill an ‘innocent’ girl in a fake encounter was not reported by NDTV. It is like the West Bengal Police deciding to kill 2 people in a fake encounter with Pakistani terrorists in Kolkata, and deciding to kill an unknown 19-year old girl from Patna, Bihar for it! How ridiculous to assume so! It took the Lashkar-e-Toiba to save the day for Gujarat police and the nation’s intelligence officials. [Link: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/ishrat-was-our-activist-lashkar/article27640550.ece] Its website declared that Ishrat Jahan was its member (on 14 July 2004). [Link: http://archive.indianexpress.com/oldStory/51066/]
NDTV and other news channels also (like Star News) and the country’s newspapers prefer and trust and rely on the statements made by the relatives and teachers of the terrorists and not the nation’s intelligence and police officials. NDTV openly supported the terrorists along with parties like the Congress and the NCP in Maharashtra and all other ‘liberals’. This was so pathetic that the BJP should have moved the courts against NDTV and calling for penalty to it and demanded derecognition of the Congress as a party for direct support to the Islamic terrorists. It is one thing to express doubts about the encounter demanding an investigation, it is quite another to declare a terrorist as ‘innocent’ without any investigation and accuse the Police of having killed an innocent person in a fake encounter. This is what the Congress did.
Maharashtra NCP leaders gave compensation to the relatives of the killed terrorist Ishrat Jahan. The Samajwadi Party organized a ‘bandh’ in Mumbra area of Mumbai in support of Ishrat Jahan the terrorist and accused the Modi government of stage-managing the encounter. And the large number of people who had come to her funeral in Mumbai made some doubt if some of the Muslims of Mumbra have sympathy for terrorists.
Both NDTV and politicians are equally guilty of not only defaming and maligning Hindu leaders like Narendra Modi and supporting terrorists but also of inciting Muslims for terrorism by creating a false sense of infuriation and victimization in them. The pathetic approach of the BJP and the RSS and the Sangh Parivar in this case was also completely expected. Instead of making the liars pay for their lies, they suffered in silence and when the truth came out (Thanks to the Lashkar-e-Toiba) they allowed the media-politician combine who had done a blatantly anti-national act to go scot-free.
It was NDTV which of course began the process of maligning the Hindu leaders (read Narendra Modi, indirectly accusing him of having killed an ‘innocent’ girl in a fake encounter, something which was directly alleged by the Congress) and defending the terrorists. Finally in “We’ve got Mail” according to NDTV’s own admission, it got many mails questioning its role and asked if it was responsible journalism. The host of the show asked Rajdeep Sardesai to answer that question and he gave various ‘explanations’ and said, “Yes, this can be called responsible journalism.” Of course you say that Rajdeep, without giving any apology. Both Rajdeep and the NDTV bosses should have been punished for their direct support to terrorists and demoralization, slander, false defamation of the Indian police force and intelligence agencies, as well as of Narendra Modi in this case.
More difficult times came for NDTV when the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was denied visa by the US in March 2005 and his earlier tourist visa, issued in 1998 was revoked just one day before his scheduled visit to the United States. Here the comrades were caught between devil and the deep sea. The Communists cannot support Narendra Modi and definitely not the US. If they said that Modi should have been given a visa and his earlier visa should not have been revoked, it would have been supporting Modi, and saying that the decision to revoke the earlier visa and deny him a diplomatic visa was right, would have been supporting the US! They can’t do either!
NDTV aired a ‘Big Fight’ on this topic on 26 March 2005, whose participants included Digvijay Singh (1947-) of the Congress, Rajiv Pratap Rudy (1962-) of the BJP and the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Purushottam Agrawal. NDTV also had an American voice with an American woman briefly invited through videophone from Delhi, and it was 4 against 1 with Rajiv Pratap Rudy not able to counter NDTV. This is because Rajiv Pratap Rudy did not seem to have the knowledge needed to speak in this debate. And he did not attack NDTV for putting it 4 against 1. Rudy talked of the 1984 riots which simply cannot be compared with the Gujarat riots. It is a figment of the biased media’s imagination and deliberate attempt to demonize the BJP that such comparisons are made, and the 1984 riots and the Gujarat riots are equated. The Congress is never embarrassed over the riots. And the differences are too glaring for the two to be equated. [http://www.gujaratriots.com/index.php/2008/08/contrasts-between-1984-and-gujarat-2002-riots/] Rudy, instead of mentioning some of the points of the chapter, “Gujarat riots-The true story” lost the debate to the cunning Congress-Marxist combine, though he is a good debater.
