Sunday, 5 June 2011

The Hindu Wars

Are disappointing. My first clue that “The Hindu” was not completely objective came when I was living in Hyderabad. Hyd was changing into Cyberabad at the time, and Naidu could do no wrong – atleast as far as the Hyderabadis were concerned. I tended to agree. After NTR’s populism and the Congress’ corruption, the man seemed like a breath of fresh air. You could see the city transforming from a sleepy grubby town that had grown too big to an actual city. But “The Hindu”’s Hyderabad edition was relentless in its criticism of Naidu. Some of the criticism was well founded – based on criticism of blind Neoliberal/IMF prescribed policies. Sainath’s excoriation of the TDP for ignoring the rural communities and the numberless suicides was appropriate and necessary. But the bulk of it was the way coverage was slanted. Every two bit Congresscreature who railed against Naidu could count on coverage, but very little Naidu said or did ever made it to the newspaper.

At first, I thought that it must be a local thing, that the Hyderabad editor was anti-Naidu and that the family wasn’t too concerned about what was primarily regional reporting. Naive? Yes. Plus, there was no doubt that the changes made to Hyderabad – the improved infrastructure, the cutting and streamlining of the bureaucracy, the excellent power situation – in my three years, I experienced only one major 7 hour power cut – and that was because of an accident at a power plant  - blinded you to the fact that farmers in their hundreds were killing themselves.

I could respect the position the paper took. It was going against the tide, at a time when everyone was going gaga about India Shining.

But these days, the paper has become ridiculous. It’s pretty much acknowledged that the paper is a daily apology for the DMK, and more than the DMK, Dayanidhi Maran. Oh, yeah. There are mealy mouthed editorials that come up once in a while about corruption, but these happen, not before reports of corruption become common knowledge, but well after. However, if the DMK is not implicated. Fire and fucking Brimstone, folks. Dayanidhi Maran – Oh Good guy – broken hearted over corruption. 323 telephones in his place, under the BSNL . See, we just found this on  Wikileaks, the same Wikileaks we were examining for several months now. As for the phone lines, why, here is Mr. Maran’s statement that he did no wrong. When the Express story was explicit that the lines were NOT in Maran’s name.

Then there are the tales of cowardice. An article on the SCV monopoly being shot down. Or this one, on the Radia tapes. Or this one, an abject apology for what? An article that mentioned the low opinion a German student had on a Kirloskar exhibit.

It just makes me sad. I think I preferred it when it was staid and bourgeois.