When Crime Becomes Ordinary, Ordinary Life Will be Criminalised

  1. Zee News Anchor Sudhir Chaudhary whose heart beats for India tried to extort 100 crores from the Jindals, remember? No, no, please, kindly, take a few minutes to watch this, at least until 3.55.

 

 

  1. This is a photo comparing Chaudhary with that the whistleblower in the Vyapam scam, who exposed a long-running case of serious corruption by the state and political parties which has involved the murders of over 45 individuals! The current government is providing Chaudhary X category security while with this cycle-borne ‘security’ the Vyapam whistleblower has survived 14 attacks on his life.
main-qimg-ce1f1542701c71d0da51f68ad43ecab8
Courtesy: Quora.com

3. These are not the only times Chaudhary has well, flirted with the law and with journalistic ethics. Back in 2007, when Chaudhary slandered a school headmistress apparently running a sex work racket – a story that turned out to be completely fabricated – his channel Janmat was shut down for a month, but resurfaced as Live India with the same journalistic er…standards. Chaudhury was never arrested, but a mob of 1000 beat up the school teacher following the story! Chaudhary has gone from strength to strength in the meanwhile, entering the safe fortress of Zee News eventually where he now he claims to be the anchor of the highest watched Hindi news show on primetime.

4. Chaudhary was also accused of forgery by the Delhi Police over allegations that he fabricated Comptroller and Auditor General documents for airing his story on Jindal. The case however was closed because the police were (mysteriously) not able to bring charges.

5. This proud nationalist now believes his job as a journalist is to instigate mobs as well as the judiciary and police against anti-nationals. He is helpfully recommending to the zealous state legal action against Professor Nivedita Menon – a middle class teacher and academic – with no links with political parties or big business, who has lived all her life standing by her words, paid her taxes and obeyed the law like any other ordinary citizen, and never said anything that is not already in the public or academic domain. Seriously, do you think this is the first time somebody has spoken about the military occupation of Kashmir or made a critique of Hinduism? Or is it that powerful international organisations like the UN and Amnesty AND the BJP’s alliance partner in Kashmir PDP are allowed to say it and we will look away but when an ordinary teacher points to it, we gleefully splash her face on TV and invite the state to arrest her? And now of course Double Sri Ravishankar has said Pakistan Zindabad at his mega event! As Aditya Sarkar has written on Kafila before, obviously it’s not the words, but the person who utters them that matters in this cowboy nationalism. Apni aukaat mein raho!!

Menon – a teacher and inspiration for thousands of students who have gone on to shining careers, and an internationally renowned academic and scholar, and Chaudhary – an accused in multiple scams, whose political and financial connections are at best, shadowy. Yet it is Chaudhary who has reason to be confident that the judiciary and police will not prosecute him for his vicious campaign against an individual, since that is exactly what they have done so far. By the way, on a lighter vein – when Chaudhary and his co-accused Samir Ahluwalia went to jail briefly – his friends, family and some Zee staff held a march to Jantar Mantar where some of them said that the Delhi Police deliberately invoked Section 384 (when a person allegedly commits extortion) when it could have registered a case under section 385 (attempt of extortion) as the complaint made by Jindal Steel Private Limited (JSPL) was that an attempt of extortion was made by the journalists. Oh yeah, that makes it a lot better – attempt at extorting 100 crores, but when it fails, complain bitterly about police high handedness. On an even funnier note, his friends and family were demanding ‘freedom of the press’. Freedom to make money while the media sun shines I guess. In the meanwhile, in late 2014, Samir Ahluwalia was elevated to CEO of all ten channels owned by Zee, as well as DNA Newspaper and all online portals! I suppose his salary and perks must have been revised accordingly. It’s too bad an ordinary teacher doesn’t have 100 crores, because if she did, as Sudhir and Samir promise to Jindal representatives in the video, the coverage of her anti-national activities on Zee News may have ended, albeit subtly so that no suspicion was raised among viewers.

Slander, libel, extortion, fake stings, falsification and forgery; and violation of privacy – do anything, as long as you place your hand on your heart and swear by the territorial integrity of India. It’s now axiomatic that the smaller the crime the more vulnerable you are in India, and the larger the crime, the better your chances of freedom. Vijay Mallya will be protected by the entire spectrum of the political class while a small time thief will be thrashed with impunity for police and public involved.