As we have seen, NDTV invited the CPM leaders on TV when there was absolutely no need to, just for strengthening the CPM as seen in case of the debate between Brinda Karat and Hansraj Bharadwaj on the issue of the repeal of the POTA law by the UPA. NDTV’s coverage of the Kanchi Shankaracharya’s arrest in November 2004 also was pathetic. Hindi NDTV continuously wrote on its TV screen the next day while reporting the arrest all day, “Strong evidence against the Shankaracharya: Police” which was all rubbish. The manner of reporting was deliberately so as to sound that the police were reluctant to arrest him and that because he was guilty and there was strong evidence against him, they were forced to arrest him. NDTV Hindi in the Hindi version of ‘The Big Fight’ i.e. ‘Mukabala’ invited BJP’s B.P.Singhal, JNU’s Purushottam Agrawal and a third police officer to speak on the issue. What was written on the screen as well as the topic of the debate was- ‘Is religion greater or law?’ It was as if the seer is guilty and that the debate is- Should the seer guilty of murder be set free because he is a religious leader?
The coverage of NDTV and also of all other channels like Star News after the release of the interim report of the Godhra train massacre by U.C. Banerjee (1937-2012) was, not surprisingly, disgusting. [Link is: http://www.gujaratriots.com/index.php/2016/10/the-godhra-carnage/] NDTV and others staunchly defended the report and made it sound that there is any ‘controversy’ over the issue and insulted the dead karsevaks. Neither NDTV nor any other channel asked the two simple questions-
1- 1-If it was an accident then why did the karsevaks not run away from the train when it caught fire?
2- 2-How were so many stones pelted which were recovered from the site after the massacre? Who did that?
For NDTV’s hatred of anything Hindu, it, like other anti-Hindu TV channels, spread lies when an excavation was done in Ayodhya in 2003 to see whether a temple pre-existed at the site where the Babri Masjid stood. The final report made public on 25 August 2003 found a temple. The interim report also found a temple. But NDTV and the media lied and bluffed that nothing was found in Ayodhya. Weekly ‘Organiser’ says in its issue dated 29 June 2003 when the Ayodhya excavation’s interim report was submitted and the media spread lies, “Ayodhya Excavation: Media Misrepresentation”. The final report made public in August 2003 also was exactly as weekly ‘Organiser’ had reported in June 2003. [https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/nation/story/20030908-asi-finds-temple-lies-below-babri-masjid-vhp-sees-prospect-of-reviving-ayodhya-campaign-792496-2003-09-08]
And when the final report came, the media downplayed it. You can bet what NDTV and others would have done if the report had not found a temple at that place.
NDTV writes rhetorical questions on TV screens. In July 2002 NDTV invited the then deputy RSS spokesman Ram Madhav, National Conference leader and son of the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah (1970-) and another man on the issue to make it 3 against 1 again on the issue of trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir as demanded by the RSS. On the screen was written- ‘Does proposal for trifurcation mean accepting Pakistan’s position?’ The message sent out was- ‘Proposal of trifurcation as demanded by the RSS means accepting Pakistan’s position’. But during that time also NDTV was caught between devil and the deep sea, because the BJP had rejected the RSS proposal for trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir. Now, if along with the Congress, NDTV had opposed trifurcation and the RSS, it would have to support the BJP, and opposing BJP would have meant supporting the RSS. NDTV could do neither. It also could not praise the BJP for rejecting the RSS proposal.
