On November 11, 2013, The Hindu had a front page news. Gujarat Chief Minister in fresh history battle
What is so important about this news that it warranted a front page in a prestigious newspaper like ‘The Hindu’? Narendra Modi had committed a slip of tongue. Modi was speaking at an event honouring freedom fighter, Shyamaji Krishna Varma. At the first instance, instead of saying Shyamaji Krishna Verma, Narendra Modi had said Shyama Prasad Mookherjee.
That’s it. That’s the news. Front page nonetheless. Narendra Modi corrected himself within a minute, when an aide pointed out, what is very clearly a legitimate slip of the tongue. Corrected himself within a minute, and yet ‘The Hindu’ thought it fit to put it on the front page! I had called this out in a tweet during that time but unfortunately didn’t capture a picture of the actual front page of the day.
You might argue that The Hindu expects PM candidates to be flawless and not commit any kind of faux pas. If this is the standard that The Hindu maintains, then can you imagine the number of front-page news articles they have had for Rahul Gandhi’s countless faux passes? Zero. Yep, ZERO!
The Hindu’s coverage of Rahul Gandhi over the years is a textbook model on how to elevate a leader. I had, in an earlier article back in 2015, shown how The Hindu has always employed lovey-dovey language while elevating Rahul Gandhi, and more importantly, how it has never ever remotely highlighted Rahul Gandhi’s faux passes and miserable knowledge on any subject. They have continued to project him as a messiah ever since.
What’s triggering all this history lesson? The Hindu’s “Diplomatic Affairs Editor” put out a tweet on Jan 3rd, 2019:
Please note, she is retweeting Smita Prakash’s tweet, that has quoted an Indian Express article. Smita Prakash had interviewed Prime Minister Modi on January 1st. Rahul Gandhi cheaply trolled Smita Prakash and the media fraternity remained silent for the most part of January 2nd. What intrigued me more was this – why did the Diplomatic Affairs editor of The Hindu retweet an Indian Express piece? The answer was simple – because the newspaper she works for has NOT COVERED the abuse by Rahul Gandhi. This was not even mentioned in a remote corner of the newspaper also!
What did they do instead? On the front page, they put this – Rahul, Jaitley spar over Rafale.
Anyone who watched the debate would immediately disagree with the headline because the correct headline reflecting the reality would read thus – Arun Jaitley demolishes the lies of Rahul Gandhi. But if such truth is put out, then The Hindu would be failing in its duty to elevate RG. After a bland report, we move to page 11.
Let’s quickly read what the “high drama” was about, according to The Hindu (emphasis mine):
“There were dramatic moments as Congress president Rahul Gandhi sought Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s permission to play a controversial audio clip of a Goa Minister who said Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had all the files on the Rafale deal with him. While the Speaker denied permission, Mr. Jaitley accused the Congress of “manufacturing the audio clip.” He threw an immediate challenge: either Mr. Gandhi must authenticate the audio clip or face expulsion.
Opening the debate, Mr. Gandhi countered Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim, ……”
Notice the abrupt ending of the paragraph. The news report very cleverly doesn’t tell you what Rahul Gandhi did after he was challenged by Arun Jaitley – he meekly said ‘Thank you’ and sat down. He did not have the courage to take responsibility for the tape inside the Lok Sabha. However, he came outside the Lok Sabha and claimed that the tape was authentic. That was enough for The Hindu to headline it as “Rane clip authentic: Rahul”, right next to the very news article where they hid the fact that Rahul Gandhi didn’t own up for the tape!
I mean, this is pure genius at work – hiding the truth, twisting the facts, tailoring headlines – slow claps and the standing ovation for The Hindu for this devotion towards Rahul Gandhi.
Later during the day, Rahul Gandhi put a tweet with numbered questions. He has Q1, Q2, and Q4. Q3 went mysteriously missing. There has not been a single report on this faux pas in The Hindu. He called Smita Prakash as a “pliable journalist”. The Hindu did not find it newsworthy enough, and so didn’t even bother to inform its readers about the boorish behavior of Rahul Gandhi. And therefore, no wonder that the Diplomatic Affairs of The Hindu had to rely on other publications to condemn Rahul Gandhi’s behavior.
While his typical faux pas have always evoked amusement and laughter, his regular lies on Rafale have put the country at risk. Instead of calling his lies out, newspapers like The Hindu have acted as an amplifier for his lies. The events of the past couple of days have yet again shown the dark side of the Indian English media – that they are liars.
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