Ranjona Banerji: Rage UnLtd

04 Dec,2020

By Ranjona Banerji

 

The term “Godi Media”, as in the lap of Modi (Narendra, PM) and his administration and his party, is now everywhere. India’s protesting farmers carry placards and banners while they talk to the media. These placards specify Zee, Republic and Aaj Tak. Zee is clear RSS-BJP supporter, Republic is BJP-funded and Aaj Tak is part of the “gold standard” of media stable of Living Media, as in the India Today group. Thus our “news” channels are now famous the world over.

Added to this, all our fervidly patriotic journalists, commentators and anchors who are just furious that politicians across the world have shown solidarity with or spoken in support of India’s protesting farmers.

Cries of How Dare They have reverberated all over cyberspace, the hot air around you and newspaper columns. Interfering in India’s internal affairs? Rage, rage.

It is another matter that such interference in the internal matters of other nations is quite common. For instance, and I repeat what I have said on social media, The Indian Express for years has carried a column by revered economist Lord Meghnad Desai, professor emeritus in economics of the London School of Economics. (London as in the capital of the United Kingdom and not for instance Ludhiana in Punjab, in case you misread me.) Baron Desai was also until last month a member of the UK’s Labour Party. UK as in United Kingdom and not Uttarakhand, as we Uttarakhandis like to call ourselves in case you misread me. Baron Desai is also a member of the House of Lords in the UK, which is the upper house of the British Parliament.

From all this illustrious background, I would posit that Baron Desai (we have no Baron titles in India that is Bharat) is a politician and an academic. However, his columns are usually not about economics and more about politics. And for the past seven years at least Baron Desai has been telling us that Modi and his policies are going to be and are and will be great for India. I will remind you that Baron Desai is a member of a foreign political party and has yet been advising citizens of a sovereign nation on whom to vote for and why.

I know, I know. Baron Desai is of Gujarati stock so therefore he obviously has the inalienable right to tell us dimwit Indian Indians what to do.

And that is why our patriotic commentariat got angry when various international politicians of Sikh origin voiced their solidarity with India’s farmers but exploded with incandescent fury when Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, also spoke up in support of India’s farmers.

Desi origin politicians are okay it seems, not really that foreign. But white foreign? Unacceptable!

Once the US Government put Modi on the no-visa list because of the Gujarat riots. But I cannot recall single member of the commentariat tearing up their US visas and sitting on dharnas outside US embassies. How very remiss of them.

I might also add at the end that when Modi went to the US and campaigned for outgoing US president Donald Trump, (using his own election slogan, “Aab ki baar Trump Sarkar”: this time a Trump government) that was also interference in another nation’s internal matter and so on. There are enough examples.

**

Sadly, as I’ve mentioned before, because the Godi Media is roundly exposed, employees on the ground are being abused because of their rabid anchor bosses.

The good news is that Twitter has started flagging fake media in India and started with a tweet from Amit Malviya, head of the BJP IT cell. “Manipulated media” is what Twitter said about his tweet which attacked both India’s farmers and Congress politician Rahul Gandhi.

https://thewire.in/politics/twitter-amit-malviya-bjp-it-cell-manipulation

Twitter used fact-checking websites like Alt News as proof:

https://www.altnews.in/amit-malviya-tweets-clipped-video-to-water-down-police-action-on-protesting-farmers/

Ranjona Banerji is a senior journalist and commentator. She is also Consulting Editor, MxMIndia. Her views here are personal

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