03 August 2007

Media And The Sangh

Of late I have been thinking a bit about the media's coverage of the RSS. This is an important issue because most people form their opinion about the RSS based on what they read, see and hear in the media. The RSS's membership is estimated to be 45 lakhs. If we include the families and friends of these swayamsevaks, the number may go up to 5 crores (roughly). That is only 5% of the country. The remaining 95% depend on the media to give them a correct picture of the RSS.

So the question is how well is the media living up to its responsibility of portraying the RSS accurately? (The responsibility here is to the readers/viewers/listeners, not to the RSS) Not very well, according to me. The portrayal is mostly negative and unfair. [My comments here are mainly about the English language media - with which I am most familiar. I believe the situation is slightly better in the case of the Indian languages media]

Most newspapers and magazines depict the RSS as a communal, fundamentalist, casteist and fascist organisation (I have responded to some of these allegations here and here). Prominent examples are Frontline, Hindu, Outlook and Times of India.
  • Frontline - Perhaps the worst offender; mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China; helmed by the notorious Mr N Ram.
  • Hindu - Should be renamed as Anti-Hindu; from the same publishing house as Frontline; another platform for leftist views; amazing how it is considered as one of India's most respected newspapers despite its espousal of a failed ideology.
  • Outlook - Edited by Mr Vinod Mehta, one of India's chief pseudo-secularists; a good example of how otherwise intelligent people can be knuckle-headed in certain matters.
  • Times of India - The less said, the better.
There are no 'pro-RSS' publications. But there are a few which are less biased than the rest. Two I can think of are India Today and Indian Express. These are not entirely free of RSS-baiting, but at least they are not fundamentally opposed to Hindu nationalism.


krishna koundinya said...

I very much agree about the anti-RSS leanings of a few of the media houses you have mentioned, although I would slightly disagree with India Today as they have been more rightist and not baiters if not anything else. Probably one can add Outlook to the baiters' list with a strong Congress agenda. I feel what would be a comprehensive analysis is if you could include the electronic media as well, with eminent newspersons like Prannoy Roy's strong leftist views (Mr. Prakash Karat is his co-brother in fact) or Times Now who seem they are funded by the oldest political party!

Anonymous said...

That is why I feel that RSS people and other conservative Indians should blog as much as possible. Today, anyone who has good ideas and can write, can get his material read.

Blog, blog, blog.

Btw, the dailypioneer is a strongly nationalistic ELD. Please promote it on your blog.