EXPOSING MEDIA'S ROLE IN GUJARAT ELECTION02/01/2008 22:26:00 Japan Pathak (Translated in English by Gaurang G. Vaishnav, NJ, USA) Journalists accepts bribe to write against BJP.
More than Congress, It is Media’s Defeat in Gujarat election.
• Sashtang Dandavat to Chanakya Public
• News media should now start fantasy channels and magazines like Manohar Kahaniyan
• Political correspondents should now start writing children’s’ stories
• Why the barrage of rumors, lies, Gobblesian propaganda, bogus forecasts, false
projections and half truths?
When I put an open post on December 19, four days before the election results of December 23 stating that Modi will win and describing how to celebrate the victory, some people expressed doubt that since this time the election was neck to neck, and Congress was likely to win, if Congress indeed won then DeshGujarat would be a laughing stock.
To everyone who said this, I asked, whom are you going to vote for? Answer: “Modi.” “And your wife?” Answer: “Modi.” “And your sons and daughters?” Answer: “Modi.” Then I asked, “has Modi given you something that your whole family is going to vote for Modi?” They said, No but we like Modi therefore we are going to vote for him. So I said to them: “If you are thinking like this, then do rest of the Guajratis have horns and tails? They also think like you do.”
And, therefore we put the open post of how to celebrate Modi’s victory on DeshGujarat. Excepting a couple of Gujaratis no one expressed any doubt about Modi’s victory.
From the eastern end of the world. Mayurbhai writes “It is said that during World War II, only BBC radio gave true information; now I say that in the 2007 Gujarat elections, only DeshGujarat gave true information.” From the western end of the world Pawan Nanavaty writes: “reading and watching all media we had become nervous but only DeshGujarat was giving correct information as to which way the election 2007 was going.”
Many such opinions form our readers enhance our vigor and our determination to bring to you true information.
The basic factor behind the prediction of a decisive victory of Modi was intuition and keeping our ear to the ground, listening more to people and less the planned talks of the media, accepting basic wisdom and ignoring analyzed opinions. When someone said that Modi will not win, we used to find out by a counter question: was it that person’s belief? Was it his opinion? Was it his wish? Or was it information?
Congress has not won a single election in last so many years. Congress is proud of its win in the Lok Sabha elections of 2004 but in that election Congress had 12 seats and BJP had 14 seats, i.e., BJP had two more seats and that encompasses a number of MLAs. Congress does not have an ideological structure of 100% following. None of its leaders have a clean image. The communication of its leaders dependent on the newspapers gives a headache to the people of Gujarat. Gujaratis vote on Macro issues. When the Central Government takes a wrong step on Kashmir, the voter in Kutchh responds to it in the election. This time the macro issue in the election was Modi.
I am in public affairs in Gujarat for last twenty years and in journalism for last ten years. I have been to each and every corner of Gujarat. I know people and on that basis I clearly believed that BJP would definitely not lose this election and Congress was already a defeated old bag, but in reality it would be the media that would be defeated. The media was the oxygen of Congress’s anti-Modism . Just the way a patient goes on spending money on the oxygen cylinders, Modi baiters needed media as the oxygen and they paid for this “oxygen”.
In assessing this election, not only the media people failed to understand the public opinion, they also failed to understand the opinions of their own family members, neighbors and friends. In the columns of DeshGuajrat I had written that there was a wave in favor of Modi because of his cult figure.
Now should I take the media to task? In this, is the reverberation of my as well as your feelings.
I had written previously that I had the confirmed information that a journalist of a small newspaper of Surat was given Rs. 300,000 to write against BJP. It is very highly possible that the political correspondents for major newspapers in Surat, Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar were given at least three times that amount to write against BJP.
These “sold out” journalists wrote big stories after calling Keshubhai, Suresh Mehta, Gordhan Zadafia and Kashiram Rana during and before the elections to ingratiate themselves with them because they had taken the money from the diamond lobby. These stories would be such that after reading them you would feel that BJP would be crushed in Saurashtra!! Koli Patels would clean out BJP!! Patidars would do as told by Keshubhai and BJP would be thrashed!! BJP was strong only in urban areas! Voters in rural area would desert BJP!! Uma Bharati would defeat BJP by taking away BJP’s votes!! Sadhus and sants were not with the BJP this time- so what would happen to BJP? RSS and VHP were against BJP; surely Modi’s prospects would be damaged!!
