Generally, the death of a judge, in what seem to be mysterious circumstances, while presiding over a case against the second most powerful person in the country, and the closest associate of the head of the government, would be make prime-time television in a democracy. Similarly, the allegations of corruption against the family of the same person would have garnered media attention. But recent events in India prove otherwise.Nissim is a Professor in Canada and has written a book about Derrida. He may not know much about India nor have much ability to reason but, surely, he has access to the internet and can see for himself that there is nothing mysterious about a Judge having a heart attack and being taken to the hospital where he died by two colleagues on the Bench.. Both of these judges confirm there was nothing suspicious about the death.
Indian Television News coverage may have its faults but it has to present news items which viewers won't dismiss as prima facie absurd. 'Family of judge who died of heart attack claim he was murdered' is a human interest story- not a political one. Why? Because in India it is usual for the widow, or daughter, or other distraught relative, to make wild accusations if the family's breadwinner dies prematurely. The psychology of grief works that way. In an earlier age there would have been allegations of witchcraft. Nowadays, some big political conspiracy might be hinted at.
Nissim thinks 'allegations of corruption against the family' of a prominent politician' are newsworthy. This is not the case. We assume that all Ministers have corrupt family members. We also assume that a Channel which is going after a particular politician's family has been paid to do so by the other side or else that it is simply in the business of blackmail. In this particular case, the problem is that Amit Shah comes from a wealthy 'Bania' background. We expect his son to be rich.
Furthermore, nobody believes that a CBI court would take any action against Shah while the BJP is in power. It is considered a political tool merely. Under the previous regime it went after Shah but failed to make a case over the course of a decade. After Modi won elections, in May 2014, the previous CBI Judge was replaced. Sadly, the replacement died of a heart-attack in December. A couple of years later family members of the Judge started speaking to reporters about their suspicions regarding the case. However, these suspicions point the finger at the deceased's fellow judges. If he was killed, then his brother judges are murderers. What could their motive have been? The family think that a CBI judge investigating a powerful man in the administration gets money to play ball rather than a transfer if he fails to do so. This is rather naive. Judges are pliable because they wish to secure post-retirement sinecures. They may take bribes from crooked businessmen but not from Ministers in the ruling party who can simply have them transferred.
Nissim takes a different view. He writes-
On November 20, and 21, the Indian publication The Caravan broke a story of the death of 48-year old Justice B. H. Loya, involved in the case (of alleged extra-judicial killing) against the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India’s ruling party.Loya died in December 2014. Why is Caravan writing about it now? The answer is that the Opposition is putting up a good fight in the upcoming Gujarat elections. Shah, as a Bania, looks vulnerable because he is being painted as a Jain, like Chief Minister Rupani- and thus not a devotee of Lord Shiva, whom it turns out is Rahul Gandhi' s God. So, this is just good old caste politics- nothing more.
This was after a purported attempt to bribe him by the Chief Justice of a High Court, for a favorable verdict in the case, with an amount of Rs. 100 crore ($ 15.3 million). The report contained testimonies of the family of the judge.This is batshit crazy. The Chief Justice does not need to bribe a junior colleague, more particularly in a case where charges had not yet been framed because the High Court would be Sanctioning Authority. Why is such a stupid allegation being made? The answer is that the name of the Chief Justice is Mohit Shah which sounds a lot like Amit Shah. So this is all a conspiracy of those money grubbing Jain Banias! Instead of just raping the daughters of a subordinate they are so unmanly as to offer huge bags of cash! Hai! Hai! Truly this is kaliyuga! I tell you, if Chief Justice had belonged to our caste he would simply have bent this Loya fellow over the desk and sodomized him there and then! He would have killed his sons, raped his daughters and burnt the fellow alive along with his aged parents. That is manly behavior! Only politicians of our caste are True Men. These money-grubbing Banias are destroying the reputation of our Bench!
Caste prejudice is all very well and it does have some currency during election season but there really is no big political angle to this. What we are being asked to believe is that the Judges of Maharashtra were blackmailing Amit Shah and that they killed one of their own so as to increase their own share of the take. This raises the question, why would the Supreme Court countenance this? They could just takeover the case so as to line their own pockets.
