OffStumped For All Things Right of Center, Bringing a Right of Centre Reality Check to Indian Politics, News Media Reporting and Opinion now in Hindi अब आप के लिये हिंदी मे.

Offstumped Hall of Fame 2006

The honor goes to:

1. President APJ Abdul Kalam for sending back the Office of Profit Bill

 On May 31 2006 Offstumped had lauded http://o3.indiatimes.com/yossarin/archive/2006/05/31/736418.aspx President Kalam for his statesmanship in sending back the most self serving piece of Legislation ever to have been authored by the Indian Parliament which was all about preserving the Public Servant’s vested interest and did not have SINGLE WORD in it for the Public Interest – The Office of Profit Bill

2. The Indian Express for dedicating a column every day for 200 odd days in memory of each of the 7-11 dead Mumbaikars

3. The Mumbai Bloggers who put out valuable information in the aftermath of the 7-11 communications breakdown. 

4. The Late Ustad Bismillah Khan who’s legacy was a repudiation of secular narrow mindedness that was in demonstration on the Vande Mataram Issue.

Offstumped on 22 Aug 2006 had hoped http://o3.indiatimes.com/yossarin/archive/2006/08/22/1334389.aspx that the late Ustad Bismillah Khan who showed us the wisdom of worshipping god through music irrespective of its lyrics or origins could have played the National Song on his shehanai to remind us and future generations on what it used to mean when the freedom struggle was being fought.

5. Mahatma Gandhi for continuing to be the moral compass for this Nation in its darkest hour and for providing a doctrine to fight terrorism

Offstumped had on 27th July 2006 looked to the Mahatma for direction http://o3.indiatimes.com/yossarin/archive/2006/07/27/1074107.aspx as the Indian State debated its response to terror. Gandhi’s message was that the Nation must be purely guided by its primary duty to its citizens and not by any other moral considerations and that the State must not take recourse to inaction under the cover of the resilience of its people. More specifically the State when in posession of legitimate intelligence on intentions of terrorist to hurt and kill its citizens must act proactively to pre-empt, such pre-emption is morally consciable for the alternative is willing inaction which is immoral. The state must not rule out going to war against terrorism in fulfilling its duty as long as it does so fully mindful of its consequences and has demonstrated the capacity to accept those consequences with equanimity. This message continues to be lost on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Offstumped Hall of Shame 2006

The shame goes to:

1. All of mainstream Indian media for post 7-11 opinion making

On July 14th 2006 Offstumped had observed that http://o3.indiatimes.com/yossarin/archive/2006/07/14/1005130.aspx the mood had hardened across the nation. The Indian Express’ editorial position was even more direct and stinging when it decried the Congress led UPA Government’s Communalization of Anti-Terror Policy. Going a step further the Indian Express also called Dr. Singh’s state of denial on Pakistan’s sponsorship of terror by asking him to boldly embark on a path of openly supporting the democratic movement in Pakistan. The traditionally left of center Outlook Magazine carried a commentary from the leading light of Counter-Terrorism in India, KPS Gill on why mere rhetoric in Parliament and Media is insufficient to fight terror while lamenting on the lack of political will in India to take terror head on. The Daily News and Analysis in separate editorial pieces came out strongly that the time had come to say enough and called on the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to act now. The normally Left of Center Hindu with its pacifist positions made a closing remark in its lead editorial that hard decisions based on a rigorous analysis of India’s options in the face of recurrent acts of terror can no longer be deferred. There was a palpable mood change in the Nation and its Intelligenstia. But all that fizzled out no sooner than angst about 7-11 vanished from the headlines and in the smoke from Singh Musharraf bonhomie in Havana. The Indian Media once again demonstrated its lack of conviction and reminded us that its opinions shift whichever way the wind blows.

2. Media coverage of the demolitions in Vadodara

On 8th May 2006 Offstumped had pointed out http://o3.indiatimes.com/yossarin/archive/2006/05/08/664259.aspx how there was utter confusion in the media on who the Dargah belonged to, while they had no clue what lied beneath that tombstone they all felt it important enough to manufacture headlines for after all it was a Narendra Modi BJP ruled Gujarat and anything remotely Muslim being demolished must be an outrage. The national media once again reminded us how sitting in Delhi it can manufacture news with scant regard to accuracy or the truth.

3. N. Ram and The Hindu for dedicating more editorial space to the Israel Lebanon Hezbollah Conflict than 7-11

On 5th Sept 2006 Offstumped had shown http://o3.indiatimes.com/yossarin/archive/2006/09/05/1498112.aspx that the editorial page in The Hindu from July 11th to Sept 5th had manufactured consent by taking the CPI-M’s line of castigating Israel for the Lebanon Hezbollah conflict while completely ignoring the 7-11 Mumbai Bomb Blasts.

4. Vir Sanghvi, Pankaj Vora and the Hindustan Times for having become Congress mouthpieces

On 29th March 2006 Offstumped had exposed http://o3.indiatimes.com/yossarin/archive/2006/03/29/575476.aspx the insidious spin machine in Sanghvi, Vora and the rest of HT editorial staff that came to Sonia’s rescue when Parliament was shamefully adjourned to save Sonia from the ignominy of disqualification on the Office of Profit Issue and Sonia was left with no honorable option but to resign.

5. Shobhan Saxena of Times News Network for racially insinuating Indian Bloggers.
On 02 October 2006, Offstumped had issued a rejoinder http://o3.indiatimes.com/yossarin/archive/2006/10/02/1802492.aspx  to Shobhan Saxena of the Times News Network who had written a piece titled “Bloggers’ rubbish” which appeared on the TOI website. Shobhan you were right, Indian blogging is a dangerous trend. Dangerous not to Indian society at large but dangerous specifically to the Op-Ed Opinion Makers in the mainstream media who have arrogated to themselves the monopoly on all public opinion and debate. Indian Blogs are a repudiation of this elitism and psuedo intellectual arrogance. Free Speech in a Liberal Society is about Opinions that are neither controlled nor regulated. If you are a true believer of free speech you would have the strength of conviction to face up to these opinions rather than call them a dangerous trend.

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