Media has become accomplice of the terrorists: Harish Khare

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by parijataka, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Old interview but good one. IMO a very fair assessment by Sri Harish Khare of Gujarat (a tad pro-Congress perhaps), Congress, BJP and Hindu-Muslim relationship. Audio is also there, listen to the interview in the page (unable to embed here for some reason).

    Gist - Congress with 145 seats out of 185 in Gujarat encouraged criminals and Muslim leadership in Gujarat was either goondas or mullahs. BJP and Hindutva rose in Gujarat as a reaction to Congress arrogance and hob nobbing with criminals.

    Media has become accomplice of the terrorists: Harish Khare
    17 October 2008 - 12:12pm

    Harish Khare, the resident editor of the popular and prestigious English daily The Hindu, New Delhi was recently in Patna. TwoCircles.net (TCN) caught up with him. He spoke on issues ranging from the development of Hindutva in Gujarat where he spent nearly a decade as editor with Times of India, role of media in covering terrorism, the challenges thrown before the Indian secularism because of the increasing polarization of the communities, and lots more.

    His journalistic career

    He was with Hindustan Times from 1981 to 1985 as its Assistant Editor, then switched to Times of India in Ahmadabad where he worked as its Resident Editor from 1985 to 1992. A couple of years also worked with TOI Delhi and since 1994 he has been with The Hindu, Delhi.

    On the growth of Hindutva in Gujarat in the decade of 1980s.

    He has been a witness to the growth of Hindutva groups in Gujarat. He saw how people like Togadia and Narandra Modi who used to visit his office very regularly, evolved as being reasonably decent people to hard core unsentimental political calculators.

    Besides Gujarat has always had a very difficult history of Hindu-Muslim relationship. India's most serious riot after partition took place in 1969 which was unfortunately Gandhi's birth centenary.

    Then there was use of violence as a political tool. Prominent example of this in the state of Gujarat was in 1981 when there was anti-reservation agitation by the upper caste against the lower caste which was gradually allowed to become a Hindu-Muslim conflict. Same kind of thing happened in 1985 when the agitation against the high handedness of police degenerated into a Hindu-Muslim riot.

    Congress responsible for the growth of Hindutva in Gujarat

    Harish Khare pointed out that in the whole decade of 1980s the Congress dominated the political scenario. The party had 145 seats out of 185 assembly seats of the state.

    If Hindutva is so acceptable in Gujarat it is the direct outcome of the total mismanagement and completely irresponsible way in which the Congress party acted and in the 1980s.

    It was practicing the worst kind of politics, for instance that of vote banks. For the sake of vote banks it patronized the Muslim leadership which unfortunately went in to the hands of goons. These goons said to have controlled the government machinery like police. Latif, the infamous goon of that time used to decide who will be the Police Commissioner, he alleged. He terrorized the general people which made them actually go towards the BJP which offered them a good, efficient, and fearless governance. It also help the BJP portray itself as the protectors of the Hindu interests at that time.

    BJP propagated and offered to the Gujarati public its vision of Ram Rajya as opposed to the Congress's Latif Rajya.

    On the top of that the organizational structure of the party was dysfunctional as opposed to the BJP which was efficient.

    But how did the BJP sell the communal ideology to the people TCN asked Mr. Khare.

    He said that it didn't need to emphasize the communal spin of their outlook for two reasons. First of all the Gujarati Hindu society is essentially a religious society. Religion is an integral part of its societal ethos.

    Secondly, the ruling Congress had made such a mess of governance that BJP emerged as the only efficient and viable alternative to them.

    Congress was the first to exploit communal feelings for electoral gains

    Harish Khare further pointed out that the Congress was the first party in the political history of India which evoked the majority communal sentiments in order to win election. He argued that the 1984 win of the party was a Hindutva victory. He referred to a piece he wrote days after 1984 Congress landslide for the New York Times with the headline "Now a Hindu revolution in India".

    BJP learnt lessons in Communalism from the Congress.

