Do we need a `Times of India` ? by Shravan Kumar Sharma @timesofindia #timesofindia

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Shravan Kumar Sharma
(Former Commissioner Meerut and Agra)
For many years I used to read `Hindustan Times`,.I found the paper too dull and captive of the views of a few individuals.I very recently shifted to `Times of India` to see a bigger disappointment waiting for me.In the current controversy of sedition cases  against some JNU students for shouting  openly anti-India slogans with some persons who were brought from outside , the paper practically has  launched a crusade against the Modi government and  has been giving the fullest coverage to  the Congress ,communist and other opposition leaders,  few student- leaders supporting  kanahiya and other arrested students and some professors  who are behind  the whole show .On sunday the paper published 3 articles  mainly on the same subject and one on Indian economy.In `Aspirational india may turn  against Modi.`,Mr Swminathans.Aiyar advises Modiji to forget about Afzal Guru controversy and focus entirely on economy and job creation. Mr Aiyar i s a known strong Advocate for free economy . His recipe for job creation is to adopt hire-and fire labour policies. If any sensible person would agree to this awkward proposition that such labour reforms would lead Modi to re-election.In another article`Why the government is obsessed with five students and one slogan`,Mr Aakar patel is puzzled that why the government  is after these so called students instead of caring for the malnutrition and education.He has not cared to analyze why there is  lack of nourishment and education for the poor despite 60 years of Congress dispensation.Mr Aakar Patel has been an avowed critic of Modiji for all these years and is known foe using caste prejudices for highlighting his narrative.He has been adeqately rewarded by his friends by nominating  him Chairman of Amnesty International, India Chapter.There is one article by Shobha De. Almost everyone who has watched TV debates,  is familiar with madam De and her views and may prejudge what must be there in the article.One other article is by some unknown Professor in some American College who supports the right to free speech i.e. the state should not interfere when someone raises the slogan of `Bharat tere tukde honge —–Insha allah.  It forces   me to ponder why the TOI is so anti- Modi  or anti- NDA government and is following the agenda of Congress  with great vigour. The reason is hidden in the history of the newspaper. It is not due to some idealogy or paper`s commitment to some values.
While as we know the bulk of Indian media is left -oriented and thus anti-BJP, the reason behind Times Group being pro-Congress is because the family that owns the media conglomerate is heavily  indebted to the Nehru-Gandhi family.
The Jains, who own the Times Group, are returning a big favor that was once given to them by Indira Gandhi during the Emergency period,
The story goes back to the days when Times of India was owned by Ramkrishna Dalmia, who is also related to the Sahu-Jain family.
Dalmia had acquired Times Group from its British owners just after independence, but in the process he had misused his position as Chairman of an insurance company. This irregularity was ignored by the then government led by Jawaharlal Nehru.
However, Nehru’s son-in-law and Indira Gandhi’s husband Feroze Gandhi, who was a man of his principles, raised the issue in the parliament and insisted on an inquiry.
It resulted in the case going to court where Ramkrishna Dalmia was found guilty of financial impropriety. .He was sent to Tihar Jail for two years.Suddenly, the powerful Jains were left without controlling power on their media business!.
The newspaper remained with the government for almost a decade. Jains had lost all hopes of running the business like their private concern, which it was before Jain was found guilty of black marketing and violation of government trust.
But miracle happened during Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi in 1976.
Indira Gandhi, who is  known for nationalizing banks and putting state control over businesses, suddenly found respect for private property and returned the ownership of Times Group to Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain’s son Ashok Jain.
And they were indebted. And they started paying back this debt with immediate effect.
During Emergency, The Times of India was termed as “The Times of Indira”, where editorials in praise of Sanjay Gandhi, who was ruthless during Emergency, were published.
Later Ashok Jain removed most of the senior journalists who were critical of Nehru-Gandhi family as well as those journalists who were nationalists. This is how today `s Time Of India has evolved.

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