Category Archives: Media

Brahminism defined – as austerity and fairness

This article is about definition and understanding origin of words such as Brahminical, Brahminism and Brahmanism – that are being used by political activists, lobbyists, and religious vehements while expressing their thoughts in media, academics and discusssions. Some typical examples of the context in which the words are used are also provided.

Brahminism is a term introduced by G. S. Faber (George Stanley Faber 1773-1854), an Anglican theologian and prolific author. The term is being used currently by Leftists, Christian activists, and intellectuals especially political analysts.

According to wictionary, Brahminism is the principles and religious practice of the Brahmins, aspects of Hinduism as practiced by the Brahmin caste of India. As an alternative definition, Brahminism is also termed as Vedic ritualism, contrasted with Shramana traditions. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, Brahmanism is the religion of ancient India that evolved out of Vedism. The name is taken due to the predominant position of its priestly class, the Brahmans, and from the increasing speculation about, and importance given to, Brahman, the supreme power. According to the Free Dictionary, Brahmanism is the social and religious system of orthodox Hindus, especially of the Brahmins. Brahmanism is distinguished from the classical Hinduism that succeeded it by the enhanced significance given in classical Hinduism to individual deities, such as ?iva and Vishnu, and to devotional worship (bhakti).

Interestingly, the word sramana is cited in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and Taittiriya Aranyaka (2-7-1) with the meaning of ‘tapas’ and ‘performer of austerities’ respectively. According to Buddhist commentaries, samana is someone who has pacified evil is called samaa.

An recent article in published in an anti Hindu website says – “Manu was not a Brahmin but he drew up the brahmanical code. When Brahmins find that power is slipping out of their hands, they patronize forces that can protect their interests. Kshatriya Manu had done that in an age gone by and a Shudra – officially an OBC – Modi is doing this job now”. In another article by Ashutosh Varshney, interprets arguments in favor of Hindu unity as “caste divisions within Hinduism and caste-based politics need to be minimised, for they undermine Hindu unity. The incorporation of lower castes into the Hindu family should be premised upon their Sanskritisation. The lower castes should follow the Brahminical model of Hinduism”. The mainstream weekly in an article analyzing the joining of Paswan to BJP alliance says “This step of the RSS and BJP has the potential to alter the basic Brahminical character and ethics of the BJP. But even then the RSS did not dither.” Abdur Razzak Molla, minister of land reforms during the CPM government who has now been expelled from the party, critizes the Left party of Bengal as ‘Brahminical character’. “There are no Dalit or Muslim leaders in any of the districts. Even in a place like Murshidabad with 60 percent Muslims, there is a Brahman secretary”. Asian correspondent published an article by Sunil Adam who describes Congress as supporting Brahmin domination and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) representing Brahminical counter-elite”.

The origin of the word Brahminism is Christian theology and it is used in negative sense in general. Brahmana is ordained for the benefit of all four Varnas and the entire world. In this context, there is a need for correcting the definition of Brahminism and avoid distortions. Based on the contents of Manusmrithi and other texts, a safer and saner definition of Brahminism is austerity and fairness.

An apology for an error

On its ‘India at 9’ programme last night (December 16, 2010) CNN-IBN had posted viewer feedback in course of its debate on whether lobbying should be legalised. This viewer feedback was wrongly attributed to Twitter accounts. We deeply regret the error and apologise for the same. We will take all steps to ensure that this is not repeated. Other viewer comments on the same subject have been posted at our website on this page.


I was watching the programme ‘Should Lobbying be Legalised’ a debate chaired and moderated by Rajdeep Sardesai in CNN-IBN’s website. The Programme was aired on 16/12/2010 and was available in the CNN-IBN website. Customarily in such programmes they run Twitter comments to reflect from social media supposedly to show what the public believe and say.  I was appalled to find that these comments were manipulated, i.e. ghost created and run by IBN’s own team, all those dubious comments seem to reflect the sentiments and to show and thrust the fact that people are for ‘LOBBYING’ and they support  ‘LEGALISING LOBBYING’. Please see and read the comments yourself from screenshots of the programme. On suspicion, I crossed checked the twitter handles that were shown in the programme and none were authentic or existing.

Burkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi exposed by Nira Radia tapes?

   Picture: Nira Radia,  Vir Sanghvi and Burkha Dutt

The Niira Radia episode raises questions about the boundary between legitimate news gathering, lobbying and influence peddling.

The publication of taped conversations between Niira Radia — a lobbyist for Mukesh Ambani and Ratan Tata with a keen interest in the allocation of ministerial portfolios — and editors, reporters, industrialists and politicians has shone a harsh and even unwelcome light on the web of connections which exist between the worlds of business, politics and journalism.