Even astute readers would be caught in the barrage of such writings, lose bearings and because of that other correspondents would follow this line of arguments; independent observers also get influenced and the cycle of lies and falsehood continues. The leaders who deserve to be consigned to the junkyard, those Dushashans and Duryodhans were made into Bheeshma, Arjun and Bheema by the media with an agenda.
Lies of the Media and Propaganda with an Agenda
(1)BJP will lose because of anti-incumbency against Ashok Bhatt in Khadia (Amdavad)
It could not be believed that Ashok Bhatt would not get the ticket in Amdavad. Ashok Bhatt is such a senior MLA of BJP and has been a minister a number of times so was it possible that BJP would not give him the ticket? It was simply not possible. But Media started agenda based propaganda that Ashok Bhatt would not get the ticket. When Ashok Bhatt got the ticket, Media started saying that there was anti-incumbency in Khadia so Ashok Bhatt would definitely be defeated. The results are that Ashok Bhatt has won from Khadia with margin larger than the last election!
(2) If Modi does not pay attention to canvassing in Maninagar, Patel votes will defeat BJP
Modi will fight from Vadodara’s Raopura seat instead of from Maninagar because he finds Raopura seat safer than Maninagar; Raj Babbar will stand against Modi from Congress; Congress has played masterstroke by putting up Dinsha Patel from Maninagar because there are X number of Patel voters and Y numbers of this and that voters who would vote for Dinsha Patel and Modi would have tough time. Modi would be unable to do canvassing all over Gujarat and he would be restricted to electioneering in Maninagar- all these balloons were floated throughout the election. And what happened in the end? Modi stood from Maninagar only, came only three times for public meetings and won with a larger margin than the last time!
(3) Purushottam Solanki will lose because of the displeasure of Koli Patels due to Chandani case
Media propagated lies that Purushottam Solanki would change his constituency; this time he was likely to lose. But Solanki won, defeating his Congress rival by garnering more than double his opponent’s votes. He won with a lead of more than 34,000 votes and 61% of votes. Suspended BJP M.P. from Surendranagar, Soma Ganda Patel used to go around as if the Koli votes were in his pocket and the media used to run to him on all Koli Patel issues but his own son lost from Virmagam’s Koli Patel dominated constituency!
(4) BJP will lose in Saurashtra due to the effect of Keshubhai’s displeasure on the Patidars
Media and the money power of anti-Modi diamond merchant Patels’ lobby created a bogey that Keshubhai had strong impact on the Patidar (Patel) voters but BJP won 24 out of 35 seats in Patel dominated constituencies! Look at the Patel dominated constituencies where BJP lost- In Jamjodhpur it lost by 17 votes and in Manavadar by less than 2000 votes. Keshubhai’s stature was made up only by the media. In the seventh year of 21st century, there is no relevance of Keshubhai and the Patidar-ism in Gujarat’s politics. Their relevance was created only in the printed paper of the newspapers and screens of television by the media. The media believed as if the Visavadar seat with the dominance of the Leuva Patels was Keshubhai’s inheritance from generations; BJP won this seat as well. Media propagated lies like Bharat (Keshubhai’s son) Patel would contest from this seat, would not contest, etc. It got a slap on its face when Bharat Patel himself refused to contest. Of course recently Keshubhai has in an interview with Sunday Indian Magazine said that his son was not offered the ticket. The candidate that Congress selected for the Visavadar seat on the recommendation of Keshubhai group was defeated.
Not only that, the media was saying that BJP would be decimated in Saurashtra because of the votes of Leuva Patidars, Keshubhai’s displeasure and the propaganda of the dissidents who were given helicopters by Congress. Same media is now witnessing that as against 39 seats in Saurashtra in the 2002 elections, BJP has secured 44 seats in 2007!
(5) BJP will lose in Amreli due to the Dissidents (Asantushtas)
The media that put out stories of BJP’s defeat In Amreli, the fortress of the dissidents is slapped by ‘Chanakya’ Gujaratis. Balu Tanti lost in Dhari and Bechar Bhadani lost in Lathi. In Amreli, the backyard of Vasant Gajera, the castist Patidar, his nephew, Paresh Dhanani has lost from the Congress against Dilip Sanghani of BJP, his bete noir. He will become a minister and for five years will move in a car with red light in front of Gajeara’s home! Congress had given this Vasant Gajera a helicopter to garner Patel votes but not only his nephew has lost, his brother, Dhiru Gajera has lost with a wide margin in Surat! Media had painted Dhiru Gajera and Vasant Gajera as tigers; public of Gujarat has magically made them into pussycats!
