Main Stream Media -biggest hurdle to the freedom of expression

In order to express yourself you need to form opinions or to have questions. In order to form opinions or to ask questions you need information. If you don’t have information or you have disinformation provided by media controlled by business or other vested interests conflicting with availability of correct information, your ability to form opinions or ask questions gets severely afflicted. Worse, you don’t even know that you have been gagged.

This is precisely what has been happening under the Congress rule of six decades through the media -mainly the so called main stream (means English) media. So we have been fed with a Congress version of history in which everybody other than Nehru-Gandhi has been reduced to non-entity whether it is about the freedom struggle or about Prime Ministers outside the family are concerned. See the fate of Narasimha Rao. And we have hundreds of government schemes and roads named after the Gandhis (non-Mahatma).

The role of media and some individuals who call themselves liberals in fanning communal trouble post burning of Sabarmati passengers is coming to light.

The Media and intellectuals in Congress’ eco-system have  been subverting public opinion for generations now and tfor this reason Congress rule took so long to get dislodged. It took the Narendra Modi, the BJP & RSS cadres, and spirited social media activists to create a public opinion for change and consolidate into a vote for the NDA.

But we are not going to have all above factors in place in our daily task of forming and expressing opinions because the stranglehold of the main stream media is still there. Look at these recent ‘free’ media ‘facts’

-Not a single Muslim MP in BJP

-OBCs get only Minister of State posts while upper castes get cabinet ranks in (Modi Cabinet)

-East gets left out of Cabinet, North & West rule

The above kind of ‘factual;’ statements insinuate that BJP did not give tickets to Muslims for being Muslims and Modi made OBCs Ministers of State because they are OBCs and Modi left out East people from ministries because they are from East.

This insidious and poisonous thinking is the legacy of the Congress and most the media will continue in the same vein for their own reasons.

As Citizens we need ways to wean ourselves from the bad information diet supplied by the  above kind of media. We also need means to get access to facts  and express our opinions. We need to wake up to this silent gagging. Otherwise our opinions and expressions will get manipulated by the vested interests.

 

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3000……

I didn’t realize this when I began on last Sunday to run the The Great Shivaji Half Marathon.

My first kilometer of the HM was in fact the 3000th KM since I started logging my runs on Garmin in Nov 2011.

I learned this today when I uploaded my logs on dailymile.com

Thank you my running and non running but cheering friends and race volunteers and Danny Dreyer of chirunning.com

Not bad na?

Hemant
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The imponderables -an update

I was happily wrong in my exit poll interpretation. NDA got 334 instead 300 to 314 that I thought it might get.

I was also wrong about the impact of poll rigging, voter list mismanagement and the partisan EC. In final analysis it did not matter.

But this subject must be investigated and the problems in the processes and wrong doings by people must be exposed and they should be made to account for them. Since the courts generally don’t intervene in electoral process this is going to be difficult. The entire process of voter registration, deletion, and additions is vitiated by lack of openness (putting things up on non working \ non searchable web sites is not openness) and accountability and lack of natural justice. If my name is removed from the list do I have the right to be notified and heard or not? If I apply properly,  who is accountable if I don’t get myself in the list of voters? This is further compounded by issuing of AADHAR cards to illegal immigrants into the country. I hope that Modi Government fixes this properly otherwise the secular and liberal agents of congress have all the time now to go on stuffing voter lists with illegal immigrants and this could be a swing factor in a tight election without any big wave.

Third unknown: What might congress do when its defeat is official. Congress are terrible losers. They don’t spare even their own  CMs. They have a history of causing riots to pull down their internal rivals. They can go to any extent to further their own careers. They might instigate riots. With likes of Mani Ayyer issuing ‘call to arms’ this fear is certainly a valid fear. This is a huge issue. I hope that new government has the wherewithal to preempt such threats.

The fourth: Since Congress controls the paid media and the paid intellectuals,  they will battle Modi through media  powered outright lies,  insinuations, and constant stream of abuse and we know that people are gullible. This is playing out with the likes of Shekhar Guptas and Vinod Mehta moaning about no Muslim MP in BJP and stuff like that. These people have established themselves in the media bazar of India. We need solution to overcome the stranglehold of the paid media \ newstrader business.

