The following article was written for Niti Central. Pasting it for reference:
Informed discourse on English news channels has long remained a farce. Day one of Narendra Modi Government has reinforced this belief again. Instead of looking at crucial issues, the media created one controversy, lapped up to another, and continued to debate them endlessly. I always wondered what is a dignified way of describing our media that creates mindless controversies. Narendra Modi provided the answer – news traders. There is media and there are newstraders. One has to watch their channel to understand the glee with which they went about creating a controversy as if heavens had fallen down.
It began with this tweet byIBNLiveRealTime(it seems to have been deleted, but Kanchan Gupta’s tweet questioning Rajdeep Sardesai ishere:
“IBNLiveRealTime: We are in the process of repealing Article 370: MoS PMO Jitendra Singh“
Many asked IBN to give a link to this interview, rather than just a tweet. Rajdeep Sardesai then tells us:
“For those who ask, we have MOS Jitendra Singh on camera saying he has begun the process of talking to stakeholders to abrogate article 370.”
Notice how intelligently he changed the language – MoS saying he has begin the “process of talking” is vastly different from “process of repealing“. Rajdeep Sardesai, however, does not find it prudent to apologise or clarify. In fact, he finds is extremely prudent to go ahead and milk this controversy he himself has created. So, we now have a debate at 8 pm on his channel. And at 8 pm, the video of the interview is played. You can watch the videohere(from 17:30 onwards). Rajdeep tweeted his “clarification” in the afternoon. In the night,IBNagain repeats the same lie they tweeted in the afternoon.
I strongly urge you to watch the video from 17:30 onwards. I challenge Rajdeep Sardesai to show us where the MoS told that the “process of repealing” has begun. Dr Jitendra Singh clarifies later that this controversy is baseless and he has been misquoted . Rajdeep, despite the overwhelming proof available, enlightens us thus:
“Ministers who claim to be misquoted must realise that in age of TV statements are on camera.”
Yes Rajdeep – they are on camera. Which is precisely why yet another lie of yours has been nailed comprehensively. There is another main point here. The BJP has consistently opposed Article 370. They now have a full mandate to go ahead with starting a debate on this. What exactly is controversial here? The Minister concerned is also from Jammu & Kashmir and has been elected by the people there. Quite obviously, he will have a better insight into the problem than those sitting in the studio and creating this needless controversy. As much as the likes of Rajdeep Sardesai hate it, the Narendra Modi Government has a clear mandate to go ahead and start the process of discussing this article with various stakeholders. It is a shame that he views this as “controversial”.
The second “controversy” is Congress’s arrogant response to the appointment of Smriti Irani as the HRD Minister of the country. Ajay Maken and later Abhishek Singhvi, in their capacity of spokespersons of the Congress have ridiculed her appointment saying that she is just 12th pass. This cheapness come naturally to the Congress, and it is a pity that these people don’t realise that it is this arrogance that cost them an election. Smriti Irani needs to be given time to perform, and if at all she does not live up to expectations (I originally wanted to use the word “fail” but realised that it means performing below what UPA did. And that’s impossible!), then we debate it.
Narendra Modi promised a smaller and a more “organic” Cabinet. He delivered on it, by integrating 17 different Ministries into seven main ones. He has even done some intelligent combining of responsibilities to some Ministers. The story of this Cabinet formation is the thought process that went into the re-distribution of these portfolios. But to write that story needs some serious thoughts, something which these folks are not used to, perhaps! Old habits die hard. The English TV media thrives only controversies – if there is none, then create one. News Traders seems such an apt term.