[Reader-list] Aditya Raj Kaul 'uncomfortable' in the presence of plain speech ?

Shuddhabrata Sengupta shuddha at sarai.net
Sat Mar 6 12:17:17 IST 2010

Dear All,

Thank you Sonia, for pointing out the obvious facts, which Aditya Raj  
Kaul seems to have missed out on. Yes, the video on the Times Now  
website, forwarded by Aditay Raj Kaul in the post titled 'Arundhati  
Roy 'uncomfortable' to condemn violence!' is totally misleading,  
partly because, as you pointed out, there was no Arundhati Roy in the  

Morover, neither Sumit Chakravarti, nor Dileep Simeon have ever said  
that they are sympathisers of the Maoists. In fact each one of them  
has at some time or the other made statements critical of the  
Maoists. What they have of course also done is that
they have refused to let their criticism of the Maoists get in the  
way of the fundamental critique they make of the Indian state and its  
clients in the course of the so called 'Operation Green Hunt'

The Indian state is engaged in a deeply violent armed campaign in  
support of the MOUs delivered to corporate interests in central  
India. If one the one hand we have Maoists, then, on the other, we  
have MOUists.

The MOUist campaign works through terror and intimidation, and is  
fuelled by naked greed. In the presence of such brute force, it is  
not at all unnatural that those who are subject to that force may  
often find themselves allied with others who are antagonists of that  
force. This simple fact demonstrates the presence of the Maoists in  
the so called 'red corridor'. If the state was serious about  
undercutting the Maoists, all that it would have to do is to stop  
acting as the protection mafia for mining and corporate interests in  
Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and the entire region, and the Maoists  
would be rendered as irrelevant as they were before a crop of MOUs  
were signed. Instead, they have burnt villages, acted as accessories  
to disappearance, rape and murder.

There is a fundamental distinction that needs to be kept in mind.

I pay taxes, many of us pay taxes, which fund the state, which, when  
it engages in the abuse of human rights and disregards its own laws,  
is basically abusing my money, your money, to set itself up as a  
criminal operation. I neither pay the Maoists any taxes, nor endorse  
or support them. They are not accountable to me, nor am I accountable  
to them. But the Indian state is accountable to me, and to all of us,  
because, basically, we pay for it.

Similarly, the money we spend on commodities is used to fund the  
advertising that pays for television channels like Times Now. In that  
sense, both the state, and the corporate media are accountable to all  
of us for everything that they do. I do not believe that my tax  
paying money being used to set up a protection racket and a pr  
exercise for extractive industries and to eject people from their  
forests is the right thing, and therefore, I will always be combative  
when the impunity and irresponsibility of the state and the corporate  
media is exposed. I have a right to criticise the state, and the  
media, on this account.

The same cannot be said insofar as the criticism of the Maoists is  
concerned. I am critical of the Maoists and their politics, and their  
methods, because of my political convictions. And being a critic of  
the state does not automatically turn one into a 'sympathiser' of the  
Maoists, as Arnab Goswami would have us believe. We should all refuse  
to be made subject to such false choices. Arnab, repeatedly, tries to  
insinuate that some of the intellectuals who have appeared on his  
programme refuse to let themselves be called 'symapthizers' because  
they have something to hide. In his book, one is either with the  
state on Green Hunt, or else, one automatically becomes a 'Maoist  
Sympathizer'. He either does not have the intelligence to realize  
that one can be critical, in different ways, to different ends, of  
the state and the Maoists, and that all resistance to the state is  
not necessarily coming from the Maoists alone.

In fact, twice, I have seen him refer to a 'letter' critical of the  
Maoists, signed by several intellectuals on the left, without  
bothering to mention, even though it was pointed out to him on his  
own programme by Saroj Giri, just the other day, that it was in fact  
equally critical of the state's actions. Times Now is proving to be  
so slippory that it should perhaps be called Slimes Now.

Nobody who is not a Maoist can be held responsible for what the  
Maoists do, simply because our resources are not being used by them.  
However, we are all implicated in the state's abuses, because they  
are a) done in our name, and b) done with our money.

How dare then, Arnab Goswami act as a front man for the mafia (the  
faction that controls the Indian state) that abuses our trust and our  
money to wreck havoc in parts of Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal,  
Orissa, Maharashtra and Bihar.

I think  its time we asked the question as to what makes Arnab  
Goswami, and others of his ilk, such open MOUists and 'sympathisers  
of state terror'.

Incidentally, the right urls for this travesty of television are -



And no, I did not see Arundhati Roy in this show, nor was she quoted  
with any precision in terms of what she, or anyone else for that  
matter is supposed to have said at the Press Conference. Is  Aditya  
Raj Kaul in need of help, in that he sees Ms. Roy in a television  
programme, even when she is not in the television programme.

