A Right wing woman was abused on Diwali on Twitter: find out why

There has been a movement of sort, activism as some would say, to make the Internet a safe space for women to express themselves without being abused or threatened.

Last week, some ‘Internet activists’ ran a hashtag ‘#WomenBoycottTwitter’ as a mark of protest against the abuses and threats women receive online. Some even argued that why should women remain silent to protest against being silenced, but the protestors were quickly distracted when a new thing came up. The new thing was son of a Congress leader Moti Irani, who was under CBI scanner for the CWG scam, Khodu Irani, being accused of sexual harassment by number of women and men. This led to more and more women coming up with the stories of their sexual abuse. I believe the Internet is a great platform which allows people to come out and express an opinion, especially when they have been victims of such abusive behaviour.

In a day when Internet activism is considered a job and people are crowdfunding so that you could pay their bills as they take time off from freelancing and spend hours on Twitter asking others to ‘eat shit’ if they disagree with them, you would expect that the champions of such movements are kind themselves and do not indulge in bullying. Of course, that is an ideal situation, because if you disagree with them, they lead an online mob because nothing they do could ever be questioned.

And if someone is out abusing you, the illiterate, uncouth, abusive, Right wing Modi bhakts, they will not only sit back and be mute spectators (after urging everyone to not be a mere bystanders when someone is being abused), but also indulge in abusing you because ‘you deserve it’ for not agreeing with a ‘liberal’.

A Twitter user who goes by the handle @UnsubtleDesi, was trolled and abused mercilessly yesterday, on Diwali, because she did not agree with the idea of wishing “Diwali Mubarak” (in place of Diwali ki shubhkamnayein or Happy Diwali) for Diwali.

Nupur had recently written how a former colleague had claimed Siddharth Varadarajan had suppressed Vadra scam exposé for 7 months.  She had also written how media and politicians spread sensational lies about renewed Chinese aggression at Dolam and a heartfelt tribute to Marshal of the Indian Air Force, Sir Arjan Singh.

A volley of trolling and abuses followed her tweet, from most of those who identified themselves as feminist, and some were even politicians.

Congress supporter quoted her tweet and said that her name, Nupur, has Urdu origins, and hence, her tweet where she objected to the word ‘mubarak’ should be mocked at.

Without going into the details whether her name has Urdu origins or not, that tweet got over 800 retweets and support in trolling from Congress leader Shehzad Poonawalla.

Poonawalla even retweeted a few tweets mocking Nupur, thus encouraging the trolls which quickly resorted to abuses and threats. Others, too encouraged the mob behaviour.

(GSurya is followed by Congress’ official handle on Twitter)

While he got called out on his factual inaccuracy, he still kept the tweet which insinuates that Nupur was arrested for instigating a riot, which she was not.

These troll tweets spread Nupur’s tweet to a wider audience, where the ugly side of Internet came out. She started getting abusive tweets and threats.

These are just some of the instances of abuse received by Nupur. Most of these terrible ones are are not posting here because it is below me to dignify these abuses to a woman by giving them a bigger platform. If you are still very curious, please check mentions of Nupur, she gets this a lot and regularly.

Please note that none of these Internet activists came out in her support to call out the abusers or the influential people leading a mob against her. Some of these even participated in the ‘#MeToo’ campaign, channelising their inner feminist.

Hence, it comes as a surprise that in less than 48 hours of speaking on abuse and harassment, they are ready to lead an online mob against someone just because the victim this time is a Right winger and Modi supporter. How can they be talking about creating safe spaces for women online when they mock, troll and encourage abusers against other women just because ‘oh, she is a bigot (which anyone who disagrees with them becomes, automatically), so she deserves it’.

Where else have we heard someone say that a woman deserves to be sexually abused because of the way she was dressed? How is this any different? So now, political inclination of someone will decide whether someone deserves to be trolled or not? Hypocrisy, much?

BJP changes gears in Bengal, but the road ahead is long and hard

In mid July, I wrote an article on why despite the online buzz, BJP may not do well electorally in Bengal. I wrote extensively on how the Bengal BJP unit is failing to mobilize the cadres and masses, how they lack a strong ferocious unapologetic leader who can take on Mamata Banerjee and uproot the Jihadi existence.

