How to deal with Anti Hindu Media – A Lesson from Tamilnadu

published on November 19, 2009

Electronic media and Hindu sentiments – A sequel 


http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=940
    
 
Thamizhchelvan
20 Nov 2009
 
Readers may recall the three-part article titled “Electronic media and Hindu sentiments” that appeared here last month.

http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=891

http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=892

http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=895

The backdrop to the article was an episode telecast by the Tamil Channel “Vijay TV”, which belongs to Rupert Murdoch’s Star Group. As the concerned episode terribly hurt the cultural and religious sentiments of Hindus, a campaign was started by a few individual activists against the channel and the producer and sponsor of the concerned program. The campaign has been successful so far and is likely to reach its logical conclusion in the days to come.
 
Meeting at the production house
 
On 3 November 2009, research scholar Gauthaman, professional photographer Srinivasan, advocate Subramaniam Balaji and columnist Haran had a meeting with Antony, CEO of Mercury Creations, which produced the concerned program “Neeyaa Naanaa” (You or Me / Tum aur Mein) for ‘Vijay TV.’ During the conversation, Antony gave the important information that the topics for the program are “chosen” by an “expert panel” constituted by the TV Channel and that the producers (like him) could only give them some suggestions.  
 
The point to note here is that the TV Channel’s so-called expert panel regularly “chooses” topics which are relevant to Hindu cultural and religious traditions and subjects them to debate. The anchor conducts the program in such a way that the subject of debate is derided, demeaned and defamed and projected in such a manner that viewers get confused with a feeling that the concerned tradition is unwanted and unnecessary.
 
Mercury Creations produces two programs (Neeyaa Naanaa and “Nadanthathu Enna” – “What happened”) for Vijay TV and both programs deal with “Hindu” related subjects quite often. Since the subjects (topics) are chosen by the so-called expert panel, the real and ulterior motive of a Christian Media house like Star-Vijay can be understood. It can also be inferred that other channels must be following the same methodology to select topics for similar programs, as most media houses operate with the common objective of “de-Hinduising” society.
 
Antony refused to divulge the names of the expert panel. But the four activists found a blackboard (inside the mini meeting hall) on which the titles of subjects for shooting in future were written. Some topics mentioned were:
 
-          Is it necessary to name newborns with the names of their grandparents?
-          Who are beautiful, North Indian women or South Indian women?
-          Inter-Religious marriages – Husbands vs. Wives
-          Also, the topic debated on 18 October was, “who creates problems for a married woman, sister-in-law or brother-in-law?”
 
If we go deep into these subjects, see the programs and analyse them, we can clearly identify the motive behind the choice of title and program. One can recognize a “larger conspiracy” to demolish the institution of marriage and the family values entwined with Hindu religion and culture. The alien powers which control and fund our media houses are behind this huge conspiracy of de-Hinduising the nation and they are aided and abetted by ‘secular’ governments and political parties. It is sad and unfortunate that the Hindu majority falls prey to such programs, risking their religious and cultural identities.
 
During his meeting with the four activists, Antony tried to convince them about commercial strategies, TRP ratings, etc. But they stuck to their guns, demanding a public apology from both the production house and the TV Channel, apart from a commitment that such programs demeaning and hurting the Hindu community would not be produced and telecast in future. Finally Antony agreed to render a public apology during the telecast of the program on Sunday, 22 November, as programs till 15 November had been already shot. 
 
Campaign through “Tamil Hindu” website
 
Meanwhile, my article in Tamil (more or less a translation of the English version carried here) was published in www.tamilhindu.com on 6 November, wherein readers were requested to send e-mails to Mr. Ponnudurai, Managing Director of M/S Lion Dates Impex Pvt Ltd., 4A/3 Kaveri Road, Trichy – 620002, the sponsor of that program, at [email protected], expressing their anger and hurt and their decision to boycott his products in future. Readers were also given telephone numbers (0431-2730047 / 2730191) requesting them to call the company and register their protests. The article (http://www.tamilhindu.com/2009/11/tele-medias-degrading-hindu-religious-feelings/) drew the attention of thousands of Tamil Hindus across the world within two days and hundreds of readers flooded the mailbox of the sponsor.
 
