By Justice Markandey Katju
One often comes across appeals to the public on Twitter etc for financial help from publications claiming to represent a rare phenomenon nowadays in India–the ‘free’ media.
One such publication which regularly touts, brags, and trumpets its claim of being a free medium is a portal called the wire.in run by Siddhartha Varadarajan and his associates like MK Venu, Arfa Khanum Shervani, etc. Here is a typical appeal for financial help which it often tweets :
Other journalists in India like Shekhar Gupta ( publisher of theprint.in ), Barkha Dutt ( publisher of TheMojo ), Karan Thapar, Rajdeep Sardesai, Ravish Kumar, Naresh Fernandes ( publisher of scroll.in ), Ajit Anjum, etc also claim to represent the ‘free’ media.
But how ‘free’ really is this ‘free media’ in India can be seen from the fact that these journalists and the publications, print or broadcast, which they represent will never publish the obvious truth : that all state institutions in India have collapsed and become hollow and empty shells, while the people’s distress–rising unemployment, record prices of foodstuffs and fuel, appalling level of child malnourishment, almost total lack of proper healthcare and good education for the masses, widespread farmers distress, etc–is growing, and this will inevitably lead to a revolution
These ‘free’ journalists and media channels, portals and publications will never speak the obvious truth–that the solution to the people’s huge problems do not lie within the Constitutional framework but lie outside the system.
This is obvious from the fact that the Indian Constitution has provided for parliamentary democracy, but in India that largely runs on caste and communal vote banks. Casteism and communalism are feudal forces which have to be destroyed if India is to progress, but parliamentary democracy further entrenches them. Hence it has to be replaced by an alternative system under which India rapidly industrialises, and our people get a high standard of living and decent lives. In other words, we need a revolution.
But our ‘free’ journalists will never speak this obvious truth, nor will they ever permit anyone to speak it on their TV channels, portals, or publications.
Media like thewire.in which claim to be secular often attack casteism and other feudal practices among Hindus, but they never attack feudal practices among Muslims, e.g. sharia, burqa, madarsas and maulanas. Secularism has to be a two way traffic, it cannot be a one way traffic.
This is the reality of their claim of representing a ‘free’ media. Isn’t their claim a hoax, empty prattle, and an attempt to deceive and hoodwink the public ?