NDTV seems to be adopting new methods of “manufacturing news”. The most recent example of how the news channel has completely misquoted Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the Telangana issue, is a classic example of how NDTV “manufactures” news to suit its agenda.
On October 5th, NDTV’s corresspondent Srinivasan Jain had interviewed Union Minister Pranab Mukherjee for a show “Truth Vs Hype”. Jain had asked several questions as a part of this interview of which 2 were related to the Telangana statehood issue.
In spite of a very clear and detailed reply from Pranab on the Telangana issue, NDTV deliberately mis-quoted the senior minister. And when Pranab clarified to media persons that he had never said those words on NDTV, the channel, instead of correcting its news report, stooped further and telecast another story to portray that Pranab has “flip-flopped” on the Telangana issue.
We at Mission Telangana thought that this kind of deliberate mis-reporting should not be excused. So, here are the facts behind NDTV’s story.
Here is the link to the NDTV’s original story:
And here is the transcript of that interview:
“The UPA’s lead fire fighter and crisis manager Pranab Mukherjee admitted that Telangana separate statehood could bring more problems. In an exclusive interview to NDTV’s show “Truth Vs Hype”, he has said that given that it is a highly emotive issue, it is hard to give a time frame”
Sreenivasan Jain: Now the groups that are asking for a separate Telangana, which include members from all political parties,
Pranab Mukherjee: Their party differences have been blurred…it is regional differences now.
Sreenivasan Jain: So, those (Telangana) groups believe that the Congress is reneging on a public commitment that was made by the Home Minister, Saying that there will be a separate Telangana state. They believe thats a betrayal.
Pranab Mukherjee: No, its not. Question is its always there has been some sort of…because the problem is so complex….that’s why from last 50 years it has not been resolved. The problem arose from the First SRC, there-after there has been Gentleman’s agreement, there has been six-point formula, there has been mulki rules, there have been developmental issues, and after all, in a larger context, if you look at, many more problems in future will come. Because formation of the Indian states, there was no pattern.
Even in the contemporary history of say last 4-5 years…400-500 years, there was no pattern, how the states are formed.
When the country became independent, whole south of Vindhyas were divided into two presidency provinces – Bombay Presidency and Madras Presidency. There was no state like Rajasthan during the British days. And when the country became independent. It was called Rajputana. Conglomeration of large number of princely states.
So how these states have been formed over the years, is an interesting subject for study. And it has its problems.
Sreenivasan Jain: Mr. Mukherjee, the concern is, the longer you delay, there could once again be violence, and violence or the fear of violence has what has led you to last time (many believe) to act under pressure. Are you fearing a repeat of that, this time around as well?
Pranab Mukherjee: No, violence, fear and apprehension of the violence is there. Thats why we are appealing that come what may, try to avoid the violence and mass-frenzy sometimes creates a situation, where to control situation and maintain law and order becomes difficult. So we should try to avoid. Everybody. after all violence does not help everybody.
Any person, who can understand simple English would know what Pranab Mukherjee was trying to convey to Srinivasan Jain. The senior Congress man was trying to explain the NDTV correspondent that several remedies were tried to solve the Telangana problem in the past, and there is no pattern to forming new states in India, and that several new states have come up after India became independent and that there have been problems because of not having a pattern in state formation, and that Indian state formation process has its problems.
No where did he say that Telangana state formation would lead to new state demands or new problems. But yet, NDTV went on repeating the story with sub-titles and commentary which read
- “No easy solution”
- “Telangana separate statehood could bring more problems”
- “Easy solution not possible”
- “It is hard to give a time-frame”
If you read the transcript carefully, you would realize that none of these words were actually spoken by Pranab.
Because of NDTV’s mis-reporting, other national and regional news papers added some more masala to the whole story. Some newspapers wrote that Pranab had indicated that conceding Telangana would open a pandora’s box (sic).
Prominent Telugu daily Eenadu, which is known for its anti-Telangana stand, made a banner story out of those mis-reported NDTV story.
(click on the image to see full-size)
A day after every media house made merry by writing stories over the mis-reported NDTV story, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee issued a clarification that he never said that Telangana statehood issue would provide fillip to other statehood movements.
And NDTV, instead of correcting its earlier mistake, shamelessly telecast another story saying that Pranab Mukherjee has flip-flopped on the Telangana issue.
NDTV folks have shown only a few carefully edited words from the original interview to make the viewers believe their blatant lie.
We at Mission Telangana severely condemn these cheap tricks from NDTV. We suspect that certain vested interests are at play behind this wilful distortion of facts.
We would also like to caution the NDTV folks that Telangana region has a population of almost 4 crores and the people of this region would not tolerate any attempts by media houses to deliberately show the statehood movement in poor light.