And by the way, Arnab Goswami never looks uncomfortable. Maybe  
because he is way too comfortable for his own good.



On 06-Mar-10, at 11:14 AM, S. Jabbar wrote:

> I watched the video and it's totally misleading.
> Not one panelist called himself a Maoist sympathizer and Dilip  
> Simeon even
> points out to the misleading headline over all 3 panelists-- even  
> Praveen
> Swami of all people!!
> All 3 panelists condemned Maoist violence.  Sumit Chakravarty makes a
> distinction between tribals taking up arms and the Maoists, but  
> even he
> unequivocally condemns beheadings and summary executions.
> Arundhati Roy was absent in both videos.  Arnab Goswami makes a  
> reference to
> her discomfort in a press conference which we never see...
> Where was the embarrassment and where were the Maoist sympathizers?
> What a total waste of time and so typical of the hysteria that  
> Times Now
> tries to pass off as responsible journalism.
>> From: "A.K. Malik" <akmalik45 at yahoo.com>
>> Date: Fri, 5 Mar 2010 20:26:41 -0800 (PST)
>> To: Aditya Raj Kaul <kauladityaraj at gmail.com>
>> Cc: <reader-list at sarai.net>
>> Subject: Re: [Reader-list] Arundhati Roy 'uncomfortable' to  
>> condemn violence!
>> Dear Mr Kaul,
>                In the TV visuals the embarrassment was writ
>> large on the faces of the sympatizers. May be once taken sides,  
>> they seem to
>> be scared to go against the Maoists.Such people need more  
>> condemnation than
>> the ordinary mortals.
> Regards,
> --- On Fri, 3/5/10, Aditya Raj
>> Kaul <kauladityaraj at gmail.com> wrote:
>> From: Aditya Raj Kaul
>> <kauladityaraj at gmail.com>
>> Subject: [Reader-list] Arundhati Roy
>> 'uncomfortable' to condemn violence!
>> To: "sarai list"
>> <reader-list at sarai.net>
>> Date: Friday, March 5, 2010, 11:33 PM
>> *Debate:
>> Sympathisers looking
>> uncomfortable*
>> *Courtesy: Times Now*
>> Last
>> evening, Maoist terrorists shot a rape victim who went
>> to lodge a
>> complaint against them. They even murdered a poor factory
>> worker because
>> his
>> owner refused to pay a ramsom. Today, Maoists sympathizers
>> held a
>> press
>> conference in New Delhi against the government's 'Operation
>> Greenhunt', and
>> when confronted with direct questions on Maoist terror,
>> the
>> defence was weak
>> to say the least. They give unconvincing replies on
>> Maoist
>> violence.
>> TIMES NOW Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami debates the
>> issue
>> of ideology of the
>> Maoists and Maoist sympathisers avoiding pointed
>> questions
>> with Dilip
>> Simeon, Writer and Research Scholar; Praveen Swami,
>> Associate Editor, 'The
>> Hindu' and Sumit Chakravartty Editor, 'Mainstream'.
>> Link -
>> http://www.timesnow.tv/Debate-Sympathisers-looking-uncomfortable-1/ 
>> videoshow/4
>> 339945.cms
>> _________________________________________
>> reader-list: an open
>> discussion list on media and the
>> city.
>> Critiques & Collaborations
>> To
>> subscribe: send an email to reader-list-request at sarai.net
>> with subscribe in
>> the subject header.
>> To unsubscribe:
>> https://mail.sarai.net/mailman/listinfo/reader-list
>> List archive:
>> &lt;https://mail.sarai.net/pipermail/reader-list/>
> _________________________________________
> reader-list: an open discussion
>> list on media and the city.
> Critiques & Collaborations
> To subscribe: send an
>> email to reader-list-request at sarai.net with subscribe in the subject
>> header.
> To unsubscribe: https://mail.sarai.net/mailman/listinfo/reader-list
> List archive: &lt;https://mail.sarai.net/pipermail/reader-list/>
> _________________________________________
> reader-list: an open discussion list on media and the city.
> Critiques & Collaborations
> To subscribe: send an email to reader-list-request at sarai.net with  
> subscribe in the subject header.
> To unsubscribe: https://mail.sarai.net/mailman/listinfo/reader-list
> List archive: &lt;https://mail.sarai.net/pipermail/reader-list/>

Shuddhabrata Sengupta
The Sarai Programme at CSDS
Raqs Media Collective
shuddha at sarai.net

More information about the reader-list mailing list