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Contents: 1. The Indian media -- Its adverse role 2. The Indian media – Why it is partial 3. The Indian media -- Countering the propaganda unleashed 4. ‘VivekaJyoti’ – Its purpose 5. ‘VivekaJyoti’ – Its genesis 6. ‘VivekaJyoti’ – Its contents & statistics 7. ‘VivekaJyoti’ – Its propagation
* Appendix -- 1 Appendix -- 2 * *
=================================================================== The Indian media is playing a very adverse and prejudiced role, when it comes to the reporting of the Hindu point of view. This situation is agonizing to many and confusing to many more, since they would not get a true picture of what is going on in the country because of the prejudice of the media. The propaganda unleashed by the Indian media can be countered by supplementing the existing media channels and using Internet as a tool to spread truth. With this in mind ‘VivekaJyoti’ blog was conceived four years ago and it wants to do its bit to correct this situation. The purpose of ‘VivekaJyoti’ is to inform friends and well-wishers of the Hindu Dharma and the society about the happenings in India and elsewhere, in the prevailing “secular”, atmosphere, where the Hindu Dharma is passing through an ordeal. Whenever a posting is made on ‘VivekaJyoti’, it automatically gets linked to ‘Sarve Samachar’, the first Hindu News portal, where ‘VivekaJyoti’ presently reads 93,552, indexed 1953 posts, and 47 readers per story. The editor is thankful to the authorities of ‘Sarve Samachar’ for their encouragement and support in the propagation of the VivekaJyoti blog. The recent review of ‘Sarve Samachar’ is indicative of the popularity and usefulness of ‘VivekaJyoti’. Let the review speak: “The ‘VivekaJyoti’ blog was started in January of 2005 as a means of reporting facts and opinions related to the arrest of Sri Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati of the Kanchi Mutt. Over the past four years there have been more than 2,000 posts made and more than 240,000 visits to the site. Since then, it has proven to be an extremely valuable source of the latest opinions and news to members of the global Hindu activist community by surfacing and publicizing issues that are important to the future of Hinduism yet rarely covered by mainstream media. We look forward to its continued success!” ===================================================================
1. The Indian media -- Its adverse role: There are many people in India who strongly feel that the so-called ‘secular’ print and electronic media, at least a dominant section among them, knowingly or unknowingly, is playing a very adverse and prejudiced role, when it comes to the reporting of the Hindu point of view. Suppressing or misrepresenting tactics are being liberally used along with admonitions and ridicules of the Hindus, ‘Hindutva’, and the Hindu Dharma. At the same time, this secular section appears to support the anti-Hindu forces in the country, which are active with their alien and subversive ideologies. In essence, it has come to mean that ‘secularism’ is nothing but opposition to Hindus, Hindustan, Hindutva and the Hindu Dharma. This is quite ridiculous in a country that is predominantly Hindu in its composition and character. This situation is agonizing to many and confusing to many more, since they would not get a true picture of what is going on in the country because of the prejudice of the media. ‘VivekaJyoti’, wants to do its bit to correct this situation. It has been trying and would also try in future, to throw light on those issues which get twisted or misrepresented by the ‘secular’ media. It is the considered view of ‘VivekaJyoti’ that in Bharat, a country with more than eighty percent of Hindu population and a hoary Hindu history, the true nationalism is undoubtedly ‘Hindutva’ and any neglect, denouncement or ridiculing of it is improper, unjust and ridiculous. The country would be truly free when ‘Hindutva’ gains its due respect, not ridicule as at present. Of course, this would be just a beginning of the country’s resurgence. Other larger issues are to be attended too. Various social injustices weakening the society, serious distortions in the field of socio-economic development, a chaotic situation in the political and administrative system and devitalized cultural and religious life—also are causes of concern, inviting correction. ‘VivekaJyoti’ would always try to focus the attention of its readers on these issues and goad them to do their bit in the service of the Motherland. It rededicates itself to that cause on the fourth year of its existence. 2. The Indian media – Why it is partial: The reasons for the selective propaganda by Indian media could be: a) Many leading journalists and media barons are Christians or Christian sympathizers; b) They are educated and indoctrinated in Christian run institutes; c) The media companies in India are completely under control of western companies through cross holdings; d) The media is advertising driven and almost all leading Ad companies in India are foreign subsidiaries of global Ad companies. As rightly pointed out by Dr. Subramanian Swamy, “Academia, NGOs and mass media are the obvious instruments that are on the radar of anti-Hindu forces. Which and who are these forces that are shaping the anti-Hindu bias of the media? It is a coalition, not explicit but implicit, of Communist, Christian missionary, Islamic fanatics and other terrorist interests. Each of these interests has their own specific agenda. The anti-Hindu mentality of the English-
