Chapter 5

 

Media in India

The media in India is one of the most powerful tools used by the major powers to control and    change the Indian public perception about themselves and about the world. This pattern is also followed in the international scene with negation of Indic culture and bias against any revival of civilization ethos. The creeping news about any event in the world including jehadi information is presented in such a way that the process of evolution and force of history is inevitable and a forgone conclusion in favor of the Islamic parties.

Indian populations are like a experimental subject to be fed with new perception and information away from reality and in favor of the Islamic and major powers. Over several decades the general population could be made less hostile and more favorable to the designs of the major power. In the movie Pleasantville a boy grows up in a make believe world thinking that his neighbors and friends are the actual reality and totally oblivious of the reality of the world. The Indian population is perceived by major powers to be analogous with little knowledge about the reality and threats in the world. How long have the west been experimenting with the Indian population with news and indoctrination? It could be even before independence for more than 60 years. Deception and brainwashing have been used for a long time by the west and India is one of the largest targets of deception.

The current campaign to demonize Hindutva is to defame and remove indigenous political parties, which are not under the control of the major powers and whose ideology is fully rooted in Indic civilization. Generally speaking the West is suspicious of civilizations that are not rooted in Greco Roman culture and in Judeo Christian theology. The attacks on Christians and minorities, which were non-existent in most instances, are overblown with the logic that the majority community must be checked with aggressive reporting even to the point of falsehood. Romila Thapar, one of the eminent historians, ensconced in an influential position thanks to the leftist proclivities of successive Congress governments, is quoted as saying that the notion of a non-violent Hindu is a misnomer and that it is not borne out by reality. Distorted or even totally false reporting on communally sensitive issues is a well-entrenched feature of Indian journalism. There is no self-corrective mechanism in place to remedy this endemic culture of disinformation. No reporter or columnist or editor ever gets fired or formally reprimanded or even just criticized by his peers for smearing Hindu nationalists. This way, a partisan economy with the truth has become a habit hard to relinquish.

This logic of news reporting is looked upon as a form of social engineering. A sense of chaos and insecurity is conveyed by media reports so that a stable environment and harmony is never achieved in the minds of the larger society. This is one form of psy-operation (Psy-ops) that has targeted India for the last three decades. The news creates a notion of change, which reinforces the decay of the Hindu culture and brings out more of the light Islamic/Urdu culture. By being very anti-Hindu the media and social scientists hopes to reduce aggression of the so called ‘majority’ community over the minority community and bring balance even at the expense of the truth. This logic was pursued even when the Muslim terrorists in Kashmir were killing the minorities Hindus by simply ignoring such news and if reported, minimize it in such a manner that little blame is attached to the Muslim who committed the crime. The astonishingconsequenc3e of such news reporting on Jammu and Kashmir is that most Westerners are unaware that there was a substantial Hindu population in the Kashmir valley and that most of them have been cleansed and or murdered so that today there is hardly a Hindu left in all of the Kashmir valley. This aspect of the conflict and the fact that most of the murders are committed by terrorists sent in by Pakistan  is completely ignored and in fact the phrase ‘cross border terrorism’ was studiously ignored by the governing elite of the United States, so brainwashed were they and so ignorant of the resulting ground realities. Here we are postulating the less egregious motive based on ignorance rather than the equally plausible explanation that the US is aware of that there is  cross border terrorism but has chosen to deceive the world by propagating the false notion that it is India that is the transgressor. Such a deceitful posture by the US Governing elite, if true, is at odds with the self image of the American, who likes to believe that like Superman he is on the side of good against evil.

The control of media by foreign governments is done in a subtle manner. Typical of the methods used, are to indoctrinate the editorial teams and the journalists over time. The Indian leftists have been used for a long time by the external powers and since they control the media they are better able to influence the bias in the media. Some questions which recur often ‘Why don’t you talk to your very reasonable nuclear rival Pakistan' or 'why do you have a Hindu nationalist party in power’. Each of these questions is loaded, as they say in the courtroom, with facts or inferences not yet established by evidence to be true and designed to shift the conversation from a dubious premise to a foregone conclusion. The public buys this kind of argument more readily. The book ‘Cultural Cold War’[1] describes all the dirty tricks used by the CIA and other agencies all over the world to change countries and to bring chaos in those countries. It is well known that the CIA funded right-wing intellectuals after World War II; fewer know that it also courted individuals from the center and the left in an effort to turn the intelligentsia away from communism and toward an acceptance of "the American way." Frances Stonor Saunders sifts through the history of the covert Congress for Cultural Freedom in The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters. The book centers on the career of Michael Josselson, the principal intellectual figure in the operation, and his eventual betrayal by people who scapegoat him. Sanders demonstrates that, in the early days, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the emergent CIA were less dominated by the far right than they later became (including the Christian right), and that the idea of helping out progressive moderates--rather than being Machiavellian--actually appealed to the men at the top.

