Narendra Modi and the curious case of corporate media

Is corporate media bending too much to present a favourable picture of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi by erasing the deadly memories of the communal riots of 2002?

Author Archana Prasad in her piece Corporate Media, the West and the Politics of Forgetting in the People's Democracy, the weekly organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), writes: "This important connection between 'development' and the need to reconcile and forget runs contrary to the need to remember the genocide of 2002 if the victims of the Gujarat carnage are to get justice."

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

Prasad says that the reconciliation is a forced creation and not from the heart. She goes on to criticise the commercialisation of the Gujarat development story and also questions the role of the media.

"The need to forget the Gujarat riots is closely associated with the international marketing strategy of the “Gujarat story” as a representative of corporate capitalism in India. In this sense Modi is not only an icon of Hindutva but also of the success of authoritarian corporate capital that has made its way into the media as well.... It is obvious that a corporate funded media will hardly tarnish the image of a corporate supported chief minister. "—she writes in the People's Democracy.

The author also went ahead and blamed Modi for "killing democracy and political discourse within his state".

"The corporate media’s conspiracy of silence on these issues is directly related to its support for the agenda of authoritarian corporate capital. But the truth has uncanny ways of emerging from the sustained struggles of riot victims and the activists and journalists who have been supporting them"—Prasad mentions in her essay.