(6) BJP will lose in Kutchh due to Suresh Mehta’s displeasure
Media had pumped up Suresh Mehta in Kutchh to larger than life. This Suresh Mehta had become Chief Minister of Gujarat based on ‘not this person’, ‘not this person’, ‘not that person’ selection process. Later on he accepted a lower post, lost an election and became invisible. But as soon as he started speaking against Modi, the media lifted him up and by giving columns after columns in newspapers and showing him repeatedly on TV, the media made him so big as if he was a heavyweight in the politics of Gujarat. Forget being heavyweight, Suresh Mehta was not a factor at all, but media had made him into one! Look- Suresh Mehta’s protégé in Kutchh, Gopal Dhua lost in Mundra, Narendrasinh Jadeja lost in Abadasa and besides these two seats, BJP got three more seats in Kutchh!
(7) BJP will lose because of the candidacy of rebels Sunil Oza and Dhanraj Kella
On the South Bhavanagar seat, Media pumped up BJP’s dissident Sunil Oza but Sunil Oza got only 2000 votes. In Vadhwan, media pumped up BJP’s dissident Dhanraj Kella but there also BJP won; Dhanraj Kella came in third!
(8) Saurabh Patel will be defeated by Koli candidate; BJP will lose to Mayavati’s BSP
The media kept writing repeatedly that Saurabh Patel would lose in Botad because his opponent, Koli Patel candidate Peethawala was super rich and had lot of influence. Now the media is witnessing Saurabh Patel’s victory. In Vadodara, media that was highlighting every mischief of dissident Nalin Bhatt’s refrain of “Mayavati has arrived, Mayavati has arrived” is now also witnessing that Nalin Bhatt did not even get 5000 votes on the Sayajiganj seat of Vadodara!
(9) BJP will lose by the weight of Kashiram Rana
The media that projected Kashiram Rana as the powerful leader of Surat is now witnessing that BJP has won all seats of Surat, including Rana’s favorite seat of Surat east by a thin margin. BJP’s position has become stronger in the South Gujarat which the media projected as Kashiram Rana’s bastion and to whom media used to run all the time calling him a leader of reckoning. Surprisingly, BJP has also won the seat in Dang, which Congress had always won since after independence!
(10) Rahul Gandhi’s charisma will work: BJP will lose
The media that sang paeans to Rahul Gandhi’s road shows in Surat and Vadodara and predicted that Congress would triumph all over these areas should now sing mournful songs for Congress because Rahul Gandhi’s road shows in Vadodara and Surat have proved to be flop shows as Congress could not win a single seat out of the four seats in Vadodara city as well as from Surat city!
(11) VHP and RSS are upset: BJP will lose
Media made Gobbelsian propaganda that VHP was upset, RSS was upset and that they were not active but within a striking distance form where I live, there is a RSS shakha and one of the RSS swayamsevaks, Rakesh Shah was selected from the Ellisbridge constituency and another Swayamsevak was selected for BJP’s media cell. If you trace the roots of each candidate, it would be RSS or VHP. When an appeal with Ashok Singhalji’s name comes twice in support of Modi, when there are rallies of Dharmendra Maharaj, it was sheer lie that was propagated that VHP was out to defeat BJP. The results of the election have exposed these lies of the media!
Did Pravin Togadia who worked against Modi at the time of the election in the name of VHP have any sense to understand how Christian missionaries’ activities would have increased had the Congress come to power? Considering the way Congress has surreptitiously given tickets for its safest winning Adivasi seat of Vyara in the last two elections to Christians, it could have been possible that the gentleman could have become minister of education, Health or Adivasi Development. Had Togadia and the Sadhus given a thought to what situation might have developed? Togadia used to guide the dissidents by telephone; Gujarat will not forgive Togadia for his telephone role in this election.
