Posts Tagged ‘Alina Kabayeva’

April 20, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008





The Times of India’s sister publication, Mumbai Mirror last week came out with a front page story about a Bollywood couple, splashing the news about their upcoming divorce after a 10-year long successful marriage. Surprisingly within 24 hours, the whole story took turn and next day the same Mumbai Mirror came out with the story that they had been fooled as the couple had staged the whole divorce drama to improve their headline presence in the media and that too on the advise of their media agents. It is not yet clear if the media advisors were from the Times of India camp itself. The suspicion is very strong that Times of India could itself have planned this phony scoop and next day played the anti-climax end of the story. The way Times of India is stooping to covert to the western mode of commercial exploitation of media, without any regard for either the truth or the worth of projecting pedestrian happenings to the level of headline news, strongly suggests that people’s guess about Times of India’s degraded journalism is well-placed.


In contrast, a similar incident rocked Russia, when a tabloid splashed the news that Russia’s popular leader, Vladimir Putin, is to marry a 25 year old gymnast from Tashkent, Alina Kabayeva, who is probably a Muslim girl, while having divorce his own wife. Putin was traveling aboard and he flatly denied that he is either divorced or is planning to remarry, much less the girl now in headlines around the world. Doubtless, by breaking the kind of story about Putin that Western media can lap up to add to its arsenal of anti-Putin and anti-Russian propaganda, there could have been some legal issues around the abuse of press freedom of the kind Western media is most enamored off, but which can cause serious personal, social and political damage to the people, their culture and their nation is involved. Consequently, the news that the tabloid after two visits by state authorities was closed down and its editor sacked, has some lessons for India. 


India media, both print as well as electronic, open to foreign investments and foreign guidance, has completely lost its bearing and has been so blatantly abusing its freedom of press prerogatives, that day in and day out, fake and untrue stories are planted to brainwash gullible audience into believing all such fictitious spin-doctoring exercises and there seems to be no accountability worth its name to put the media into docks. The Congress government, itself the clients of such slavish media proclivities, can hardly be expected to use the laws on the books to bring these abusers of the freedom of press to books. Consequently, unsubstantiated rumours, innuendoes and false news have now become the most lucrative stock in trade of the media.


The most favorite fare that media keeps feeding to the masses, in open disregard of any journalistic ethics, is to pick up police stories and splash it up as the holy truth, without bothering to check if whatever police is feeding them has any iota of truth. Media’s active participation in this jugalbandi between police, politicians and itself is so poisoning the polity that the communal harmony that is the most basic glue that ensures the integrity, security and peace of the nation is now openly being violated and disturbed while there is nobody to challenge the culprits.


It is time the civil society take notice of this most heinous form of corruption in our midst and rise up to trigger a movement against the abuse of freedom of expression and freedom of press, if India has to be saved from a  horrendous future of anarchy and civil revolt.


The Putin episode would be the correct solution to all such anti-people trend of media abuse to serve the commercial and political interests of their foreign investors. The UPA government should take lead in clearing up the mess, less they themselves may be swept away in this avalanche of the sinister absurdities.



Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai