Media or Rumor Mill
Is it Media or Rumor Mill?
Indians have very little sense of humor but they have strong sense of rumor.-Unknown
Let me correct the above statement “Indian Media has no sense of humor but they have strong sense of rumor.”
Recently media started rumors about BJP ministers suggesting Modi as aristocrat and working as tyrant and infighting for #2 position. All the rumors are centered around the theme of PM Narendra Modi acting like the big boss and keeping a hawk eye on his ministers.
At first such stories amused the public with admiration for new Prime Minister’s working style. Modi is known for keeping a watch over his colleagues & subordinates to keep rotten eggs away. But it looks that things went out of hand now because Home Minister Rajnath Singh stepped forward to scotch rumors involving his son Pankaj Singh and offered to quit public life if even the smallest of allegations against him or any of his family members was found to be true. The home minister said he had even brought these “stories” to the notice of the Prime Minister and BJP president Amit Shah, who expressed surprise and agreed that they were “baseless“. Had he said anything new? Every politician claims to relinquish public life if found guilty. However Rajnath Singh always maintained high standard of honesty in the public life. The other quality of this highly respected politician is that he never speaks in wrong language even in most provocative atmosphere. Even his staunch critics and political opponent respect him for these qualities.
The Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday rubbished reports about alleged misconduct of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s son. In a statement, the PMO said that “reports are plain lies, motivated and constitute a malicious attempt at character assassination and tarnishing the image of the government. Those indulging in such rumour-mongering are damaging the interest of the nation. These reports are strongly denied.“
Everyone knows that how gossip market was buzzing after Modi government took charge.
First such story was “snooping” in Nitin Gadkari’s house. This gossip took such a dimension that opposition parties made ruling party’s life hell in Raj Sabha & Home Minister had to step in to clarify the matter.
Not only this but many other gossips/rumors are doing round in the media. Many media reports did not named anyone but some media houses failed to maintain journalism dignity & name persons involved in these stories. Few more stories are like this.
1. PM took a Minister took a minister to task that because he took dinner with a very well know businessman.
2. Another Minister was cautioned for his “expensive dress”.
3. The other Minister was issued warning for coming late in the office.
4. A Minister was not allowed to travel a foreign country to his son’s college function.
Our Ex-PM mostly kept mum. Except him, every minister use to speak with media, sometime contradicting each other & sometimes going against well-laid government policies. Ministers never recognized Dr. Manmohan Singh as head of the state but use to follow 10 JP. Contrary to this Modi barred his Ministers & Leaders not to talk with media other than their own expertise. He clearly told them “Not to become spokesperson.” This gag order gave an opportunity to ever hungry media to cook-up their own stories based on hearsay. Stories based upon unconfirmed news from reliable sources took another extreme where only PM is in-charge of everything. Ministers are painted as puppet in PM’s hand. Stories came out telling that PM advised Secretaries to bypass Ministers and contact him directly.
However those, who know Modi very well, tell that Modi is a complete team man. He uses to consult his team in depth. And once the team arrives at a decision, he leaves them to fulfill the details in the decision and plan to complete the project. In fact, a single man can’t do even his house hold work even if he is God himself, then how can we expect Modi to disdain his Ministers.
Like most of the political parties, BJP has its own illness. The name of this illness is “Off record briefing”. Many leaders, some of them are ministers now, have habit of gossiping & plant a “story” among his favorite journalists. BJP always claim that there is nothing like “Off record” in their organization but fact is that many leaders have their own “inner group” of journalists. Common friendly journalists fetch “inside stories” from rival camp to feed ego of the leaders.
Every cabinet has inner struggle of supremacy. Who is #2” always remained hot topic in every cabinet. It was in Nehru cabinet, it was in Indira government, it was in previous government as “Dada verse PC” . This time too #2 position fight is on. Who is #2 out of Trimurti?
Are these stories being planted to demean their opponent or they are just another “Gossip Group” production like office gossips?
From where such stories take birth? Sadly the central hall is epicenter of such political gossip in most of the cases and the main actors are political leaders & my own media brothers who claim to know “inside” stories. Many newspaper/magazines keep such “Gossip Box” which is very popular indeed.
We must not fall for such stories and must not encourage them in social media & among our friends. But the question remains “Is it Media or Rumor Mill?“