Mar 01, 2024
Mar 01, 2024
One national daily newspaper went to town devoting its entire front page to a single news report. The report made a thinly veiled suggestion of a threatened coup by the army. It was based upon troop movements without notification in the Capital on the day that Army Chief General VK Singh filed a petition in the Supreme Court related to his dispute with the government regarding his date of birth. Although this report may have been based on investigations by the newspaper’s staff, it can be reliably stated that other media outlets had been approached earlier by sources in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to carry a report about a threatened army coup. These efforts had not succeeded.
There are two possibilities. Either there was the real threat of a coup. Or, there was no real threat of a coup. If there was a real threat the government would have been exceedingly stupid to highlight the fact. Since the coup was never actually attempted the government had every opportunity to question the army personnel involved and quietly take appropriate action to defuse the threat. It would have been crucial for the nation’s and the army’s morale to prevent the spread of panic. It would also have been in national interest to keep such information guarded from foreign powers.
If there was no real threat of a coup it would mean that the government was interested in creating the scare for a political purpose. If such turns out to be the case the government is beyond stupid. It is insane. It might resort to such a dangerously desperate stratagem in order to prepare public opinion for action against the Army Chief. It could either follow former National Security Adviser Mr. Brajesh Mishra’s intemperate and somewhat hysterical demand that General VK Singh be ordered to go on forced leave. Or it could take the extreme step of sacking the Army Chief.
The government is understandably desperate as the noose of corruption tightens unrelentingly around its neck. But if any such action is being contemplated in order to win over public opinion, the government could be making a huge miscalculation. It might end up jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Rightly or wrongly opinion among the public as well as in the army is overwhelmingly against the government. Any lapses of conduct by the Army Chief are all overlooked by the public in its nauseous disgust with the government’s corruption.
If the government takes any reckless action based upon innuendo it may spell not only its own doom but also destruction of the political system. Never since the dark days of the Emergency has India been so perilously close to destroying its democratic system.
More by : Dr. Rajinder Puri
|If I am rightly reading the driving minds of Congress, the party is banking on the following to get 3rd term in office:
Majority of media is under its influence (due to power, money etc.), use them to build public opinion as follows:
a) Depict its opponents (mainly BJP) & future opponents (such as TMC, BSP etc.) as culprits, responsible for all the problems. For any problem in discussion, point the origin in BJP rule. e.g. in 2G scam talks, repeate infinite times that the 'first come first serve' was introduced by NDA so they are the culprits. Media happily airs all this nonesense in seemingly 'responsible & concerned' discussions.
b) Depict BJP as communal, put all dirt on it. Create a mole hill of any such issue. Imagin, a few people beat some female drinker in Karnataka and it became a national issue (and reported in such a way that BJP for sure lost few thousands of votes) !
Well, thousands of people lose their life every month due to poor road conditions, no one wants to talk about these deaths (afterall, nobody sponsers such news, and instead the media agency working to highlight it will enter danger to get 'punished').
c) Depict opponents as 'equally' corrupt, so that public sentiment does not tilt towards opponents favour. At the sametime, public is indirectly given a message that corruption is here to stay and flourish, and it is normal part of Indian's life.
c) Be open to go to any extent in maligning its opponents, such as this issue of Army Chief. We have seen how media handles it, 'irresponsible' is not an appropriate adjective to term it, I think it should be termed 'anti-national' activity. But yet, the media choses to do it all for them.
All these tactics worked last time and brought UPA back to power. What will make it not work this time ?
So, whatever stupidity they show, the ultimate objective is to return to power (and not to protect its image), and I think due to above tactics, despite such stupidities, returning to power is reasonaly possible.
This is our fate, because the people have forgotten to abide to their 'dharma'. The judges decisions are influenced, the media reports are influenced, the bureaucratics actions are influenced and the parliamentarians are anyway not doing their dharma. Had one of them followed its duty we would have not reached this low.
Lastly, by chance if this govt is ousted, are we going to get back to the past boundaries of 'morality & ethics' in governance ? I doubt.
Almost an year back, in reponse to my comment in this column, on Lokpal movement, you predicted that :
“I will not be surprised if the train is derailed. The movement will not fail but may so greatly enlarge its scope that it could become unrecognizable from its present contours. The exposures of corruption I anticipate might be the earthquake so momentous as to stun the nation. And this might start happening from the month of May itself. I could be wrong. But do be a little patient. Wait and see what happens within the next six months.” (11-Apr-2011)
I thought that scene came and gone, but now I realize that this is the time when the chaos has attained such an extent that one hardly recalls how and where it started !
So, congratulations for such a great prediction !
|It has been 8 years or so since I stopped buying Indian Express news paper, it was for the same reason - false news !
And 2-3 years before that, once avid reader of TOI, I stopped buying and reading it too, it was for the same reason - false news !!
Since then, I refer to only "The Hindu" for headlines.
There are analysis & reports indicting almost all news agencies (except 'The Hindu') on indulgence in 'paid news'.
Only this report, being laid out on whole front page, boomranged and brings clarity to what media is upto.