At The Crossroads : INDIAN JOURNALISM HITS A LOW

Such a folly filled report only Vivek Goenka’s paper can write. It was written in the report that to topple the  Government of Jammu and Kashmir a bribe of rupees one crore 19 lakhs was paid to a  Jammu and Kashmir Minister. A Minister in the Government of India, Ghulam Nabi Azad, did a courageous thing and he said that nothing like that has happened, there has been no attempt to topple a State Government and this report is as laughable, ridiculous and baseless as was the report of the coup attempt  by the Army, and both these reports were published by the same newspaper.  After all, why are these reports being published in the newspaper that belongs to the heir of Ramnath Goenka – Vivek Goenka?


leadThis story is the story of the black face of Indian journalism which perhaps the late Ramnath Goenka, sitting in Paradise, would never ever like to read or never ever want to know about. A senior journalist of the country told me that if Shri Ramnath Goenka had been alive today, he would either have dismissed his editor and if not able to do that, would have jumped down from the penthouse of the Express Towers in Mumbai, and taken his life. The high, idealistic standards that the late Shri Ramnath Goenka touched – those ideals and standards were an exceptionally remarkable example of pro-people journalism. Through his newspaper he had touched such heights in Indian journalism which people always held up and quoted as an example. He never allowed journalism to be practised that favoured arms agents or brokers, capitalists, or rulers. That is why the names of editors of his time shine like gems on the pages of the history of Indian journalism.
But what is happening today? Vivek Goenka is Ramnath Goenka’s successor. If Vivek Goenka is silent after seeing a mockery being made of the ideals of journalism in his English newspaper, it means Vivek Goenka does not have left in him even an iota of Ramnath Goenka’s strength to fight for honour. This is not journalism of courage but journalism of corruption, journalism of brokerage, journalism of anti-nationalism.
We are having to use these harsh words because if the person currently perched on the mahanayak (great hero) of journalism post begins moving towards the post of a crime hero and through his friends sitting in power begins earning money and begins using his newspaper to help traitorous forces, then it becomes necessary to write about it. This story is also the story of the hesitation of other newspapers in Indian journalism, it is the story of their dearth of courage and how in the prevailing political atmosphere, patriotism, dedication to the country are kept on one side and how treason and sedition are assumed as ideals – it is very much a story about that too.
This story begins when General VK Singh became the Chief of the Indian Army. When General VK Singh became the Indian Army Chief, at that time there was a role for arms merchants behind every weapon purchase that was made. The lobby connected to weapons used to frequent and virtually stroll around South Block. Some big names in the country used to influence the supply of every weapon to the country’s Army. Information would reach them from the Ministry of Defence and the Indian Army on what percentage of the Defence Budget was for the purchase of weapons and they would make their plans accordingly.
They knew that a war was not about to take place, therefore they gave a poor supply of substandard weapons to the Indian Army. The Indian Army was so enmeshed in the web of arms dealers that whether it was Tatra trucks, whether it was rifles, whether they were guns or whether it was ammunition, at every place sub-standard products were coming into the Indian Army. General VK Singh stiffened his back against this situation and began making such rules due to which the arms dealers started finding it difficult to carry on their work. The steps taken by General VK Singh made it uncomfortable and difficult for those people who had been benefiting through the sales of weapons to the Indian Army.
This report which we are placing before you was not given to us by General VK Singh, nor was this report leaked by patriotic Army officers. This report is the result of our investigation, and we are placing this report before readers with the hope that if people in India become aware of the real facts, then at least we will be fulfilling that duty which a journalist should fulfill. Out of all the Generals before General VK Singh, none of them carried out fully the task of instilling confidence in the Army as whole. A situation had once arisen in the Army where at a psychological level, soldiers and officers had started fighting amongst themselves. For more than eight months the Indian Army had been made to sit on the China border without being given any objective.
According to our information, when General VK Singh became the Army Chief, the task before him was to prevent and stop the entry of arms dealers into the Ministry of Defence, and simultaneously the second task was to keep India’s borders safe and secure from India’s neighbours. There were entry points into India from borders on three sides. Terrorists entered India from the Pakistan side, from the Nepal side and from the side of Bangladesh. Some were sometimes caught, some were killed, but mostly they managed to enter. Probably the challenge before General VK Singh was that there should be no attacks and our borders should be under constant monitoring of alert soldiers. After the Mumbai attack, the need for a strategy to meet such dangers was felt and General VK Singh, on the advice of the National Security Advisor and orders from the Defence Minister, set up a dare devil unit in the Indian Army, and the name kept was the Technical Services Division. TSD is the abbreviated name of this division, just as the abbreviated name for the Research and Analysis Wing is RAW.
