ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Takeaway, Giveaway or Stowaway?

The coverage by Indian television channels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the us smacked of frenzied veneration and falling victim to snake-charming guile.

Amidst the melange of hard-boiled, in-your-face reporters, brassy sound bites, invisible boom microphone operators and breathless anchors, the one casualty in the coverage by the mainstream Indian broadcast media of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent US sojourn was that core principle of classic journalism – proportional objectivity and independence.

As high-profile editors donned the garb of rookie reporters in the bracing autumn air of New York and Washington, some sort of trance seemed to have animated otherwise reasonable journalists and commentators. There was no escaping the “Modi mania” – exemplified in such asinine news tags as “Namorica”, “Namoste America” and “Modison” – and the 18,000-strong Indian-American turnout at Madison Square Garden nearly burst into a “wave” like rapturous crowds at a football stadium.

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