I stressed on one moot point : to win the throne of Bengal you need to get your hands dirty. To win Bengal you need to be unapologetic about your stance. Within a span of 100 days, a lot of significant events have taken place.

From the change in leadership in BJP Bengal unit to Amit Shah’s crucial 2nd visit. From Mukul Roy leaving TMC to the weakening of the Left-Congress alliance, there is a certain positive vibe for Bengal BJP which they must seize and convert into votes.

Let us look through some of the important happenings in this span of time and why I feel BJP central leadership is taking Bengal much more seriously and approaching it with more vigour and intent as compared to earlier.

1. Leadership change – More determined, focused, and most importantly, united. Change in leadership does not only mean, new faces at important posts, but a more united team, with greater degree of cohesion between various leaders and factions.

A) The Dilip Ghosh saga- Dilip Ghosh, the BJP Bengal President has been occupying the post now for 2 years. He took over from Rahul Sinha in December 2015. He had the backing of RSS and central leadership to shape, energize, and revitalize the party. He had the complete power, yet he was somewhat dysfunctional in carrying about the changes.

One of the main reasons is his rivalry with Rahul Sinha. Sinha was more of a polished Bhadralok type of politician with good communication skills and media handling capability, while Ghosh was just the opposite. Dilip Ghosh was more accustomed for booth level and grassroot level politics. This is why Amit Shah and RSS chose him over Sinha. But Sinha faction did not like the radical changes bought about by Dilip Ghosh after his appointment. There was a degree of non co-operation with Ghosh.

This infighting and petty quarrels continued for more than a year, which created an unnecessary diversion. But Amit Shah’s visit as a part of a Padyatra in late April has considerably cooled down the rivalry. There seems to be a much more matured approach. To take on Mamata, you need a channelized, focused attack on her from all fronts. You can’t have two of your big state leaders scoring brownie points over each other.

Now as far as Dilip Ghosh is concerned, he may not tick all the boxes but he is unconventional, outspoken and has the courage to take on Bhadralok communism. He does not care what the ‘intellectuals’ and Bhadraloks of Bengal think about him. He does not care if Bengali media mocks him and calls him uneducated. He does what is necessary for the party.

Take for example his direct attack on Amartya Sen’s duplicity. When Sen was going on ranting against Modi, demonetization as he was forced to leave Nalanda, not one of the BJP state leaders had the conviction or the fire in his/her belly to take the charge and demolish his arguments. But that was not the case with Dilip Ghosh. Without any hesitation he took him down like never before and that was necessary. We Bengalis have developed a habit of accepting gibberish illogical arguments from sophisticated educated Bhadraloks and this is what influences the minds of Urban Bongs. Ghosh knew and did not let the occasion slip just like that.

B) Appointment of Locket Chatterjee as State BJP Mahila Morcha head:

On July 25th, Rupa Ganguly was removed as the BJP Mahila Morcha head and Locket Chatterjee took up the reins. There were various reasons for the removal of Rupa Ganguly, which need to be dealt separately. But Locket Chatterjee’s appointment ushered a new era. It is important to note even though she comes from movies background, this lady is hardworking determined and takes her job & political career seriously.

Unlike other celebs, she is 24×7 politician. Be it protesting against Durga Visarjan ban or attacks on BJP karyakartas, she is the first to reach the spot and register resistance. She has emerged as one of the top leaders of the state unit.

She is also more active on Social media and uses it judiciously to spread her message.

Unlike the previous head, she is spending more time on ground and revamping the booth committees, and less time in TV debates and political mud-slinging.


Even after her loss in Vidhan Sabha election in 2016 from Mayureshwari, she went back and conducted meetings & Sabhas and did not desert her supporters. An important trait, which many leaders lack. Not an easy task specially when you are up against the infamous TMC goon Anubrata Mondal.

2. Amit Shah’s second visit & an aggressive stance : During Shah’s first visit in April, he had focused on reaching the people with the ‘vikas’ mantra, strengthening his party, and other important aspects. But he didn’t address the core issue of safety and security of BJP cadre and supporters. Shah indeed learnt his lessons.

Bengal politics unfortunately is all about violence and muscle power. And you need to protect your cadre and supporters and give them moral backing to stand any chance against the ruling party. Amit Shah was quick to realize this.

