(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
June 17, 2012
Media-Aided Gameplan to Target CPI(M)
THE UDF government in Kerala completed one year of its tenure in office in May 2012. At that juncture, the UDF was facing severe crisis. The Muslim League’s claim for ‘fifth ministership’ intensified the conflict within the Congress party. Many Congress leaders came openly against this and many of them publicly stated that such a move would obliterate the communal harmony in the state. Many UDF constituents also stood against the Congress. Further, deep crisis and inner fights had developed within some of the UDF partners also. The UDF was increasingly alienated from the people as a result of its anti-people policies. At such a time, the bye-election to Neyyattinkara assembly constituency was declared amidst building up of strong people’s opinion against the betrayal of R Selvaraj.
The unfortunate murder of T P Chandrasekharan took place at this point of time when the UDF government was absolutely alienated from the people. The subsequent incidents vividly prove that the UDF endeavored to overcome this crisis by making use of the murder with the help of corporate media. As a matter of fact, the UDF was blatantly using the heinous murder for its narrow political gains.
The CPI(M) condemned this murder and expressed its deep protest over this. The Party demanded that there has to be a diligent inquiry to find out the culprits. The CPI(M) also declared beyond any doubt that it had no connection with this murder as propagated by the enemies of the Party. But the UDF leadership deviously tried to overcome their political crisis by making use of the murder to blame the CPI(M). The union minister of state for home, Mullappally Ramachandran, immediately after the murder, put the blame of the killing on the CPI(M). The UDF also called for a state level hartal on May 5, the very next day.
Some of the statements issued by the UDF leadership immediately after the incident clearly show the fact that they were never concerned to save Chandrasekharan’s life. Ramachandran revealed to the media that he knew about the threat faced by Chandrasekharan and Chandrasekharan himself had told him about the threat. Even after his request for the police protection, the Oommen Chandy government denied the same which undeniably shows their criminal negligence. Later, the chief minister said that the police had offered protection and had also compelled Chandrasekharan to avail it. But, Chandrasekharan had refused to accept police protection. It is a normal procedure of the government that after deciding to give police protection, it generally issues the order of the police protection and the same order will be delivered to the concerned person. If the concerned party denies the protection, he has to submit a denial letter to the government. If the police offered protection and Chandrasekharan had refused to accept it, as the chief minister claims, then they have to show the government order and Chandrasekharan’s denial letter to prove it. As the government failed to produce such documents, it clearly proves the fact that such a pathetic murder could have been averted if the government had intervened in time. Hiding all such crucial facts, the UDF leadership is now shamelessly shedding crocodile tears.
Subsequently, a media-aided, calculated gameplan was executed to accuse the CPI(M) of the murder so as to overcome the severe political crisis engulfing the UDF. The corporate media heinously endeavored to accuse the CPI(M) by deliberately manufacturing erroneous reports and fabricated stories under the pretext of official police reports and facts revealed from the ‘investigative journalism’. Numerous, self-contradictory and fictitious stories were reported time and again. Sections of media were very keen to propagate right from the initial day, without the backing of any evidence, that the murder was executed by a team from Kannur. Such media consciously propagated various fabricated tales to substantiate such propaganda. It was the CPI(M) activists who had informed about the Innova car allegedly used by the killers found at Chokli in Kannur. By hiding this fact, such media has established the fact that it was targeting the CPI(M) with sheer prejudice.
In the beginning, the media propaganda was that the owner of the car Naveen Das was a CPI(M) sympathiser. The TV channels saturation coverage of this story as ‘breaking news’ for many days was followed by the print media’s reiteration of the same erroneous story. Later, it was proved that the owner of the car had nothing to do with the CPI(M). On the other hand, he was confirmed to be a Congressman. In spite of such exposed facts, these media outfits were not prepared to admit and rectify the erroneous reporting targeting the CPI(M). The Mathrubhumi daily, which claims to be working day and night to book the culprits of the murder, published a box-news item in its front page on May 6 titled ‘Who made that phone call’. The report said that just prior to the murder of Chandrasekharan, he had received a phone call informing him about a motor vehicle accident near the Vallikkadu League House and requesting him to reach the spot. The report further stated ‘authentically’ that the police got clear information about the person who made the call. The very next day, the same newspaper made an astonishing U-turn and simply negated the news which it had published as ‘authentically’ and thus reported that the information that Chandrasekharan was taken to Vallikkadu on the basis of a telephone call was untrue. The last phone call received by Chandrasekharan was from a sympathiser of his own party, the RMP, and the story of the phone call got vanished and thus the media reported by quoting the police that the call was for talking about certain local issues. Hence in the initial days itself, the real face of the Mathrubhumi investigation was exposed but the police still moves on the basis of the fabricated stories manufactured by the media.