For maligning the VHP, NDTV and all other channels let no stone unturned. In July 2003 there was a meeting of leaders of all major organizations of the Sangh Parivar in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu. VHP chief Ashok Singhal was interviewed and he said,
“The Prime Minister should try to pass a law for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya in Parliament. If it is passed, very good. And if he cannot pass the law, he should resign and go to the masses asking for complete majority for passing the law.”
Despite this clear statement of Singhal, NDTV and company and all major dailies of India went on a rampage and said,
“Singhal demands PM’s resignation for failing to bring law to build Ram temple” and reported as if he had said, “That anti-Hindu Prime Minister should resign and make a pro-Hindu leader the Prime Minister.”
Editorials rubbishing the VHP were also published in many newspapers. And VHP leaders miserably failed to stop the media and NDTV. This is just one of the many examples that can be given on NDTV’s anti-VHP tirade.
NDTV and company did the same to another VHP leader, senior Vice-President of the VHP Acharya Giriraj Kishore. A reporter asked him in 2003 whether the VHP would want the Shankaracharya of the Kanchi mutt to be made the main priest of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. The Acharya replied, “The seer is of the Shivananda cult. The person who will look after the temple should be of the Ramananda cult.”
NDTV and company and all major newspapers of the country reported, “VHP Vice-President Acharya Giriraj Kishore says that the Kanchi Shankaracharya has no role to play in Ayodhya because he belongs to the Shivananda cult.” VHP got a sound thrashing from the media for dividing the Hindu society on such grounds. It is sheer stupidity on part of the VHP to let the media escape courts on such matters. The then VHP All India Secretary and spokesman, Dr Surendra Jain clarified what Giriraj Kishore actually said and said that ‘When Acharya ji gave this statement, I was present there.’
CPM leader Brinda Karat made allegations on Baba Ramdev (1965-), the famous Yoga guru in January 2006 and accused him of using animal bones in his medicines (Link for this charge made by Brinda Karat: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Brinda-Karat-takes-on-the-Baba/articleshow/1357043.cms) - a charge which was fully supported by the CPM (Link for CPM’s statement fully supporting Brinda Karat’s allegations on Baba Ramdev: https://www.outlookindia.com/newswire/amp/brindas-allegation-against-ramdev-has-cpm-support-karat/347107) and completely debunked by Ramdev. (Link for total denial by Baba Ramdev: https://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/ramdev-ridicules-karats-charges-enlists-merits-of-yoga_268305.html) NDTV Hindi obviously reported favoring Brinda Karat. It showed a program titled ‘Kaise kaise sant’ attacking some other saints, implying that Ramdev is similar. Nothing unexpected, because Brinda Karat’s sister is the owner of NDTV. Later in March 2006, he got a clean chit by the then Government of Uttarakhand (then known as Uttaranchal), which was at that time of the Congress Party. (Link for the clean chit: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india/ramdev-for-probe-against-karat/story-s5hF53kgfO5rYWorN0fqOM.html)
Buoyed by a clean chit, yoga guru Baba Ramdev suggested that there should now be an investigation and action against CPM politburo member Brinda Karat for falsely alleging that there were traces of human bones and skulls in his medicines. He said this at a Press conference at Sahara Shehar soon after the Uttaranchal Government announced that there was no trace of such elements in his medicines. NDTV was mysteriously silent, it did not demand any action against Brinda Karat and the CPM for their false allegations on Baba Ramdev!
After the BJP’s loss of 6 seats in Gujarat in the Lok Sabha polls of 2004 NDTV reported that the Congress was in good shape in Gujarat. But in truth, that gain of a few seats for the Congress in 2004 was more of an accident.
NDTV succeeded in maligning the BJP because of its credibility. What is worse is that NDTV has been utilizing the service of former Indian batsman Navjot Singh Sidhu (1963-), who was then a BJP MP from Amritsar. Sidhu batted for NDTV despite it being horribly anti-BJP. BJP should have asked Navjot Sidhu to boycott NDTV and not to sign any contract with it at that time.
[To read the full book, open https://www.amazon.in/Vajpayee-Government-Sabha-polls-analysis-ebook/dp/B08PRW5BNH/ ]