He gave a free hand to his state leaders to deal with TMC in their own good way. He realized that to win the throne of Bengal, you need to get your hands dirty. He was more aggressive and direct about Mamata’s politics of violence  appeasement. For example, Shah said:

I am not here to listen how you got beaten up. I know that. I am here to listen to how you have resisted. I am waiting to hear such a story” .

3. Focus on booth level politics & restructuring the organisation: It seems there is finally a plan to revive the organisational strength of the state unit. The selection of leaders indicates that. Efforts are being made to reach the remotest villages. The presence of BJP in the rural belt is negligible, they have to start from zero.

There is caste arithmetic even in Bengal, which many of us overlook particularly in rural Bengal. For example the ‘Matuas’ form a considerable chunk in North and Nadia district (approx 17%). They are looking out for an alternative because of TMC’s appeasement centric politics and radical Islamist interference on their day-to-day activities. Speaking specifically in the context of rural area, Rajbanshis (17.71 per cent), Namasudras (16.33 per cent), Bagdi (14.25 per cent), Pods (11.42 per cent), Bauri (5.72 per cent) make up a considerable amount of the Hindu population on average.

BJP seems to have a plan to take these groups with them. They are trying to use out of favour left leaders and are inducting them into the party. Amit Shah has laid down the road-map to penetrate and create booth committees in about 75,000 booths. Lakshan Seth, previously a left leader is one such example.

Many BJP supporters may have issues with such people being in the party. But this is a political necessity and not a luxury. People need to keep that in mind that BJP needs such leaders with mass appeal and good organisational know-how to stamp its authority.

4. The Mukul Roy saga : Mukul Roy who recently quit TMC may also join the ranks. A leader who has corruption charges, but a leader who was the founder member of TMC. He, along with Subroto Mukhopadhay, was responsible for mobilizing the cadres during Singur-Nandigram movement that saw TMC rise.

Mukul Roy saga needs another article to explain it fully but I will just  say that he may well turn out to be the Himanta Biswa Sarma of Bengal. He may not have that mass appeal, but he knows each booth, each constituency and the demography pattern of each district by heart. Being the right hand man of ‘Didi’ for so many years, he knows how TMC can be nullified and trapped in its own web of appeasement centric politics.

It was Mukul Roy who was responsible for building the TMC as a party and an organization. The TMC students wing, teachers wing, labour unions – they were all set up by him single-handedly. He has literally built the party along with Mamata Banerjee.

To sum it up there has been considerable improvement in these 90-100 days, but a lot has to be done to covert these small steps to vote share and seats. With the Left continuously diminishing and the Congress in hibernation, BJP has become the principal opposition to TMC.

They need to seize the moment, capitalize on the advantages and go forward with more aggression and vigour. Upcoming Panchayat elections will be an indicator of that. All they need is now a central figure around which they can rally and snatch the throne of Bengal.

Hizbul Mujahideen brutally slits throat of a teacher after Rising Kashmir posts his video

Three terrorists Zahid Mir of Ganowpora, Asif Ahmad Pal of Kathokalan and Irfan Abdullah Ganai of Heff village of Shopain were recently killed in a security operation inside house of a teacher, Aijaz Lone. Few days later, he was found dead with his throat slit, a note in Urdu and a mobile phone on him which said, “By the grace of Allah we have begun to take revenge, and we warn everyone that they must repent otherwise they will face the same consequences. We have information about all the informers of army and police and this must be seen as a final warning.”

Lone was mistaken to be an informer by the militants. Shockingly, his identity, whether he was an informer or not, was made public by Rising Kashmir, an English newspaper from Kashmir by posting a video of Lone escaping with help of an Indian soldier during the encounter.

The irresponsible journalism was called out.

While the video now seems to have been removed from all the digital platforms of Rising Kashmir, does that absolve Rising Kashmir from irresponsible journalism which may have led to identifying an individual, who was later killed by terrorists?

This is not the first time media, in its mad rush for exclusives and TRPs, put innocent lives at stake. After the 26/11 Mumbai attack, the Supreme Court had pulled up the media for the live coverage which possibly helped the terrorists to continue the attacks for longer and kill more innocent people. One would expect Rising Kashmir to be little more responsible since they know how mistaken identity could get get innocent people killed.