The transcripts — drawn from 104 phone conversations recorded between May and July 2009 when the Manmohan Singh government was in the process of beginning its second innings — also raise questions about the boundary between legitimate news gathering, lobbying and influence peddling. Even as the journalists involved have strongly defended their conduct, others in the media are divided with some believing the boundary was transgressed.

The transcripts were published last week by Open and Outlook magazines, which sourced them to audio recordings submitted recently to the Supreme Court by advocate Prashant Bhushan as part of a PIL on the 2G scam. The magazines claim the recordings were made by the Income Tax department as part of its ongoing surveillance of Ms Radia. The recordings are believed to be part of a wider set of phone taps, though who leaked this particular selection and why is not known.

Source:      The Hindu

Bias by The Hindu in supporting the Sedition

The Hindu newspaper has exhibited bias in the case of Arundhati Roys speech on J&K.

Arundhati Roy on Oct 21 had said in a conference “Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this.” BJP, the main opposition party of India had strongly opposed the statement and demanded strongest possible action against Roy. The law minister of the ruling Congress party was very unhappy over her comment.  He said “Arundhati’s remark over sovereignty of Jammu and Kashmir was unfortunate. Freedom of speech can not violate patriotic sentiments”. The law ministry also confirmed that a case of sedition can be initiated against the booker prize winner author and socialite [SamayLive].

The Hindu news paper came out strongly in support of Arundhati Roy. It advocated that the speech is within the purview of Freedom of Speech.  The news paper in its editorial deplored the demand for action against her.  It termed the angry reactions as zealous hyper-patriotic.  It considered the demand for sedition charges against her as outrageous. The newspaper called Section 124 (A) of the Indian Penal Code which could be invoked for exciting “disaffection” towards or bringing “hatred or contempt” against the government that carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment as an archaic section. It tried to justify her remarks by comparing her statements to that of the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. It advised central government to deny reports that it is considering pressing sedition charges against Roy and Geelani. It also advised courts to apply their mind and refuse to entertain any petition against her concluding such petitions as frivolous and vexatious.

The Hindu news paper makes an attempt to extend the scope of the Freedom of speech to include Roy’s speech simultaneously trying to undermine the sedition laws. In the process, it blames Indian government for the violence in Kashmir and repeats allegations of human right violations against Indian state.

The editorial is yet another example of inherent bias in The Hindu against Indian Nationalism.

via ‘Sedition’ versus free speech.

The Headley saga – Anti India bias by The Hindu

While analyzing the Headley episode,  The Hindu, prominent Indian news paper, exhibits anti Indian bias.  It views US with suspicion, blames Indian intellegence agencies but not Pakistan.  It still maintains that Pakistan involvement has insufficient evidence to believe. Excerpts from the last paragraph of the Editorial

But there is still no evidence to conclude that the Mumbai operation had official Pakistani sanction. The clearest thing that emerges from the Headley saga is that the American and Indian intelligence agencies had several opportunities to avert the Mumbai terror attacks. They missed them.

via The Hindu : Opinion / Editorial : The Headley saga.

Media fails to veil its bias at Sena rally



The Shiv Sena’s annual rally at Shivaji Park saw the English newspapers playing into the hands of Thackeray as they `roared’, `slammed’ and `passionately hit out’ to his tune.  A high decibel delivery from the ageing tiger has set the war drums beating again, reports GEETA SESHU reports in The Hoot.

The journalists had their own pet terminology, using words that actually revealed their inherent biases. Their use of language and descriptions also conspired to leave out or water down some of the more blunt utterances, and one wonders if this amounts to self-censorship of an unpleasant comment to ‘protect’ the Sena leader from any possible reaction.

Years ago, when the Sena was a stronger party than it is today, journalists discussed the importance of accurate reportage of the Sena leader’s speeches and press conferences. Often, journalists who were critical of the Shiv Sena or even a little more ‘objective’ in reporting the party, were shut up by their own colleagues at press conferences, before they could even ask inconvenient questions. Journalists tried to avoid using terms like ‘supremo’ that were routinely used to describe the Shiv Sena leader.

As the party’s fortunes waned, news reports on the party also achieved some semblance of distance. Clearly, as reportage of yesterday’s rally demonstrated, all it takes is a high-decibel roar from the ageing tiger, coupled with the promise of a cub-in-waiting for the beating of those war drums in print.

via The Hoot Story Page – media, press, subcontinent, media ethics, media watch, media research, media conflict, media gender, community radio, Unescos.