Sunday, July 5, 2020
Home Opinions Move over 'biased' media, the new tools of propaganda are here

Move over ‘biased’ media, the new tools of propaganda are here

Also Read

The world is a different place today. Pre-2014, social media users, who were politically aware, had seen the twitter feeds of their top anchors, or more recently, had referred to fact-checks by sites like OpIndia.com, to realise that many of their favourite TV anchors and TV channels were not as “neutral” as they claimed to be. Today, almost everyone knows where an NDTV stands and also where channels like Times Now and a Republic stand. Similarly, most of us know the political inclinations and biases of the likes of Rajdeep or Arnab.

Although there are plenty of new media ventures which still fly below the radar, it is largely clear which section of legacy media leans on which side. This, is akin to the model followed in the United States, where the consumer knows exactly what political stand which media house has taken or perhaps would take in any given situation. This disclosure helps a consumer in appropriately consuming news, discounting biases which he or she may encounter. The media too is not being dishonest about its neutrality. What you see, is what you get.

While the Indian media scene has cleared up, in the run up to 2019, we will encounter a new beast. Around 5 years ago, stand-up comedy was a nascent industry with a handful of big guns. Today stand up comics are found by the dozen. Back then, most comics would swear by their political neutrality or apathy. Today, the masks are off, but only for a few.

Take the example of a comedy group called East India Comedy. They had brought out a song on demonetisation, which took various potshots at BJP, Modi and the scheme. I have to admit it was moderately funny, and some may have really enjoyed it. And it’s clearly within their right to freedom of expression. The same group more recently wrote a song on “Aadhaar”. Aadhaar is definitely fair game and there can be numerous issues relating to it, which can be criticised. But one look at the video, and you know where they are heading.

While half the song sticks to Aadhaar and makes some valid points, they soon morph into an anti-Government rant. “Anti-national” comment is mocked, a line actually goes as “Vikas ke naam pe topi”, Demonetisation and GST are ridiculed, and the piece de resistance: “acche din are only for Amit Shah’s beta”. I am not sure how any of these issues are linked to Aadhaar and why they appear in a song which they claim is on Aadhaar. I am not even going into factually rebutting their claims because “hey it’s a joke”.

The issue here is not that they are criticizing the Government. The issue here is, they claim to be “neutral”. While they claim to be doing a song on Aadhaar, one ends up listening to a song which could very well have been written by Congress’s social media team. This line will be offensive to most stand-up comics although they would not skip a heart beat while labeling any pro-Government individual as “bhakt” or “paid” or “BJP IT cell”.

While these guys are still working subtly, there are some who have gone into their full krantikari mode. Take for example, the founding member of All India Bakchod, Rohan Joshi. On his facebook page, he has virtually wished for Narendra Modi’s death:

This besides using a string of abuses for anyone connected remotely to the BJP.  Another example is stand-up comic Kunal Kamra, who has now begun conducting interviews with Jignesh Mevani, the uncouth Congress backed MLA from Gujarat who has been charged by Maharashtra police. Kamra also extols his fans to donate to leftist propaganda website The Wire, which lies habitually, and states : “No more sitting on the fence”.

To reiterate, comedians, like anyone else, have the right to be politically active, support a cause and oppose anyone they choose. The central issue here is : Are they really open about their inclinations? Will the average viewer coming to their shows or watching their videos, know that they are supporting a particular party, and thus, their skits or jokes maybe biased towards one side? Worse, have these comics become wittingly or unwittingly, tools for propaganda?

For example, just a few months back, AIB had posted a “comedy” video which featured maliciously edited footage of PM Modi, showing him in terrible light. Once social media users pointed out the inaccuracy, the group deleted the video. What of the occasions when not enough people realize that they are being fed lies in the guise of jokes? Rohan Joshi of AIB, had posted the same edited clip on his Facebook page, and has not deleted it, even after various people had commented that he was spreading an edited video. This is not how comedians operate, these are the actions of desperate politicians.

Hence, the question, in the coming 18 months or so, who is to say whether you are attending a comedy show, or a show laced with factual inaccuracies and political propaganda, in the guise of comedy? If they can question the intentions and integrity of every pro-government voice, can they be held to similar scrutiny? Most recently Kamra himself went, if I may say so, crazy, and abused Arnab Goswami because he spoke in favour of the government:

Will Kamra entertain and embrace similar claims and abuses by others, or will he then ask Twitter to suspend the “troll”? Again, the point here is not to ask these people to refrain from making “jokes” on the ruling dispensation or Modi or BJP. Please do, but at least be honest about it. To paraphrase Rohan Joshi himself, I have more respect for comedians who openly declare that they want Modi dead and at least losing in 2019, rather than those who play the “we are oh so neutral objective comedians just cracking a few anti-establishment jokes” card. You’re all tools of propaganda.

Hopefully, Rohan Joshi can not only pay heed to his own words, but impart such wisdom to his comrades as well.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Trending now

China’s ‘Century of Humiliation’: How period between First Opium War in 1839 and victory of CCP in 1949 shapes China’s view about the world

The Chinese claim to Vladivostok is a stark reminder of the extent to which the 'Century of Humiliation' plays a very crucial role in shaping China's foreign policy.