    1984 elections saw evocation of Bharat Mata, majority communal sentiments by the Congress party, which is exactly what BJP is doing these days.

    He remembered an argument with the late Comrade Surjit that that if some party finds it electorally possible to demonise one minority which is Sikhs at that time then it can also demonise the other minority.

    He pointed out that the Congress's invocation of the majority communal sentiments was so intense that the RSS didn't stand any where. He referred to the fact that even RSS abandoned its Hindutva ideology at that time and instead of supporting a candidate who was from RSS they supported Congress candidate for a seat in Delhi.

    "There is no debate in our political system, we only shout at each other"

    TCN asked whether there are any lessons for the Indian media to learn from the way Australian media treated the baseless and false case of terror against the NRI Dr. Haneef, because it was the Australian media which investigated and exposed the holes in the police version and the false proposition on which the whole case was built up.

    He said he wish it is here because Haneef got justice because Australia has a different political system from that of India. In Indian political system there is no debate.

    "We only shout slogans at each other." And every effort to debate is actually crying slogans. For instance, when some demands that bring POTA. In short what he is saying that beat up the minorities.

    POTA is not an advocacy of a law but it is advocacy of a mindset and an approach in dealing with the minority issue.

    And in the Indian political system there is no conviction but only calculation. No body will care to take a moral stand on any issue but will only think about what is the electoral calculation, it's plus and minus.

    POTA no solution to terrorism

    Mr. Khare pointed out that there are people who say bring POTA, but the point is that it will give only the license to arrest people but does not make them a better investigator. Our investigative and intelligence system is so incompetent that the police men who can not even investigate simple cases of theft and arson, how do you expect that suddenly in the matter of terror cases they will become the most disinterested expert investigators?

    Use of violence in generating polarization of the communities

    During the NDA government L.K. Advani's strategy was to keep every body in tension. If every body is kept in tension then every thing was blown out of proportion the way Bush did post 9/11 in order to create an atmosphere of panic and take US to war against Iraq and Afghanistan.

    In that comparison Dr. Manmohan Singh has calmed down our collective nerves, and there hasn't been any over reaction.

    The problem is that now every section is using violence including the political parties to create polarization across the communities for their electoral benefits.

    Indian Media creating mob psychology

    Media today suffers from credibility crisis. All it can do is to create and generate the mob psychology.

    "Media today has become an unpaid accomplice of the terrorist, an unpaid accomplice of arsonist, and an unpaid accomplice of disruptionist."

    He further explains that when a terrorist plants a bomb which explodes, he has done the 10 % of the job rest as he knows well will be done by the media by creating an atmosphere of panic, terror, fear, insecurity and resentment.

    Electronic media greatest menace to Indian democratic system

    "Electronic media in my view is the greatest menace to the Indian democratic system. The power has gone to their heads." they reflect the institutional arrogance. They think that they are very powerful so much so that they are the active players in arbitrating political battles, in determining who will become the Prime Minister and who will become the Chief Minister.

    Besides "the whole art of electronic media is culture of controversy". It believes that it must controversialise every thing, he pointed out.

    He explained his point saying that in order to catch eyeballs they make arguments after arguments without going in to the authenticity, legitimacy and morality of either of the arguments.

    It is a beast that needs to be fed 24 hours.

    Role of media in covering terrorism

    "Media should be a distanced and disinterested party. It is easy to say but difficult to achieve. You don't become an active participants" he said.

    Professionally involved but disinterested.

    He further said that if a police officer briefs the media about the terror cases he won't accept his version completely but would take it with a pinch of salt. Although he doesn't cover terrorism but had he been doing that he would have tried to know what are the possible holes in the story, faults of the police, what might be the political and bureaucratic interests and intellectual make up of the officer involved in an encounter for instance. He would have also liked to highlight the human interests of that encounter and also the various aspects of that story because essentially any case is not one-dimensional but multi dimensional.