NDTV is full of nepotism, favouritism – Nitin Gokhale reveals why he left NDTV

NDTV is in the news for all the wrong reasons lately. A few days back, Sreenivasan Jain’s half-baked story on Jay Amit Shah was taken down for “legal vetting” by the lawyers at NDTV. Since it was not back up for over a week, Jain took to social media to express his “anguish”. He called it “deeply unfortunate” and a “distressing aberration”.

While Jain was making some “hard choices”, Barkha Dutt launched two blistering attacks on Jain and NDTV as well. While calling the people at NDTV ‘fake liberals’, Barkha recalled how Mr. Nitin Gokhale’s interview with the outgoing Navy Chief was taken down by NDTV.

Now, Nitin Gokhale has taken to social media to speak about this matter. This is the first time he has spoken about this issue, and what led to him to quit the channel within a month of the incident.

He reveals how all the so-called principles of supporting and protecting everyone’s freedom of expression, went out of the window the moment one of the own NDTV’s insiders was attacked. He reveals that NDTV, while outwardly suave, sophisticated and ‘liberal,’  is actually “full of nepotism, favouritism and clannish, designed to protect and promote PLUs”. He goes on to explain the term PLUs: “People Like Us—public school educated, residents of tony neighbourhoods, children of wealthy and/or people in high positions”.

NDTV’s ex-staff certainly have very interesting insider revelations about how NDTV works. Meanwhile, here is the video of the interview which was taken down by NDTV:

Will Sreenivasan Jain take the moral high ground like Mr Gokhale and quit NDTV because his Jay Amit Shah story was taken down?

Diwali is not a religious festival: how pseudo-seculars are distorting the history

Earlier today, Firstpost published an article by one Saquib Salim, who is a researcher of modern history at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), which claims that Indian festivals, both Hindu and Muslim, were celebrated by all communities together, till the British invaded India and divided us and destroyed our ‘secular’ fabric.

He cites work of Nazeer Akbarbadi, an Urdu poet from the overlapping time of decline of Mughal era and rise of British rule in India, and claims that Nazeer wrote “several poems on what could be termed “Hindu festivals” in today’s parlance.” He further states that, “Whatever be the reason, it points towards the times when festivals were more cultural than religious.”

Essentially, it was an article that tried to suggest that all the Hindu festivals should be ‘secularized’ and Hinduness removed from them, something that ‘liberals’ have been trying to do for everything Hindu. Either shame Hindus for celebrating the festivals (by terming them anti-environment, anti-women, anti-equality, etc.) or strip them of Hindu history and ‘secularize’ them by calling them ‘cultural festival’ and not religious ones.

I don’t know how best to call out the absurdity of these statements without coming across as an intolerant “Internet Hindu”.

To start with, to argue that Hindu festivals under Mughal rule represented any ‘pure form’ is illogical if not criminal. It was not composite culture, but appropriation of culture, just like what is being attempted now.

The British weren’t the ones to divide India on religious lines, the Mughals had done it already. The British just took advantage of the already existing divide and exploited us. However, it was the Mughals who looted and plundered India and Hindu temples for years even before the British arrived on our soil and proceed to plunder even the soul. This glorification of Mughal invaders and being in denial about their atrocities on Hindus is sinister.

Diwali is celebrated to mark the return of Shree Ram, Lakshman and Sita back to the kingdom in Ayodhya. Considering Shree Ram is a Hindu god, this celebration is as much religious as the Sun rising from the east. And no, Diwali is a Hindu festival not just in “today’s parlance”, but it has been such since centuries. What happened under Mughals was aberration, not what kept on happening for centuries. Perhaps, modern history researchers should try and get the basic facts right.

Meanwhile, pro-Naxal activist and leader of the Leftist organisation CPI(ML), Kavita Krishnan, shared the same on Twitter.

She immediately got called out on her pseudo-secular stand.

Even ministers took potshots at the ridiculousness of these statements by Krishnan and Salim.

