Thursday, June 29, 2006

NDTV Does it again!

They are just too good. They make other news channels' attempts a sensationalising (what with all the hidden cameras, animated reconstructions and all that) news very very mild with its sophisticated attempts.

On Tuesday Srinivasan Jain proudly announced that "LTTE has apologised for Rajiv's assassination and seeks to mend its relationship with India - exclusively on NDTV" and kept saying it for next half hour. I usually avoid watching news in close to bed time because my doctor has told me that it makes my blood pressure shoot up and might prove explosive. But this headlines caught my attention (I know I know I am the classic sucker that all these channels aspire to cater to to). Anyways NDTV's correspondent (name forgotten) was interviewing an aging Anton Balasingham (somewhere near London!). He said "As far as the event (Rajiv's Assassination), I would say it is a great tragedy, a monumental historical tragedy for which we deeply regret and we call upon India to be magnanimous....."

Back to Jain in the studio. He repeated that LTTE apologised for its act (???) and said the statement had cleared the air on who was responsible for the killing after more than a decade and half after the assassination! That was news to me I thought India had proved that LTTE was indeed responsible and had arrested and convicted as many as 27 people supposedly belonging to the banned outfit. Jain himself said this leading up to the next report that talked about sivarasan and Dhanu killing themselves in a Bangalore hideout (although pronounced as Dhanno by the reporter - Sholay hangover perhaps?).

Even more baffling was the next report that showed much thinner Jain himself (somewhere in Sri Lanka) after that historic press conference that LTTE leader Prabhakaran had called for. The report showed Prabhakaran regretting the assassination, in as many words. I understand Tamil so I know he didn't say "we did it" and his translator Mr. Balasingham certainly did not say it. Later though Jain came on screen and said again "LTTE apologises for Rajiv's killing." But not before commenting on what Prabhakaran was wearing at the press meet. What's with NDTV's obsession with what kind of outfit people they air are wearing?

Now don't mistake me for an LTTE sympathiser. I am not. What irks about this report is how the channel is trying to twist the statements to suit its TRP ratings! Oh BTW about LTTE seeking India's cooperation, Jain said "India" has said NO to any such thing. And they cut to the sound bite of this Anil Sharma, a Congressman and Rajiv Gandhi's close associate where he is saying very passionately LTTE doesn't deserve India's friendship. Now my question is who the hell is Anil Sharma? And since when did one individual who holds no office whatsoever in the government represent India?

You think I am over reacting? you see today's Hindu where another spokesperson of LTTE has said "We did not own up to killing"

What are we doing in the name of Journalism?

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