CPI(M) Polit Bureau member M.A. Baby during a debate on media and the RSS, in Kozhikode on Monday. | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

Newspapers accused of covering up objective information

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is influencing people’s minds by controlling media organisations through various means, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member M.A. Baby has said.

Opening a debate on ‘The Kerala agenda of the RSS and the media’ organised by Keluettan Centre for Study and Research here on Monday, he said the Sangh had its own media organisations for propagating its ideas. “It has also placed people who toe the Sangh line of thought in key positions of major media organisations. Efforts are being made to control the stakes in independent media organisations through capitalists who are close to the ruling regime,” Mr. Baby claimed.

Quoting former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower who coined the term “military-industrial complex” to denote the link between military and the defence industry, the CPI(M) leader said that we might have to add media also to this nexus. “Because in India, there is a strong bond between the finance capital, the ruling government with fascist characteristics, and the media,” Mr. Baby said.

He alleged that the RSS, which was the ideological fountainhead of the ruling regime, was apparently misusing the judiciary as well. “The police action against former Gujarat Director-General of Police R.B. Sreekumar and human rights activist-cum-journalist Teesta Setalvad was a prime example of its control over the judiciary,” Mr. Baby claimed.

Accusing major Malayalam newspapers of conveniently covering up certain objective information and highlighting only what suited their interests, he said that it was a violation of media ethics. “Progressive forces should remind these people about their duty to society,” Mr. Baby added. Journalists T.M. Harshan, and E. Saneesh, and academic K. Manju also spoke.

This article first appeared on thehindu.com