The bugle for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls has been sounded by an uncanny candidate: the Far Left viper-pit named The Wire, which suddenly woke up to what it calls “the golden touch” of Jay Amit Shah, son of BJP President, Amit Shah. The story, incorrectly filed under the “Business” category, accurately belongs to the “Fiction” category. Somebody please teach the basics of information taxonomy to the folks at Wire.
This fiction is also a political and ideological hitjob against the Narendra Modi — Amit Shah duo who seem to have shut down the expansive and thriving dens of all sorts of sleazy pimping that the Congress party had so assiduously patronised and benefitted from. Not merely stopping at that, the duo have also steamrolled their way to a series of electoral victories to the extent that the BJP now rules 18 states in India, their most colossal victory being Uttar Pradesh.
Chai — Paani Journalism
That bit about Uttar Pradesh is relevant if only for one infamous similarity: the author of the present hitjob and the alleged journalist, named Rohini Singh. The same tilted eminence who was reportedly fired from her former job at the Economic Times for her ultra zealous plugs for a certain political party in the run up to the Uttar Pradesh polls. This time around, she’s found a new home, fittingly, in the said viper-pit, The Wire.
But to be fair to Rohini Singh, she’s not alone in this game, which isn’t new. It’s what I call Chai-Paani Journalism. Come election season, there are significant numbers of Lutyens “journalists” who receive Chai-Paani allowances to plug for their benefactors and tarnish their opponents and after the polls are over, some go underground and resurface during the next election season to do the same thing. Rinse. Repeat.
But then, even a hitjob needs to be executed competently. Unfortunately, for a business journalist, Rohini Singh hasn’t displayed even an ounce of it. It’s like a master-spy getting busted by a ninth-grade reader of Hardy Boys. Indeed, Rohini Singh’s inept hitjob against Jay Shah was dismantled almost minutes after the Far Left rag published it. Without dwelling too much into point-by-point rebuttals of her ridiculous piece, it suffices to say that Rohini Singh, it seems, is ignorant of arithmetic and basics of accountancy. Torturing technical terms like “net worth,” “reserves and surplus,” “turnover,” “profit,” and “revenue” at will will certainly yield a hitjob, not a well-argued or well-informed essay.
The point is not about Rohini Singh’s ignorance of accountancy but about the template that has served these discredited hacks so well for so many decades: assume that your readers are uniformed fools and rely on the maxim that they won’t cross check your claims. That this template was gloriously shattered can be encompassed in one word now freely and aptly ascribed to them: Presstitutes.
And it isn’t as if they don’t realise the fact of the precise nature of contempt the ordinary citizen reserves for them. But they’re so far gone down the road that forget trying to introspect about reforming themselves, they only try to ply their practise trade with greater gusto. From this perspective, this hitjob against Jay Amit Shah is the new Gauri Lankesh narrative in the reverse. Hence the attempts to build up Rohini Singh as some sort of investigative journalism heroine.
Several things need to be uncluttered from this one nightmare of a tweet.
First, M K Venu, one of the founders of the viper-pit The Wire admits that the journalism pursued by mainstream media is not normal journalism. The Indian citizen fully agrees.
Second, here are samples of the kind of “normal journalism” done by The Wire:
1. Fake news about an RSS-linked organization.
2. More fake news about TB patients allegedly denied treatment for not having an Aadhar card.
3. A whole slew of agenda-driven pieces over the Gauri Lankesh episode.
Third, you know also learn a new definition to the meaning of “normal journalism” when the selfsame M K Venu receives this sort of compliment from his former employer:
As they say, people living in glass houses, etc.
The underlying question about this hitjob is fairly evident: the timing. After all, records relating to Jay Amit Shah’s business were publicly available even at the end of the 2016 financial year. Nothing really prevented The Wire to dig them up. Why now, especially when it’s election season in Gujarat?
On his part, Jay Amit Shah has hit back with a gargantuan ₹ 100 crore defamation suit against The Wire, which characterises it as a “threat.” Which should be commended. Indeed, if there was a defamation suit for every single article, news report, academic paper, and oped that ran berserk calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a Hitler, mass-murderer, Nazi, Fascist, etc for over a decade, most of Lutyens media houses would’ve gone bankrupt long ago.
A measure of the tremors felt at Jay Shah’s proposed lawsuit against The Wire can be gauged by this tweet from street goon Rajdeep Sardesai:
That is also the latest exhibit of how the secular wolves of Lutyens media stick together. Also their cowardly duplicity: give no context, take no names, spit and run. Yet, history is a great teacher. From the same street goon, an earlier tweet on the same subject.
As it has unfolded so far, The Wire has dared Jay Shah’s defamation suit claiming — what else? — victimhood, terming the suit a “threat.” What will be interesting is to watch how this saga unfolds.
What is also undeniable is the fact that such hitjobs make for instructive case studies in journalism schools. That is a story for another day.