Shekhar Gupta is Possibly Eyeing a Bigger Honour!
Indian Journalists Love Clout, Not Objectivity
Swapan Dasgupta is no journalist in the true sense of the term. He has been a BJP puppet for which he was rewarded with the Padma Bhushan by the Narendra Modi government last year – for Literature and Education. There is no need for me to understand what his contributions were in those two chosen fields.
Mr Shekhar Gupta, who to me is a great pretender, was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2009 by the Congress Government. Time editor Fareed Zakaria won that the next year. It is safe to assume there was no politics with that award!
Prabhu Chawla and the Lalit Modi Link: Prabhu Chawla won the Padma Bhushan in 2003. It became known recently that he was among the many senior Indian journalists who think fugitive Lalit Modi was a victim, not a criminal. Mr Chawla is even said to have helped Mr Lalit Modi escape from India to England, facilitating his stay there.
Journalists always get drawn to money power and clout with the high and mighty. To imagine they are objective writers amounts to fooling ourselves.
Mr Shekhar Gupta is openly swinging towards the BJP government. He is perhaps aiming for the Bharat Ratna! Or the Padma Vibhushan! Incidentally, writing about late Indian President Dr Abdul Kalam, he emphasised that the latter was not a scientist, was not good in oratory with a tendency to repeat his platitudes and that he was a political President!
Operation Bluestar: Late Khushwant Singh, journalist and author, won the Padma Vibhushan in 2007. He was also awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1974 but returned it a decade later after Operation Bluestar, the Golden Temple raid that cost then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi her life.
Many other journalists have been decorated with the lesser of the Padma awards – Padma Shri. The winners include Burkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai and Vinod Dua, among others.
Unique Breed: Indian journalists are a unique breed – they are able to sense the pulse of the people and switch loyalties swiftly. Even an idiot can infer that today’s India is a land of brazen majoritarianism, more so after the BJP’s ascension to power.
Mr Swapan Dasgupta has consistently been acting as the BJP mouthpiece, defending every action of the Modi government without a whiff of embarrassment. I hardly see a semblance of balance in his pronouncements whenever he is on English news channels.
So I am amused at NDTV and Times Now calling Mr Dasgupta a journalist. His winning the Padma Bhushan must have given hope for Indian journalists clamouring for such honours by whichever means possible.
I think he should call himself a BJP spokesman, not a journalist.
G Joslin Vethakumar