Twitter users force Tata, Samsung and Panasonic to delete their ‘preachy’ Diwali tweets

Diwali, the festival of lights, is a special occasion for millions of Hindus who celebrate it with a huge pomp and show. Apart from the festivity, the festival also attracts a form of virtue signalling where various various eminent personalities and brands lament about the alleged pollution hazards the festival causes, while not appearing to do anything worthwhile to curb pollution for the rest of the year.

We had already carried a report that shows how firecrackers burst during Diwali are not the main pollution hazard, especially in the Delhi-NCR. Apart from that, use of firecrackers has progressively been going down as people have shunned them voluntarily, yet, motley of activists keep on shaming people for bursting crackers as if they are the central reason for pollution.

Such condescending and preachy attitude, especially in wake of Supreme Court banning sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR, led many people to feel angered and frustrated. And they felt the same, when some top brands on Twitter decided to do the same:

As clearly seen in the picture, the face mask with “Happy Diwali” written on it, insinuated worsening air quality during the festival. This preachy tweet wasn’t taken too kindly by twitter users who expressed their displeasure:

After Panasonic it was noticed that, Samsung and Tata Power (arguably one of the major ‘pollutants’) had put up such tweets on earlier Diwali. But this Diwali, the sense of being wronged and being preached unnecessarily was strong, so these brands also came under attack:

Such a sustained pressure by the netizens probably made the companies realise that it was creating a negative brand perception and the all three deleted their preachy tweets. Tata Power possibly even got into damage control mode and later put out this tweet, which was not blatantly anti-cracker and preachy:

In a long Facebook post, Barkha Dutt exposes censorship at NDTV

Barkha Dutt had been long associated with NDTV and we all heard little snide comments made by her against NDTV after she quit. But today, Barkha has, perhaps for the first time, openly penned her thoughts against the “fake liberals” of NDTV.

In a detailed Facebook post, Barkha has now lashed out at NDTV for regularly censoring stories cutting across party lines.

She starts off by expressing her ‘cynical amusement’ at the public debate surrounding around NDTV pulling the Jay Amit Shah story down without getting into the merits of the story. She observes, without naming Sreenivasan Jain, that his calling the retraction of this story an ‘aberration’ is a falsehood, since NDTV has regularly indulged in such censorship.

While calling them ‘fake liberals’, Barkha Dutt recalls how Mr. Nitin Gokhale’s interview with the outgoing Navy Chief was taken down by NDTV. Though, it must be noted here, that when Mr. Gokhale’s story was taken down, Barkha herself had maintained stoic silence.

She claims that she was disallowed from pursuing a story that was called the “Jayanti Tax controversy” and was “given hell” for her story on the Gandhi son-in-law, Robert Vadra. She says the only reason the Robert Vadra story wasn’t taken down is because the management felt it would draw too many eyeballs.

In her Facebook post, she also writes about her she had to face a hostile newsroom environment because of her protests and how her stand was seen as a ‘betrayal’.

The owners communicated to her that they didn’t want her sort of arguments in stories like that of Robert Vadra and failing to abide by this diktat, Barkha said she would rather resign than do news sans engagement.

She says that while NDTV and its patrons pretend to fight against the BJP in their Press Club speeches, they have approached BJP for help several times and that they wanted her off daily news so that NDTV’s arbitrary decisions wouldn’t be questioned.

Firing repeated salvos, she calls NDTV’s stand utterly fake and says she neither sees NDTV and its journalists as victims nor as crusaders. But, their hypocrisy has certainly proved them to be ‘fake liberals’.

Bengaluru court officials, police attacked by mob while cracking down on illegal slaughterhouses

On Tuesday a team of court commissioners, lawyers, police and NGO members were reportedly attacked by a mob while they were cracking down on an illegal slaughterhouses operating in the city.

As per reports a 250 people strong mob tried to heckle, chase and attack the team. The two women members of the NGO also alleged that the attackers tried to strangle and choke one of them with a dupatta and also threw stones at their vehicles.

As a result of this attack, two complaints regarding illegal slaughter and mob violence have been lodged at the Yelahanka New Town police station. A case of rioting and unlawful assembly has also been registered against the mob.

The incident reportedly happened at about 5:10 PM, when the team had along with a large convoy of 35 policemen had reportedly gone to the suspected illegal slaughterhouse in DB Halli which was operating under the garb of a two wheeler garage.

