Friday, July 15, 2005

Indian Media Goes Berserk

It must be the monsoon...

The typically tabloidish Indian media has outdone themselves this week. In a breathtaking feat of hysterical non-research and low-brow conjecture, big brother India trips, not once, but twice over its own forked tongue.

One of our savvy readers pointed out that some outfit called "News Insight" reported that Nepal was to be governed by the UN for one year. www.newsinsight.net/archivedebates/nat2.asp?recno. That's a good one; the UN can't even govern themselves much less a sovereign nation. This report was way off the mark. When actual persons with actual brains were asked about this proposed takeover in Washington, the response showed a predictable annoyance with shoddy reporting: "As a State Department official I am unaware of any such proposal from the United States to the UN. (Also) A Nepali diplomat in Washington speaking on condition of anonymity said, "I have no idea" when asked about the purported proposal." Who ever these idiots at "News Insight" claim to be, they show a fundamental lack of journalistic ethics and standards.

UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi was in Nepal this week and wasted no time in playing down the UN takeover rumor. "Neither us nor anybody is needed, (the) UN believes that the Nepalese are capable of developing the necessary process which would allow them to achieve peaceful resolution, which we all wish to see," said Brahimi. http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullstory.asp?filename=6a3Va2maxamal&folder=aHaoamW&Name=Home&dtSiteDate=20050715

He however added, "If our help is requested, we can't say no."

According to his assessment, the situation in Nepal was not "as bad as it can be." He requested, "Please do something, work together now when the situation is not too bad."

Brahimi also said, "UN will continue to take a keen interest in the situation in Nepal and stay closely engaged. It will remain available to provide its assistance in whatever form it may be needed."He said that none of those with whom he held meetings here has talked to him about possible UN mediation in Nepal. "Nobody has spoken in that (mediation) fully exact term," said Brahimi responding journalists' question in a press conference in at UN House today.

So, in our second feat of Indian media foolishness, the Indian press refuses to let go of the "News Insight" fallacy even as it is personally refuted by the UN envoy and the State Department. The Hindustan Times, hearing only what it wants to hear, comes out with: UN WILLING TO HELP NEPAL SOLVE CONFLICT NOW http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/7598_1431756,000500020003.htm Focusing on taking Brahimi's quotes out of context to create an air of impending UN takeover in Nepal, quite a different story emerges:
"Please do something to solve the problems now. If allowed to slide, it may really be difficult to resolve," "A solution is needed immediately," "If our help is required, then we can't say no."

At the same time, our old friends at India's "Telegraph" chime in with the same out-of-context banter. They use sound-bites to full effect: “One does not need to tell the people of Nepal that they are facing a very serious crisis,” and “A solution is needed urgently." http://www.telegraphindia.com/1050716/asp/foreign/story_4997313.asp The Telegraph continues to paint its picture by inferring that the situation is so dire that Brahimi could only make his statements as "a parting shot."

What gives India? Blogdai surmises that a free and democratic press in India simply means a license to make-up stories and editorialize factual statements. Anyway, why not make up stories about Nepal? The average Indian reader could care less about what goes on in Nepal, much less the accuracy of reporting on same, right?

Blogdai guesses that our brave friends at the Hindustan Times were so concerned about Nepal's imminent collapse into anarchy that they forgot to mention that they were one of the first newspapers to break the news of the new $28.5 million upgrade to India's embassy in Kathmandu. http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/7598_1430489,000500020003.htm. Sounds more like an Indian take-over to me.

-=blogdai

Update, July 18: The UN is, once again, is light-years behind the news curve; they just now came out with their version of the above story. http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=15057&Cr=nepal&Cr1= With quick, time-critical analysis of the situation, the UN shows us all that it's better to be late than never with a story. My, wouldn't they just do a fine job of running Nepal? Rumor has it that the UN, after much deliberation, is about to make a startling announcement condemning atrocities committed during World War I. Stay tuned..

13 Comments:

At 8:06 PM, July 15, 2005, Anonymous A said...

look who's been picking up the indian story:

http://www.wpherald.com/storyview.php?StoryID=20050714-014813-2063r

A

 
At 8:20 PM, July 15, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Those poor folks at World Peace Herald deserve a break. After picking up the above referenced Indian story and coming out with their own article: UNITED NATIONS TO ADMINISTER NEPAL, they immediately print a retraction after Brahimi's statement saying: UN NOT TO ADMINISTER NEPAL storyhttp://www.wpherald.com/storyview.php?StoryID=20050715-035942-8999r

Everyone's so eager for a major scoop that they'll trip all over themselves for bad information.

-=blogdai

 
At 8:37 PM, July 15, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I found funny was the last line: A Nepali diplomat in Washington speaking on condition of anonymity said, "I have no idea" when asked about the purported proposal.