In such a scenario, ordinary activities, like teaching, learning and thinking freely will obviously come across as strange and dangerous. There is much that the establishment has to lose if the government’s monopoly on thought and nationalism is weakened. The tragic question is, why do people want this monopoly? Why do they agree to be ruled, and suspend all justice and humanity in the name of the nation? This is B.R Ambedkar on the patriotism he witnessed before Partition,

“India is a peculiar country and her nationalists and patriots are a peculiar people. A patriot and a nationalist is one who sees with open eyes his fellowmen being treated as less than men. But his humanity doesn’t rise in protest. He knows that men and women for no cause are denied their human rights. But it does not prick his civic sense to helpful action. He finds a whole class of people shut out from public employment. But it does not rouse his sense of justice and fairplay. Hundreds of evil practices that injure man and society are perceived by him. But they do not sicken him to disgust. The patriot’s one cry is power and more power for him and his class. I am glad I do not belong to that class of patriots. I belong to class that takes its stand on democracy and which seeks to destroy monopoly in every shape and form.”

 

17 thoughts on “When Crime Becomes Ordinary, Ordinary Life Will be Criminalised

  1. Jindal Ki Jai ho

    Zee is corrupt and so is Mr. Sudir and everyone else you have mentioned in this post. What about Jindal?
    Are they not corrupt?
    Don’t they have similar security?
    I am sure you will say yes to above two. Though, you accept all your fellow Hypocrite academicians earning fat salaries from Jindal University and accept their support

    http://kafila.org/2016/02/24/statement-on-behalf-of-faculty-and-students-of-o-p-jindal-global-university-in-solidarity-with-jnu/

    Hypocrisy at it’s best. This is the reason your community will not expand and is not expanding.

    Read it?
    Delete it and carry on your hypocrisy in the name of your pseudo-liberal attitude.

    1. Sunalini Kumar

      I am a little confused, jindal ki jai ho (asli naam please?). Yes, I accept that most business houses are corrupt. I have criticised the Jindal empire and its mining activities publicly on previous occasions. But where in this article have I named Zee itself as corrupt? I have given only facts as they are available in the public domain, and they pertain to the two journalists. If the paper trail leads back to Zee ownership itself, that is for the police to investigate. As for accepting Jindal University’s statement of support, are you seriously suggesting that the university teachers are complicit in the alleged crimes of the Jindals? Right now I am opposing the government while it pays my salary, as people have ad nauseum accused Nivedita Menon of doing. So I guess I shouldn’t do this either. Please tell me where will social and political critique come from then? You know this entire ‘jis thaali mein khaya hai usi mein thooka…’ reasoning I don’t subscribe to. A democratic society has to make space for critique. By the way, while you’re responding, perhaps you could also tell me what real liberalism is, and what you have done to promote it. And as for the prophecies about my ‘community’ not expanding, let’s leave that to the futurologists.

  2. shaturya

    yes..very correct and timely…but how to give a wide publicity…even rival TV channels are wary of running this story…they are wary of might of state falling on them…everyone knew of doctored tapes run on this channel ..it instigated people..a fit case of criminal behavior… yet nothing…we are moving towards a banana republic

  3. shaturya

    I believe India is slowly moving towards a banana republic…If you are with power, you can get away with anything…This was a culture which had roots in our feudal past …which, instead of being weakened by successive ‘democratic ‘.political parties, was strengthened as their own roots were feudal…

  4. sad_kumar

    A brilliant piece by Sunalini once again. I cannot but laugh at these prejudiced individuals aptly called “Jindal ki Jai ho.” Their unreasonableness is overshadowed by their stupidity.

  5. Rajesh

    Well said. What is a pity is that the mainstream media would never expose these kind of ‘high class’ pro HIndutva criminals. They would always write about the accusations made by these Nationalists, but would never give the same space and light to the other side, even if there is proof to support. Even The Hindu, who took up all the anti national allegations in the front page, took more than 5 days to even ‘mention – in between’ that a Zee news journalist had resigned blaming his office for fraud.

  6. Arihant Zenab

    I liked the way you dug out the nuances of how Chaudhury was caught extorting money from Jindal Co, which itself is complicent in mega billion Coal Scam. However that doesn’t justify the alleged extortion.

