In an extremely bizarre development, the nationalist government under Narendra Modi has appointed Vinod K Jose as a member of the Press Council of India. Vinod K Jose is the controversial editor of much tainted The Caravan magazine.
PCI appoints Vinod K Jose as a member
In a Press Council of India’s gazette notification dated 7th October 2021, the organisation officially announced the appointment of twenty-two new members for the 14th term. The new office-bearers will hold their post for 3 years unless they are removed, or they decide to resign. The new members include renowned journalists like Sri Ankur Dua from Chandigarh, famous writer Dr Baldev Raj Gupta, Sri Prakash Dubey, the convener and Group editor of Dainik Bhaskar.
Netizens slam government
However, the presence of Vinod K Jose in the same list as that of the above-mentioned ones did not go unnoticed by the alarmed netizens. People were quick to outline the anti-Hindu and anti-Modi history of the editor and questioned the government about his appointment.
An IAS and author Sanjay Dixit accused the BJP government of ignoring the nationalist and pro-Hindu voices. He further accused the party of playing appeasement politics by appealing to anti-national voices.
Did any1 notice Press Council of India members’ nominations? Straight from Ripley’s ‘Believe It or Not’! At no, 6, Vinod Jose of The Caravan! Looks like someone in @BJP4India feels that nationalists and pro-Hindu voices do not matter, but every enemy of nation is to be appeased! pic.twitter.com/oUh0fseOsZ
— Sanjay Dixit ಸಂಜಯ್ ದೀಕ್ಷಿತ್ संजय दीक्षित (@Sanjay_Dixit) October 12, 2021
Another user @nitthoo17 reminded everyone about the mistakes done by the Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and wrote how his placating policies were not able to win the hearts.
This tendency to placate did not help ABV in 2004. Sita Ram Goyalji is right in critiquing that RW parties do not learn and it is true even today.
My view is presence of SM, it's further evolution is what saved the day in 2019.
— Left of right & Right of left (@nitthoo17) October 12, 2021
A user Vishnu Soni castigated BJP for not listening to its core base, despite getting more than 300 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. He also advocated for Yogi to take charge of national politics.
— Vishnu Soni (TV Journalist) No Jail Can Muzzle me (@vishnuksoni) October 12, 2021
One user, Lokesh Gupta used satire to criticize this appointment and accused the government of taking traitors onboard its theme of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikash.’
Sabka sath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas
Gaddaaron ka bhi…
— Lokesh gupta 'MasterStrokewadi' (@guptlokesh) October 12, 2021
Jose’s history of anti-India journalism
Vinod K Jose is a well-known sympathiser of Indian anti-national forces acting both inside and outside the country. In 2005, he was questioned by the Crime Branch in New Delhi, about the articles he had written about the DU professor, Syed Abdul Rahman Geelani. Geelani was one of the main accused in the Indian Parliamentary attack in 2001. However, his biggest fame came after he interviewed the chief accused Afzal Guru which has been translated into multiple languages including Italian. He had also advocated for the clemency of Afzal Guru.
Caravan – The perfect magazine for Jose to carry out his agendas
He joined the Caravan in 2009 and is currently holding the editor position in the magazine. His tainted legacy continued in the Caravan as well and the magazine has been facing multiple lawsuits for its tainted and rabid journalism over the years.
Deep-necked in Hinduphobia, the magazine did not even spare the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the nation. The Pulwama attack, which killed 40 CRPF personnel, was treated by the magazine as an opportunity for cast-based analysis. The people working under Jose felt absolutely no shame in dialling the phone numbers of the relatives of the martyred personnel and asking their caste. Allegedly, the caste-based analysis was done by the magazine to deviate the nation’s attention from Pakistan’s involvement in the attack.
- The magazine’s official Twitter account was withheld by Twitter India for a while as it had spread fake news about the death of protestors on republic day. An FIR was filed against the magazine which led to the withholding of the account.
- Similarly, the 2020 Delhi riots in which Muslim mobs constantly attacked Hindus and killed various people based only on their religion were given an anti-Muslim twist by the magazine.
- The Muslim appeasement by the magazine went so far that they tried to provide an intellectual cover for the Tablighi Jamat members who were deliberately becoming the super spreader of the covid-19 virus.
- The magazine has run various propagandas on key officials including Ajit Doval of the current central government.
The appointment of a man, who has 2 decades of anti-Hindu and anti-Indian history behind him, at the Press watchdog is appalling and astounding, to say the least. The government is seen as not caring about the people who are constantly engaged in protecting the sovereignty and integrity of the nation. Rather, the appointment may be seen by few as rewarding anti-national elements for their propaganda. The government may view it as an inclusive policy, but it’s a classic case of appointing an arsonist at the position of firefighter.