The media in the country has always shared an intriguing relationship with the government of the day. From involving in the allocation of cabinet berths to availing freebies, the Indian media fraternity has been part of an echo chamber but unfortunately, it was never part of public debate.
Now, an interesting video has gone viral, in which senior journalist Ashok Shrivastav can be heard describing anecdotes, which explain the murkier relationship between the media and the past government. Ashok Shrivastav narrated his experience regarding how Indian journalists were gifted with freebies, including expensive alcoholic beverages whenever they travelled with the Indian delegation to foreign countries led by the past Prime Ministers. He said that over 150 journalists would travel officially during the Congress regime.
— Ashok Shrivastav (@ashokshrivasta6) April 4, 2019
He further revealed how the previous governments spent lavishly to treat the Indian media establishment during the official trips. Narrating an incident, Shrivastav said that courtesy of the external affairs ministry during the Congress government, journalists were allowed to order expensive cuisine, alcohol while they were part of the Indian media delegation. Srivastav said that after journalists were wined and dined during the flight when they reached their hotel room an expensive alcohol bottle of Black Label would be waiting for them. He also said that many journalists had brought back expensive alcohol back to the country as it would be sponsored by the external affairs ministry apart from the free air tickets and hotel accommodation.
Interestingly, Shrivastav explained how everything changed when Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of the country. Post-2014, no media organisations or journalists are being allowed to fly with the official Indian delegation. The media organisations should cover their expenses if they intend to report on Prime Minister Modi’s official foreign trips. He also added how the Modi government cut unnecessary expenses on journalists by not allowing public money to spent on local trips, that used to be sponsored by the previous governments in the past.
The Indian journalists’ fraternity has in the past lamented against the present government for not following the established ‘etiquettes’. It is also believed that resentment against the Narendra Modi government also comes from the fact that there are no such freebies available to them today contrary to the past when ’eminent’ journalists were co-opted by the government for reciprocity of being soft on them.
It is rather worrying to see that the Indian media, dominated by the left-leaning Lutyens cabal, often speaking in a condescending tone targetting the self-made journalists of being co-opted and a mouthpiece to the present Narendra Modi government despite the fact that they themselves have questionable integrity and journalistic ethics in the past.