David Frawley[2] writes: The Indian English media dictates against the government as if it should be the real political decision-making body in the country.( Because it is urged and influenced by other foreign agencies and academic institutions such as U Berkeley/U Columbia) It deems itself capable of taking the place of legal institutions as well, printing its allegations as truth even if these have never been entered into much less proved in any court of law. It has vested itself with an almost religious authority to determine what is right and wrong, good and evil, and who in the country should be honored or punished. (In current terminology this is known as manufacturing consent) Like an almost theocratic institution, it does not tolerate dissent or allow its dogmas to be questioned.( It creates groupthink, manufactures 'dissent' forcing everybody to fall in line and creates an old boys network).  In the name of editorial policy, it pontificates, promoting slogans, denigrations and articles of faith in the guise of critical policy review. ( This is called brainwashing under freedom )

 

The media doesn't aim at reporting the news; it tries to create the news, imposing its view of the news upon everyone as the final truth. The media doesn't objectively cover elections, it tries to influence voters to vote in a specific manner, demonizing those it disagrees with and excusing those it supports, however bad or incompetent their behavior. We saw this particularly during the recent Gujarat elections in which the media went so far as to print the type of election results it wanted to see as the likely outcome, though voters

proved it to be totally wrong.

          Where is the Media's Mandate?

 

The question therefore arises as to how the media has awarded itself such a sweeping authority that can override legitimately elected and appointed bodies? What sort of mandate has the media been given to justify its actions? Clearly the media has never been elected to any political post and does not undergo any scrutiny like that of candidates in an election. It does not represent any appointed post in the government. It has no accountability to any agency external to its own corporate family. The media's authority is largely self-appointed and, not surprisingly, self-serving. Hence the media has become a tool of foreign powers who would like a particular outcome of an election or policy making inside India or image creation. The sources behind the media's operation and where they get their money is also not revealed. We are not informed as to how prominent reporters and editorial writers derive their income, including how much may come from outside sources. But clearly they are getting a lot of money from somewhere that they are not in any hurry to disclose. Though the media likes to expose the improprieties, financial, sexual and otherwise, of those its dislikes, which it often exaggerates, if not invents, if you examine how the media people live, you certainly wouldn't want them as role models for your children! Nor are we certain who the media really represents. Certain groups, not only inside but also outside India, are using this English media as a vested interest to promote their own agenda, which is generally anti-Hindu and often appears to be anti-India as well. Negative news are portrayed more than positive news. President APJ Abdul Kalam asks: “Why is the media here so negative? Why are we in India so embarrassed to recognize our own strengths, our achievements? We have so many amazing success stories but we refuse to acknowledge them. Why? Is there an agenda to reduce the achievements of India.” The only reason for the negative news is to reduce the self confidence of Hindus and their place in the world. This is a campaign on a world scale probably never done anywhere. Is this really possible and is this really happening.

          The Media Propaganda Machine

 

A section of the Indian media often appears more as a propaganda machine than an objective news agency. In this regard the large section of English media of India is much like the old state propaganda machines of communist countries. This is an important clue for understanding its operation. The English media of India largely represents a holdover from the Congress era in which it was a state run propaganda center for the Congress government that was far left in its orientation. We can perhaps understand its actions today as a state run propaganda machine that has continued in power after the decline of the party that created it. Its prime motive has now become to reestablish that old state and former ruling party.

The media remains largely a Congress run propaganda machine. As the Congress has not been able to win elections, it has emphasized its media wing even more strongly to try to compensate for its failures in the electoral arena. Yet as the Congress Party itself has often failed, the media has taken to supporting other leftist groups inside and outside the country in hope of gaining power. There is a clear hand of western governments in manipulating the congress party to do its work. This shows how the Indian government is manipulated as a puppet of the western governments and has been for a long time for the last 40 years.

Prior to independence and immediately after, the British have used the media to demonize Hindu groups in India. K Elst[3] says :

 
It is a not so subtle scheme of political propaganda to describe the Hindu as pro-Fascist. It is a cruel calumny, which has been spread in
America and other countries. The Hindu Mahasabha stood for Savarkar’s policy of militarization and industrialization. We recognized that Fascism was a supreme menace to what is good and noble in our civilization. Due to Veer Savarkar’s call thousands of young men joined the Army and Navy and Air Force and shed their blood for resisting Nazi tyranny and for real friendship with China and Russia. But as the Hindus had the temerity to ask for National Independence and took the lead in rejecting the Cripps ( commission) offer, they were maligned and the subtle forces of organized British propaganda were let loose to blackmail the Hindus.” (Hindu Politics, p.103) The current tendency to accuse the Hindu movement for cultural decolonization of India of “fascism” is nothing but a replay of an old colonial tactic.

