The biggest political mystery in recent times is why the Indian mainstream media is so petrified of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and refuses to even speak ill of her for even a minute let alone go after her the way it does other politicians.
A look at 8 such instances…
1. Choppergate: In the AgustaWestland helicopter scam, a note presented in an Italian court described Sonia as the driving force behind the deal. Prosecutors alleged that her secretary Ahmed Patel received kickbacks.
Defence Minister AK Antony accepted that there was a scam and bribes had exchanged hands. And yet the media refused to take up this case and only mentioned Sonia’s name in passing.
Nitin Gadkari as BJP President and doesn’t hold any official post in the Government of India and yet the media hounded him for weeks over the Purti scandal.
The Congress President is the Chairperson of the UPA, the Chairperson the National Advisory Council and the power behind the Prime Minister’s chair. And yet for the media, she holds zero accountability.
2. Business insider allegations: In 2012, Business Insider claimed that Sonia was a dollar billionaire and one of the richest politicians in the world. Now if they are right, then Sonia has to be asked a lot of uncomfortable questions.
If they are wrong, then they probably should be sued, an easy matter because they are based in the US. Either way it’s a big story, but as usual TV channels were too scared to touch it.
3. Swamy’s many allegations: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy claimed that Sonia submitted a false affidavit to the Election Commission. He brought her name into the National Herald scam. He said that Sonia’s sisters were involved in the 2G scam.
Congress leader Digvijay Singh can come out with a wild allegation without proof each and every day and still make the headlines, but “Swamy on Sonia” is avoided like the plague.
4. Appointing Rahul as the successor: Do we live in a monarchy? How can the President of the party that won us Independence appoint her son as Vice President? And that too when the concerned son has no government experience!
While Congress leaders may keep quiet for a variety of factors, why didn’t the media question he move? Instead they celebrated and promoted him shamelessly. It was only when Rahul failed to win the masses did they start criticizing him.
5. Vadra’s name at airports: How the name of a “private citizen” can be put up for security exemption at airports all over India is one of the most shameful episodes in India’s history.
Again, this was given a royal ignore by media and Robert Vadra struts around the land like a VVIP politician.
6. Vadra’s scams: When there were murmurs of corruption allegations against Vadra, no-one thought of investigating it further. A few stray newspaper reports came out that was about it.
Then the media covered Arvind Kejriwal’s allegations of Vadra, but did in no way match the witch-hunt of Gadkari who was also targeted by the AAP leader.
7. Mystery illness: When it comes to BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, then each and everything about him can be covered 24X7 and he can be rubbished, demonized and attacked at will.
Modi’s personal life is public property. But Sonia’s personal life is a highly classified state secret.
You can’t ask about Sonia’s Income Tax returns. You can’t ask about her foreign trips. You can’t ask how much the state spends on guarding her son-in-law.
You can’t ask how her daughter occupies a government bungalow without having any official post.
And if she has a mystery illness, then it better stay a mystery, right?
8. UPA2 misrule: Sonia has been the most powerful person in the country for the last 10 years. UPA2 has been the worst government in the history of Independent India.
And yet this “most powerful person” has to be spared 24X7 and a State Chief Minister who has absolutely no say in national matters has to be attacked 24X7.
You sort out the logic of such a contradiction!
There is no doubt that when Sonia is unhappy, the Indian mainstream media goes into a major bout of depression.
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The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger. He blogs here.