 

The Imponderables

Voting turnout higher than 1984 can mean completely new thinking by voters  not accounted for by pollsters and even parties. This can make sampling of voters for exit polls quite wrong causing large errors.   All polls and exit polls and other anecdotal information indicate a trend in favor of NDA.  Sampling errors can fail to predict large swings. This means NDA may get more than 289 predicted and may even cross 300 315 mark.

Second unknown is the extent of rigging through manipulation of voter lists, EVM hacking, violence and intimidation and distribution of cash and booze. Rigging is not as uncommon as many might think. States like J&K, Bengal, Bihar and UP are quite advanced in rigging. We have never known the extent of rigging since we don’t hold EC to account.

Third unknown: What might congress do when its defeat is official. Congress are terrible losers. They don’t spare even their own  CMs. They have a history of causing riots to pull down their internal rivals. They can go to any extent to further their own careers. They might instigate riots.

The fourth: Since Congress controls the paid media and the paid intellectuals they will battle Modi through media  powered outright lies,  insinuations, and constant stream of abuse and we know that people are gullible.

These then are the imponderables of this election.

Hemant
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The Indian Voter’s Wisdom

The wisdom of Indian electorate is well celebrated. After every election the Indian voter is felicitated for her wisdom and maturity and all that.

I have always been confounded by such stuff appearing in media. It may not be just a coincidence that one never hears such praise in private conversations and one reads or hears such praise for the Indian voter only in media.

Therefore I thought that I should express what I feel about the subject before the election results are out. I don’t think the Indian voter is wise. I know we have a huge number of corrupt politicians. But I think we all Indian citizens are corrupt in the sense that we can be bought over by appeals on the basis of religion, caste, language, ethnicity, or some other ways of ‘categorizing’ people. We can be purchased through sops, doles, or holidays -not to speak of liquor and cash. We break all laws with impunity and even take pride in our ‘jugaad’ while doing this. 

We are the people who have venerated an arrogant dynasty for sixty years. We are still a very feudal society. We are still very very intolerant -more intolerant than we were twenty or thirty years back. We can blame ‘all politicians and all political parties’ as the AAP propagates but the fact is the that we the people are corrupt. We are cause as much as we the victims. But today we believe that we are the victims.

Therefore I am saying that the Indian voter is not mature at all. I will say this even if Modi’s BJP wins this election and forms the next government at center and I wish that Modi’s BJP gets a good mandate, I believe that his government and his party will set right some of what is wrong with us (as I have mentioned here).  Modi &  BJP’s success, if it happens, will not be because we don’t have the shortcomings that I am talking of. It will be probably because those who have stake in a better India (the young job seekers, the new middle class) are desperate for change and because Modi gave them a credible alternative. I will of course say this if it fails to get a good mandate and the dreams of the likes of SG, RG, Lalu, Nitish, Mulayam, AK of becoming kingmaker or top ransom seeker come true.

The fact that most political parties, particularly Congress and its mutants like NCP, SP, BSP, RJD, TMC continue to form their electoral strategies on the basis of religion and castes and the fact that the media continues to give currency to this proves what I am saying. They take a very dim view of the Indian Voter -of you and me. 

I will believe in the maturity of the Indian Voter only if I don’t come across the above kind of ‘discussions’ in the media.

What do you say?

Summer cool Delhi and a walk in the park

The weather in Delhi has turned out to be very nice. It rained yesterday evening and I couldn’t resist the temptation of running barefoot in the enchanting Lodhi Gardens with Harshad and his friend, Sanket . I had forgotten to pack my Luna Sandals so had no choice but to run barefoot. I decided to ditch the Garmin too. It was a great run. Almost all the 2 Km loop is a proper clay track.  Was careful not to run too much given my memories of nasty blisters. So just 6 Km it was.

The gentle weather continues today so had a walk in the nearby park. Sorry, no pics of Lodhi Gardens since I ran sans any gadgets.

IMG_20140511_070531616_HDR IMG_20140511_070531616_HDR