Concerted move by “Hindu Voice” magazine 
 
Sri GP Srinivasan spoke to Ponnudurai, proprietor of the sponsoring company, for an interview on behalf of the Mumbai-based monthly magazine “Hindu Voice.” Sri Deivamuthu, Editor & Publisher of Hindu Voice, also shot off a letter to Ponnudurai urging him to withdraw sponsorship of such anti-Hindu programs and conveyed his intention to run a campaign against his company through Hindu Voice and other media if he did not withdraw sponsorship.
 
The letter sent by Deiva Muthu:
 


Kind Attn: Mr. Ponnudurai
 
This refers to the telephonic talks our Editor, Mr. GP Srinivasan had with you, in connection with the Vijay TV Programme, Neeya Naana, Nadanthathu Enna, etc. All these programmes compered by Mr. Gopinath are prepared with an intention to insult Hindus. He has never taken up a programme concerning Islam or Christianity. It seems he is afraid of taking up issues concerning Muslims and Christians, and is taking up only Hindu issues because Hindus are tolerant.
 
Since these programmes are sponsored by you, our Editor, Mr. Srinivasan, would like to have an interview with you, so that we can publish it in Hindu Voice – a Monthly published in English and Hindi, espousing the cause of Hindutva. Please give us a date and time when he can come and interview you.
 
Meantime, we would urge you to withdraw your sponsorship to these programmes which are hurting Hindu Sentiments. Otherwise, we will have to carry on a campaign against Lion Dates, not only through Hindu Voice but via other media too.
 
I hope to receive your quick reply.
 
P. Deivamuthu
Mg. Editor, Hindu Voice
210 Abhinav, Teen Dongri
Yeshwant Nagar, Goregaon West
Mumbai 400062.
Tel: 022-28764460, 28764418, 09324728153.


 

 
 
Realising the gravity of the situation, Ponnudurai sent a reply to Deivamuthu and also shot off individual letters (though stereotyped) to all those, including the readers of “Tamil Hindu”, who sent protest letters to him. In his letter, Ponnudurai said that he understood the hurt feelings of Hindus and conveyed that he had instructed his advertising agency to be careful in future, monitoring each and every program sponsored by his company for each and every channel. He also said that he had expressed his views to the authorities of the TV Channel and that they have given a commitment to him that they would not telecast such programs in future.
 
The reply letter sent by Ponnudurai:
 

 Dear Sir / Madam,
 
Ref: The programme telecasted on 11-10-2009
 
Greetings. We received your mail and understood your feelings about the particular
Mentioned programme telecasted in Vijay TV. We too felt the same way and have expressed our views to the Channel Authorities. And they have promised that in future there will not be any topics in their programmes which will affect the sentiments of any one…
 
Normally, this programme “Neeya Naana”programme became famous because of its topics involved in social matter and unfortunately this particular programme has crossed borders and affected the sentiments of large number of people.
 
 
We hereby like to stress yourself that we are not the Producer of this Programme and only the advertiser of this programme…As a part of our general advertising programme we release our advertisements in many programmes in many channels all over India .
 
We have strictly conveyed our Advertising Agency –Saroj ad Creators private limited ,Chennai, India- [email protected] to monitor all the programmes in all channels where we release our advertisements and especially all the topics discussed in this “Neeya Naana” programme in Vijay TV, and refrain from any controversial programmes in future..
 
Thanking you,
 
Yours faithfully,
 
For Lion Dates Impex private limited
 
P.Ponnudurai
Managing Director
 
 

 
Conclusion
 
If the concerted efforts of a few individuals could elicit such a response, one can imagine the effect of a united campaign by Hindu organizations. Though Ponnudurai’s letter did not have a feeling of regret or a note of apology, the concern and respect he showed to the feelings of those who had written to him was quite visible in his communication.
 
So in the event of the production house not apologizing on Sunday 22 November, as per its commitment, the concerned activists have decided to proceed further legally and take the issue to its logical conclusion. One hopes Hindu organizations come together and rally behind the activists, as there are many other channels that need to be taken to task as they compete with each other in denigrating Hindu religion and hurting the Hindu sentiments. This is only a beginning and this movement against the hostile media has to be sustained.

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