It was a great interview with Noam Chomsky (“Media subdues the public”, Nov 1). I believe and fully agree that the English media in Pakistan is more informative, reflective and less biased. I can say so because I read three Pakistani and eight Indian newspapers/magazines on a daily basis. In India, most of the media is geared toward the idea of content and fill, where fill is just to promote content and earn money. No real issue is taken up, most of the media houses suffer from a severe degree of bias, and the analysis and reflective part of news is either missing or poorly done. In fact, opinions are forced upon us. You sometimes see a few sparks but that is to maintain some degree of relevance to promote the business. Arvind Dahiya, on e-mail
All four pillars of the Indian democracy are corrupt. The media is very prompt in probing corruption in Parliament, administration and judiciary. The big question is who’ll probe corruption in media. Nitin, Navi Mumbai
Chomsky himself has been a victim of opinion manipulation and was used to manufacture opinion. At the height of the countrywide outrage over the Nandigram massacre, the Indian Communists used him to write an open letter which gave a certificate of good conduct to the perpetrators. It could then well be possible that whoever is in charge of the dirty tricks department in the Pakistani media sneaked into Chomsky’s consciousness and obtained higher vibratory endorsement. Manish Banerjee, Calcutta
The electronic media is fake and arrogant. You can see it in their eyes and body language. But why blame them, the media is part of the elite power circle and does what it thinks it should do: protect the interests of the elite and powerful. Do not get me wrong. I am not a socialist or a communist or a Maoist sympathiser. I am a hard-core capitalist with a sense of social responsibility. Arvind Kumar, Leicester, UK
Isn’t it ironic that Noam Chomsky’s interviewers quote from the very paper—the nyt—their subject would categorise as representative of the media establishment? Why did they also not question him rather than just record his opinions? Much is made of Pakistan’s “vibrant press” and based entirely on a comparison of its English-language press with its Indian counterpart. In fact, however, the press in Pakistan, especially the English one, reaches a smaller proportion of the population than does India’s. And in India, the English-language press isn’t the only game in town. There’s the regional press which looks like it will dwarf the English-language press in the near future, and local English newspapers such as Chennai’s News Today, Bombay’s Midday and several others, not to count the local broadsheets. And then we have innumerable blogs, the most prominent among them being the Indian National Interest blog founded by strategic affairs scholar Nitin Pai and economist J. Ananthanageshwaran, which has now gone on to launch a print magazine, Pragati, available free online. Not to forget rediff.com which features stories you don’t read anywhere, with on-the-spot reportage from all over the country. In these publications, no issue is taboo, be it religion, politics, economics or social relations, all of them are analysed, criticised, pilloried and even junked. In contrast, it is in staid old newspapers like the Hindu and its stablemate Frontline that propaganda dressed up as reportage gets fair play. No one is fooled by the panegyrics Hindu editor N. Ram pens every now and then to the Chinese administration. Has Chomsky read his report on the Tiananmen massacre? The Pak press in contrast is a creature of the elite, because in that country even politics is not a mass phenomenon, simply a means for the oligarchs and military to trade places. We don’t need Chomsky to tell us how to run a free press. D. Anjaneya, Chennai
Chomsky, Jaffrelot et al have no connect with the present-day Hindu. I’ve been a subscriber for over three decades and it had always been a pleasure reading the crisp editorials and balanced reports. But, of late, I find the paper has become a mouthpiece of the party in power, especially in Tamil Nadu. The editor may have his compulsions, but it’s the reader who’s bearing the brunt. S. Sridharan, Coimbatore
Why did Chomsky not name Outlook as one of the best publications in India? It’s one of my favourite magazines. Hemraj Muniram, Toronto
To say that the Indian press is the most free and vibrant in the developing world is delusional. It’s very difficult to sift the real news from the frothy write-ups on the corporate world, celebrities, lifestyle and the indigenous innovation—paid news. Chomsky’s observation on Pakistan’s English press is not off the mark. Despite its limited reach, it relentlessly critiques the functioning of the institutions and has a sharper focus on bread-and-butter issues. Srinath Mitta, Hyderabad
Noam Chomsky is what one hopes Arundhati Roy will be like when she is 82. Ashok Lal, Mumbai
“The man nyt called ‘arguably the most important intellectual alive’ finds the media in Pakistan more vibrant than it is in India.” Where in the interview has Chomsky said that? Bittu Nayyar, New Delhi
The Chomsky interview (Media Subdues the Public, Nov 1) made sumptuous reading. There is no doubt that the axis of state power and private enterprises have been doing their best to damage the neutrality of liberal media across the globe. The readers are made to believe half-truths and no-truths as full-truths.
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