Ranjona Banerji: Media going from left to right?

06 Jun,2014

By Ranjona Banerji


Given the intrusive nature of the media today, it is hardly surprising that UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is annoyed with it for focusing on the Badaun rape case. After all, why on earth should the media focus on the rape and murder of two minor girls if not to target his state? Especially some ordinary little case, where the victims are found hanging from the branches of a mango tree making for one of the most terrifying images in recent times?


Rape as a conspiracy against me is a ridiculous argument perfected by Mamata Banerjee in Bengal and now picked up by Yadav. It made no sense then and makes no sense now. Add to this a bizarre feeling of being picked upon – only UP is targeted when rapes happen elsewhere. Yet the most talked about rape cases in recent times have been what is called the Park Street rape case in Calcutta, the December 2012 gangrape and murder in Delhi, the two Shakti Mills gangrape cases in Mumbai… Imagine instead a scenario where the media did not focus on such crimes.


Shooting the messenger is an age-old ploy and is not likely to stop. But it does not make it any less idiotic.




The media itself however has decided that idiocy is its birthright and it shall have it, to paraphrase Lokmanya Tilak. Endless second by second reporting about the new prime minister on television means that other news – and this includes the Badaun rape and the murder of a young Muslim man in Pune allegedly by a Hindu rightwing group – gets short shrift. This only gives credence to allegations that the media is drifting from the centre to the right.




Have to give kudos to ET Panache, the features section of Economic Times for actually registering the fact that the DTH operator Tata Sky is not showing Neo Sports and Neo Prime to its subscribers who are therefore unable to watch the French Open, the second Grand Slam event of the year which ends this weekend. Interestingly, Tata Sky did not respond to ET’s questions, which is in keeping with its silence on the social media site Twitter as well. The legal wrangle between the two has cost tennis fans dearly.


Interestingly, a section in Panache on lingerie for women made the assumption that men would drool over the offerings and buy stuff for their “lady love”. The glass ceiling for women is not limited to the actual corporate world itself then. It extends to the media as well.


Looking at ET Panache led me to look at the glossy supplement Corporate Dossier. It was quite an eye-opener. If corporate types, junior or senior, still have to be told that they should come to work on time and other such homilies then you wonder whether your chewing gum and washing machine sellers have much clue about whatever it is they do.


And here’s something interesting from fashion designer JJ Valaya, revealed in a questionnaire in a section called “Wanderlust”. Under the segment titled “Gourmet Gaffes”, this is what he had to say: “Can’t handle raw meats and have got into sticky situations, such as at Vienna’s Bristol Hotel when an important business associate offered up raw dear meet (one of the rare varieties) just before we had to sign an important agreement.”


Dear meet, raw or otherwise, boggles the mind. Like just whose gourmet gaffe is this? I would bet on a sub-editor.


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2 responses to “Ranjona Banerji: Media going from left to right?”

  1. Guest says:

    When the 16th December tragedy took place, seeing the national, even global, outrage that followed, had honestly believed that luminous young woman had made India safer for her sisters. Sadly, that does not seem to be the case.

  2. Guest says:

    Deer – dear appears to be a misprint – meat, venison, from the times of Robin Hood is a wonderful delicacy that only poachers can provide in India. In a place like Scotland, it can be bought in the supermarket. They also stock a lot of good stuff to wash it down with.