An attempt to know, understand (and ultimately, transform) that which occurs on the fields of play - India (her politics, media, music) and beyond ...

Friday, January 27, 2006

Nehru-Gandhi Sycophancy at Rediff!

Wow, is this pathetic or what? Since when do we observe sundry anniversaries of every assumption of Prime Ministership? Or is this because the event is associated with the Nehru-Gandhi family? Congrats, Rediff: you have set a new low in journalistic standards! A slide show, a 'report', a message board for this "major" event - must have been a slow news-day!

From the report:
Indira Gandhi was a leader like none other in India's post-independence history.

Usha Bhagat ... recalls those heady days, when Indira Gandhi took charge, 40 years ago.

[Indira's] face had a glow of an inner radiance.

Never mind that every leader is like none other! Further in an intro to the message board:

In 1971, she broke the back of Pakistan's army, and carved out Bangladesh on our eastern borders, thus giving the lie to the two-nation theory.

In 1974, she exploded the Bomb, and risked international pariah status for India despite deciding to use the atom only for peaceful purposes.

Readers, please note media policy:

When an N-G family member is ruling the country,
He/she broke the back of Pakistan's army ...
He/she exploded the Bomb ...

When similar creditworthy events occur under the NDA government,
The Indian army defeated the Pakistani army in Kargil (not Vajpayee) ...
India's scientists exploded the Bomb in 1998 (not Vajpayee) ...

[Please note: I do not mind our army/scientists being praised - all I am doing is lamenting the double-standards of our media!]

Of course, the opposite also holds true if there are problems. Thus, if there is a scam or riot during the rule of a non-N-G PM/CM, it is the fault of the non-N-G PM or CM for not preventing it. However if the scam or riot occurs during the rule of an N-G PM, it is a "systemic" problem.

Great work, Rediff! You have set a new standard in stooping to please. Hopefully other media outlets will take the cue! Some suggestions for future stories:

"Reports" observing/celebrating 1st, 2nd, 3rd ... anniversaries of Rajiv starting school/college, flunking out, meeting an au-pair, Rahul's first step, his first date etc.: after all, anything to do with the N-G family is an event worth celebrating! Imagine, if Rajiv hadn't met Sonia in Cambridge on that glorious day, would we be able to observe anniversaries of grand "renunciation", or entertain dreams of Rahul (and/or maybe his Colombian girlfriend) lording over sacrificing their lives for our country? Shudder!


  • At 12:54 PM, Anonymous non-partisan said…

    Sad. Very sad... To excoriate something/someone without providing all the facts calls for some blind hate and/or wilful misunderstanding.
    An excerpt from a book about a powerful, if tyrannical, Indian leader is perfectly legitimate, one would think. Even if it is written by a sycophant.
    Indira Gandhi is pariah enough in media circles - given her censorship among other things - that few of its members would risk extolling her. And rediff has often discussed the excesses she and Sanjay Gandhi indulged in, without reducing the exercise to a witchhunt.
    To make it sound as if publishing the excerpt means rediff supports Indira Gandhi is worse than just unfair behavior, it's the sign of a mind that wants to lean reality its way.


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