If one has keenly observed the media’s views in the last one year four months after bifurcation of the Telugu States, it doesn’t take us long to figure out the media’s survival tactics. After the ban of ABN Andhrajyoti and TV9 news channels by Telangana MSOs (clandestinely supported by the Telangana government), there is fear among Telugu news channels that they might face the same fate.
While vernacular media is trying its best to look very balanced, English media on the other hand is clearly in the grip of fear. Initially, English media played the “sweetheart” by pleasing Telangana government by publishing negative news about the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
Now, after some sort of survival enlightenment, English newspapers have toned down the negativity and are confining Andhra Pradesh’s news to the region and Telangana news to the state, apart from publishing certain stories their editors deem important.
In the midst of this, another trend is now doing the rounds. To look balanced and not get on the wrong side of the Telangana government, the media in the Telugu States is running stories by clubbing problems of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana together.
Everyone is aware of how the bifurcation took place unscientifically and how assets went to Telangana and liabilities came to Andhra Pradesh. Even in such a situation, the government of Andhra Pradesh had successfully carried out the debt redemption program for farmers.
On the other hand, Telangana government hasn’t been able to implement the loan waiver as promised. Despite running into trouble and as an aftermath witnessing a slew of farmer suicides, the Telangana government has been adamant.
But, the media, however, wearing a “coy” face always puts AP in bad light and clubs the issue with the Telangana government’s apathy. This has happened on several issues over the past few months and is still continuing.
The media should realize that it will look balanced only if it presents the facts in the right way and doesn’t twist them to suit its own needs.
Interestingly, media compares Chandrababu Naidu’s Chief Ministership with that of K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s. Those who have been ardent followers of politics have seen Mr. Naidu’s highs and lows in his 3-decade long political career and how he has been able to make Telugu Desam Party more like an institution which stands on the pillars of its strong cadre.
But, that’s not the case with Mr. Rao’s political career. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi has no ideology and has over the years evolved into a party based on a massive hate campaign. This also explains its members’ instability in the party and its unethical ways of drawing members from other parties.
As a Chief Minister, Mr. Naidu has been able to prove himself as an able administrator through the development of Hyderabad and that has brought him to power in the new State of Andhra Pradesh.
But, KCR’s rise was fuelled by bitterness against people of Andhra and Rayalseema regions through the agitations and eventually, he took the advantage of becoming the face of Telangana while its people still (who participated in the agitation) are dogged by problems.
Coming to the working style of both the CMs, people of Telugu states know who is a better administrator. It is unfortunate that those from KCR’s family and KCR himself blame Mr. Naidu for every problem they can’t handle in Telangana. And, that has never been Mr. Naidu’s way of working.
The biggest difference between Mr. Rao and Mr. Naidu is that while KCR sees everything as a problem that Mr. Naidu has created, Mr. Naidu sees an opportunity in every problem and believes in utilizing every opportunity by putting his best in it.
The people of both states would be happy if the media stops comparing the two Chief Ministers. Mr. Naidu is way beyond these silly comparison stories run by the media for their own ego satisfaction.
The sooner the media realizes that its double-faced strategy will prove to be dangerous for itself, the better it is. It is also imperative for the media in Telugu states to understand that people will not trust their news stories blindly. The ultimate power lies with the people who play the role of silent observers until elections.