Outrage over ‘raincoat’ comment – how Congress is trying to re-write history

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During 2009-2014, Manmohan Singh presided over a regime that saw scams of all hues and proportions. As a Prime Minister, he didn’t act promptly to stop these scams, and in fact is accused of helping in some cases. What we saw under his tenure is described best by a term he himself coined – organised loot and plunder.

While the loot largely happened during the second term, Manmohan Singh undermined the dignity and constitutionality of the office of the Prime Minister for full ten years where the PMO was reduced to executing orders of NAC under Sonia Gandhi – something that is corroborated by the PMO files. Continue reading

Hindustan Times shutting down editions – it’s dangerously lazy to blame demonetisation

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A couple of days back, some people on Twitter posted about speculations over Hindustan Times closing down several of its city editions. On the same day, reports claimed that Hindustan Times had decided to shut down its business bureau. Now it appears that both the speculations about the paper shutting down some of its city editions and its business bureau are correct, as the media company has not issued any denial so far.

As per a ‘leaked’ letter being circulated, the newspaper has decided to close down its Kolkata, Bhopal, Indore, and Ranchi editions. It’s not yet clear what happens to the journalists employed for these editions i.e. whether they would be absorbed into the main business or would be laid off. If chatter among the media community is to be believed, most probably they are going to lose their jobs. Continue reading

It is not just Barkha vs Bhakts, it is also Barkha vs Gunday

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Barkha Dutt, the celeb journalist from NDTV, has written a book and it’s getting negative reviews (one star) on Amazon, by scores of people who have most probably not even read a sentence of it. It’s silly, but it’s not unprecedented.

Barkha is blaming it on “bhakts” – a term she and other “liberal” commentators use very liberally to describe people who support Narendra Modi. And the truth is, most of those giving one star and negative reviews to her books are indeed Modi supporters.

So this is all about Barkha vs Bhakts? Or rather just about Bhakts, who last month, angered by Aamir Khan’s comments on “rising intolerance”, raced to uninstall the Snapdeal app and give it a bad review on app stores?

Can we simply close the case because these Bhakts appear as an organized gang of online goons? Gundays harassing a “liberal” law abiding citizen Barkha?

Yeah, gundays, rather Gunday. There lies another story.
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Why journalists hate trolls

troll face
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At the outset, let me make it clear that I’m making a distinction between what is being labeled as “trolling” and criminal online behavior such as cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, hate-mongering, etc. However, this distinction is NOT made by a league of critics (most of them journalists) who are on a mission to purge the social media by launching a War On Trolling, much like Junior Bush launched War On Terror and declared that “if you are not with us, you are with the terrorists”.

In that case, I’m with the trolls (as defined by them). Continue reading

Love Jihad – let’s not love this jihad

A Hindi newspaper report on Love Jihad
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Much has been written and spoken about “Love Jihad” in the political and media circus, I mean, circles, so I thought one more by me won’t be such a bad idea.

Out of dozens of articles there, including a ridiculous “data backed” NDTV report, I would start with pointing out two articles to which I largely agree with. These are by R Jagannathan and were published on Firstpost.

The first one argues that the theory that Muslim groups, in an organized way, are targeting Hindu girls to hurt or convert them is logically not sound, for it will be fraught with risks of failure when compared with other means of organized attempts at religious conversions.

The second one concedes that there could be small and isolated attempts, but Hindus first need to worry about their own failings – such as patriarchy, casteism, and lack of efforts to propagate Hinduism – and put their own house in order before losing sleep over something called “Love Jihad”.

As I said earlier, while I largely agree with these points, these still don’t show the complete picture. Continue reading