The UPA and Congress party misdeeds are no longer well kept secrets and the sinister Omerta on Sonia is now a thing of the past. Sonia is openly named as the possible kingpin of many of the humongous UPA scams and is an accused in the National Herald case. The carefully built edifice that the mainstream media (MSM) had created has come crashing down. Owing to this and other issues related to the Congress party, the voters are unequivocally rejecting the Congress as evident in the state elections (even in Puducherry, Cong did lose vote share).
Panic seems to have set in, even more in the MSM studios than in Congress stables. If the Congress party is annihilated, who will fulfil the greed of these MSM worthies? MSM celebrities have had nearly two decades of playing kingmakers when they controlled the nation through lies, withholding truth, fabricating stories, and maligning Hindus. Agusta Westland revelations show that there was also a constant flow of freebies and hefty commissions for such Patrakars (journalists). Wonder what pains them more today, losing the opportunity to make ill-gotten wealth or the loss of control over the nation’s narrative? In any case, the biradari is in great pain. They’ve started whining about “abuse” on social media.
In what they must consider the golden era, Indian media fiberals dwelt in their own world undisturbed when they were almost the sole gatekeepers of public opinion. They could be selective about what news to highlight and what news to suppress. They could project one side as the villain and the other side as the wronged. They could spin the news to suit the narratives they wished to promote. MSM rampantly used this free licence to twist, spin, and falsify.
Cozy relationship between MSM and Congress
Looking back, it is evident how during the earlier years of cable news, MSM, as a gatekeeper of public opinion, played a major role in the Congress party’s return to power as the UPA coalition in 2004, thanks to its non-stop coverage of fabricated propaganda on the 2002 post-Godhra riots. During the 2004 to 2009 term of the UPA, the economic reforms of the Vajpayee years were paying a dividend. Additionally, the MSM was engaged in insulating the government by suppressing and playing down its scams and other negative happenings which enabled UPA to return to power in 2009.
After the 2009 victory, the MSM had not only abandoned its watchdog function altogether but now virtually operated as media managers and propagandists of the government. They became more active in carrying out systematic hit jobs on enemies of the Sonia regime (Sreenivasan Jain’s ‘kali dadhi safed dadhi’ and ‘Chhota mota blast’ story, for example). Not surprisingly, the political office bearers of UPA2 epitomized hubris and arrogance that power minus accountability accords.
Insulating the government is a two-way street. Merely projecting the government in a positive light from within studios may embolden the government to carry on with its insensitive ways but it hardly tackles the issue of discontented citizens. A co-opted fourth estate also prevents negative feedback from reaching the government for possible path correction. The government’s MSM team failed to realize that absence of feedback would ultimately affect the Congress party’s electoral fortunes. Perhaps, both within the party and the MSM, the belief was strong that polarizing people on the basis of religion and creating fear about BJP amongst minorities would suffice to keep BJP out. Making BJP a political pariah by branding it as communal would ensure that “secular” parties would never ally with it. Thus, news management on these lines was considered as a sure-shot way of maintaining the political status quo in favour of the Congress party.
News management meant:
They were silent on the humungous scams which were taking place at the time: CWG, 2G, CoalGate, Agusta Westland, National Herald, Thorium, Maharashtra’s Irrigation scam, and numerous others.
They spent a lot of air time on fake stories to malign rivals of the Sonia regime. Numerous media trials were held on Modi’s “complicity” in 2002, the Ishrat Jehan “fake encounter” case and non-existent “saffron terror.”
The MSM peddled false narratives which targeted Hindutva outfits including the RSS and tried to project these as evil and diabolical while going easy on Islamist Imams and terrorist groups. Then came the narrative “terror has no religion”. Next was the fabricated narrative of ‘saffron terror’. All possible attempts were made to sell the narrative of bad Hindus, benign Muslims, even when Islamist terrorist acts continued unabated. There were various ways in which MSM tried to absolve the real Islamist perpetrators of their crimes by coming up with “root cause” theories.
While much of this narrative peddling didn’t succeed, MSM were mostly successful in hiding the sinister activities of the UPA regime. It was social media that exposed various MSM lies systematically and through factual research.
Even without inputs from social media about MSM complicity, citizens had started to suspect that all was not on board through the manner in which the MSM dealt with happenings. For example, one can recall the shameful way the MSM covered the crackdown on the Ramlila Maidan protest in June 2011. If one remembers rightly, the protest happened after the Congress party’s unethical and strong-arm tactics to prevent the democratic functioning of the Joint Parliamentary Committees which had been constituted to examine whether there was a prima facie case to investigate the CWG and 2G scams. A group of citizens mobilized by Baba Ramdev gathered at Ramlila Maida in June 2011 to peacefully protest against UPA’s unwillingness to let the scams be investigated by neutral bodies. Citizens were protesting to demand proper enquiries and to bring back looted black money.
