Even before PM Modi scripted history in the 2019 general elections, the Congress party and its friendly had pulled out every trick in the book to besmirch the central government. From the Award Wapsi saga to the farce of rising intolerance to the outrageous allegations of corruption, the Congress ecosystem employed elaborate measures to dissuade people away from the Modi government.
However, as the results of the 2019 General Elections indicated, far from discouraging people from voting against the PM Modi-led NDA alliance, the spurious campaign led by the Congress party and its ecosystem of left-liberal intelligentsia proved to be devastatingly counterproductive. Not only did PM Modi stormed back to power, but he did so in an emphatic manner.
For the first time in over three decades, a political party won more than 300 seats on its own. Naturally, such a humiliating defeat for a second time in a row would have sparked introspection, but for its bunch of loyal supporters, Congress is beyond reproach and criticising them is sacrilegious. Therefore, they instead turned their ire against the Modi government and doubled down on their efforts to run them down.
Besides blatantly fear-mongering, peddling lies, disinformation, and hurling unsubstantiated allegations, a key part of their campaign against the Centre entailed denigrating the independent media houses and journalists who refused to toe their line as ‘Godi Media’, a pejorative reference to media channels that insufferable left-leaning “intellectuals” accuse of being prejudiced in favour of the Modi government.
Congress ecosystem launch a concerted campaign to undermine nonconformist media organisations
Congress functionaries, their ground supporters, luminaries of the left ecosystem, and their online supporters worked in tandem to vilify the non-pliant journalists and defame the media organisations and accuse of them working in cahoots with the Modi government.
Congress leader Gaurav Pandhi, a habitual fake news peddler, continuously uploads tweets that are critical of journalists who report positive stories about the work done by the central government. In his efforts to tarnish the reputation of such media houses, Pandhi recently shared an image insinuating that Aaj Tak is a thief and an agent.
Similarly, Akash Banerjee, a quintessential left-leaning propagandist, also weighed in to criticise media organisations critical of the Congress party and sermonised them to mend their ways or risk being on the wrong side of history.
Congress functionaries also contributed to the party’s cause of deflecting criticism by blaming the media as a sellout. Dharmpal Godara Nohar, a Congress leader, recently gloated over the unbecoming treatment meted out to Aaj Tak journalist Chitra Tripathi at the farmers’ protests where she was heckled and harassed. It is worth noting that Tripathi later even tried to exonerate the hoodlums by normalising the heckling and harassment she faced. But for the Congress party, she was a part of their imaginary construct ‘Godi Media’.
Then, there were social media anonymous handles associated with the Congress party, who scramble to divert genuine criticism of their the party and their supreme leader Rahul Gandhi by accusing the critics, either a journalist or a news channel, as biased and a mouthpiece of the BJP. For these deluded folks, who view everyone with the binary prism, those who try to oppose their party narrative, even with solid facts and information, are a fair-game that deserve to be name-called, rubbished and mocked.
One of the social media users, who seemed to align with the Congress ideology, shared a picture likening dogs with media channels for not hating on the Modi government.
Thus, not being a Modi hater has become the latest touchstone to attract the tag of ‘Godi Media’. Any such channel that emphasises reporting events based on facts or is not “sufficiently” critical of the Modi government is summarily branded as ‘Godi Media’ by the members of the Congress ecosystem. Moreover, when such news organisations broadcast or publish any report that shows the Congress party and their leaders in a bad light, Congress leaders and sympathisers fall over themselves to vigorously defend their party and accuse the media channels or publication houses as paid agents of the BJP.
Congress’ trick of deflecting criticism by calling into question integrity of dissenting voices
This is one of the nefarious stratagems that the footsoldiers of the Congress ecosystem have deployed of late—to deflect criticism directed at the party as motivated by political prejudice—and discredit the media organisations and journalists by accusing them of being paid stooges of the government.
By casting aspersions on the credibility of the news organisations and journalists, the left ecosystem effectively tries to push its agenda that dissenting media organisations are all compromised and therefore, they cannot be trusted for providing an impartial and unbiased view of the events. Instead, the ecosystem goes into overdrive sharing spurious and misleading articles published in portals such as NDTV, Alt News, National Herald etc., which are veritably sympathetic to the Congress party and often act as the party’s mouthpiece, dishing out clean chits on flimsy evidence and unabashedly promoting its propaganda.
With almost halfway through PM Modi’s second tenure, the Congress party and its friendly ecosystem have stepped up its campaign against independent media outlets that defied their mandates and refused to act like their marionettes. Ahead of all-important assembly elections in 2022, which would inevitably set the tone for 2024 general elections, the attack on nonconformist media and journalists by the Congress ecosystem has only increased and has got shriller.
Those media outlets who refuse to give in to their bullying are subjected to assault and abuse, with Congress leaders and “intellectuals” indirectly and sometimes directly justifying the harassment and vilification of such entities and individuals. The political discourse is vitiated to such an extent that abuse, assault and name-calling of media houses have become par for course.
In their desperation to topple the Modi government, the Congress ecosystem has now relinquished their last vestiges of human decency. Attacks against opposition leaders, dissenting journalists and non-pliant media houses are rationalised. In fact, there is a staggering normalisation of an abusive culture where naysayers are abused and maligned, just because they refuse to share their irrational antagonism towards PM Modi.
For years now, Congress had relied on its ecosystem and its network of grassroots workers to promote a narrative that favoured the party and establish its electoral supremacy. But that hegemony has not only been challenged but utterly destroyed by the BJP after PM Modi came to power in 2014. However, Congress still haplessly tried to employ its earlier strategy of beguiling people with its propaganda. But they did not yield the desired results as the new age of social media had equipped people with greater agency to counter propaganda and outright lies.
The lack of credible leadership has also added to the miseries of the Congress party. Rahul Gandhi is regarded as one of the most senior leaders of the party, but there is a faction within the Congress party that wants to extricate the organisation from the clutches of the Gandhis. This fratricidal quagmire is largely responsible for the party’s rudderless approach in the months since the 2019 General elections.
Nevertheless, for the anti-Modi lobby, Rahul Gandhi continues to be the most consequential politician, even though his actions have betrayed that he is yet to “come of age” to be granted serious political consideration. But this fact hasn’t stopped the slavish Congress leaders and their lickspittles from deluding themselves into believing that their supreme leader is destined to be the country’s next prime minister.
With numerous defeats in their kitty, some of them being profoundly discouraging and dispiriting, the ecosystem and its adherents seemed to have resigned to the fact that there isn’t an honourable way to mount a campaign against PM Modi. Weighed down by these realisations, the Congress ecosystem has no scruples about resorting to unscrupulous measures in their attempt to turn their delusion into reality. Their ultimate goal is to install Congress back to power. If that entails dehumanising ‘Godi Media’ and egg on assault, abuse against them, so be it.