As someone who has worked for 4-5 years on the ground as a journalist, let me confess getting 2-3 quotes for the line of argument you want to create through a report is NOT DIFFICULT.

People often see what they want to, and start believing that as a Universal truth.

This is what exactly happened with most parachuted journalists. @sagarikaghose "found" a Hindu hotel and thought Hindutva is taking over Bengal. She also suggested Didi has not yet matured in politics that's her tragedy😂😂😂

Wonder who needs to mature now.

Similarly, @vargheseKgeorge thought it not so easy for @MamataOfficial to counter anti-incumbency with Bengali sub-nationalism.

Result TMC got 48% votes, second highest in the state (in 1972 INC got 49%).

The least said about @sajjanjnu better. He might have been right on some occasions in predicting elections. But certainly from day 1, it was clear his knowledge of Bengal society and politics is shallow than an average journalist, and he projected himself as an Analyst.

But the biggest culprit in this is was @thewire_in. Other media can be pliant and take orders from BJP High Command. I wonder why @thewire_in and @svaradarajan would allow this. This despite the fact that they have a sensible reporter on the ground in Kolkata in @onlineGhosh.
Sample this, in early March @sajjanjnu, released his so-called qualitative analysis where he visited all 294 seats in just 75 days for “qualitative” analysis – that is almost 4 constituencies in a day, besides traveling, resting, and answering to the call of nature.

Sajjan Kumar claimed BJP is clearly winning and later stood by in even Exit Polls.…

Anyone, with slight knowledge of Bengal, would tell you it was all propaganda aimed at helping to create narratives in favor of the BJP.

When NO media gave it much attention in first week, @AjoyAshirwad of @thewire_in interviews in detail @sajjanjnu for over 45 mins

The article/video is mischievously titled "Why Mamata Banerjee May Not Score a Hat-Trick in the West Bengal Assembly Polls". The so-called analyst (a former ABVP worker in his JNU days), is given free hand to explain how TMC is losing.
Ajoy did this interview before he came to Bengal for reporting. He later comes to Bengal to report from the ground already forming an opinion that the BJP is losing, thanks to his friend from JNU days.

See a sample of stories he did.

I mention Ajoy here as he has issued a public statement (wrote on FB a long post) apologizing how he went wrong in his analysis.

Well, why should we believe it was not all intentional.

.@thewire_in similarly gave spaces to some "freelance journalist" who have worked in past for a certain political party, and now double as freelance journalist cum political analyst. What is surprising is that Wire has given them a "Press card".

In short, @thewire_in helped in building a particular line of narrative, which is clear now, was all propaganda whether intentionally or intentionally.

What is interesting is that from Ajoy, to Verghese George to Sajjan Kumar to many other freelancers are all from the same JNU Stable.

I will try to continue this thread in the coming day.

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More from @journalistreyaz

3 May
*Number of Muslim MLAs in West Bengal Down from 59 to 43*

Muslims of Bengal stood united to defeat the communal, anti-people, fascist forces. But in the processes, the number of Muslim MLAs has drastically come down from the last two times.

Only 43 Muslim MLAs have won so far out of 292 seats (elections in 2 seats are still left) against 59 in 2016 and 2011.

Out of these 43 candidates, 42 won from the TMC. This is highest from a single party.

Interestingly, TMC had given tickets to 46 Muslims, 42 of whom have won while elections at two seats - Samserganj and Jangipur - are left. The strike of TMC that way has been phenomenal. Likely wins in these two seats can take the total number to 45.

Read 4 tweets
8 Dec 20
THREAD on how economically Muslims maybe poorer (the state is overall also not as rich) in #Bengal but have relatively got socio-political empowerment (part of Threads I am writing for the understanding of Bengal politics in the context of upcoming assembly election):

The socio-economic status of Muslims in the state is far behind other communities as the Sachar Committee Report (2006) and Pratichi-SNAP’s “Living Reality of Muslims in West Bengal” (2016) attest.

But it has not witnessed the rule of the BJP yet although the founder of the predecessor of the saffron party, Bharatiya Jan-Sangh, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was himself a Bengali.

Read 21 tweets
5 Dec 20
Seems many people are riled up for the use of the word 'messiah' (in small letters) asking me when did Barrister Sb claim to be a Messiah or finding religious context to it. I never thought I would need to do this, but never mind, read this quick thread if you are interested.
Messiah of course has a particular meaning in Judaism and Christianity, and Jesus Christ is regarded as the Messiah (or Masih in Arabic). But that is M capital.

When you write messiah with a small 'm' it has a different meaning, and I am not ascribing this meaning. Any dictionary will confirm this.

Here are samples from Oxford (see number 3) and Webster-Merriam (, number 2).

3/5 ImageImage
Read 5 tweets
5 Dec 20
THREAD on Factors Behind the Popularity of @aimim_national and Barrister @asadowaisi Sb beyond #Hyderabad:

(Let us first understand the reasons behind his popularity)

Most mainstream political parties and liberals accuse AIMIM and Owaisi of radicalizing and promoting extremism among Muslims as they are wary of losing even Muslim votes which they almost always take for granted.

While Majlis is accused of helping the BJP’s surge, it is the rapid spread of the Hindutva politics coupled with the failure of the secular forces that have led to the increasing popularity of Owaisi, particularly among youth as he often touches the right chord with them.
Read 12 tweets
13 Jul 20
1) THREAD on *The League of Militant Atheists*

How many of you have heard the name of one of the important arms of the Soviet regime - Soyuz Voinstvushchikh Bezbojnikov or the “Union of Militant Godless People”, also called the "League of Militant Atheists"?
2) The League was purportedly formed to fight "religious bigots" across the Soviet Union, from orthodox Christians to Muslims.

They brought out a newspaper Bezbozhnik (Godless, Atheist) in several languages between 1922 and 1941.
3) Bezbozhnik's Editor Yaroslavsky said: 'It is our duty to destroy every religious world-concept... If the destruction of ten million human beings, as happened in the last war, should be necessary for the triumph of one definite class, then that must be done and it will be don.'
Read 10 tweets
24 Apr 20
1) THREAD on how Hindutva Zealots Harming India’s Goodwill in Muslim World, also trying to explain (put in perspective) why suddenly Arabs Twitterati (and SM influencers) are criticizing India (based on my article in @HeadlinesBeyond… )
2) Sample this tweet by self-proclaimed Hindutva-nationalist-patriot @Payal_Rohatgi. Hindutva trolls like her are harming India's interests and damaging its relations with Arab countries by sharing such Fake News and other Islamophobic contents.

3) Little Background: Since the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Muslims in India have been accused of doing “Corona jihad” after it came to light that a congregation called by Tablighi Jamaat at its Markaz turned into “super spreader”, resulting in one-third of known cases.
Read 43 tweets

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