Saturday, September 24, 2005

Anti Americanism and Vikatan (Tamil Nadu's No.1 weekly magazine)

Ideally this post should have been written in a Tamil blog, but I do not have access to Tamil blogging at office. So if you are not from Tamilnadu you can safely skip this post.

If you have been reading Vikatan for the last three weeks you would have read articles by Pa. Raghavan on international issues. The tone of the articles is completely anti American and anti semitic in nature. It is the writer's choice on choosing how he writes. But these articles are peppered with truths, half truths and plain lies so that the reader can't distinguish between them.

Article 1: About the conspiracy theory that the neo cons were responsible for 9/11. It is a theory without any premises and even Michael Moore didn't propose it.

Article 2: About Israel's pull out from Gaza. This article states that the Israelis wanted to have Jerusalem and started the war in 1948. Any student of history knows that the Arab countries attacked Israel within hours of formation of the country and not the other way round.

Article 3: About Katrina and New Orleans. There have been serious failures of the Bush Administration in handling this. But to write things like "Only now the world comes to know that there are such poor people in America", "The Americans are so selfish that the voluntary contributions are not coming forth like they did in India for the Tsunami", "The federal army which should have been helping the citizens is stuck in Iraq", "Bombay was back in two days but New Orleans is still sruggling", "Bush says that he knew about the extent of damage only two days after the hurricane", etc is plain distortion to say the least.

Now it brings forth an interesting question - Why is Vikatan offering a platform for anti americanism? Vikatan as we know is a middle of the line magazine with purely commercial consideration. They haven't been leaning left for the last twenty years I have been reading them. They have become more commercial in the past few years shedding whatever little pretense of commitment they had and that helped them succeed against Kumudam, the previous no.1. My guess is that nobody in Vikatan reads the articles, they purely go by the writer's reputation. Whatever Sujatha writes is fine for them, so they must have felt similarly about Raghavan too. "He is a published writer, a publisher himself so he must know about things" they must have thought.

Since some Tamil bloggers do read my blog, if there is going to be a heated argument in the comments let me make it clear that I am not a software engineer, I am not in USA, I have never been to USA and I am not a right wing nut. The article left a bad taste, and I am venting my feelings here.

Update This has already been discussed refuted in detail in these Tamil Blogs. I was late to the scene because of my trip.


Nilu said...

I am not a software engineer, I am not in USA, I have never been to USA and I am not a right wing nut

How does that matter?

Chenthil said...

I thought too highly of myself, expecting a comment war and all that :-). Normally that is the route the argument goes, you are in USA, so you will support them. I wanted to pre empt it :-).

Nilu said... actually consider that an argument ?

If at all anyone comes up with such crap - I know where to direct them....there are a couple of prudes in my comment section ;)

வேதா said...

i have read the three articles u have said about.i do not know much about the first two.but the third article can however cannot be ignored. one cannot ignore the fact that mumbaikars came thro the ordeal very easily rather than compared to the new orleans people.Also the amount of atrocities like theft,clashes,rape incidents were not reported in mumbai.As my point of view,i can say that people in US are not emotionally to react to such things.we,in India jus overcome these things as "ok , if that is to happen then let it happen,whats next".many magazines have written articles comparing mumbai with new orleans.but i suggest the readers to go thro Gurumurthi's
"Thannir vitto valarthom" in "Thuklaq"

Chenthil said...

Veda, if you read my post fully, you can see the phrases which I object to. I am not justifying Bush or his handling of the issue. I am asking whether it is correct to generalize with sweeping statements like Americans did not donate to their brethren.

Also comparing New Orleans to Mumbai is not correct. What would have happened if Powai Lake had overflowed? Just the rumour that the banks have broken killed about 18 people in a slum stampede.

And what do you mean by "people in US are not emotionally to react to such things"?

Hawkeye said...

/* I am not a software engineer, I am not in USA, I have never been to USA and I am not a right wing nut */

i felt the same too. Didnt say a word because I was all the above. Chenthil is right. This is where an argument usually goes.

Chenthil a long time reader. Was silent for most of the time but this vikatan thing was kind of irritating.

Chenthil said...

Thanks Bharath.

Kirukan said...

Simple, Nice,Straight, No HiFi words all to gather simply superb... i should follow u since i started writing a few days ago..

Deepa said...

Ditto Hawkeye. And Chenthil you are bang on target once again.
New Orleans can at best be compared with Bhuvaneshwar in India. We all know what happened when the floods killed people in Orissa. New Orleans, a la Bhuvaneshwar, is not the center of commercial activity. I guess that explains the callousness.
One can compare Mumbai with NYC.
Anti-Americanism is a fad and Raghavan is just cashing in.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Chenthil,
I have a basic question.
Is Vikatan still topping the list?
I dont think so....
I am not living in India at present but I think Vikatan has lost its place long long ago.
Anyway, thanks for the blog and for the posts.