Another daily, the Madhyamam reported on May 6 that the conspiracy took place at Valayam and two CPI(M) area committees were involved in the conspiracy. In order to substantiate the ‘report’, it had further quoted the police to say that the Onchiyam area secretary and his family fled frm their house. It was proved that Onchiyam area secretary C H Asokan had gone to attend the NGO union conference and thus that fictitious story also collapsed.
The media propagated another story that the conspiracy was hatched in a marriage hall at Valayam. TV channels kept up ‘breaking news’ saying that CPI(M) activists were caught by the police at Nadapuram for the conspiracy. After some time, they were released. But the same media simply ignored the news of release. The same media again propagated that certain sympathisers of the Party were arrested at Valayam in the murder case. In fact, those persons were at the workplace while the TV channels kept beaming ‘flash news’ of their arrest! The media has never bothered to express regret and rectify its mistakes by which innocent people are being denigrated with fabricated stories. News has come out that a RSS activist was arrested in connection with the murder. Immediately after that, the media has no hesitation to propagate that the CPI(M) had planned the murder by using people from different political parties!
Immediately after the murder, the media broadcast another tale of conspiracy saying that a telephone call from Vallikkadu was traced to the signal tower area near the Kannur central jail and thus propagated that the conspiracy was hatched at Kannur central jail. Again the media propagated that the conspiracy was hatched in a bar at Mahe in the presence of the Party leaders. All these vividly prove the fact that from the time of the murder, the media was eagerly propagating numerous tales according to their whims and fancies. All these media outfits were united to target the CPI(M) and went to great lengths to put the blame on the Party in the murder case.
The Madhyamam daily on May 10 reported about certain suspicious circumstances that may have led to the murder because of the enmity developed between Chandrashekaran and an industrialist. It was under the leadership of Chandrasekharan a movement resisted setting up of Azhioor aquamarine project, drinking water bottling plant etc. In fact, it is this possibility that CPI(M) area secretary C H Asokan pointed out in his bail application submitted before the high court. To be precise it is not a new issue as propagated that the CPI(M) has discovered, rather this doubt has come up much before.
The media initially quoting police sources reported that Rafeeque is the main culprit. Many stories were spread about Rafeeque at that time. It was reported that Rafeeque had involvement in many cases where CPI(M) was accused. Many media outfits, including the Malayala Manorama declared on May 7 that Rafeeque was a sympathiser of the CPI(M). It was further reported that Rafeeque’s fingerprints were found on the Innova car used by the killers. Subsequently, it was proved that Rafeeque had no connection with the CPI(M) and the media all on a sudden took away the face of cruelty from Rafeeque. The same media propagated that he was told to arrange the Innova car for a tour programme and accordingly he had arranged the car and authentically propagated that he had left abroad. After some days, he appeared at the Vadakara court and the police got him out of the court.
Under the pretext of quoting the police sources about statements of those arrested, the media has spread numerous stories targeting the CPI(M). But those arrested later told that the real statements they gave to the police and the media reports about them were entirely different. In fact, it was a stage-managed plot to target the CPI(M) by slaughtering the truth. The Goebbelisian tactic of repeating a lie till in the popular perception it comes to be identified as the truth has been heinously used to tarnish the CPI(M) in Kerala. Media outfits consciously neglected those reports that did not suit their aim of tarnishing the CPI(M). So conscious are they about their aim can be seen from the following. The news regarding the differences among the investigation team, about some police officer’s opposition on the direction to arrest certain leaders of the Party was aired by a news channel. After some time, the same news was withdrawn by the channel due to pressure from certain quarters.
Because of space constraints, more such instances are not being cited here. On the factual examination and scrutiny of these so-called news, one can easily come up with the conclusion that the revelations of the media on the basis of their authentic investigation was sheer nonsense and consciously fabricated. These media were consciously fabricating fictitious stories, by the hour and by the day, to target the CPI(M). The next day the same media would abandon their own story and again come up with a new story to tarnish the CPI(M). One can easily understand this dubious manner of the media in Kerala while analysing the news reports being published.