(12) BJP will Lose because of Uma Bharati’s candidates
That Chaitanya Shambhu Maharaj, who lost election to Lok Sabha contesting form Gandhinagar seat from R.J.P. of Shankarsinh Vaghela, has become president of Gujarat of a party of Uma Bharati, who has lost any relevance. This party had put up candidates. Chaitanya Shambhu Maharaj used to say that after the election, his party would extend support to BJP on the condition that Modi should not be the Chief Minister. Media gave this statement lot of weight and exposure. Now, not a single one of the candidates of this Chaitanya Shambhu Maharaj has won and majority (perhaps all) of the candidates have lost deposits! Great journalists of Gujarat that gave three column wide importance to this Maharaj and his statements should, now after the results, form Bhajan Mandlis!
(13) Sadhus are unhappy: BJP will lose
And that Saint by the name of S. P. Swami from old Swaminarayan Mandir in Gadhda in Saurashtra to whom the media used to run with cameras for his interviews- BJP has won the Gadhda seat! BJP has wrested this seat from a sitting MLA of Congress. This S. P. Swami was going to create disturbance in Modi’s public meeting in Bhavanagar so police had arrested him in advance. And this S. P. Swami had taken out a “Yaatra” of Sadhus in 200 cars from Somanath to Vapi where in every constituency blessings were given to the Congress candidate and people were exhorted to defeat BJP. But would you look at the results? BJP won in Somanath, BJP also won in Vapi and S. P. Swami really should have worried about his own home because BJP also won in Gadhda! The head Swami of Vadatal Swaminarayan had also joined in this “Yaatra” and look- BJP also won form Mehmadavad!
People of Gujarat have given a resounding slap on the faces of all those political correspondents and journalists who repeatedly lied to them stating time and again “Modi is in danger from all these forces and BJP will lose the elections.”
Media was showing its true colors on the morning of the election results and is still showing it after the results..
NDTV, IBN 7, AAJ Tak had reached the Congress House (Congress office in Amdavad) on the morning of the election results and in the beginning when BJP was getting clobbered in Central Gujarat, they had started asking Bharatsinh Solanki in live telecast: “Are you in the race to become the Chief Minister?” Bharatsinh was also smug saying, “no, I am only a soldier of the party.” Then the IBN correspondent said that the breaking news was that Modi’s false claims of Development had proven to be lies and his tactic of spreading communal poison had also failed. Modi might not come to power again. After that IBN 7 asked Harin Pathak outside BJP office “Are you ready to accept defeat after the drubbing in the very beginning in Central Gujarat?” In response, Harin Pathak said : “ I have just seen on another channel that BJP is ahead in 90 seats and Congress on 55. Wait another hour, we will win.” Yet, IBN 7 insisted, “but according to the trends we have, you are losing.” Then the scene shifted to the studio where the anchor said that BJP was not reedy to concede. That bearded political analyst Yogendra Yadav said that if he were watching the results seating with Modi, he surely would have been under tension, the game was slipping (from the hands of BJP).
The funny thing is that Harin Pathak and other Gujaratis were watching E TV where BJP was clearly seen to be leading while IBN 7 and Aaj Tak were selling dreams of Chief Minister’s chair to Bharat Solanki and misinforming the public. These rascals were showing lies even on the day of the results and even after the results, keep on discussing Godhra, Maut Ka Sodagar (Merchants of Death), ‘Who is bigger? Party or Modi’, this issue and that issue in the election, etc.
Badmash (Rascal) Media but Chatur Praja (Intelligent Public)
Media should have understood that the salaries of Rajdeep Sardesai, Vinod Dua, etc. come from, and the media runs on advertisements for a customer class that comprises of 50% middle class, rich class, young class, urban and semi urban class, the people who love Modi. Therefore media should have been pro –Modi but the media went the other way and therefore, today when Congress has won in a handful of Adivasis, rural and Muslim areas, media’s relevance is now limited to those pockets only.
Modi benefited from the media’s fear mongering of Modi’s defeat because more and more people, fearing that Modi might lose, to assure his victory came out to vote in droves. In areas where there was dominance of Patidars, people came out to vote thinking “what if Patidars vote against Modi? Let us vote to save Modi and neutralize anti-Modi vote.” This was the impact of the mispropaganda of the media and anti-Modi lobby.
Some time back I had written that you should give up hope that the journalists would become better journalists. Readers, you become the good readers and intelligent readers. The election results that came on December 23 make it clear that you Gujarati readers were intelligent readers in 2002, are intelligent readers in 2007 and would always be intelligent readers. Jay Gujarat!
(Translated by Gaurang G. Vaishnav, NJ, USA, email@example.com
from an article in Gujarati on www.deshgujarat.com by Japan Pathak.)