Tahir Hussain not only planned and instigated the mob, but was also pelting stones and petrol bombs at Hindus: Chargesheet

While Dilbar Negi was dismembered and burnt alive, Ankit Sharma was mutilated, murdered and dumped in a Chand Bagh drain by a Muslim mob spearheaded by AAP leader Tahir Hussain

Uddhav Thackeray approves purchase of expensive new cars for ministers when Maharashtra is struggling to pay salaries to the govt employees

Even as Maharashtra faces acute crisis, the Uddhav Thackeray govt in has given its authorisation for the purchase of 6 new vehicles for its ministers.

Explained: Why is China now eyeing the Russian city of Vladivostok?

The territory of Vladivostok was a part of the Qing Dynasty of China and was handed over to the Russians via the Treaty of Peking in 1860.

Beef ban Haram, Dog Meat ban Halal: Hypocrisy of welcoming ban on dog meat in Nagaland after claiming people have the right to eat...

The Nagaland Cabinet has banned the sale of dog meat in the state following protests by animal rights activists.

Unfortunate that aspersions are being cast on how our brave Armed Forces are treated: Army calls fake news by Congress ‘malicious and unsubstantiated’

Congress party and its ecosystem launched a massive propaganda today claiming that the meeting of PM Modi with injured soldiers at Leh Military Hospital was staged.

Recently Popular

Swara Bhasker starrer web series gets record low ratings, leftist elites claim it is because she opposes BJP, not because it is bad

Swara Bhaskar starrer 'Rasbhari' streaming on Amazon Prime has got record low ratings on IMDb.

Congress leaders and anti-BJP trolls spread fake news that Modi’s visit to Leh military hospital was staged: Here are the facts

The Conference Hall of the Leh Army Hospital has been convereted into a ward for soldiers with minor injuries, that does not mean it is fake

Complaint registered against Hindustan Times reporter Srishti Jaswal for her Hinduphobic tweet against Lord Krishna

Complaint filed against journalist Srishti Jaswal for saing that Lord Krishna was womanizer, fuckboi, and commitment phobic maniac

Suspended Hindustan Times reporter issues apology after Hinduphobic tweet goes viral, says her comment is being taken out of context

Suspended Hindustan Times reporter Shristi Jaiswal has issued an apology after her Hinduphobic tweet went viral on social media.

No, BJP leader Vikas Dubey is not the gangster who killed 8 policemen in Kanpur, read how Congress trolls spread fake news

Several trolls took to social media to share an image of a BJP leader along with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister to claim that the person was the notorious gangster Vikas Dubey, to allege that he belonged to BJP.

Amidst chants of Allah hu Akbar and ‘Jai Bheem Jai Meem’, Vinod Kashyap was murdered: The Dalit killing fields of North East Delhi

It was the 24th of February 2020 and the atmosphere was tense with anti-CAA protests turning into anti-Hindu Delhi riots

Latest updates and important links about COVID-19 coronavirus

Live statistics and tracking of news related to COVID-19 coronavirus with focus on India.

While Maharashtra govt threatens action against Patanjali for Coronil, state municipal corporations endorse “unani kadha” as a remedy against coronavirus

Several municipal corporations in Maharashtra have started promoting Unani Kadha to bookst immunity against Coronavirus

UK, UAE, EU, and Malaysia start crackdown on Pakistan’s official carrier PIA after report that 30% of Pakistani pilots have fake licenses

Several countries have started disallowing PIA flights after Pakistan aviation minister revealed that 30% of Pakistani pilots had fake licenses

Maharashtra Cyber Police start sending notices on Direct Message to Twitter users for posting ‘offensive’ tweets

The Maharashtra cyber police has aggressively pursued to stamp down opposing voices by dishing out notices on direct message

Guardian falsely claims China built radar tower near Pangong Tso lake in last few weeks: Read details

Satellite images and media reports show that China had built radar station near Pangong Tso lake years ago, not recently as Guardian claims

Journalists with The Wire and The Hindu indulge in brazen Hinduphobia, cast aspersions over Lord Hanuman’s sexual orientation

It appears that the only prerequisite to having gainful employment with the notorious leftist websites such as ‘The Wire’ and 'The Hindu' is to harbour and manifest Hinduphobic views.

ICMR refutes claims of unrealistic goal to release COVAXIN, says it is only cutting red tape, not any necessary clinical process

ICMR issues statement saying its expedited trial for Covaxin will bypass only red tape and files, not clinical tests

China’s ‘Century of Humiliation’: How period between First Opium War in 1839 and victory of CCP in 1949 shapes China’s view about the world

The Chinese claim to Vladivostok is a stark reminder of the extent to which the 'Century of Humiliation' plays a very crucial role in shaping China's foreign policy.

Tahir Hussain not only planned and instigated the mob, but was also pelting stones and petrol bombs at Hindus: Chargesheet

While Dilbar Negi was dismembered and burnt alive, Ankit Sharma was mutilated, murdered and dumped in a Chand Bagh drain by a Muslim mob spearheaded by AAP leader Tahir Hussain

Gujarat: Cops nab one Ismaeel Lashkar for raping a 4-year-old girl in Kutch

19-year-old Ismaeel Lashkar arrested for raping a 4-year-old girl one and half months ago in Gujarat's Kutch district

Connect with us

234,719FansLike
398,230FollowersFollow
269,000SubscribersSubscribe