    When asked how he would have covered the Batla House encounter, he said it is hard to enter into the mind set of a thirty year old chap but it at all he would have covered encounter or terror cases, once an incident stakes place he would report all the voices; if there are any doubts, if people are questioning whether this was a genuine affair or not. He would give the doubts and questions raised by the civil society space in his reporting, he said.

    He also pointed out "thirty year old kid is not a wise man" means his human experience is very limited".

    Besides violence creates its own intoxication whether it is state sponsored or violence of other kind.

    When it comes to the electronic media, the Hindi language channels become much more bizzare in its reporting of terror cases than English channels.

    Muslim's resentment is understandable

    When TCN asked that the community feels that most of the terror cases against the Muslim accused are being built up on not the hard facts and evidences but on mere suspicions, and till now the police has not come up with evidences. He pointed out that this is how the Indian police system has functioned for the last sixty years. For instance, if a case of theft comes what the police does? It arrests five Dalits, and four Yadavas, and some one confesses just to get out of that.

    What needs to be done is that a more reasonable and justified criminal justice system needs to be put in place.

    He further said that he endorses the resentment of the community that asks why there seems to be two laws in this country, one for the Muslims and other for the majority community. For instance the justice delivery percentage in the 1993 Mumbai blast is more than 95 % but when it comes to the Bombay riot not even 5 % of the accused have been punished instead most of the police officers complicit in the riot were promoted.

    He said that the same kind of story is in the case of other marginalised groups. With Muslims it is much more painful because it gets manifested for the whole community.

    Muslim Leadership either Mullahs or goondas

    He said that he should not be speaking on the behalf of the Muslim community but the truth is that since last few decades the people who spoke on the behalf of the community have either been clergy or goons. It is only recently that the Muslim middle class has started speaking up and hopefully over the years it will emerge strongly to represent the saner voices of the community.

    Any way to stop the increasing polarization of communities

    He says that there is a political party which thinks it is electorally gainful to create and generate polarization of Hindu verses others. In 2004 they were defeated; if the people of India have a similar wisdom this time then "we" will get time to think on how to work out.

    He believes that there are communalists on each side who are in league with each other and feed each other.
     
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  3. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    I seriouslly dodnot get this why hack does every so called secluar medai men thinks that america should not have gone to war with taliban as if taliban weren`t terrorist and afganistan was heaven prior- to american invasion.
     
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  4. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    @parijataka @VIP @Dovah @hit&run @Patriot @arnabamit

    This is exactly what's happening in UP under SP regime + congress at the center. But, there ends the analogy.

    While the Gujrat public & BJP Gujrat got its act together, nothing of this sort seems to happening in UP. Only raw muscle power, caste equations & communal polarization works in UP. Development has no takers. UP electorate (not the whole public but the section that actually votes) expects only protection (impunity against law), connivance in embezzlement (siphoning off Central funds), reservations (academic/job) & securing govt. contracts, from their leaders.

    UP leaders oblige them very well. Remains to be seen whether UP electorate & UP BJP can emulate the spectacular example set by their Gujrati counterparts in 1995.
    If BJP manages to do it in UP, they would have a real shot at capturing Center.
     
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  5. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    UP (and Bihar) are the most casteist regions I blv, relatively speaking. Even the parties are divided up by caste -

    UP -
    SP - M + Y
    BSP - Dalits + Brahmans, Baniyas
    Congress - M + UC, only for Lok Sabha
    BJP - ???

    Cant understand though why Brahmans, Baniyas and Kshatriyas vote for BSP despite their `maaro joote` slogan! Both SP and BSP are known to be corrupt though BSP seems tad better. Dhongress and BJP side players.

