The times of Times of India

I admit that when I read a news report titled “NGOs, Teesta spiced up Gujarat riot incidents: SIT” in Times of India, I almost bought it. I know it is stupid to blindly believe everything that the media churns out, but the story was published in TOI and they quoted the SIT  in their news report which added to some primary credibility. Then there were immediate responses from Sangh Parivar sympathizers. They said that the “pseudo-secular media” conveniently withheld the story from publishing since it is election time. They attacked their enemies, those who stand for the secular ethos of the country. They also wanted the Supreme Court to initiate action on the “pseudo secular media” because of their silence on the issue.

I was shocked to read the whole thing. I got confused too, as whom to believe and whom not to believe on such sensitive issues. I thought that the very same secular values that many people in this great country stood for have just got dirty because of people like Teesta. Like I said before, I almost bought it.

Yet, the main charges/claims of the Times of India reporter had no substance and it did not come from the SIT. The major claims in the Times of India report mentioned the following:

  • The riot witnesses were tutored by Teesta Setalvad before submitting the affidavits
  • The celebrated rights activist [referring to Teesta] cooked up macabre tales of wanton killings
  • The gangrape on Kausar Banu, and the gouging out of her foetus by the mob was found with “no truth”
  • Dumping of dead bodies into a well by rioters at Naroda Patiya was also found with “no truth”

The TOI report said that all of these were told by SIT chief R K Raghavan in the Supreme Court on April 13th, Monday. But hold your horses, because none from the SIT or Mr. Raghavan himself were present in the apex court on April 13 to tell anything.

Even though the TOI article was referring to the SIT report, the person whom they quoted was Gujarat government’s counsel, Mukul Rohtagi. And the SIT chief Mr. Raghavan told Hindutan Times that the alleged leaks appear to have been based on statements of state police officials and “cannot be termed as findings of the report.[via]

Then came the second article in Times of India, by the same reporter and this time the reporter said nothing about the above claims and rather held on to “discrepancies” and “contradictions“. No word about Kausar Banu, Wanton Killing or the Tutoring of Teesta. He chose to be silent on those allegations which he had earlier stated as the “SIT found untrue“.

So yes, if this is the kind of journalism we are fed with, there needs to have legal action against “such” media houses. Unfortunately, these are the times of India.

PS: It doesn’t take a genius to guess why the Gujarat counsel’s claims made news just 3 days before the 1st phase of general elections. I am not for or against Teesta’s case. We have a process of law in place and our Supreme Court to judge the case. So let the law take it’s due course.

Related reading:

About warped minds – Dilip D’Souza
‘Cooking Up Macabre Tales’: FAQ – Outlook