    Point being, every media house is a door-may of a political party now a days. Look at NDTV pimping for congress, ABP being vehemently anti BJP and the political allegiance of most of the journos and scribes isn’t a secret anymore ( thanks to Twitter).

    I wan to ask the writer- is attempting to extort 100-200 or even 1000Cr for that matter, a bigger crime than being a party to paint a LET terrorist as an innocent college going girl who was out to kill a politician having an adverse views than you ( when I say ‘you’ I don’t mean personally you ). According to me that’s not just a financial crime but attempting to thwart national security for petty political gains. I will be waiting for a detailed piece on Kafila should such piece comes here.

    When journalists have made themselves pimps and brokers ( apologies for the explicitives, couldn’t help) of political parties, putting lipstick on a terrorist, instigating riot by biased reportings, brokering ministries and cabinet berths, I feel extorting 100Cr is a very petty crime by these standards.

    Oh, and I really liked how you used ‘middle class’ for Nivedita Menon. I am still wondering how has her social/financial status anyway connected to her speech ? I also liked the way you shyed away from quoting her exact words, which Zee News is running in loops and doesn’t seem doctored. Am I to assume you purposely ‘skipped’ mentioning those speeches of her because that could have completely changed the crux of your article upside down ?

    I really thank JNU rats for their stupid outburst, for this ‘JNU Kaand’ has exposed the partisan media more than the JNU leftists. Ripped the media right through the middle. Am I correct to assume that your next piece would be on Arnab ? Agenda Ooncha Rahe Hamara. #LaalSalaam

    1. Sunalini Kumar

      Arihant, you are abusive. You have called JNU scholars ‘rats’ and NDTV journalists pimps. You have also made allegations about my wanting to extort a 1000 crores. I want to ask you to consider this calmly – do you really think so? My life and identity are public unlike yours – please feel free to investigate within the bounds of law and decency. You also make all kinds of assumptions about my politics, which I can’t really counter in a short space so let’s assume we are on different sides of the political spectrum. You believe that the security forces including IB and Gujarat police, and the judiciary are honest and responsible institutions, so you obviously believe them when they say Ishrat was a terrorist. I am no expert on the case. I am sure there will be better people to debate this with. Now can we return to my piece? You have asked two questions. One, why did I not mention the content of her speech? Well, I don’t need to mention it since it is widely available. I also don’t need to deny anything, since Nivedita herself has not denied anything she has said, and has further written on this just a few days ago on Kafila. The issue here is not doctoring. The issue is allegations and defamation on the basis of a selective and repetitive airing of her speech. The second question is why bring in Nivedita’s middle class background? Simple answer is, to show the background of a self-proclaimed defender of the nation like Chaudhary, versus the background of a so-called anti-nationalist. If you can respond without abuse, we will be happy to pass your comment. My request is to not abuse the privilege that online anonymity gives you – we are standing by our words and our identities. So should you.

  7. Ritaja B

    Unfortunately, outside the boundary of urban Delhi the semi-urban and rural India still believes Kanhaiya Kumar gave the slogan “Bharat ki Barbadi” – the propaganda machinery of Zee Newz is that strong. Mainstream media will never expose is a kind of helplessness expressed without any remedy.

  8. Jindal Ki Jai ho

    come on. sign the solidarity statement for Ms. Menon. why are you worried about your government salary now?

    1. Sunalini Kumar

      Jindal ki jai ho, eh? What does your comment mean? And I will sign every solidarity statement for Nivedita that I need to, thanks.

      1. Jindal Ki Jai ho

        You did not sign the first statement. You are among those who were obliged to sign reading my comment and 260 exhausted your worldwide support. Is not it strange? Shame Shame. Hahaha.

        1. Sunalini Kumar

          Wow, you really have an exaggerated sense of your importance, Jindal ki jai ho! When my name is publicly all over the internet in support of Professor Menon, you think I needed some anonymous comment on Kafila to sign a statement in support of her? Hahahahaha! Also it’s nice you’re gloating about there being only 260 signatories, but have you stopped to consider that these are the top names in their fields? It’s the equivalent of all A-cricket teams signing a statement in support of an Indian cricketer or the best actors around the world signing support of an Indian actor. Clearly you have no idea about their stature. But then again, you probably don’t care.

