The following article was written for OpIndia. Pasting it here for reference.
Back in the year 2009, the Swiss government issued a ban on building minarets in their country. Quite expectedly, the English TV media in our country went berserk over this decision. However, one journalist’s reaction stood way above everyone else, and he went on to become the toast of the day.
When asked why Indians should care so much about this ban, here is the response:
“It represents a fundamental threat to millions of Muslims in our country.”
Yes, you read it right. A ban on minarets by the Swiss in their country is a fundamental threat to millions of Muslims in our country. The said journalist is from NDTV (needless to say!), and goes by the name Vishnu Som! His claim to fame had begun.
Back in the year 2012, all of us are quite familiar with how the movement in protest of the Nirbhaya rape took the country by storm, and tens of thousands of people voluntarily came on to the streets in various cities to protest.
As always, the English TV media focused on what was happening on the streets of Delhi. A constable died, and immediately the English channels went on a rumour spree – that he was killed by mob violence. Leading the tribe was Barkha Dutt (who deleted a tweet), followed by Rajdeep Sardesai.
Thanks to Social media, it was increasingly becoming clear that constable Subhash Tomar died of a heart attack, and not because of any violent attack. In the 9’o clock primetime show, one anchor vehemently questioned the ACP of Delhi like this:
“Twitter is abuzz with rumours that Mr. Tomar died of a heart attack and not an assault. Can you confirm this?”
Yes, you read it right. “Abuzz with rumours” merely because it was not fitting into the agenda they wanted to pursue that day. The said journalist is from NDTV (needless to say!), and goes by the name Vishnu Som! I (and many others) have given him proof about these rumours:
It did turn out that the constable died of a heart attack; it turned out that protestors actually helped to
take him to hospital; and of course it turned out that Vishnu Som and his ilk never clarified on this. The entire sequence of events has been captured here – I’d urge that you visit the blog I wrote if you are keen to know how English TV media tried to fan violence.
Back in the year 2015, Arnab Goswami suddenly started playing up an alleged scam. Sushma Swaraj helped Lalit Modi, and therefore she deserves to be sacked. And all hell broke lose – only on the English TV channels. Suddenly people started remembering that Lalit Modi is accused of financial crimes and tried to score shouting points over one another.
Amidst all this noise, Prabhu Chawla’s name got dragged into the mess. So he appeared for an interview on a English news channel. The belligerent interviewer asked Prabhu Chawla:
“Lalit Modi has 2 dozen cases pending against him”.
And at one stage, when Prabhu Chawla was trying to explain a point, the anchor cuts him short and says, “but that’s just a technicality”.
2 dozen = 24. I asked the anchor multiple times as to where I can read details about these 24 cases on NDTV. Any link where I can be enlightened on the 2 dozen cases. I haven’t received a reply till date. The said journalist is from NDTV (needless to say!), and goes by the name Vishnu Som!
Infact, like you can see, I persisted for quite some time to get these details. I even involved his senior management to get an answer. I even wrote to their ombudsman, Mr. Soli Sorabjee. He replied back saying that there are indeed “several” cases pending against him. My query was specific – Is the 24 number correct? Where can I find a link on NDTV of these 24 cases against Lalit Modi?
After a while, I didn’t pursue the matter and infact forgot about it. But I recollected all these events last night. What prompted me to write this? Why am I boring with you incidents from 2009 onwards about some Vishnu Som guy?
Since 2 days, Vishnu Som launched a tragic personal diatribe on an army man on twitter. He complained to the army man’s seniors, and claims to have gotten a response too. By the way, contrast that to the response *I* got, when I complained to Vishnu Som’s seniors!
He went on to claim that serving officers are not allowed to tweet, and that some of his tweets are personal and offensive. Speaking of offensive, I was immediately reminded of a few times I saw Vishnu Som anchoring, and found them to be very offensive to basic common sense. It was distressing to see a mere journalist talk about knowing people in high places; and a mediocre journalist boasting about “20 years of covering the fauj”. I wanted to show to the world the quality of journalism that Vishnu Som has produced over the years – just so that he may get off his high ground.
The agenda driven journalism of Indian media, particularly the English TV media, gets exposed almost every single day on social media. Yet, they never seem to try and take any corrective measures. It is high time the viewers start getting offended too, for being taken for a ride.