The operators initially refused to open the establishment, plus a crowd gathered at the scene and started chanting slogans. Soon things completely went out of control, which included the windshield of their car getting damaged. They somehow managed to managed to escape the area in police vehicles whose windows were also smashed. The illegal-slaughterhouse reportedly confined 15 cows and other bovines.

This search was a result of a High Court direction for a probe into illegal slaughterhouses. Initially the two animal rights activists named Kavitha Jain and Joshine Anthony had identified illegal slaughterhouses. Later they accompanied by court officials (which included a public prosecutor) and the police visited 3 illegal slaughterhouses on 14th October.

The police are investigating the current incident and have reportedly made about 12 arrests in the matter. After the incident, a meeting was also held with the local leaders of the “minority community” to find an amicable solution.

This is the second time in recent days, such an incident has come to light from the city. We had reported how a woman was brutally attacked by a 150-200 strong mob in the city’s Avalahalli area after she reported an instance of cow slaughter from that area.

Twitter users react as Barkha Dutt launches a fresh attack on NDTV

Recently a left leaning website named “The Wire” carried a story which alleged irregular growth in businesses of Amit Shah’s son, after Modi became the Prime Minister. We had soon exposed how the article did more innuendo peddling than point out hard facts. We had also detailed how the author had also made basic mathematical mistakes in the article.

Even though the article lacked substance, it didn’t stop journalists of other media houses from riding on its coattails and enthusiastically report the story. One such journalist was NDTV’s Sreenivasan Jain whose report on Jay Amit Shah co-authored with Manas Pratap Singh, was taken down from NDTV’s website for some “legal vetting”:

As a response to that, Jain claimed that it was merely a temporary take-down:

But it turns out that even after a week the story wasn’t republished by NDTV and this led Jain to issue a statement on Facebook:

Clearly as per his statement, he was distressed about the story not being restored by his employers and as a result many felt he was playing the victim card:

One of those who was critical of this stance by Jain was none other than former NDTV journalist Barkha Dutt:

She claimed that axing stories wasn’t anything new in NDTV and that her stores were also meted the same treatment:

She also alleged that the channel had punished her and Nitin Gokhale for speaking against this censorship:

Such revelations by Barkha Dutt predictably intrigued various twitter users, who reacted aplenty:

A few were sceptical about Barkha Dutt’s ”outburst”:

This isn’t the only time Barkha has crossed swords with her former employers. We had reported in the past how things were not well between her and the channel. We had also reported she had even got into a twitter fight with her former colleague and NDTV employee Nidhi Razdan.

While it is certainly commendable that Barkha Dutt had chosen to speak out about the freedom of expression for journalists, but she too can’t take any moral high ground on this subject. We had reported in the past how the professional career of an Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) student was almost ruined, simply because he shouted slogans against Barkha Dutt.

While this episode is playing out, speculations are rife about why exactly NDTV chose to pull down and vet that piece.

Why is NDTV’s deleted story on Jay Amit Shah still being ‘legally vetted’?

On 8th October 2017, left leaning portal TheWire.in published an “expose” on Jay Amit Shah and his business dealings. The author, Rohini Singh tried to pass off a loss making company as a successful one, negative reserves as a “jump in reserves”, letters of credits as loans, and other normal loans as special favours. All this was done in order to link the alleged rise of Jay Amit Shah’s company, with the rise of Modi as Prime Minister of India. We debunked all the baseless claims in this piece.

The site though, chose to brazen it out. The story continued to be on its site. However some obvious school-boy mistakes were quietly corrected. In fact even these corrections had to be further corrected.

Two Days later, NDTV’s Sreenivasan Jain caught up with the story and published his own report on the same. However, within two days, the story disappeared from NDTV’s website and Jain claimed that it was a “temporary takedown”, while the story was being checked for legal issues:

It has been over a week now, but it appears that NDTV’s legal team has still not finished their checking for legal issues. The story still stands taken down. Jain on his part posted on Facebook yesterday, claiming himself to be mystified by the delay:

What is Jain alluding to? Is his intention to hint that there are some pressures on the “fiercely independent” NDTV, which is why the story is in limbo? Does this explain his anguish? Or is he trying to make a bad story look good by cloaking it in the shroud of martyrdom?