dominated media in India is secured by the cozy nexus of media with academia and the English-speaking governing elite”. “The Internet is full of anti-Hindu rubbish”, points out Swami Devananda Saraswati who is well known for his research on the ‘Myth of St. Thomas’. “It is impossible to tackle head on and piece by piece by individuals. That is why we have our own website (Hamsa.org) / blog (VivekaJyoti). We put our views and research out for public consumption with the hope that intelligent and honest readers chose us over the intellectual criminals. “We must set up a legal association like the Jewish Defense League (DFL) in the United States, made up of Hindu lawyers. As soon as court cases start to be foisted on these missionaries, their conduct will change if not their attitude. But they have vast monetary resources behind them. Which Hindu moneybags would finance a Hindu legal team? Which Hindu lawyers (of which there are lakhs) would ever back a dedicated Hindu cause? At the root of our problem is the Hindu social and business elite class who could care less about their Dharma though they make huge donations to Balaji at Tirumala. We have to face this fact. We can do nothing until our own public intellectuals and rich socialites and industrialist class are behind us.” 3. The Indian media -- Countering the propaganda unleashed: The propaganda unleashed by the Indian media can be countered by supplementing the existing media channels and using internet as a tool to spread truth. Already in most western countries, TV and newspaper viewings are rapidly shrinking. Using Internet, ordinary individuals now have the same tools of potential exposure on a scale comparable to large media companies. Internet Media is the way to go. With this in mind ‘VivekaJyoti’ blog was conceived. According to the recent reports, the total newspaper advertising revenues have declined at an almost continuously accelerating rate, and the advertising dollars are rapidly shifting from print media to online publications. While the online readership is steadily growing, the print publication readership is declining. In view of the prevailing political bias in the mainstream Indian print media, the Hindu perspectives can be advocated much easier in an online medium than a print medium, because the online Blogs have zero cost. Further, the online publications do not have to go through the mainstream and potentially, politically biased editors. The online publications are not only readable throughout India and throughout the world, they are interactive, and people can respond to posts via comments. Of course, there are also a few other challenges: There is a lack of non-English online Blogs (example Hindi Blogs). As more people who do not know English come online, this is a key area for content creation. In this context, a reader of “VivekaJyoti’ has a thoughtful comment which is worth noting: “In view of the popularity and influence of the internet, I strongly feel that as yet the competition from print and visual media is overwhelming. In 3
India, very few are connected to the net and out of them still fewer visit our sites or Blogs. On the other hand millions read news papers and watch TV, both of which are controlled by unfriendly forces. Hence we may not expect too much about our influencing the public at large. At best they can inform the curious and educate the convinced (-- Ashok Joshi, Chennai). In this context Dr. Subramanian Swami has a useful suggestion: “While owning one’s own media is difficult economics because the cost curve depends on advertising revenue, pro-Hindu forces should help market existing friendly or persuadable media in a wide circle. This will gain for pro-Hindu forces substantial influence”. 4. ‘VivekaJyoti’ – Its purpose: The word ‘VivekaJyoti’ literally means the ‘Light of Discrimination’, which is nothing but the power of divine consciousness ever present in every one of us, enabling us to discern clearly and recognize correctly what is right and true, even while helping us to steer clear of all opposites, and safely leading us by a royal road, as it were, to our cherished goal. The purpose of ‘VivekaJyoti’ is to inform friends and well-wishers of the Hindu Dharma and the society about the happenings in India and elsewhere, in the prevailing “secular”, (read “anti-Hindu”) atmosphere, where the Hindu Dharma is passing through a fire ordeal (especially, ever since the change of rulers in Delhi who are
out and out anti-Hindu, happily in league with the anti-Hindu, inimical forces).
