The 49 day reign of the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi was marked by quite a few “media” events. My focus is not the achievements of the party as such but on the behaviour of the (paid) mainstream media.
Somnath Bharti Episode
What was he trying to do ? What was his intent ? This is the point we should start from. However, we live in the world of Spin and Illusions. He was instead made out to be leading a lynch mob – he was made out as a racist. Our government tried very hard to make this event into an “international embarrassment” for India (jabardasti mein) – they cajoled and coaxed the foreign consuls into “expressing concern”. The Ugandan embassy probably received calls from our external affairs minstry asking them to file a complaint (they were like what ???).
Of course, I am not the judge and the jury , but I do note some of the lesser known facts. The fact that the locals in Khirki Extension had complained of a drug and prostitution racket was totally “ignored” (hafta ?) by the police, and the entire focus was made on the “means” followed by Somnath Bharti and not the “intent“. One of the AAP spokesperson on the “Times Now” show had pointed out that the condoms found in the “perpetrators” car were hurriedly removed by the Police – Arnab snickered – “you call that evidence of prostitution?” – No Arnab – I call that “removing possible evidence” – since when is the Police supposed to clean the crime scene – this is certainly new! It is interesting how the media choses to ignore or twist facts.
Elections come once in five yeas (usually) and our media seems to follow the simple principle – may hay while the sun shines (paisa banao khol ke). The same goes for all of these voting survey companies. Remember the famous exit-poll that had claimed that AAP would win five seats. Call me a conspiracy theorist , but it is my belief that these “fake” exit-poll reports started to come out even before the voting process was over (the booths were still open) – possibly swinging the votes in favour of the BJP in Delhi.
The most shameful example of paid media was certainly the #LynchMobRacism campaign started by the Time Now for the Somnath Bharti episode. It was interesting when AAP was picketing for police reforms they were called Anarchists – Immediately afterwards Nido was a victim of racism and police extremism. This was proof (if at all needed) of why reforms were needed in Police.
Instead media actually blamed the Aam Aadmi Party for this – they kept using their coined phrase “#LynchMobRacsim” for the Nido Tania episode (even though Somnath Bharti had nothing to do with this).
More interestingly, Nido had given a phone call to his mother mentioning that he has bribed the police ten thousand rupees – this seems to have been brushed under the carpet – and totally ignored – has there been any charge-sheet against the policeman ? To top it all – he was dropped off at the crime scene by the police ? Why did media not pursue this – and to end this shameful episode the rally in support of Nido Tania, by students of the NorthEast, ended in a lathi-charge. No not on the criminals who killed Nido – but against the North East students. Of course the media continued to call Kejriwal an Anarchist and blamed AAP for the Nido Tania episode?
Why does the mainstream media ignore the obvious ? Yuck !
By Indrajit Chatterjee