The brutal midnight crackdown on June 4, 2011 ordered by the Congress leadership on these citizens is one of the blackest chapters in the recent history of Bharat’s democracy and one that has not been discussed or debated by the erstwhile MSM. The Delhi police, under orders from the UPA leadership, used tear gas and brutally lathi charged unarmed citizens while they were sleeping. The excessive use of force led to several people being injured seriously. One such citizen, the 53 year old Rajbala suffered a paralytic attack. She later died in hospital in the same week. The brutal crackdown was reminiscent of the Emergency under Indira Gandhi’s Congress, but the MSM response to this brutality was an eye opener for citizens who may have had no inkling about the MSM’s complicity in UPA’s crimes. Not only was the MSM response less than lukewarm, but worse, rather than condemn this crackdown in the harshest of words, one witnessed the likes of Rajdeep Sardesai ridiculing Ramdev for fleeing in a woman’s dress (salwar kameez). To ordinary citizens, MSM coverage of this event was clear evidence of MSM complicity.
Over the years, social media has revealed that the MSM was not merely Congress compliant, but was propagandist and co-conspirator in the numerous crimes and cover ups of the political dispensation. What changed between UPA’s victory for the second term and 2014 was the advent of social media. Specifically, through social media, citizens were able to share information, vent their anger, and participate in public discourse. This single event was the game changer that led to Narendra Modi’s spectacular win in 2014.
After the victory of the BJP in May 2014 and social media’s increased activity in uncovering and revealing the black deeds of the previous regime, many officials, who had been intimidated into carrying out unethical and even illegal acts by the UPA dispensation, became emboldened enough to speak out. This is how the #IshratFile and the “saffron terror” conspiracies were uncovered. Citizens who had thus far been kept blissfully unaware of the machinations of the UPA in cooking up conspiracies to malign and weaken Hindus have only recently learned about UPA’s diabolical games. The fact that democratic institutions were denigrated through threats and intimidation of law-abiding officials of the NIA, IB, CBI, and other agencies is primarily an indictment of the MSM. Had the MSM played the role it’s meant to play in a democracy, such blatant denigration of institutions could not have occurred.
Social Media – MSM’s Achilles Heel
Even today, the skeletons continue to roll out. Apparently, there’s an endless supply of skeletons that were held in UPA’s cupboards. It is almost certain that some of these skeletons will eventually end up revealing the criminality of the sold out MSM tribe–which is why MSM co-conspirators are making a coordinated attempt to “regulate” social media.
Is it a co-incidence that a few days ago, Sunetra Chaudhary tried putting words in the mouth of the WCD minister about online trolling being considered an act of violence? The WCD minister was speaking in the context of marriage portals and intimidation and cheating that can happen on such portals but the story and its headline (later changed) was made out to be about online trolling. Next was NDTV head honcho Prannoy Roy and his pathetic whining about social media abuse. And now a Congress spokie writes about “abuse” of women on social media. Then come all the usual suspects posting tweets of outrage on online abuse in a choreographed fashion.
So, for all that pretence of being liberals who respect democratic principles of equality, these whiners from the MSM can’t seem to accept information symmetry and want to be the only claimants to the right to have their opinions heard. Their true elitist sentiments of entitlement are out in the open for the world to see, thanks again to social media.
Just as in the fabricated “intolerance” debate which was all noise and no substance, the “abuse” debate is presented without providing any clarity or definitions. After all, in a manufactured issue only plain victimhood can prevail over making sense.
What exactly do the fake liberals refer to when they speak about online “trolling” (like it’s the worst ever crime that could ever occur) and online “abuse”? Do they mean threats? If any person makes threats of bodily harm to another, whether in person, on phone, or through social media platforms, we already have laws to deal with this. Is a separate law needed to “regulate” social media with respect to threats? If this is not about threats but about maligning someone, then in fact, it is the MSM that has far greater capacity to malign reputations as what they broadcast is deemed to be authentic news (may not be the case anymore as they have lost credibility). In fact, it is the MSM that has a history of propagating falsehoods to malign as it did in 2002, the Ishrat Jehan “fake encounter” story, and in several other instances.
Then there is abuse which fiberals keep whining about. While verbal abuse is bad, it is the person who engages in abuse who loses credibility and respect. Ideally, this should be true irrespective of the ideology of the abuser but we usually see silence on the abuse by the “left wing” side and playing up of the abuse if the person engaging claims to be a BJP supporter. Why else would the same feminists who outrage over abuse by the “right wing” be silent on Kanhaiya Kuman’s abusive behaviour of urinating in public and “flashing”? Verbal abuse also happens in person in public places like streets, buses, and trains. Cops can hardly be permitted to regulate language in such instances so verbal abuse (where foul language is used) on social media may be bad but is hardly a crime.
If media fiberals are alleging that rumours can be spread through social media, facts have proved that more rumours have been spread by MSM worthies (through social media or on air) than ordinary citizens spreading rumours. MSM stalwarts had been at the forefront in spreading rumours about RSS causing the exodus of people from the North Eastern states from Bangalore while Islamist threats and incidents of physical assault by Islamists was the actual cause. The doctored Kanhaiya video rumour (which lab reports now prove wasn’t doctored at all) was also spread by MSM worthies on social media. It is ironical that those spreading rumours, aiding and abetting polarization and hostilities on social media, and fabricating stories want voices of ordinary citizens on social media to be curtailed and “regulated”.
(The above article originally appeared as a blog post at https://elusivefreedom.wordpress.com/2016/05/23/thanks-to-social-media/ We express our sincere thanks to the author, who can be contacted as@Si_lv_er on Twitter, for kindly granting us consent to publish this work on HinduPost)
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