  9. Your article is very much appreciated at least by people like me,
    But do consider this Why have we come to this is it PM Modi. his thinking, his personality how did he find resonance with the masses.
    Because there was and is a growing sense that derogating our culture our tradition anything that comes from our land & its past is promoted under the garb of freedom. That we are being made to feel ashamed of our real identity. I know growing up as a Christian what is being taught.
    Politician will always think of power than anything else. We as a society need to think if you will not criticize those (followers of desert cult’s) as furiously as you always chose to do with our traditions. Then extreme polarization is inevitable and that will give space to criminals, greedy & lunatic people on both sides.
    My solution is speak and write against bad practices, Traditions and thinking of western and desert cults. If you will give in one inch we will give in 10. somewhere we will find the middle ground.

    1. Hi Xavier, you actually addressed this to Sunalini, but you raised an interesting question. What happened? There is no easy answer to this, but Modi became PM neither because of his thinking/personality nor was there a resonance in the true sense. If you must look at this (and I am surrounded by experts on this topic who can/will rebut my arguments) as an immediate phenomenon, I would like to say that it originated a very long time ago in this country. By the 70s, the Congress had squandered whatever goodwill it had had since the independence era. So, what we saw in the mid- and late-70s was a coming together of the deep dissatisfaction against the Congress and its way of rule. We might like to say that it was a movement that gave hope to the general public, but it also allowed people like from the Jana Sangha to piggyback on the popular resentment and appear visible in the people’s imagination. That was that ostensible start of all this. Remember, at the time, there was no distinction between someone whose resentment of Congress high-handedness resulted in rebellion and those with a visceral hatred of everything that the nation was (the Sanghis). So these two joined hands to make a somewhat powerful force, even without a coherence or directed ambitions.

      So, bear with me, let me explain farther. That was just the beginning, the root cause. There is another aspect to this growth that is seldom spoken of. That of the younger generation at that time. They had all grown up hearing vituperative comments made about Indira, Nehru, Gandhi, Jinnah and so on. But it was an easy-going generation that did not search for the truth or for information even. Their only awareness came from what their elders or peers said or what others in their youth groups transmitted to them. I am not dismissing them as fools, but rather as lazy people who did not really want to question anything. Moreover, an older generation had either vivid or dulled or second-hand memories of the freedom struggle and the real character of the leaders they could not bring themselves to denigrate completely. So, even as they hated the socialism of Nehru, the iron-rule of Indira, the Muslim-bias of Gandhi, they could not really be very vociferous about it, unlike their own children, who, by the 70s had had children of their own. When the information came to this third-generation in the form of simplifications, it caused all the troubles that we are facing now and perpetuating in the worst possible way by feeding that information which was already corrupted, but made more venomous since then.
      So when a youngster says that it is all Gandhi’s fault today, or Nehru’s fault, or Indira’s fault, he or she is not really sure what the true facts are. This is replaced with bluster and some kind of deluded conviction that they are right, without any proof whatsoever.

      How does this make a Modi, you might ask. Let me explain. What we are seeing today is a dissolution of the Indian Identity as it was known to a previous generation. There is no pain of the British Lathi, no fear of the Lee-Enfield bullets, no respect for historicity or facts or for basic decencies. In a way, it is the fault of my generation that was born after the 70s. We were too confused to infuse better sense of nation or nationalism to our children. We had an identity crisis of tremendous proportions. In the first place, we could not understand the fealty of the old-timers to their idea of nation and their struggles. We often dismissed everything in politics as corrupt because we had simply not seen leaders of stature. We could not conceive of a country where we could really be free to do as we pleased. That is what we bequeathed to a generation that was born post-liberalization. They simply had no idea about anything. At least, we had an identity crisis. But these people have simply no identities of their own. Which is in a way very sad. I am not saying that countries, people, sentiments should never change. But that change should be founded on facts, on historical facts, on realities, not imagined slights, not imagined history and certainly not on the basis of the dubious or spurious knowledge bequeathed to them third-hand or fourth-hand from a generation that knew better but did not communicate it well.

      Lastly, when the population turned confused in the 80s and the 90s, what could have been done was to differentiate between the dangers of communalism and the dangers of being dissatisfied with the socio-econo-political state. What really happened was that the youth of that time wanted more. There was this need for change. They mistook Coca Cola for liberal values, they thought MTV brought in global values, they thought being able to work in the IT sector enabled them to have a world vision. Note how our most patriotic people are the NRIs. There is more madness there than in this country where we blame the lunatic fringe alone (which distinction is currently being erased as well).

