An unguided reader

What is sad about Indian mainstream media is its uncritical adoption of neo-liberal idiom



Pakistan born Trotskyist  historian Tariq Ali called South American region an “axis of hope” after its “pink tide” revolution. I developed interest in the politics of the region since. Earlier I have read about Che Guevara and Fidel Castro and Liberation theology going along with the lives of Bhagat Singh, Roxa Luxemberg, Franz Fanon, Antonio Gramsci, Jean Paul Sartre, Ali Shariyati, Eqbal Ahmad and so on. The latest entry to my pantheon of heroes is Hugo Chavez. I like his combative approach, daring American neocolonialism, sliding with Iran and Palestine, called war-monger George Bush “an alcoholic who had a lot of hang-ups”.
 Before his third election to the presidency on 7th October 2012 I followed his election trail through foreign  media. The New York Times reports relentlessly spoke of  “decline and degradation” of Venezuelan State. The editor and the columnist  Paul Krugman never stops mauling right wing neo-liberal policies of GOP. His columns  and editorials clamour for government spending, providing jobs, increasing and improving tax base and providing health insurance to those who fail to afford it. But here The NYT had thrown caution to the winds and decided to side with the corporate media. Then Chavez’s closely supervised election deflated the hype. On 13th and 14th of December while flitting through the papers I stumbled upon the turf where media is fighting its ideological and economic battles rather than informing the readers. What of Chavezismo? On the 15th of December The Indian Express editorial mirrored corporate media’s disdain for the ailing  leader.
       Scribes and media practitioners  take extreme positions. What Indian Express wrote was appalling.
          `Venezuela stands on the cusp of  political instability as its president Hugo Chavez continues to battle cancer' says Indian Express editorial.
       `and there is rock solid base of Chavista support that will take decades to erode. Chavez also leaves a competent team of ministers at the top. Most of whom have been running the country quite happily in recent years…”
 See the extreme positions. A distant reader unsuspecting will be left confounded.
“…….Chavez defeated the more moderate Henrique Capriles in October, Capriles fought hard and is popular enough to defeat any other candidate of Chavez’s United Socialist Party according to the opinion polls” Indian Express writes in its editorial.
 This is desktop intellectualism and discredited politics at its lowest. You wish to set on a globe trot and see the things yourself. A fair, level-headed appraisal of the man Hugo Chavez and his legacy is yet to be scribbled.
       While Richard Gott’s column was an unthinking acclaim, Indian Express editorial was deployment of global corporate media narrative. What is sad about Indian mainstream media   is its uncritical adoption of neo-liberal idiom.

(The writer works in the Department of Fisheries and can be mailed at    

Lastupdate on : Mon, 31 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 31 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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