An archived version of the story is still on the web, and a glance through it may reveal why the legal team of NDTV may be uncomfortable with it. One of the claims made in the story is:

In 2015, however it shows as having received Rs 15.76 crore as an unsecured loan from KIFS Financial Services, a non-banking finance company (NBFC). However, KIFS’ papers show only Rs 1.16 lakh as unsecured loans advanced that year, as rent deposit. When contacted by NDTV, KIFS claimed that the loan to Mr Shah was a secured loan, part of the Rs 88 crore of secured lending by KIFS that same year (2015-16). If that is the case, KIFS would have lent a significant amount – 17 % of their order book – to a single company, not one with the soundest financial record. This quite apart from the unanswered discrepancy of the nature of the loan, with Temple describing it as unsecured, and KIFS as secured.

The crux of the issue here as per NDTV is, why would KFIS advance a substantial loan to Jay Amit Shah’s company which has no track record. The answers to this issue may be found in Jay Amit Shah’s reply to The Wire itself.

His response stated that promoter of KFIS, Mr Khandwala, was a sharebroker for the Shah family for several years, and had provided loans through his NBFC to Shah family concerns, much prior to this transaction as well. Thus the suggestion that such loans were extended because of Modi’s rise to the top post of the country sound slanderous, to say the least. Further, Shah also mentions that the the loan along with interest has been repaid in full, and TDS has also been deducted on the interest. NDTV did not mention these facts. Is this one of the reasons why NDTV’s lawyers are circumspect?

Another claim made by NDTV:

Another question, though, surrounds this loan. According to the RBI guidelines, urban cooperative banks cannot lend to stockbroking firms, or commodity brokers, against pledging of shares and other financial instruments. The bank, however, said Kusum Finserve is a firm trading in commodities, not brokering in them, and hence is exempt from those restrictions. But Kusum Finserve, in its filings, shows a bulk of its profits – 60% – as having come from “Consultancy”, and the balance from commodity trading. It is unclear what sort of consultancy a commodity trading company be engaged in. Could “consultancy” be used to describe revenues from brokering?

This observation from NDTV crosses over to realm of ridiculous. NDTV itself makes it clear that they are trying to bracket Kusum Finserve as a brokering company, hence their bias makes them allude that even “consultancy” income could be “brokering income”. This is being asserted by NDTV without a shred of evidence.

If NDTV had to cast aspersions on the “consultancy” income, they should have come up with some evidence, some proof, some documents to show that brokering income was being falsely reported as consultancy income. Instead, NDTV gives biased and baseless innuendos. Another issue the lawyers might have been unhappy about.

Next, NDTV also talks about a loan received by Kusum Finserve, from IREDA the power ministry’s lending agency for renewable energy projects:

Whether that includes firms from sharply divergent backgrounds, like commodity trading, remains unclear, as do the terms under which IREDA approved Mr Shah’s project

The allusion here is that how did a commodity trading concern like that of Shah, get a loan from IREDA.

Firstly, the loan was taken for a wind energy plant. Shah’s reply stated that the loan was being serviced regularly with no overdue payments remaining pending.

Secondly, the terms and conditions of obtaining the loan, which NDTV hints might have been violated, are mentioned on IREDA’s site. The eligibility conditions clearly state that the loan scheme is available to all Private Sector Companies/ firms/LLPs, and there is no restriction as to the nature of business or sector of such entity. Financial analyst Deepak Shenoy too had tweeted about this. He spoke about how even filmstars had owned windmills due to the attached tax incentives:

Was this another defamatory claim made by Jain in his piece, which the lawyers were uncomfortable with?

From Jain’s reaction (and the loopholes we found) it appears that the story may never be online again. He calls it “deeply unfortunate” and a “distressing aberration”, which hints that the story may be buried forever. It is possible that NDTV’s legal team has realised that the article is defamatory in nature considering it makes certain fantastical and ill found claims without a shred of evidence. In fact, even Jain may have been made aware of this, and this anguish may just be Jain’s way of saving his face?

However, one does wonder if there might be another twist in the tale and whether NDTV and Jain decide to stick to their seemingly shoddy story, publish it again, and brazen it out like the folks at The Wire.

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