Tag: BJP

NDTV Nidhi Razdan – intolerant anchor?

When news anchors with a partisan agenda take things too far

Screenshot Nidhi Razdan

NDTV‘s known dislike for the Indian political party currently in power – the Bhartiya Janata Party, is known even to novice or occasional news watchers. Through firebrand anchors like Barkha Dutt, Shekhar Gupta, Nidhi Razdan and many others, the news channel works overtime as spin doctors, nitpicking everything the current dispensation does.

But the reason why Nidhi is able to stand out from the rest is her sheer shallow and incompetent role as an anchor. While Headlines Today had recruited and promoted ruthlessly biased, anti BJP anchors like Rajdeep Sardesai and Karan Thapar, the anchors were able to display at least a hint of professionalism, objectivity and neutrality by either granting the BJP representatives at least 10-15 seconds of uninterrupted air time (Karan allowed even more) or by asking, intelligently masked insinuating questions.Occasionally they even came up with somewhat brilliant comebacks to the responses by the BJP members. Similarly anti Trump CNN news anchors like Don Lemon, neither shout over, nor interrupt, nor reduce air time of the Trump supporters. Whenever they want to criticize the Government, they do so with some basis(factual or otherwise) and are never hesitant to allow the Government spokespersons to express themselves clearly. 

Nidhi is apparently unable to do so, not because she doesn’t want to but apparently because she can’t. Her whole concept of the requirement of being an anchor appears to be the  ability to express herself in limited English and her hair style, while at the same time constantly interrupting and badgering BJP spokespersons.After watching the show for numerous years, it is apparent to me, that appointing such a mediocre anchor for such an important show has been NDTV’s unfortunate mistake. The show in itself, appears to raise important issues, but is sunk like the Titanic every night Nidhi Razdan is at the helm.

Arnab Goswami has already murdered panel discussions and debates and Nidhi Razdan is closely following his footsteps. Arnab however, at least betrays some sense of intelligence in the few seconds that we are able to hear what’s going on. Herein lies the problem. People switch over to NDTV in the hope of being able to get away from the cacophony and expect to hear at least some words of intelligence. Some of us even want to use our own intelligence by being able to hear and judge for ourselves whether the person speaking is validating his arguments with facts. We don’t need an ill informed self gloated Nidhi Razdan, interrupting every word in the desperate hope of hogging all the air time. 

Nidhi joined NDTV in 1999 . Her claim to fame however appears to be her ” alleged” affair with former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah . It is alleged that this was the reason for Nidhi Razdan to divorce Neelesh Mishra in 2007. 

Her association as program anchor of Left Right and Center seems to have started in 2012, but this may need correction. The search for earliest videos of the program on NDTV website lists 2013 and 2014.

She has been awarded Teacher’s achievement award for communication(2011); Ramnath Goenka award for Excellence in Journalism for reporting from Jammu and Kashmir and North East India(2013);The Jammu and Kashmir State government award for excellence in journalism(2013) – No prizes for guessing how that happened.

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Right to Privacy- Who is really tracking me ?

Has our privacy already been “invaded”? Who is the invader?

Who is really spying on me?

The Right to Privacy is considered by some to be as important as the Right to Live. A nine judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of  India is contemplating it’s importance – as to whether the Right to Privacy is a fundamental right. In the past, 2 constitution bench of judges have ruled that Right to Privacy is not a fundamental right. Today’s ruling will have a bearing on the larger debate of the Government of India’s push to link Aadhar numbers   (numbers assigned to Indians based on their biometric and demographic data) with various services and schemes such a mobile numbers, filing of income tax returns (PAN) etc. But what’s the fuss about?

Big data is now big business. Without getting too technical, it is the process of collecting, storing and analyzing huge amounts of data (related to human behavior, processes, events etc.) to predict certain outcomes. It helps businesses beat competitions, prevent diseases, Governments frame policies and even help predict and identity potential frauds or terrorists. It’s also a brutal invasion of privacy. In the hands of the powerful, it has the potential to be an invaluable tool. But in order for it to do so, the agency needs data in the first place. This data collection can be done probably in 3 ways :

  •       With your knowledge and consent – You register your personal mobile number and address while applying for a credit card
  •       With your knowledge but without your consent – You are asked to provide your personal details while applying for a loan. You don’t want to provide them, but have to in order for the process to be completed.
  •       Without your knowledge and consent – This is a grey area and what is discussed in this blog. It’s a grey area, because the data collectors do intimate you that they are collecting your data, but in a surreptitious/ discreet manner.
Visualization created by IBM of daily Wikipedia edits . At multipleterabytes in size, the text and images of Wikipedia are an example of big data.Courtesy : Wikipedia/Author:Fernanda B.Viegas

Big data is said to have helped large organizations achieve outstanding results. As per information in the public domain :

  1. Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign was a success        largely on account of Big Data Analysis.
  2. Big Data analysis also gave the Bhartiya Janata Party an edge in winning the 2014 elections in India.
  3. The Indian Government is also said to utilize Big Data to understand the electorates’ response to it’s policies and modify them accordingly.