      What I am saying is that there are too many reasons for ending up as we have. But if you think that it is because Modi was a thinker or that he had a plan or that he was wise enough and towered above the rest, you are wrong. He is just an opportunist. He saw that there were no tall leaders anymore and he invented this apparition, this hologram image of what he thought was a powerful and towering leader and the country lapped THAT up. His role models, ironically, would be Nehru, Indira, Patel and Gandhi. How ironic!! He based his performances on that. He knew the country well and he knew the shallowness of the youth and the middle class. He catered to that well. That is why we are here.

      You must remember, there is no lunatic fringe. There is a very well organized criminal structure, mostly filled with youngsters who have no idea what they are doing or why. Their aspirations are limited to living the good life with the extortion money or with the proximity to the powerful. If they are convicted, they soon realize that they have been used. But does it stop another youth from being a little cautionary? It does not. They are blind to it. As a Christian you probably think of the days when the church used to be relatively free of the torment that we see now. But, you really must look at places where christian youth have given in to popular fervour and joined hands with the saffron brigade in whatever misguided ways. It is true and in my very own region I can point out to many such characters.

      Sorry for the entirely unsolicited comment and reply.. but I wished to point out that it is no surprise that this is where we are.

      1. Madam I appreciate your time in writing this, I coincide to a lot of points you have made and specially your self-criticism of your generation who have made this complex identity crisis.
        But the debate has moved far away from logic, facts and truth itself not only in India but around the world. It is based on fear, anger and selfishness. So no amount of facts you bring to the table will help
        So I think the solution is in balanced criticism of all sides. Either all sides are good or all sides are bad (even if it is not based on facts) nobody can take or should take the higher ground let us start from there.
        Whether we like it or not our generation has inferiority complex, confusion, anger and insecurities. If we do not want to pass the same to the next generation. I will have to seek more facts which you have pointed out and spread it to as many people as possible and you’ll also need to introspect whether your criticism is helping or making the monster stronger.

        1. Sigh*** I really must change my username to Mr.Tejaswi etc… :)

          Ok, to address some of those points – You said no amount of facts would help. Well, I happen to think the very opposite. If it were not for reason, logic, commonsense, this world would be finished (well, it is not over yet and I might still be proven wrong). But the way we can hold on to reason is only if we can have facts on our side – even if the facts themselves are called into question by a few. Opinions and feelings cannot overrule logic. We must strive to keep those alive- logic, reason, facts.

          Pardon me for being rude here – how does one do “balanced criticism” of people who want to cut off tongues/heads/various other anatomical parts in exchange for debate or logical questions? Or, for that matter, how do you balance your criticism when the very fundamental question of your existence is in doubt? Debate is possible only if two sides can agree upon the content before them, even if they are contentious. For example, if it is nationalism we are talking about, we must first agree on what is a nation at all, only then we can define nationalism. If are not in agreement even on the basic issues, then there is no debate, just an acrimonious free-for-all.

          I am not sure how my criticism could make the monster grow stronger. I might be wrong about a lot of things. But the need is to find answers, not take the middle ground. When you make an uneasy peace with your adversaries, nothing is resolved. That faux-peace is short-lived.

          Dear Xavier, I do take your points seriously and I appreciate them. I am not trying to be dismissive of them. But, do not turn the other cheek, not now. These forces grow stronger each day. We must not talk of peace or stepping back when they are ready to destroy us once and for all times. As you have rightly pointed out there is no black and white, there must be necessarily some goodness in the evil and a little evil in the good. But, imagine a war – do you say, I will not shoot this enemy, he looks alright to me? I will not kill that soldier because he appears a little thin or frail? I doubt that is how a war works. Make no mistake, this is a war. One that will determine what our nation is going to be like in the years to come. Do we simply hand it over to lumpen elements and extreme thinkers because we think we may make peace with them some day?
          (One of the reason the state of Israel/Palestine was formed was their self-disgust at their passivity at the Jewish Holocaust and they swore that they would never again allow themselves to be butchered without a fight. It is a different matter that the oppressed often become oppressors when the power changes hands or vice versa).

          Thanks for bearing my views, Xavier, I hope I made sense.

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