The Research and Analysis Wing of our country is an intelligence agency which works in foreign countries and provides ‘foreign’ information to the Government of India. Just as India has a right to spy in foreign countries for its own interests, other countries too have a right to spy for their country. Their spies are scattered in many countries including our country and our spies too are scattered in many countries including our neighbouring countries. Spies are caught, spies also send news, and the news which is connected with the security of the country is acted upon and the irrelevant news is consigned to the waste basket. General VK Singh made the TSD on the same lines. It is a compulsion of the Army that it can move further only when it gets that order. But the TSD was made on the lines that our borders must be protected, made safe and secure and our Army too is protected, safe and secure. The TSD’s task was the Pakistan border, the Nepal border, the Bangladesh borders and our jawans (soldiers) on these borders, should not become the direct targets of our neighboring countries and neither should they become the targets of terrorists entering our country from neighbouring countries. The division did not have orders to enter any other country and take action. The responsibility of this division was that if any harmful activity such as infiltration was going on at or around our border areas, it should stop such activities even by staking its own survival, so that by then an alerted Army, could, if it gets such orders, fulfill its task.
TSD activities led to a reduction of infiltration into India. When, because of the activities of the TSD, Pakistan and China began to feel troubled, they obtained information about the TSD from their agents in India. General VK Singh had set up the TSD on the assumption that Pakistan and China would not get information about the TSD. There was the TSD — that was getting known, but the style of TSD work, who are the officers and jawans in the TSD, what are their targets, who gives them orders, what weapons do they have, there was a lot of confusion on all these points in Pakistan and China. Because they were not getting any information, the local agents of the two countries began frightening their Governments. They portrayed the TSD as ‘most fearful’ before their Governments because they had no real information or news but they had to send some information or news.
The TSD became a most fearful entity for Pakistan and China and when neither the Governments nor the Armies of the two countries were able to get any information, arms dealers began their efforts to destroy the picture of General Vijay Kumar Singh. As part of these efforts, the controversy and dispute over General VK Singh’s age was tom-tommed in the country. In the General VK Singh age dispute too there is the irony that India’s apex court does not

accept the age written in his High School certificate as authentic, but in the context of his being a minor or an adult, accepts the High School certificate giving the birth date of the criminal who played the biggest role in the December 16 role case as authentic. Perhaps this kind of contradiction embellishes the Supreme Court of India. Amongst the people there was revulsion too at this judgment, but arms dealers, amongst whom there were some ‘big’ officers of the Army too, took the support of some political leaders and started a campaign against General VK Singh on this issue.
Meanwhile, General VK retired, but due to the steps that General VK Singh had taken, on the one hand arms dealers were finding it difficult to carry out their work within the Army and on the other hand there was still tremendous fear in Pakistan and China about the TSD. They wanted information about the TSD in any way and they wanted the TSD to become defunct. In this task, Ramnath Goenka’s newspaper helped the arms dealers and Pakistan and China tremendously. This newspaper published news on its front page, with a major headline that General VK Singh wanted to end democracy in this country and wanted to replace it with Army rule. And for this, he had given orders for two units to march towards Delhi.

SOME OF GENERAL VK SINGH’S TWEETS
“Some pieces of information about Shekhar Gupta, CE @IndianExpress: 1.His company was involved in Commonwealth Games (read scam) too (1/Many). With a 55 Cr house on Malcha marg, he can be trusted to be a UPA stooge. No doubt he has been using IE as a medium to put out slander.”
Gupta and his wife in tax frauds: “3.Shekhar Gupta’s company’s data: He & his wife Neelam Jolly started a company Greenpine Agro Pvt Ltd in 2002. No accounts filed 4 many yrs.”
Gupta filed balance sheets of eight years on a single day on 18 January 2010: “Closed down the company by filing EES (Early Exit Scheme like @RahulDumbGandhi backops) on Aug 30, 2010. #ShekharGupta @IndianExpress. Accounts are cooked up. One loan he took in 2002, for a meagre Rs12 lakh shows he that at the time he owned three 2 acre farms, “.

General VK Singh was Chief of the Army at the time this news was published. And this ‘attack’ on him was a very dangerous attack. The real story behind this ‘attack’ is that the editor of Ramnath Goenkaji ’s newspaper spent more than two and a half hours with General Vijay Kumar Singh at his official Army House residence, had lunch with him. He asked each and every question and for asking the questions he prepared a psychological atmosphere. He said that he had an old relationship with the Indian Army, and if I am not forgetting, he also said that his brother was in the Army. He enumerated the names of his relatives. He enumerated in which corps, in which division they were. He related some stories about how memories of the Army were still with him. And then after this he asked about the reality of the troops marching towards Delhi.
