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Media coverage of global vision 2000 - Hindu Vivek Kendra

Hindu Vivek Kendra ()
18 August, 1993

Title: Media coverage of global vision 2000
Author: Hindu Vivek Kendra
Publication: Hindu Vivek Kendra
Date: 18 August, 1993

1. In line with their jaundiced outlook of the Sangh parivar, the
English media in India has once again resorted to untruths in
their coverage of Global Vision 2000 organised by Vishwa Hindu
Parishad. The manner in which this was done once again shows that
the plan is deliberate, and It seems that the badge of
secularism' forces the media to behave in an irrational manner
wherever Hinduism is being projected in its true glory. The
beginning was made by an attempt of the likes . of Shri Kuldip
Nayar, Smt Shabana Azmi and Swami Agnivesh to force Sonal
Mansingh to cancel her classical dance performance at one of the
cultural programmes organised at Global Vision 2000. That she
refused to the bullying by these 'worthy' people shows the
strength of her character.

2. The media tried to project that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad was
trying to use (its word is 'hijack') Swami Vivekanand to justify
what happened in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. It refused to
highlight that the programme was organised by Vishwa Hindu
Parishad of America, a completely independent body, and that the
work had started three years ago. The Sangh parivar does not need
the great Swami for such a mundane task. The justification has
already been provided by the Hindu samaj, in terms of its
reaction to the events of the day and the period following. As
Shri V S Naipaul has said in his interview in The Times of India
(July 18, 1993), "What is happening in India is a new historical
awakening.... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in
their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on.' But
every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down
he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this
response appears in his eyes to be threatening."

3. That there has been opposition to the programme has been well
highlighted. What is not is the way this has been done, by use of
government machinery and the so-called 'secular' bodies
consisting of people who have today become irrelevant. (Isn't it
strange that the same group is completely silent when it comes to
highlighting the tragedy of the Kashmiri Pandits?) However, the
success of the programme can be gauged by the fact that, in spite
of the virulent anti-propaganda, more than 5000 people attended
the full three day programme, and an additional 3000 attended the
main programme on August 7. The perverse reporting also spreads
to The Washington Post, who tried to put the figures in
'perspective' when it mentioned that there are 40,000 people
staying in the Washington area. The report does not define what
this area consists of, and does not say whether this 40,000
consists of toddlers, and does not project the same logic when it
calls 'tremendous' response to a baseball game, where a stadium
may house 50,000 people, against a command area population of

4. The media hag reported those who did not attend. For example,
it said that the Dalai Lama did not attend. What it does not say
is that the he was forced to cancel his attendance due to the
government pressure. What it also does not say is that his speech
was read out in full by his representative, who stayed for the
full three days. The media has reported that Shri L K Advani and
Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee did not attend. What it does not say is
that they stayed back because of the tense political situation
caused by the corruption issue. The media does not recognise many
of the people who did attend. For example, Sushil Muni (of the
Jain faith), many western scholars on Hinduism, etc., did not
receive any mention.

5. The Times of India in its editorial dated August 7, 1993, says
"The conference is also facing determined opposition from various
secular organisations run by Indians in the West". However, its
reporter, Shri Abhay Vaidya, is able to find only one name,
namely of one Shri Shashi Tharoor, who receives mention two
times, once in the August 3 issue and another in the August 9
issue.. In fact the latter issue says, "The only 'effective' (the
quotes are in the original) protest was by writer Shashi Tharoor.
ouch - the organisation for communal harmony which recently
fielded talks by Shabana Azmi and Farooq Shaikh - has preferred
to remain silent. At best, the protest will cause a ripple." Of
course, for Shri Vaidya it is not important that Shri Tharoor is
well known for his propagation of communism.

6. The 'ripple' of the protest by fifty people for one hour
seemed to be more newsworthy than the thousands of people who
attended for long stretch of time. The Washington Post thought it
fit not to put the 'protest' in the right perspective by failing
to mention the number of protesters. The Economic Times, Bombay
considered it necessary only to cover the 'protest' without
saying anything of the main event.

7. Shri Naipaul talks about the passion that the people of India
are exhibiting today. The English media is incapable of
understanding this, and is, therefore, amazed that a large number
of people are willing to come under the banner of Vishwa Hindu
Parishad of America. This comes out of a distorted picture that
it has been projecting of Indian nationalism all these years.

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