(Newspremi dot com : Tuesday 26 January 2021)

Food, clothing and shelter are universally regarded as the basic human needs. Yet, we have seen in the last six-seven decades, every time the government mounted an effort to secure these basic necessities to those who lack it, only a small proportion –about 15 per cent– of the money spent on the effort has reached the intended beneficiaries. The rest—almost 85 per cent—was pocketed by intermediaries—politicians, bureaucrats, anti-social elements posing as social workers and other ‘helpful’ souls.

This is doubly wrong. One, the government assistance does not reach those who really need it. At the same time, it is an injustice to those who contribute a part of their hard-earned income to the exchequer. The taxes paid by them to improve the lot of their less privileged brethren are wasted on the luxurious lifestyles and secret bank accounts of the Congressmen and their sidekicks. This is the system that prevailed across the country with few exceptions during much of the post-independence period.

Enter Modi in 2014. And there began the seemingly impossible task of curbing, reining in and gradually ending the deeply entrenched corrupt practices. A huge system was put in place to ensure that every rupee sent from Delhi is deposited immediately and directly without any leakage in the bank account of the lowliest beneficiary. The demonetization dealt a body blow to holders of black money who ran a humongous parallel economy. GST made it tough to evade taxes in trade and business. The mandatory linking of Pan Card and Aadhar Card brought about a great deal of transparency in financial transactions.

How can all this go down well with the Congressmen who had been exploiting the country for decades? As people saw what an honest government could do, Congress suffered one reversal after another in elections to Lok Sabha, state assemblies, municipalities and even local bodies. Congress leaders –big and small–, influential workers, Supreme Court lawyers supporting them and Mafiosi at the local level soon started feeling suffocated in the new atmosphere.

What was their response? The same as always. A massive disinformation campaign began in the print media, TV news channels and other media to mislead the people. A sustained propaganda was launched to tell the people that the economy had derailed from the tracks of development and every policy of the Modi government was destroying the country in some way or the other.

This was the same media that had shielded the Congress and its corrupt leaders for decades acquiring tremendous wealth, influence and facilities in return and expanding its empire by hoodwinking readers, viewers and audiences. The media houses who played this nefarious game willingly acquired huge properties across the country and journalists associated with them literally became billionaires. To put a gloss over their misdeeds, Congress governments decorated favourite media hacks with Padmashrees and Padmabhhushans. Politicians who were hand-in-glove with industrialists owning media houses were accommodated in ministries and other positions of power.

The nexus between the Congress and media seemed unbreakable. At several places in the country journalists with integrity sought to break this unholy alliance, but with limited success. Most of them were nipped in the bud. Some were sought to be built into wall alive. It was like a single pigeon trying to lift the trap at one point and another pigeon making similar effort elsewhere. The Akas sitting in the Congress were pretty secure in the knowledge that the nationwide net will not be lifted unless and until all the pigeons trapped in it try simultaneously to lift it.

We have been witnessing and experiencing this system of you-scratch-my-back-and-I scratch-your-back for almost seven decades. Congress and giant media houses would make use of each other and take care of each other’s interests and sensitivities. If the tacit code was broken by any side or there was a conflict of interests, Congress would tweak the ears of the media and the latter would hit back by exposing some scandal of Congressmen to remind them of their vulnerability. Eventually, matters would settle down as both the sides needed each other.

This cozy ecosystem came under siege from 2014. Congress realized that there was a new awareness among the people who could see through its pretensions. A new leadership inspired a novel courage among the people. Congress began to feel increasingly the heat of popular anger.

The embattled Congress leadership alerted its loyalists in the media. Journalists occupying high positions in the mainstream media swore, as it were, not to miss a single opportunity to attack, malign and run down the Modi government. Misleading their readers-viewers was a child’s play for them; after all, they had been doing it for decades—on Ayodhya in 1992, on Godhara in 2002, to mention some known examples. Not just misleading people, they had even successfully hatched conspiracies to sow suspicions in the minds of nationalist leaders about one another’s intentions.

