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‘Sandeshkhali a minor issue, amplified by BJP, media’: Ravish Kumar parroting Mamata Banerjee’s statements burnishes his creds as an opposition lapdog

While Ravish Kumar's anti-BJP prejudice was never hidden, his latest mental and intellectual gymnastics on his YouTube channel, most notably with his whitewashing of the Sandeshkhali horror in West Bengal, reveals that he is now turned into what he had been accusing other journalists: a lapdog.

Ravish Kumar, once a prominent figure at NDTV, often viewed as aligned with the Congress party, has transitioned to YouTube. However, his biased approach remains unchanged, as he continues the same type of work on his channel. Kumar, who prides himself on impartiality and criticizes journalists with differing ideologies as ‘Godi Media,’ uploaded a new video on May 30th about West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s election campaign. In this video, he not only covered her rallies but also acted as her advocate, portraying himself as a unique journalist who focuses on the underprivileged ignored by others. Meanwhile, he claims that those covering other political figures’ rallies are part of the ‘Godi Media.’

In the video, he could be seen repeating the remarks of the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC or TMC) leader. The video lacked substantial content or research, consisting mainly of him reiterating her accusations and voicing his disdain and frustration towards the Bharatiya Janata Party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Ravish Kumar linked the gruesome Sandeshkhali incident to a BJP conspiracy, blaming the ‘Godi Media’ for publicizing the crimes of TMC leaders. He ignored how journalists were harassed and victimized by Mamata Banerjee’s government while covering the issue that shocked the nation. He also didn’t mention the decade-long land seizure by Sheikh Shahjahan and his men, who transformed agricultural land into ponds. Kumar echoed Mamata Banerjee’s claim that it was a BJP plot and criticized ‘Godi Media’ for reporting on it, repeating these points in a very agreeable manner. This could be heard from 22:10 minutes to 22:55 in the video.

Media is only covering PM Modi

Ravish Kumar’s claim that PM Modi is the only person being shown by the national media is false and misleading. Priyanka Gandhi has given over a hundred interviews during this Lok Sabha election. Rajdeep Sardesai, Kumar’s former colleague now with India Today, interviewed her along with his entire team and channel owners. Additionally, media interviews with figures like Akhilesh Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav are broadcast daily, and Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal also receive significant media coverage.

Now, let’s discuss the central figure of his recent video, Mamata Banerjee. What significance does Mamata Banerjee’s padayatra (a political procession on foot) televised live have for a voter from Churu in Rajasthan? If they are interested, they can watch it on YouTube, a platform now utilized by all political parties. Ravish Kumar was misleading when he claimed he wasn’t ‘Godi Media’ for covering Mamata Banerjee’s rally, unlike others who didn’t. Consider for yourself, as Ravish also mentioned that Mamata Banerjee undertook a strenuous 12-kilometre padayatra in South Kolkata’s 35-degree heat—what relevance does this have for an ordinary person sitting in Shimla?

Notably, opposition rallies, widely shared on social media, seem invisible to Ravish Kumar, as if he has blinders on. By his logic, opposition rallies need to be televised to avoid being labelled ‘Godi Media.’ However, it is worth questioning whether someone who merely echoes Mamata Banerjee’s comments and broadcasts her rally qualifies as a “boot-licking journalist.”

Certificates for ‘independent journalism’ have been handed out liberally, and now Ravish Kumar has created his category of ‘Godi Media’ and ‘Piddi Media.’ Those he deems ‘Godi Media’ are recognised as such, while others fall under his label of ‘Pidi Media.’

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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श्रवण शुक्ल
श्रवण शुक्ल
Shravan Kumar Shukla (ePatrakaar) is a multimedia journalist with a strong affinity for digital media. With active involvement in journalism since 2010, Shravan Kumar Shukla has worked across various mediums including agencies, news channels, and print publications. Additionally, he also possesses knowledge of social media, which further enhances his ability to navigate the digital landscape. Ground reporting holds a special place in his heart, making it a preferred mode of work.

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