Various sectors worldwide rely on Big Data analysis such as manufacturing, healthcare, education, internet of yhings,technology, banking, real estate, sports, research and media. The point is , your “privacy” (depending on which aspects of your life and interactions you consider private) has apparently already been compromised. Here is a list of your very own personal potential “invaders”:


The Media it appears uses extensive data mining and personalized tracking not just for marketing and distribution but also for creating and shaping content. Since it is commerce driven, it appears to be one of the largest trackers of your personal information. These may include not just your address and email, but also your browsing habits, likes and dislikes as well. Imagine an artificial super intelligence, which is mapping your every move on the internet. What you click on, what time you logon to the internet, which articles you read, which movies you watch, which music you heard, which posts you liked. Your entire behavior is being mapped and then conveyed to strategists who target what kind of products you may buy based on your behavior.
What is interesting is that a lot of such trackers are apparently embedded along with news sites. Yes, the same news media channel which raises privacy concerns for you when the Government wants to link your PAN number with your AADHAR Card Number. So it appears that in all their hypocrisy, they will make you paranoid about letting the Government associate your bio-metric data with your financial details, but are happy to smugly siphon off your personal and most intimate details.

After installing anti tracking extensions and ad blockers on a few web browsers, here are some results : – READ THE REST OF THE BLOG HERE


Why MCD election results may effectively be Delhi’s Obituary

Why MCD election results may effectively be Delhi’s obituary

New Delhi, capital of India and a union territory has long remained an administrative conundrum. A complex web of authorities and constitutional posts have been created to run the city’s various departments each with responsibilities which often intertwine in a manner that the citizen can never really hold anyone truly and solely accountable for anything, be it essential civic services, law and order, traffic, medical facilities, education etc.

Such an administrative nightmare of multiple power centers not only creates apathy and confusion but also corruption, the hallmark of this great city’s work culture. Money is the only fuel and grease which runs the governmental machinery, something which Delhi’s elite have ready access to and which Delhi’s poor and neglected aspire to.

This reality is flawlessly reflected in the fact that only some areas like Lutyen’s Delhi being ultra modern with the best of amenities, while others remain loathsome with shoddy infrastructure and living conditions.But no one really cares. Ministers, Councillors and Government officials (Babus), who have access to plush air conditioned offices, lush greenery, clean roads, good schools, medical facilities, bribes and expensive gifts  and good life in general on a silver platter sponsored by the tax payer’s money find little incentive to change things.

The only time the tables are reversed to some extent are during elections when the politicians need Delhi’s large migrant and underprivileged populations to maintain the status quo. The standard operating procedure for the politicians and elite is to lure the common man with incentives, castles in the air and perhaps some goodies to get back to their normal manner of functioning.

However, the recent elections for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, also known locally as the Most Corrupt Department was potentially a turning point to change the state of affairs.The reason for this was the enormous stakes so many political parties had invested in it.A correct verdict by the people was crucial to stall the decay of Delhi.

The BJP wanted to show that the “Modi Wave” was alive and kicking, that even after having done a pathetic and shameless job of heading the MCD for the past 10 years, that people would still be hypnotized by the person of the Prime Minister and vote them to power again. To be fair to the Prime Minister, he had all the old existing MCD  candidates removed and introduced fresh faces. Further, the integrity and dedication of the Prime Minister and his team cannot be doubted. So the BJP had made out a case that since Prime Minister Narender Modi had just recently  come to the helm of affairs in the BJP, that things would be different. They sought the people’s vote under the pretext that while the BJP had done a shameful and pathetic job in running the MCD in the past 10 years, that they were now ready to improve their performance, especially in the light of Prime Minister Narender Modi’s vision. While people brought into this message and have indeed voted the BJP to majority, it is already evident that many in the BJP have already starting misinterpreting the people’s mandate.

Some in the BJP started saying that the victory meant that the people of Delhi actually endorsed the corrupt dysfunctional MCD of the past decade, while others attributed the victory to the campaigning by singer actor Manoj Tiwari, brought in the BJP to capture the purvanchali voters. Still others attributed this to the misgovernance by the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

If the above reasons for BJP’s victory are accepted, then the results are truly abysmal for Delhi’s future. For it would show that Delhi’s voters are so gullible that they failed to understand that the Chief Minister had no active role to play in the MCD’s functioning, or that they are easily swayed by a personality that can sing and dance or that they have accepted corruption and apathy as a way of life.

The Indian National Congress wanted to show that they were on their way to re-establish themselves. With 10 years of anti incumbency going against the BJP, their job at winning should have been fairly easy. However, the fact that they could not win shows their failure to put up a credible opposition and offer the voter a better alternative.

The Aam Aadmi Party,..Read the rest of the article here