Indian Express editorializes fiction on Narendra Modi

via published on May 22, 2010

It seems that the Indian Express is on a “bait Narendra Modi campaign” at the expense of its credibility.

First the Indian Express came up with this rather colorful narrative yesterday of the events in a Planning Commission meeting with Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP leader Narendra Modi.

Next comes this editorial in which the Indian Express attempts to censure Mr. Modi based on that colorful narrative.

But here comes the problem for the Indian Express.

Syeda Hameed, the Planning Commission member who has been at the center of this imagined controversy, in a note to the Express pokes a hole into yesterday’s colorful, a hole so embarassingly big that it leads one to ask
Is the Indian Express now in the business of editorializing fiction ?

Syeda Hameed’s note makes two points amply clear

#1 There was no discord in yesterday’s Planning Commission meeting with Narendra Modi as has been insinuated by the Indian Express in its report yesterday

#2 There was also no attempt at “venting victimhood” by Mr. Narendra Modi as has been insinuated by the Indian Express in its editorial

It is puzzling that the Indian Express should have proceeded with the editorial on Mr. Modi even after Syeda Hameed had set the record straight on what exactly transpired at the meeting .

By doing so based on an imagined narrative and unsubstantiated facts the Indian Express has betrayed its deep prejudice against Mr. Modi.

Despite all Modi’s attempts to refashion himself after the riots and talk a bland “development” talk seemingly emptied of ideology, there is no denying that his politics thrives on, and exploits, these social divisions.

The temerity with which the Indian Express arrogates to itself the right to demand accountability of Mr. Modi’s governance in Gujarat raises serious questions of its motives

A question as important as this should not be taken over by bluster — and neither side in this confrontation should object to impartial, empirical facts on the state of Muslim welfare in Gujarat.

That motive becomes apparent when one recognizes a glaring ommission in today’s editorial line up in the Indian Express.

On a day when the rest of the media is critically appraising Manmohan Singh’s insipid political leadership, it is clear that the Indian Express’ anti-Modi editorial bluster is a lame attempt at deflecting attention from the UPA’s failings.

The Indian Express’ silence on Dr. Manmohan Singh’s uninspiring governance on the first anniversary of his second term, speaks volumes on its partisan.

This partisan attempt at editorializing fiction on Narendra Modi comes after a similar attempt at peddling blatant lies in an editorial.

With these partisan cheap shots at Narendra Modi and with its silence on the UPA’s performance, the Indian Express has permanently damaged its credibility, reducing itself to a mouthpiece of the ruling dispensation.

What a fall for an Institution that once counted amongst its editors the finest and the most fearless critics of the establishment.

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