    Bihar -
    JD(U) - some Muslim + Maha Dalit, after Nitish Kumar's `maha natak` about Modi he hopes to get more Muslim vote I guess
    BJP - UC
    RJD - M + Y
    Congress - non existent
     
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  6. VIP

    VIP Ultra Nationalist Senior Member

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    Well Well, Harish Khare with all his crap again comes up.
    When this TCN asked him how BJP could sell its Communal ideology, I should have stopped reading from that part, but continued, he thought it was congress party who's responsible for Communal politics in India & BJP id doing it now. WTF man, BJP is still stands firmly with its ideology & congress is trying to play communal politics. And this guy thinks despite Congress is pioneer of communal politics which it still follows should win the elections of 2014. Not BJP. Which wisdom he's talking about. Hypocrisy is at its best.Do this guy count any scams or not ??

    Every point has a big loop hole, don't wanna point out because I'm on mobile now.


    Everyone in media is trying to show people with their so called idiotic & biased wisdom that who's playing which politics. Does any F idiot talk about governance ?? Does any idiot of this flock talk about who's secular in governance ?? Who's doing inclusive governance??

    What actually matters to people ?? " Politics or Governance " ??

    Do you want "SECULAR governance or SECULAR politics ". Make up your mind and vote. Don't listen to such idiots.....
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
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  7. Patriot

    Patriot Senior Member Senior Member

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    In UP it is all cast politics and all the casts are involved in it. Therefore agenda based politics is not possible except reservation & minority cards. Politicians are thriving who has either BC+Minority combo or SC+ST+ Minority combo. The upper cast votes are scattered among all the parties. Hence very slim possibility for BJP in UP till they field very charismatic leader & create a wave of change. Congress has no chance in UP despite using all sorts of tricks.
     
  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Very valid.


    Again valid.
     
  9. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    No power can now stop relentlessness of Hindu population if the trend remained the same.

    I always try to warn those who are trying to demonize Hindus for no good reasons. I feel Hindus are being overdosed for their ills and real ills are not even getting required dose.

    No one would have thought that on cruising with 8% of GDP and having a stable government for 10 odd years in center we will fail so miserably that our debates will be now focused on communal fault lines and vote bank politics, than development.

    BTW what congress-I is doing, is typical of their inherited trick of divided and rule when finding difficult to contain their power.

    The congress-I traits detailed above by author pre-dates independence when they groomed illiterates of khilafat movement, which ultimately resulted in division of India.
     
  10. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Quite close. However, Congress could perform better in UP, this time. Muslims, now, are more likely to vote for them than SP this time. Congress have played their cards all too well. Food Security Bill is a step in the right direction, when the sole objective is to retain power, come what may.

    Rural incomes have decisively increased due to MNREGA. More people like the Congress today than, say 5 years back (speaking from ground-zero) & no one has forgotten the last loan-waivers, especially the rich farmers who benefited the most. They make significant numbers in UP. In LS elections, trust me, these factors win you seats. Rahul Gandhi's incompetence & apathy would be a non-factor and do not get bamboozled when you see a marked increase in Congress vote-share in some rural constituencies of UP.

    On the contrary, it is BJP who has lost all political relevance in UP, save some urban pockets. This sway over urban votes is just not enough for winning LS seats, when rural folks come out in drove for voting. There is no groundswell for Modi there. BJP needs to do some real magic there to increase its vote-share.

    Even if it can increase it by 6-7%, expect them to capture center. If they fail, UPA-III happens.
     
  11. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Hindus are & will be a divided lot, for eternity. Do not expect any revolution to happen.

    Divide & rule wins you India even today. Expect status-quo or much worse to continue.
     
  12. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Though quite right, I would only disagree with the unpaid part.
     
  13. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    While, he sounds reasonable & persuasive overall, in case of "Yadavs", he is shooting off the a**e.

    Looks like, either he has little interface with North Indian polity or, is just trying to prove his sicklular credentials in his own way. It is public knowledge that Muslims+Yadav's are united in their choice of leaders across the Indo-gangetic plains & their political dominance is there for all to see. He needs to visit these states to understand the ground-reality.
     
  14. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Undeniable.

    This is not on a palpable scale so far, to be pronounced as a trend. An exception (to be suitable brushed under carpet) rather than a prevalent phenomena.


