The Indian media has an interesting character and that is its lack of faith in accountability. The strong criticism that it faced for allegedly handling the situation quake-hit Nepal in an insensitive manner updates the list of its reckless acts (the previous was the mindless criticism of the Indian cricket team after its semifinal loss in the World Cup). [Indian media slammed in Nepal]
But the allegation that the Indian media acted as the public relations agent of the Indian government perhaps crosses all limits. [Nepal earthquake: Mount Everest shrinks by an inch]
Indian media has silently turned its stand on Narendra Modi around
Has the Indian media forgotten its stand on a particular individual called Narendra Modi taken since February 2002? Have the Gujarat riots stopped bothering the news channels so much so that they are now feeling free to telecast programmes titled "Namo Namo Nepal"?
And if it has stopped bothering them now, then why had it kept them concerned all these years even when there was not a single evidence against Modi, the former chief minister of Gujarat?
The same media was accused of taking provoking stands when riots broke out in Gujarat 13 years ago.
When Modi's Gujarat was burning, a section of the Indian media was accusing of fuelling fire
Modi said during an interview that eve noted journalists were making statements that could worsen the situation in Gujarat and slowly saw a Cold War developing between him and many of those media houses that had kept on attacking him over the Gujarat riots. The apparent focus was on how the 'communal forces' were doing harm to India.
The media's 'secular' stand against 'communal' Modi changed after he became the PM
But that it was more of a pseudo-secular stand by the Indian media got exposed gradually. The media, which had made all efforts to stop Modi from storming the throne in Delhi, started moving on the backfoot once its mission failed.
The Indian media is now finding no strong back to ride to counter Modi; hence the U-turn
The resistance couldn't even be converted into a worthy opposition, thanks to Rahul Gandhi's failure to come of age. Arvind Kejriwal, too, remained too local a figure to take on Modi's charisma. The rest of the so-called opposition leaders are history.
Was there any need to make quake-hit Nepal a stage for playing our own politics?
So finding no back to ride on to challenge Modi, the 'secular' media slowly surrendered before him, even to the extent of seeking an opportunity to get some news from the government's core running unit, as it had during the tainted UPA regime of an almost non-speaking prime minister.
Nepal tragedy gave the media a great chance to grab the TRPs along with Modi's hot foreign policy
But the Nepal tragedy gave the media the perfect opportunity to jump onto Modi's bandwagon in disguise. Understanding well that PM Modi's foreign policy is selling well globally, the media decided to illuminate itself also and satisfy both the establishment and Modi's followers and keep the TRP business running high.
Nepal quake gave the mainstream media a chance to compete with the other media that has been more loyal to Modi
There was a clear trend of the mainstream media trying to compete with the other media that Modi preferred during his pre-prime ministerial days and also after assuming the office.
It was a clever tactic by the media for by capitalising on a tragedy, the chances of messing up were less for no one would have accused the media for putting pictures of the devastation in front of the world.
But the media overdid things without knowing where the danger lies
But the news people forgot to understand where the danger was. With the sole purpose of satisfying the political establishment, the Indian media went too far with its ugly tools of insensitivity and disrespect as it often does in India.
A small neighbour not necessarily means weaker people
But a smaller neighbour doesn't necessarily mean weaker people and the people of Nepal taught them the lesson hard. If one asks a mother who lost his son in the tragedy about how it feels at that moment, the repercussions are bound to be horrendous. And it was what exactly happened.
Asking a mother who just lost her son "How do you feel right now?"!
All the pictures and audio pieces that the Indian media presented before the world with an excessive enthusiasm and love for Nepal backfired and the utter insensitivity was exposed resulting in widespread criticism from the aam Nepalese.
Where has all the accountability gone?
So where do accountability and ethics stand for the Indian media? From provoking anti-Modi sentiments during riots in Gujarat 13 years ago to committing shocking acts to get a pat from the same man's government in Nepal today, what message is our media conveying?