There is grand irony inherent in making these accusations against the Hindu, because it was the grand Mufti of Jerusalem who supported Hitler and the Nazis during WW II. The communists in India in fact toed the Russian line when the Russians signed the Molotov Ribbentrop treaty. It was only when Russia was forced to join the West in 1942 with the beginning of Operation Barbarossa to invade Russia, by the Germans, that the Indian Communists dutifully shifted their allegiance also. But wait, they didn’t stop there. They went on to oppose the Quit India movement and made common cause with the Muslim league to sabotage all attempts at Independence. Despite this stark record, there are sections of American and Indian medias which will blandly repeat the Goebellian lie that the Hindu is Fascist

           Current image of India

When one speaks of the image of India does one think of a budding information technology sector, developing infrastructure, a booming middle class or poverty, communal strife, and constant confrontation with Pakistan? The majority of the mainstream Western and Indian media are quite content to push the latter image of India. They are supported by many Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that are also quite content to portray India with a one-sided view that keeps them in business. The Government of India and many of its citizens also seem content with their standing in the world or continually understate the country at every chance. In a sense, there are many people who would like India to be poor in perpetuity.

One example of the image wars is that of the city of Kolkata (Calcutta). This eastern Indian city has long been portrayed as a poor, slum ridden metropolis; ignoring its rich cultural, literary, and economic heritage. Kolkata has become a prime destination for cause hunting celebrities who ensure that in the eyes of the International community, poverty remains the city's biggest attraction. Celebrities like Ricky Martin, Melanie Griffith, and Penelope Cruz have lead a procession of international donors who use the city's streets as a backdrop for unflattering photo ops. India's poor : The Dec. 29, 2002 issue of the Toronto Star highlighted this issue quite succinctly : "It's always the same plot. When Ricky Martin visited recently, a press release breathlessly described how the Latin pop star witnessed the poor who "swarm the streets of Calcutta." In fact, there is no shortage of impoverished families who line up forlornly outside public charities for a bowl of rice and curry, just as people show up daily at Toronto's soup kitchens. But it's hard to find a "swarm" of them, except in a press release."

          Improving India's image

 

The Wall Street Journal has also recently pointed out the Indian image problem when comparing it to China as a potential destination for investment capital; "So why doesn't India attract more foreign investment? Largely, India has an image problem, and that sways investors' view of risk. When investors compare the polluted streets of Bombay with the skyscrapers and chic restaurants of Shanghai, it's hard to put money where the potholes are. "I have known potential

investors to come back from a first trip to India so dismayed by the chaotic environment that they have missed seeing the investment opportunity," says Levack."

India's future could be very bright. In a recent article Dr M Vidyasagar aptly came to the conclusion that :"The last two years have been truly amazing in terms of demonstrating what India can expect in coming years. Thus far only a few tiny cracks have been introduced into the solid wall of Nehruvian state control that has prevented India from reaching its true economic potential. But even with these tiny cracks providing equally tiny openings in our bureaucratic control mechanisms, Indians have delivered the world's second fastest growing economy for over a decade now. The future can only be better, not worse."

          Entertainment/Movies

 

Movies are a powerful media in India to change people and social structure. The people are influenced heavily by the portrayal of communities, governments, law enforcement, religion, traditions etc in the movies. By demonizing these groups the less literate people can be influenced to revolt, dissent and create general chaos against authority. The angry young man theme was created during the 70s as the dissent increased in the society. The rise of a new kind of social cinema, in late 60s and 70s was influenced heavily by Bengal. Like the 1940s and 50s, when New Theatres and its Bengali talent had greatly enriched this country's filmmaking, this latter day revival too was a Bengali influx. They laid the foundation of a genuine middle class cinema in Bombay which remained active and profoundly important for several careers. One of the objectives during the 70s was to project the subaltern histories of the marginalized society in so called ‘art’ movies. Some examples such as Ankur, Anand etc focused on middle class and the tribal people. The real audience for such movies was the academic centers of the west mainly UK and US to study the marginalized section and create a strategy based on those community. During 80s the main aim to influence the movies was to create benign images of Muslims so that the general non-Muslim of the subcontinent is sympathetic to Muslim history and accepts an idea of a Islamic rule. Muslim artists where given preference and non-Muslims images were denigrated. This subtle image creation is still going on without any check.

 



[1] Frances Stonor Saunders The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters

[2] David Frawley, Reporting News or Playing Politics?http://india.medinf.com/society/bias.html

[3] Koenrad Elst ‘Was Veer Savarkar a Nazi’,

 http://www.hinduunity.com/articles/bharathistory/veer.html