While freedom of speech and expression in India is under attack from all sides, have you noticed how the rich and the powerful can say what they like without getting arrested, facing FIRs and courts, hiring lawyers and so on?
While an innocuous tweet or Facebook status update can land you in police lock-up on a Saturday night or Sunday morning 5 am, a Digvijaya Singh can say sexist crap against Rakhi Sawant and get away with it.
Here’s another example from Twitter recently. Lalit Modi of IPL infamy, who wants us to believe his coming to India and facing the law is a security threat to him, tweeted that the BJP’s Arun Jaitley would lose his deposit if he contested the Lok Sabha seat from Jaipur. (Lalit Modi thinks he’s the Maharaja of Rajasthan.) In response to that, one Ankush Jain replied… Continue reading Freedom of speech in India is for the rich and the powerful
This is a guest post by VINEETHA MOKKIL.
The Shashi Tharoor-Sunanda Pushkar tango has unleashed many demons. They woke up the country’s finance minister and party colleagues from a willful sleep. They are set to end Lalit Modi’s glitzy reign as IPL chief. The Tharoor-Pushkar coupling also let loose a spectre of another kind. It infected the electronic and print media with an epidemic of tabloidisation of unprecedented proportions. As soon as the first whiff of the story permeated the air, the strain of tabloid journalism that has been seeping into the Indian media scenario for over the last 15 years found the perfect setting to multiply and mutate and infect dailies, magazines and television channels across the board.
Newspapers and television channels which claim to occupy higher ground than lowly tabloids played out the entire episode like a soap opera. Headlines went overboard with the ‘wink-wink, nudge-nudge’ game. (Sample these: ‘Tharoor Unleashes Attractive Weapon,’ ‘Minister’s External Affair,’ ‘Got A Girl, Named Sue’). Sensationalism reigned supreme as columnists and hyper-ventilating television anchors marched in, flying high the flag of yellow journalism. Biased, personal opinion was paraded as fact. Unnamed sources came crawling out of the woodwork, spilling secrets of all sorts about the lead players.
Continue reading Tharoor-Pushkar Soap and Tabloidization of the Media: Vineetha Mokkil