Godi Media, what was wrong in hoisting the Nishan Saheb on Red Fort?

Markandey Katju

Markandey Katju

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Facts were deliberately suppressed/distorted by our ‘Godi’ media

Donald Trump may not have been right in calling the American media as the enemy of the people, but one would not be far off the mark in branding most of the Indian media as enemies of the Indian people, considering its recent record.

Lying, fake news, spreading communal hatred, jingoism, and shameless sycophancy of the ruling party are the main characteristics of our largely sold out media.

mediaThe latest example of its spin and distortion was about the hoisting of a Sikh flag on Red Fort by the agitating farmers on Republic Day.

Such a fuss, hullabaloo and brouhaha was created over this ‘anti national’ act and ‘insult’ to our national flag that one wondered why heavens did not fall.

In my opinion this was just a trifle whose import has been exaggerated and distorted, as if it was the work of anti national belligerents.

When the truth is that it was the work of angry, emotionally charged and overwrought youth who had been shivering in the cold for over 60 days at the Delhi border, frustrated by the seemingly endless and deadlocked talks between their leaders and the government.

Was hoisting of a Sikh flag on the Red Fort such a great anti national act, or was it the misdeeds of our political leaders over decades which have brought the nation into the terrible crisis it is in today (see my article ‘Why I will not celebrate Republic Day‘)?

It pales into insignificance compared to the misdeeds done by our political leaders for decades which have brought the country to the verge of disaster and ruin, but to which our media largely turns a Nelson’s eye.

The flag hoisted on the Red Fort by the farmers was not the Khalistani flag but the Nishan Saheb, which is the Sikh flag found on every Gurdwara in the country.

Also, the national flag was not removed but the Nishan Saheb was hoisted on another mast on Red Fort.

These facts were deliberately suppressed/distorted by our ‘Godi’ media, which got a handle to shamelessly defame the farmers movement, and portray it as being led by anti nationals and terrorists.


And what was wrong in hoisting the Nishan Saheb on Red Fort?

Though all farmers in India are supporting the farmers agitation, the truth is that the leadership is in fact being given by our brave Sikhs, who undaunted by all odds, unflinching in their determination and resolution, and unperturbed by all the Goebbelsian propaganda against them, seeking to brand them as Khalistanis, Pakistanis, maoists, and anti nationals, have for over two months withstood the travails of the cold weather and other difficulties, and suffered all hardships without complaint.

So what is wrong in them claiming the credit?

The Indian farmers cannot be befooled by the government, which has been taken over by the corporates. The government’s attempt to drag on the talks so that the agitation fizzles out (like Anna Hazare’s movement), and its Goebbelsian propaganda to defame and brand the agitation as the work of Khalistanis, Pakistanis, maoists, tukde tukde gang etc, has deceived no one and come to naught.

Today’s Indian farmers are not like their forefathers earlier, who were mostly illiterate, politically unconscious peasants, like those depicted in Premchand’s famous novel ‘Godaan’.

Today’s farmers are largely educated, and aware of what is going on in politics and society.

Some people complain of the illegal acts done by the agitating farmers on 26th January like breaching the police barricades.

But in such a massive movement such incidents are bound to occur, and the movement itself cannot be condemned for this reason. I have mentioned in my article ‘The historical significance of the farmers agitation‘ that the ongoing Indian farmers movement is historical.

As said by a great Asian leader, such a movement is not like ” a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery. It cannot be so leisurely or gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained or magnanimous “.

The criticism of the acts of the farmers on Republic Day is therefore empty twaddle and fiiddlesticks.

Also Read: It was a disaster waiting to happen


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Markandey Katju

Markandey Katju

Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India.

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