Confident about the reach and power of the ecosystem nurtured over decades, the Congress loyalists in the media had no doubt about the success of their destructive mission. Soon, front pages of newspapers were overflowing with stories of the failures of Modi government’s policies. TV channels started getting ample supplies of ‘breaking news’ stories. The Queen mother could not become the prime minister, but her progeny, the royal jester, started being billed as the next prime minister. Expert commentators began predicting his imminent ascent to the throne of Delhi. News magazines anointed the royal joker as the future prime minister of the country.

The polluted and defiled atmosphere created by the leftist-liberal media perplexed and angered the people. While they realized that a blitzkrieg of falsehoods was unleashed upon them, they were at a loss to know how to locate truth amid this carpet bombing of lies and half-truths. The nudist colony created by the media had a cardinal condition of entry: you too had to discard your clothes.

And then a man in suit-boot-tie enters the nudist colony and proclaims loudly and clearly: O ye Congrerssmen, O ye Lutyen’s media, you have no clothes!

That man is Arnab Goswami. Today, all the unclothed men in media and politics have ganged up to disrobe him, to show that he is no different from them. Now is the time for all of us crores of patriotic citizens to stand by him, expose his detractors and convince all that Lord Krishna was not wrong in promising his rebirth in dire times. Now is an opportunity to show that Krishna resides in of all of us.

The time has come to expose the dirty conspiracy to silence Arnab Goswami who has emerged as the voice of the common man, to expose the media houses and media persons complicit in the misdeeds of their masters. We have to retrace the conspiracy from the beginning and present its trajectory in full.

The way Arnab and Republic TV are hounded by the Congressmen and corrupt media reminds us of the Bollywood movies wherein ruffians pounce upon the hero who has come to know all the dark secrets of the villain.

The one thing we must realize is that freedom of press and expression will survive only if there is someone to speak the truth about the emperor’s clothes. If the efforts to muzzle his voice succeed, then we shall be back to the system where the resources set aside for providing food, clothing and shelter to the needy will be diverted into the coffers of the corrupt Congress ecosystem and finally vanish without a trace.

We, the people, will be the biggest losers if the Congressmen hell bent on silencing Arnab, super Congressmen such as Udhdhav and Pawar, media houses sworn to act as their agents and their fourth-rate employees masquerading as journalists succeed in their designs. If Republic TV is weakened, the entire field will once again fall into a tight grip of the leftist media.

It is necessary to discuss in detail the persecution of Arnab and Republic TV. In my entire journalistic career spanning over four decades, I have never seen any famous journalist being targeted with such vengeance. When the history is written of the extent to which corrupt politicians and media Mughals could go to muzzle dissent in the largest democracy in the world, the future generations would find it like a Bollywood film script.

Fact is stranger than fiction. We know the story of Alibaba and forty thieves. This is a real life story of forty thieves out to get an honest man. That is why I have decided to document it with a mini series of articles on the Newspremi.com.

The outcome of this David-Goliath clash in Indian journalism will have a major impact on nationalist journalists like Rahul Raj, Nupur Sharma and Ajeet Bharti of OpIndia as well as first-rate journalists-authors like Sankrant Sanu and Ankur Pathak of Garuda Prakashan which showed the courage to publish an explosive book like “Delhi Riots: 2020”.

The one-point agenda of taking out Arnab anyhow at any cost has entered the final stage. The ultimate weapon to destroy a journalist’s credibility is to create a haze of doubt about his financial dealings in the minds of his supporters. A couple of days ago, Indian Express joined the fearsome game launched by the Udhdhav Thackeray government eager to stoop to any level at the behest of Congress. Times group and India Today were already in the fray. NDTV, which hardly has any viewers remaining among masses, also has joined the show.

To refute the charges of corruption leveled against him, Arnab Goswami announced in the course of the prime time debate on 25th January his decision to disclose all financial transactions and income tax returns since 2004 both of himself and his wife. For Udhdhav Thackeray, Sharad Pawar, Sonia Gandhi and also police officers who have chosen to act as henchmen as also media persons and their masters named above, the time has come to consult their chartered accountants.

(To be continued)

( Translated from Gujarati by : Shri Virendra Parekh)

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