Communist bashing in Indian media 1

By cheaply twisting facts, media makes headlines to bash the Left Parties

After spectacularly winning 13 out of 17 Zilla Parishads, CPM and it’s partners woke up to see the following headline in the Indian Express, “Not just Singur and Nandigram, CPM gets battered across rural West Bengal”. Some sections of the media have kept up the tempo to manufacture a feel that the Left Front is loosing its grip in West Bengal. Referring to the same election two months later, Economic Times mentions, “Civic poll results are not at all encouraging for the Marxists in the wake of their dismal show [emphasis mine] in the recently held May panchayat elections” (ET, 3 July 2008). The same article goes on to talk about the “Anti-CPM Wave” that became imminent in the Panchayat polls!

It’s well known that media does manufacture news…but to twist a thumping victory as a dismal show is (to put it mildly,) regrettable. I am someone who feels that CPM has not done all too well in West Bengal and that some electoral competition in the state will do it a lot of good. But I’d hate to see such a change manufactured by partisan media. Unless change comes through genuine democratic pressure, electoral competition will be of little use to the State and its people.

Ps. This post was written a day after the Left suffered serious losses in Municipal elections.

About Vivek Srinivasan

I work with the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford University. Before this, I worked with the Right to Food Campaign and other rights based campaigns in India. To learn more, click here.

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One thought on “Communist bashing in Indian media

  • Arjun

    dear vivek, this is not the first time that this has happened. it happens everytime towards the end of a term of office for the state government. remember in 2001, after the panskura violence and lok sabha byelections in which gurudas dasgupta lost – the same scenario existed in the calcutta papers. in fact, mamata banerjee had started planning her cabinet before the counting had started so sure she was of her victory!