Nissim pretends otherwise- he writes
Despite the explosive nature of the story and its potentially unprecedented implications for Indian democracy (in independent India’s history, to my knowledge, there is no instance of a judge being assassinated) there was a stunned silence in the mainstream and big media, especially, the English-language television channels that have a disproportionate influence in the setting of the political agenda.There is no need to kill judges in India. Credible threats are enough. That is why extra-judicial killings become the norm where there is a terrorist insurgency or crime syndicate. It is true that the Naxals killed Justice T.P. Mukherjee and Justice K.L. Roy and that Jyoti Basu alleged Congress complicity in this, however going forward, terrorists and criminals only needed to kill a few magistrates to ensure that cases were dropped or rather that no charges were registered in the first place.
English language TV channels which are anti BJP have run this story but everybody understands that it is silly. Far from setting any political agenda, the English language Media has been shown to have zero impact on Indian politics. It failed to predict or come to terms with caste based politics, completely ignored the agricultural sector, and helped the BJP secure the loyalty of highly educated N.R.I's by employing stupid Marxists to write offensive nonsense about Hinduism.
Nissim may not be a prominent name in the English language media, but his Marxists credentials are sound enough- which is why he is teaching in some small town in Canada.
Why is he so exercised by this particular piece of genuine 'fake news'?
The answer is that he thinks that the Indian Media is giving him the cold shoulder not because he is stupid and ill-informed but because it is a cadaver.
As one media commentator put it, “it seems that two deaths need to be investigated: that of Judge Loya, and that of the Indian media.”This 'media commentator' is Mitali Saran. Not exactly a heavyweight- except if compared to me ever since I went on a juice cleanse yaar.
Nissim thinks there should be a judicial probe into Judges against whom senseless allegations have been made by a grieving family. But, judicial probes are a matter for the judiciary.
Nissim also thinks there is something wrong with the Indian media because it recognises this is 'fake news'.
This is an extraordinary level of submissiveness displayed by the media. This must also be read in the context of the largest democracy’s abysmal ranking in the World Press Freedom Index. Last year, India ranked 133 out of 180 countries. And this year, it has declined to 136. Recently, the main mode of intimidation against journalists doing investigative stories has been through Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPPs), like the one filed by Mr. Shah.India is very poor and has a very low ratio of police officers to population. Journalists who uncover wrongdoing are killed even if they are simple black-mailers. Criminal and Terrorist organizations can only be curbed by extra-judicial killings. As India gets richer, the Media can become profitable through advertising revenues. But, it can't 'manufacture consent' on the basis of stupid lies- e.g. that Judges kill each other off so as to receive a bribe from a powerful Minister.
Nissim tells us that-
Journalists face severe challenges, including physical violence and threat to life, in carrying out their work. According to an independent media report, there were 54 attacks on journalists (and seven murders) between January 2016 and April 2017, the majority being perpetrated by law-makers and law-enforcers. Four journalists were killed in 2015, and there were 142 attacks in 2014-15.So, 'law-makers' and 'law-enforcers' kill Judges and Journalists with impunity. Why would they want to bribe them?
Rohini Singh, who did investigations into the Jay Shah story, recounted the threats she faced while and after doing the story. According to her, this was not the case when she did similar stories on the previous Congress-led regime.The previous Congress-led regime fell. Clearly it wasn't killing enough people. The new Government is killing people. It won't fall.
So, the emerging “manufacture of consent” in favor of the ruling government does not happen only through active participation, or self-censorship on criticism by the media, but also as a result of the egregious threats that the media personnel face.
Jokes making fun of Mr. Modi, or Facebook posts of lay citizens, and films criticizing his government are met with police complaints, legal cases, and threats by the ruling party and its larger ideological family. BJP-led state governments have also introduced draconian bills to curb free speech.Excellent! So the BJP will continue to rule. How much was Nissim paid by Amit Shah to write this? Or did Shah threaten his life? The truth, sadly, is poor old Nissim wasn't paid, nor was his life threatened. He has chosen to depict the BJP as a muscular party unafraid to use Communist methods. Like the Naxals, they have begun killing Judges. Like the Khalistanis, they have terrorized the Media. But, unlike the Naxals or Khalistanis, they have firmly consolidated their hold on State Power. The BJP is now as firmly entrenched as the Chinese Communist Party. Resistance is futile. Such is the deconstructed message of this alumnus of J.N.U.