General VK Singh explained each and everything to him and told him how these routine exercises and some units stay around Delhi because in case something happens in Delhi, as happened in Mumbai on 26/11, the units are at such a distance that they can reach Delhi within two hours. And from time-to-time these exercises are carried out to assess that if something happens in Delhi, how quickly the Army can strike back to save Delhi. And they are carried out in every kind of weather, whether it is hot, whether there is rain, whether there is mist or a haze or fog. The exercises at that time were held when there was fog. But on the second day after everything was explained in detail, i.e. on the day after, the great editor of the Indian Express, Shekhar Gupta, ran a story under his name and the names of some of his reporters.
When this report about the purported attempt at a coup was published in the newspaper of Ramnath Goenka’s heir Vivek Goenka, the blackest chapter was that its editor did not disclose that shortly before the story was published he had lunched with the Army Chief and he had asked the Chief comprehensive questions and the Army Chief had not only denied that there were any implications but also provided detailed explanations of why certain things are done. If the editor, who had got all the information from the Army Chief himself, could allow it to be written in the report that a coup was possibly attempted, it could also have been written emphatically in the report that the Army Chief had denied this from the outset and had also given the reasons for the movement of the units. Not writing this emphatically amounts to abandoning the principles of journalism by this newspaper and it is the journalism of cowardice, the journalism of lies, the journalism of corruption, and is also called the journalism of anti-nationalism.
The Government dubbed this report as ridiculous. The Opposition dubbed this report as ridiculous. Retired Generals from the Army dubbed this report as ridiculous. But this newspaper became so shameless that it did not even give an apology. The newspaper had not even a single proof and the newspaper spread the ‘news’ of a conspiracy by the Army to end democracy in India. From every side this report was lambasted. But this newspaper stood by its report. It is most interesting that this newspaper did not publish the names of those in India’s political set-up, who, after the newspaper publication of this ‘big’ report did not take action. Were the Prime Minister and the Home Minister themselves involved in this coup attempt? Or were the Prime Minister and the Home Minister so irresponsible that even after the publication of such a ‘big’ report they did not do anything? In fact, this was the poorest and most sensational report in the history of independent India. Sensational because this report, written totally at the behest of arms dealers and foreign contacts of this newspaper was a report to insult and malign the Indian Army.
After this, this newspaper raised the question of TSD. Such a folly filled report only Vivek Goenka’s paper can write. It was written in the report that to topple the Government of Jammu and Kashmir a bribe of rupees one crore 19 lakhs was paid to a Jammu and Kashmir Minister. A Minister in the Government of India, Ghulam Nabi Azad, did a courageous thing and he said that nothing like that has happened, there has been no attempt to topple a State Government and this report is as laughable, ridiculous and baseless as was the report of the coup attempt by the Army, and both these reports were published by the same newspaper. After all, why are these reports being published in the newspaper that belongs to the heir of Ramnath Goenka – Vivek Goenka? They are being published because the editor of this newspaper and some journalists in this newspaper have links with arms dealers. They have relations with those forces in Pakistan and China who were afraid of the TSD. They made a decision to put pressure and get the TSD closed. They were not satisfied with just the closure of the TSD. They wanted to know the names of the officers and jawans who were part of the TSD and this newspaper became a part of traitorous activities to the extent that it became an enemy of the lives of our Army officers and jawans.
They began demanding a disclosure of all those things that would lead to the sphere and style of operations of officers and people involved in the TSD becoming known, their names should become known so that spies from Pakistan and China could easily kill them. Vivek Goenka’s newspaper ‘attained’ the ‘distinction’ of becoming the supreme example of traitorous journalism. Amongst the Ministers of the Government of India, too, there is a group of some Ministers who have relations with arms dealers and with Pakistan and China, which group also wanted an end to the TSD and the rules made by General VK Singh. This newspaper and the editor of the newspaper seem to be a part of the Core Committee of this gang.
Some statistics are noteworthy. It was during the term of General VK Singh that the well known Mumbai 26/11 case occurred in which terrorists carried out a big terrorist ‘operation’ in the Taj Hotel. We will tell you about another incident of that time. Some sim cards cards were purchased in Kolkata. The Military Intelligence in Kolkata came to know that some people had purchased sim cards and somewhere in India some incident was going to take place using those sim cards. That information was given immediately to the then Intelligence Bureau of India Director and the National Security Advisor. Both of them did not act on the information at that time, even though the Army had even provided the numbers of the sim cards. When 26/11 happened and phone calls were intercepted, these were the same numbers which the Army had provided to the Director of the Intelligence Bureau and to the National Security Advisor.
