EVM has earned a fun moniker after the UP election – Election Victory Machine. Almost all the political parties are claiming that BJP ‘victory with a large majority’ is nothing but a gift of the EVMs. This is actually a relief for those who were afraid that BJP had eventually managed to colour the majority of Hindu mindset saffron.
Now even though the majority of people in the country might still be of secular mindset, the media has been successfully coloured saffron by BJP. This is a big victory for them indeed.
It was often heard in 2014 that during brainstorming sessions of RSS, the importance of media was frequently discussed. Before the existence of private news channels, RSS considered government media as a competitor.
It was understandable because media was free of the clutches of RSS and an open speaker. Some journalists were openly in the black book of RSS. Even when private channels were created, a majority of the journalists in them (Urdu, Hindi, English and speakers of other major languages of India) were fair, intelligent and unbiased who called a spade a spade.
RSS did not consider them friends. Some of those who were prominent in the RSS black book were Karan Thapar, Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai and Sagarika Ghosh.
Other than a few, most channels were free from corporate interference. A few channels were successful but most were seeing red in finances. And RSS cunningly used this fact to its advantage.
The organisation created a section and called it Media Management. This part of the organisation got in touch with and took the help of some biggies who had financed Modi, and thus infiltrated the media and painted its insides saffron. And the gullible people thought that Media Management is about keeping good relations with the media.
A few months before the 2014 assembly elections, the channels in serious financial distress were aided in the form of advertisements with Pro-Modi corporate houses like the Ambanis and Adanis. Then speeches by Modi that ran into multiple hours started to grace various successful channels.
After Prime Minister Modi entered the central government, then the Ambanis and Adanis bought large portions of several leading cable networks and news channels. Now the saffron party almost owns many of such channels.
Even then there were plenty of honest and truthful journalists in these channels, but how far could they go against their owners’ policies and wishes? Fed up of the saffron chains, many resigned. Like Barkha Dutt and Sagarika Ghosh.
There were a few channels that had always leaned in favour of RSS, like Times Now and Zee News. But the position of those working in NDTV (English) and India TV are pitiable. They are all secular and right minded journalists, but they are tightly chained and cannot defy their owners.
RSS did not waste money on journalists and instead dealt directly with their owners. Now the owners of these channels show material in favour of the government, and the government in turn keeps passing policies that fatten these owners’ pockets.
Now Indian media and journalism is a far cry from its glorious days when it had aided in noble movements and played a big role in the progress of the society.
(Translated from Inquilab)