Who needs anonymity to say "I have no idea"?

 
At 11:47 PM, July 15, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

....hey hey hey ...relax....if you have ever been inside the indian embassy...u would have seen that the place badly needs renovation...i mean most of the buildings there are from the pre 1947 days of the british resident...now..regarding the indian media going beserk..well dont fall for that..the \hindustan times has always..repeat always been the place where the spooks at lainchour plant their stories. whatever you see there regarding nepal has been authored in the embassy and passed on down to HT for publication. its a phenomenon that has been going on for years.

 
At 12:23 AM, July 16, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no idea who needs anonymity to say 'I have no idea.'

 
At 2:16 AM, July 16, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is for u blogdai...quite unrelated..but a nice analysis of how the indian govt is crippled and blackmailed by the communist party of india http://indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=74542

 
At 8:06 AM, July 16, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Agreed, the place is a shit-hole, but don't you find the timing curious? If Indian operatives are, as you say, planting embassy-authorized panic stories in the Hindustan Times, while also dumping tons of money into an embassy renovation; doesn't that show a rather obvious and disengenious misinformation campaign? Say one thing and do another?

$28.5 million is a lot to dump into a collapsing country...unless you plan on taking over.

-=blogdai

 
At 8:15 AM, July 16, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any idea who the diplomat who has no idea about the UN takover is? I have no idea.

 
At 8:46 AM, July 16, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

28.5 million means 14.25 millon is someones pocket...if you think girija and the lauda air scams have perfected corruption then you have no clue how across the border it is ingrained in the system. regarding panic stories..well after going out of nepal i realsied the meaning of the saying..nepal is a land of rumours... it is so easy to create mass hysteria in the valley...next they will be saying that all the milk is poisoned [!]...India will not take over. they seem confident that the maoists wont take over either...

 
At 9:45 AM, July 16, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

That gives an indication of why Girija and all the others keep going back and forth to India, whether in office or not, they must always feel the need to brush up on new tactics for skimming money. Nepal's model for corruption is the Indian-light version, no doubt.

What if Hritik Rohan joins the UN, poisons the king's milk and marries Sujata... civil war!

In India's view -- and probably the reason they have been so disengaged on the issue over the past 10 years -- the Maoists were never supposed to take over, only disrupt. India loved an unstable Nepal at the hands of the Maoists and lap dog Girija. It reinforced Nepal's cultural, historical and political dependence on India. India loves a good, obedient sattelite.

-=blogdai

 
At 2:22 PM, July 21, 2005, Anonymous Manish said...

This has got to be the most profoundly anti-Indian page I've seen in a while, and that includes those made by Pakistanis.
Why the fury? Sure, India isn't always the benevolent savior it claims to be, and everybody knows about its two-facedness.
However, we've all got to live with the fact that our southern neighbor is the region's major powerbroker, and political reality suggests that the King try quickly to come to an agreement with it. If he wants to pretend that he can do without it, that is his choice, but the consequences might not be to his liking.
Every country would like to carve for itself an independent destiny. However, for historical and geographical reasons, Nepal is so tightly bound to India that it is destined to have many of its internal affairs decided there. There is nothing that can be done about that. Nepal is simply too weak a country to survive on its own, and the only nation that can realistically make a difference is India.
I don't mean we should don beggars' outfits and all head to New Delhi and bow or lie on the ground in patient supplication. We can carry our pride, that's the only thing we have; but we should not take leave of our reason and imagine we can kick in the ass the country that surrounds us from three sides like an amoeba will when it is about to gobble a tinier creature.

 
At 3:09 PM, July 21, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Then we in Nepal are not a truly sovereign nation are we? I find myself in a curious sense of agreement with you. You have an attitude towards nepal's role vis-a-vis India that is shared by many.

Perhaps we should all just let Nepalis live in peace while India not only decides policy but allows the Maoist movement to brutalize at will.

Influence is fine, but a sovereign nation needs to be able to act independently when necessary, wouldn't you agree?

Nepal's very national character was at stake via the hands of a Maoist movement that was facilitated by India.

Manish, I am quite sympathetic to your feelings, but perhaps it is time for Nepal to decide if the "Ke Garne" approach has worn out its welcome.

-=blogdai

 
At 7:48 PM, July 22, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

More for Manish...

Yes, blogdai must confess that when it comes to it's arrogant nepal policy, I am a bit anti-Indian. But this is only regarding Nepal issues. I maintain a residence in Delhi and support local political endeavors there.

My sentiments are not derived from any racist, classist, or economic motivation. I try to let India's attitudes and actions towards Nepal speak for themselves; I do extrapolate and editorialize, however.

See the pattern and embellish it a bit.

-=blogdai

 

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