The year was 1984. A suave and polished couple hailing from Kolkata decided to challenge the state’s monopoly over the news industry. Up until then, only Doordarshan was allowed the production of news content. Prannoy Roy and his wife, Radhika Roy decided to launch New Delhi Television (NDTV), as a contractor for Doordarshan. What did this mean? NDTV would produce news content, segments and reports which would be aired nationally by state broadcaster Doordarshan. Censorship was high. Nothing that NDTV produced was allowed to air without the approval of the ruling Congress regime and its stooges at Doordarshan.
NDTV launched itself as the first national 24×7 English news channel in partnership with Star India in 1998. Between 1998 and 2003, NDTV was in an exclusive agreement with Star India to produce all of its news segments. In 2003, it became an independent broadcasting network with the simultaneous launch of the Hindi and English language news channels known as NDTV India and NDTV 24×7.
This was when NDTV made a name for itself. It became the only electronic news provider that offered an alternative to the Indian public. Prannoy Roy’s ‘The World This Week’ was a super hit show. By all means, NDTV was the No. 1 news channel of India.
NDTV – The Laughing Stock of India
Being the only news network in India for a long period gave NDTV the unique opportunity to make powerful friends. The Congress party and NDTV came to be known as synonymous with each other. Even today, the channel has rather open proclivities in favour of the Grand Old Party. It runs on a liberal agenda, and as such, continuously finds itself at odds with Hindus – who are increasingly asserting themselves as a political and cultural bloc in India.
The propaganda channel makes it a point to appease Islamists while it goes out of its way to fight the Hindu cause. It is, therefore, unsurprising that the propaganda channel hides the names of Hindu victims of Islamist crimes. However, when the victims happen to be Muslims, even an ordinary crime is made out to be a manifestation of ‘Hindu fascism’.
NDTV shouted the names of Pehlu Khan and Mohammad Akhlaq at the top of its voice. When it came to reporting on the brutal murder of Harsha by Islamists in Karnataka’s Shivamogga, NDTV used the phrase ‘yuvak’ to describe the victim.
Recently, the propaganda channel’s Srinivasan Jain thought it fit to ridicule a young schoolgirl for supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Yogi Adityanath. The video of the young girl from Uttar Pradesh giving a befitting response to Sreenivasan Jain has gone viral. The girl first said that everything has been good for them ever since Modi became the Prime Minister. Upon being asked by Jain what good PM Modi has done, the girl said, “There is no shortage, farmers are getting assistance every month, rations are being given twice a month.”
Then, the NDTV anchor went on to sarcastically ask, “What will you do for a job? Do you have jobs here?” The girl shut him up, saying, “What if we do not have jobs here? We will go to Varanasi. We will find the jobs somewhere, and we will work”.
Another man in Uttar Pradesh, interviewed by Jain and his colleague said, “The government has given us food grains, salt, oil. But, even after receiving all these, if people do not vote for the BJP, then they are fools.”
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Such is the state of NDTV and its employees that anyone seen supporting the BJP is considered a lesser human – meant to be ridiculed and laughed at. This is what a news channel, which was once considered India’s No. 1, has been reduced to.
From giving out live locations of civilians during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, to more recently, providing a platform to the Taliban, to even giving out military locations to Pakistan during the Kargil war – NDTV has done it all. Today, nobody watches NDTV. It has become a joke, and rightfully so. Chances are, if you mention NDTV to an ordinary Indian today, they will laugh and chuckle at the mere mention of the name.