The Indian Express is known to be a pro-libertarian bourgeois paper. One need not find fault with this. Every paper has an agenda building role, apart from a critical-investigative and an credible-informational role, as N.Ram once wrote in an article in The Hindu .
In other words, the paper must play a truthful role even if it has a particular position to take. The Indian Express is renowed for a strong critical investigative role that it adopts as its motto of journalism. However, being a pro-bourgeois paper, it has been so dishonest and blatant in its apathy and hatred for working class agitations, working class based political parties and working class issues, that it has forgotten its credible-informational duty.
Two instances suffice to explicate this matter:
a) The most recent of this shameful agenda building at the cost of truth by the Indian Express was vis-a-vis indigenous nuclear energy generation. The Indian Express carried an article on it's front page quoting a letter from the NPCIL Chairman, SK Jain that there was a huge shortage of fuel for the indigenous power plants and they were running at a hugely reduced capacity and that the only way out of this morass was for the culmination of the Indo-US Nuclear Deal.
Thankfully the Indian Express' bluff was called by CITU leader, Tapan Sen, who wrote to Dr. S.K.Jain seeking clarifications. Here is verbatim the report from People's Democracy:
Dear Dr Jain,
Kindly refer to the leading news item appearing in the Indian Express today quoting you on the fuel shortage crippling India’s nuclear power plants which are currently running at half capacity. The news item also goes to the extent of stating that “there has been a steady decline in operating capacity of reactor over the years”.
Unfortunately, in the Annual Reports (2006-2007) of Department of Atomic Energy and NPCIL which have been placed in Parliament such critical constraint, as enumerated in the Indian Express, has not been highlighted at all. As a matter of fact in your statement in the 20th Annual General Meeting of your company on 03.08.2007 you had assured that the capacity factor of 63 per cent would improve further by September 2007. In the Annual Report of DAE, power generation till December 2006 had been shown more than targeted generation.
Will you please clarify at the earliest?
Dr S K Jain's Reply:
This has reference to your letter dated October 29, 2007, regarding the news item appeared in the Indian Express of October 29, 2007.
I would like to clarify that I have not spoken to the reporter in recent past, who has contributed to the news item appeared in the Indian Express edition of today. As such the news item quoted me is totally incorrect I have taken up the above matter of misquoting with the Editor of Indian Express.
I would like to inform you that NPCIL today has 17 reactors, two of Light Water type and 15 of pressurized Heavy Water type which are in operations. Out of these reactors two light water units and 11 pressurized heavy water units are operating the remaining three have been taken out of operation for renovation, upgradation and maintenance works, 13 units are operating at various power levels to match the current uranium production.
I would like to bring out that the country has enough resources of natural uranium to support the operation of 10,000 MWe PHWR type units.
The mining and milling of the above resources are being taken up by the Department of Atomic Energy to match the progress on nuclear power plants. Work on additional mines and mills at Jaduguda was started around 2002 and is in final stages in the meantime three units of 1080 MWe, which were under construction, got completed faster before schedule Early completion of 3 units and certain delays in completion of additional mining/milling project created a mismatch between the demand (increase) and supplies of uranium to meet the situation innovative operating strategy has been worked out in order to keep maximum stations running and getting maximum possible power output.
I am happy to inform you that the mines have been commissioned and the processing mill has started trial production which will increase the production of the uranium and is expected to take care of the mismatch in the demand and supply.
For supporting the future expansion programme works on mining at Chitrial in Andhra Pradesh and Gogi in Karnatka has been take up. For further implementation of uranium supply, action has been initiated to start minning at Lambapur in Andhra Pradesh, Domiyasath in Meghalaya.
I hope the above gives the correct situation as it exists.
The above is enough to incriminate the Indian Express for not only shoddy reporting, but also for deliberate and malicious misquoting of a technocrat-official to suit its agenda. This is however, not the only instance or an exception in the game of duplicity that the Indian Express has played to follow its nefarious ends. There existed another such report, as shown below.
b) On May 6, 2005, Indian Express carried a report titled, "Dear Comrade Prakash...", ostensibly to highlight that a public official from Sewa Bank had written a sarcastic and stinging letter to Prakash Karat asking him to understand the necessity for pension reform. Only, the official, Ms. Jayshree Vyas, later confirmed to People's Democracy, that she never wrote such a letter, but had only sent a piece with her views on pension reforms to the Indian Express, which had duly added masala , distorted her views, added its own lines on Prakash Karat's supposed quotes on the pension bill, and changed the tone and tenor of the piece to suit its ill guided agenda.Subhashini Ali in the People's Democracy was stinging with her critique of the Indian Express' immoral methods of building its agenda, and rightly so.
In essence, media outlets such as the Indian Express deserve the highest opprobium for peddling falsehoods in trying to set its agenda of anti-Left polemics and politics. The vigilant readership and masses who read newspapers should be alert to such tactics of manipulation adopted by Shekhar Gupta and his cohorts at Indian Express.