    He makes his affiliations clear towards the end. For all his suaveness & incisiveness, cannot mask his innate propensities.

    No, someone must have started this at some point. What you give is what you get, this is life so why you fret....There will be tipping point.

    Anything imposed is resisted with greater intensity.
     
  15. dhananjay1

    dhananjay1 Regular Member

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    So electing a government that doesn't spew hatred of Hindus at every turn and doesn't paint Muslims as helpless victims all the time and which actually delivers a stable rule and economic development is a 'Hindutva' influenced government? The guy answered his own questions, he is just too pro-congress to see it.
     
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  16. VIP

    VIP Ultra Nationalist Senior Member

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    He was with TOI in Gujarat for 5 years. And now he's with The (Un)Hindu.
    I don't understand how adapting ideology of Hindutva makes someone communal. The interviewer also asked in same manner & this chap blaming Gujarati society & its religiousness for that. What an idiot...Nobody calls Congress a communal, though everyone accepts it's the pioneer of communal politics. What's wrong with these people & still they want Indians to be wise & choose congress, lol what an irony. Being wise & choosing congress is oxymoron lol.

    Nobody gives a damn about governance.
     
  17. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Those who follow Hindutva, are for a State whose ethos is Hindu in nature. This is communal.

    Congress is not communal, because the kind of State they want ie the present system is well not communal. Congress indulges in communal votebank politics though.
     
  18. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    These states are not "Casteist" any more than other states but because of the unique distribution of castes, there is not one dominant caste.

    BJP does well in urban centres only as is evident in municipal elections.
     
  19. VIP

    VIP Ultra Nationalist Senior Member

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    Ethos are Hindu in nature but that doesn't mean they want people to do things according to Hindu Religion. And Hindu term itself is not about religion. Even an atheist can be Hindu. Hindutva term isn't about religion, too. It's about way of life & any person can follow it without changing his religion. And if you don't believe this, it's okay. but still BJP doesn't do communal governance that matters the most. While Congress does communal politics & also governance but still it's not communal that's the biggest irony of the century.
     
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  20. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    I don't understand what are you trying to do ? Are you trying to show Hindutva is a benign philosophy ? How does it matter ?

    Why Hindutva is Communal ?

    The fact of the matter is, Hindutva is communal, because it relates to Hindu community. Communal word used in India is used in sociological sense, it means it belongs to a particular religious community.

    Why Hindutvadis (and Islamists) are anti Indian Constitution ?

    Indian constitution guarantees and celebrates individual rights . So anyone who believes in Hindutva, is against the Indian constitution because he believes that individual rights should be sacrificed at the altar of communal aspirations. This is similar to Shariat, where individuals don't have rights to subvert the Quran. It is an entirely different matter if you believe Hindutva is not as wicked as a Shariat state.

    But if 80% of Indians, are Hindus and pro-Hindutva then shouldn't the state be Hindutvadi ?

    No. Once, India decided to becomes a "Democratic" "Constitutional" "Republic" State it did away with majoritarianism. This means, very simply anything which is against the ethos of the constitution/state cannot be implemented irrespective no matter how many people support it at a particular given point of time. (People's choice change,if today it has support of 80%, 10 years down the line it may have support of 20%)

    Is Hindutva good or bad ?

    Now, your justification for believing in Hindutva could be that Hindutva is divine, its the best religion, or its all encompassing but our State was founded to guarantee Individual rights. We are not going to get Hindutva without destroying the present foundations of the State, and then establishing a theocracy. Lets not try to reinvent the wheel. We have seen despite the best of intentions, religion screws up the State.

    @sayareakd
     
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  21. PredictablyMalicious

    PredictablyMalicious Punjabi Senior Member

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    That is an idealistic approach to the issue. Hindutva is a necessary evil. As long as there is radical Islam in India, and it is there (no sane person can deny this), you need hindutva to counter it. When radical islam is wiped out from India, so shall hindutva.
     
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