The Editor of ‘VivekaJyoti’ has just done his duty as prompted from within. It is only a labour of love. Thus, under a self-imposed obligation, what he has done so far is nothing but gathering, pruning and compiling the significant news items, writings etc already available scattered online as well as in the print media. Of course, wherever felt necessary, he has taken the liberty to paraphrase/adapt and add appropriate, brief comments as also captions to clarify the subject matter, and to make it intelligible and interesting to the readers. Readers' views & comments are also presented as and when received, with due moderation. If the perusal of the contents of ‘VivekaJyoti’ enables the readers to reflect deeply on the gravity of the prevailing situation in India, and motivate them for necessary action, besides disseminating the message among the likeminded, the Editor’s labor of love will have been amply rewarded. “Arise, Awake, and be vigilant to safeguard the Hindu Dharma and the Society” -- is the rousing call of ‘VivekaJyoti’ which should reverberate always in our heart, mind and spirit, to propel our body to work doggedly in its fulfillment. Herein also lays the redemption of Bharat. ‘VivekaJyoti’ therefore exhorts: “Ye Hindus get organized or perish! Choice is entirely yours”! 5. ‘VivekaJyoti’ – Its genesis: It will be interesting to know about the genesis of ‘VivekaJyoti’. About four years ago (on 9th Jan, 2005) Editor unexpectedly received an email message from the authorities of ‘Sarve Samachar’ (http://www.sarvesamachar.com/ ), which read as 4
follows: “We have created an administrator account for you at ‘Sarve Samachar’ so that you can manually post news items on the site, like the ones you regularly post on the HICAD, (Hindu International Council Against Defamation) list. You can login by clicking the Admin link at the bottom of each page. Please let us know if you have any feedback or questions”. My reply to ‘Sarve Samachar’ was: “Reg. HICAD we normally email the full message which goes to all the members via the moderator. But in your case I find that only the URL is to be posted which I am not able, for reasons obvious. It only means that I have to first host the message on a site and then post its URL on your site. This I have no provision. Under the circumstance, please let me know what I should do. Of course, the URLs of the messages available online will be posted as and when available”. The reply I received from ‘Sarve Samachar’ on Jan 10, 2005, was: “We would suggest that you start your own personal blog such as this one: http://naxalwatch.blogspot.com/ You may create one at http://www.blogger.com/ and post your articles there. Please inform us if you do create a blog -- then we can automatically post your articles without manual submission. With regards to external articles that are already hosted, please do submit the URL to ‘Sarve Samachar’ manually as available. Thank your for your efforts. Please inform us if you need any further assistance.” So, this in brief, is the genesis of the blog ‘VivekaJyoti’. 6. “VivekaJyoti: – Its contents & statistics: The first and initial posting on the ‘VivekaJyoti’ was on Jan 10, 2005, under the title, “Bogus Secularism and Secularists of India.” And the next posting was on the arrest of the Kanchi Acharya. That was on Jan 11, 2005, and it was captioned, “Operation Blue Star at Kanchi Math”. Thus started a series of posts on the blog regarding the unfortunate episode, a cruel conspiracy to malign and humiliate the most revered Kanchi Acharya by the inimical forces. Started in January 2005, today the ‘VivekaJyoti’ has an Archive of 46 months and the total posts are over 2050, for which the RSS feeds are made available at the top of the left navigation bar. Also presented are 142 ‘Useful Links’ beside 66 Links to some important posts in the blog, including “Thoughts for the Day”, “Poem of the Day”, “Satsang online” etc. 126 links under the caption “News and Resource” link to some of the leading online news portals and blogs. Under “Readers’ Reference” links are given to some 32 portals such as Dictionary online, Wikipedia, Hindupedia, TinyURL, Books and such other reference works and writings, very useful to the readers and writers. Also 58 Links to the web sites / blogs / writings of the eminent writers / journalists of India and abroad are given under the title, “Readers’ Choice.” Just above the Archive links, the blog also displays the IST in Chennai and the EST in New York. Finally, at the left navigation bar, the blog has a counter which presently shows a count of 2 lakh 25 thousand visitors (in a period of 46 months).
A ‘Subject Index’ for the postings in ‘VivekaJyoti’ was prepared some time ago, and it is accessible through the link, “Total Posts”, in the left navigation bar of the blog. But this Index has not been updated and remains incomplete since the volume of posts have increased enormously. 7. ‘VivekaJyoti’ – Its propagation: Whenever a posting is made on ‘VivekaJyoti’, it automatically gets linked to ‘Sarve Samachar’, the Hindu News portal. Sponsored by the ‘Viraat Hindu Sabha’ and launched in 2004, ‘Sarve Samachar’ is the first Hindu news portal available on the internet that uses a technology similar to the one used by Google News. With headlines, both of religious and political interest to Hindus, typically scattered across numerous media sources, it indexes over 40 newspapers, news agencies and other sources and employs a unique metric based on the popularity and date to highlight only the most relevant and interesting content. Besides aggregation of news headlines, the site also collects the latest articles, columns, editorials from across the web. As per the ‘Graphical Statistics for Indexing’ provided online at ‘Sarve Samachar’ (for which there is a link under “Status” at the bottom of the portal), ‘VivekaJyoti’ presently reads 93,552, indexed 1953 postings, and 47 readers per story. The Editor is thankful to the authorities of ‘Sarve Samachar’ for their encouragement and support in the propagation of the VivekaJyoti blog. A recent message from them is indicative of the popularity and usefulness of ‘VivekaJyoti’. Let their message speak: “The ‘VivekaJyoti’ blog was started in January of 2005 as a means of reporting facts and opinions related to the arrest of Sri Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati of the Kanchi Mutt. Over the past four years there have been more than 2,000 posts made and more than 240,000 visits to the site. Since then, it has proven to be an extremely valuable source of the latest opinions and news to members of the global Hindu activist community by surfacing and publicizing issues that are important to the future of Hinduism yet rarely covered by mainstream media. We look forward to its continued success!"
