9 May 2009

I always wanted to write a blog on my once favourite newspaper THE HINDU.Here is my story.

Needless to introduce,'THE HINDU' prides itself as India's National newspaper since the middle of the 18th century. The mount road maha vishnu, as it was once called by the Tamil Nadu rationalists is giving testing time to its readers who have been behind it for generations together. If i am not wrong i started reading this newspaper when i was studying fourth standard in the early 90's only on saturdays and sundays. I still remember the paper boy/man for whom i used to wait from 7 am to 9 am. Our house was the last for him in his distribution list.

My interest on this newspaper picked up slowly and i started reading articles,editorials very deeply . During the late 90's politics was not so communalized and secularized as it is now. Probably that may also be one of the reason why i feel that ' THE HINDU' today is more pseudo secular media than others.My all time favourite columnist was Mr C Rajamohan whose articles on strategic affairs was worth collecting. I don't know why he stopped writing for this newspaper later. Then in 98/99, I heard N Ram had taken over as editor-in-chief of the newspaper, till then i believe it was with Ms Malini parthasarathy.

The rise of BJP in the national politics seems to have made the media restless. THE HINDU is no exception to this. From the late 90's to till date there has been too much of issues, articles and criticisms on the BJP by the hindu. Writers like N Ram, Neen Vyas and Harish Khare have made all efforts in crushing the BJP under the roller of journalism (not certainly under the road roller). The BJP leaders couldn't do anything as they well knew that their foes in media by the likes of secular journalists Rajdeep sardesai, Bharka Dhatt only increased manifold and there was no point in cribbing.

The Hindu's ambitious and arrogant overdrive gave them their greatest trouble with AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa. The series of articles culminating with "Rising intolerance" criticized the then CM, her cabinet colleagues, the governance and the legislative actions. The criticisms were too much against a individual by any standards. True that a CM or any public servant is under public scrutiny. But taking revenge against an individual in the name of Journalism is uncalled for.

The drift in editorial standards coupled with the first page news becoming views pains a lot of its regular readers. Ask any body in mylapore(i assume this region to be core of hindu readers) they will tell you that they don't read the newspaper seriously anymore. In fact everyone knows that Ram is a card carrying communist. so naturally left news and views have started dominating the newspaper. Hindu may have the dubious distinction of being the only newspaper claiming that Tibet has prospered under the communist China.

I still fail to understand why this 4 th estate of journalism has double standards in all issues from corruption to secularism. None of the journalists open their pens against the injustice done to the nation on Bofor's scandal. It's clear in broad daylight that CBI has become the Congress Bureau of Investigation. The way Ottavio Quattrochi was let off the hooks should have raised a turmoil in the nation had the journalists been unbiased.

Then comes the important issue of riots. Today for the secularists and media , Gujarat/Godhra were the only riots that happened in this country. Nobody wishes to about the anti sikh riots which was also a similar catastrophe in all terms. The issue comes up only when there is something happening with the poor Jagdish tytler. Again the hindu's standard of comments on all these issues were far from satisfactory.

A newspaper which prides itself as a National newspaper since the 18 th century must take a holistic view on all issue irrespective of personalities and politics. Getting readers for a newspaper is the greatest task. still greater is to maintain the standards and retain the readers.Today as i write this article i strongly feel that THE HINDU has been constantly failing on both the counts. By failing it also looses a golden opportunity to shape the minds of the generation of 21st century.

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