And the biggest lapse, the biggest mistake which happened at that time – which is a matter of regret for the Indian Army even today – is that India has so many jammers, but during those 24 hours when the terrorist incident was unfolding at the Taj Hotel, communication was not blocked or jammed. If communications had been jammed, the terrorists would not have got directions from Pakistan, because they were not using satellite phones. Satellite phones can also be jammed, but it takes some time to block them. But communication going from towers in India through Indian sim cards can be jammed immediately. Why they were not jammed remains a mystery to this day. If they had been jammed the encounter would not have continued for such a long time.
Till the time General VK Singh remained the Chief of the Indian Army, the activities of the ISI were in control, because the ISI was afraid of the TSD. During General VK Singh’s time there was peace on our borders. Whether it was Pakistan’s soldiers or China’s soldiers, they did not attempt any violation, because they were in fear of General VK and the units he had set up. That is why as soon as General Singh VK retired, attempts were made to violate the ceasefire on our border. Terrorists began to be sent from across the border and the headless bodies of our soldiers began coming back from the border. On the China border, China began walking leisurely in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. There was no action from our Army’s side. No action could be taken unless a political decision was taken. But China had no fear at all, it knew that now the Indian Army will not strike because the TSD, which, before the Army could act officially, acted as a shield against advancing steps against our Army was now no more.
The work that China and Pakistan could not do on their own, they got done through the newspaper of Vivek Goenka, the heir of Ramnath Goenka whose values had been an ideal of Indian journalism. It is also being said that the editor of this newspaper along with other people had considerable interaction with the Home Minister of that time, behind all the things that happened, there were hints, indicators, leads from the Home Minister, the direct intervention of arms dealers and the hand of people working in the interest of Pakistan and China.
The way in which lies can be spread! An allegation was made against the the TSD that it could hear even the conversations of the Defence Minister of India. The TSD purchased instruments to record interceptions. The TSD gave money to topple the Jammu and Kashmir Government. First it was that there had been movement of Army units to pull down the Indian Government and now the baseless allegation that the Army had given rupees one crore 19 lakhs for toppling the Jammu and Kashmir Government. Neither the editor nor the reporter have any shame that something on reading which readers would feel revulsion at the newspaper and by just looking at it a report would seem superficial is actually a shameful incident for Indian journalism. And in support of this newspaper report published against the TSD, some Ministers from the previous Government stood up.
They did not feel ashamed that they were opposing that very Division of their own Army which had been working for the country’s defence. Neither did they feel ashamed that they are insulting the fearless, dare devil officers who take an oath to do anything anywhere in the country, and join the Army with the passionate emotion of being ready to lay down their life.
This is the outrageous story of the despicable nexus between arms dealers, intelligence agencies in China and Pakistan, and a newspaper which at some period of time was at the top of Indian journalism, a story that has now shamed Indian journalism. Almost all journalists believe this report is incorrect, but cannot muster up the courage within themselves to fiercely oppose the wrong reporting by this newspaper. Practically almost all the ‘big’ journalists said to me that this seems to be a situation which could shame us, but they don’t speak up because after all they too are journalists. This is the second face of the cowardice of Indian journalism.
It is a matter of regret that the report is not about corruption in the Indian Army. This newspaper has not published a report taking up internal events in the Army, it is not a story about a conflict of personalities. This report is a disclosure of the procedures adopted to protect the security of fearless, dare devil Indian Army officers and soldiers. This report is a part of a conspiracy to kill officers and soldiers of the Indian Army. Therefore, we strongly oppose this report in Shri Ramnath Goenka’s heir — Vivek Goenka’s — newspaper and we see it as the blackest report in Indian journalism.
If one wants to see how a person in becoming a hero of journalism is converted into the category of a hero of crime and how his personality gets transformed into that of a shameless person who supports corruption, then it can be seen by reading the English newspaper being run under the leadership of Ramnath Goenka’s heir, Vivek Goenka. This newspaper does not report against corruption but reports in favour of those who are corrupt. This newspaper describes those who fight corruption as ‘confused’ and makes a hero out of those who are corrupt. If you want to find a report in this newspaper against corruption, you will have to work hard to find it. But against those who are fighting corruption or raising their voice against it, this newspaper seems to be flexing its muscles. This is the dirtiest face of Indian journalism.

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