(-- Sarve Samachar: http://www.sarvesamachar.com)
A reader of our blog has this suggestion to enhance the utility of ‘VivekaJyoti’: “I suggest that you have a search box for the site at the top so that the visitor can immediately locate postings on the subject he is interested in. I feel that many visitors will use it profitably.” (-- Ashok Joshi, Chennai). The ‘VivekaJyoti’ blog is thus one of the powerful tools that can be utilized to counter the biased, Hindu bashing Electronic and Entertainment Media by providing the information and separating the lies from the TRUTH.
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Appendix -- 1
Christian sponsorship of Indian media – An example: Here is a case study wherein the ‘Sify.com’, a major online Indian media outlet is working with the ‘World Vision’, an evangelical body openly indulging in unabashed proselytisation with huge funds at their disposal for this purpose. Details about Sify.com’s partnership with the ‘World Vision’, patently a missionary agency, are online at: http://sify.com/news/antichildlabourday/ On this page, they are blatantly fundraising for them without informing the Indian public that they are missionaries. ‘World Vision’ also regularly advertises on Sify. It should be noted that the ‘World Vision’ has been implicated in induced conversions in Orissa and in Sri Lanka during the Tsunami. Look at a quote from the World Vision's website regarding their “noble” mission: “Wherever we work, our prayer is that our efforts will be used by God to heal and strengthen people's relationships with Him and with one another. We do this by demonstrating God's unconditional love for all people through our service to the poor — which includes providing for daily needs, working to build peace and promote justice, and partnering with churches and individuals to encourage spiritual transformation.”
Appendix -- 2
VivekaJyoti – Excerpts from select reviews of readers: VivekaJyoti is a unique contribution to the growing pantheon of Hindu blogs and opinion websites available today. It offers an immediate platform for news and views of interest to the concerned Indian citizen and patriot. More important, it is an easily accessible storehouse of information, commentary and background material on subjects that are often suppressed or misrepresented in the mainstream media. This storehouse of information with its many external links to dedicated websites is invaluable because no issue or event in the news today can be understood properly without background information and historical context. Television and print media cannot give either objective commentary or context because of editorial bias or lack of space. VivekaJyoti’s openness and the lack of hubris in its owner-editor make it an original and valuable member of the community of Hindu news and opinion websites online today. -- Swami Devananda Saraswati (www.hamsa.org)
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VivekaJyoti is one of the very few sites that consistently carry reports from a Hindu viewpoint on important issues for Hindus. The Editor has a knack of collecting comprehensive webs of information on important issues affecting Hindus. I use VivekaJyoti as one of the sources for my religious-freedom mailing list. -- Raghu Rao (Forum for Religious Freedom: http://frfnet.org/)
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VivekaJyoti blog has been a trendsetter in keeping the citizens of the world informed in a situation when media was indulging in biased reporting. Media in India has been pseudo-secular succumbing to pressures from the pseudo-seculars in Government. It is the duty of private citizens to keep themselves informed about the truth. A good example is the recent reporting on incidents in Kandhamal. Media failed to report on the evidence linking christists with Maoists in carrying out the assassination of Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati venerated by the people of Orissa. Same holds true for reporting on Godhra burning of pilgrims on a train coach. The blog effort should be enhanced further with multi-media reporting. I have attempted this on a web portal for Sarasvati (http://sites.google.com/site/kalyan97 ) -- Dr. S. Kalyanaraman (Saraswati Research & Education Trust, Chennai).
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(A Paper presented at the historic symposium on “Indian Media’s War on Hinduism” in Chicago organised by ‘The Foundation for Hindu Religious Studies’ (FHRS_USA) , as part of the Hindu Empowerment Conference-2008, from October 31st-November2nd, 2008).
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