It’s news that’s fit to be a Bollywood potboiler — it involves a decades-old MF Hussain painting, alleged kickbacks, detailed SMS conversations that hint at extortion, and involvement of the nation’s pre-eminent political dynasty. But even as the alleged Priyanka Gandhi painting scam has captivated the nation, it somehow it seems to have entirely escaped notice of India’s left-liberal journalists.
India’s leading left-liberal journalists are yet to make any mention of the Priyanka Gandhi painting scam on their Twitter handles. Priyanka Gandhi had sold an MF Hussain painting to Yes Bank’s Rana Kapoor in 2010 for Rs. 2 crore. While the sale of an asset from a politician to a corporate honcho by itself should raise eyebrows, there were several other questions that were raised — the painting was gifted by MF Hussain to the Congress in 1985, so some have speculated if Priyanka Gandhi was even the legal owner of the painting. Then there were the leaked SMS conversations between Rana Kapoor and Congress’s Milind Deora, where it appeared that Deora was being pushy in trying to get Kapoor to buy the painting. And then had come the clincher — Rana Kapoor had reportedly told ED that he had been forced into buying the painting.
It’s news that should have got most journalists interested, but India’s left-liberal cabal is thus far pretending that it hasn’t happened. Rajdeep Sardesai tweeted more than 10 times on Monday, attacking the Modi government on its failure to pass on the benefit of the reduced crude prices to consumers, and then bemoaning why the credentials of a 102-year-old freedom fighter were questioned, but hasn’t once mentioned Priyanka Gandhi or the MF Hussain paintings. Sardesai had been awarded the Padma Bhusan by the UPA government in 2008.
His wife Sagarika Ghose has done a similar head-in-the-sand act of her own. She’s tweeted about the coronavirus, and attacked the UP government for erecting hoardings identifying rioters, but is pretending that the Priyanka Gandhi painting scam never happened.
NDTV’s Nidhi Razan, who had been talking regularly on Twitter with the account run by the Delhi couple with IS links that were trying to carry out a suicide attack in Delhi, too completely ignored the news about Priyanka Gandhi and the paintings. She retweeted several news stories about Kashmir, and some which attacked the UP government for its hoardings, but didn’t mention the Priyanka Gandhi scam once.
It’s a strange position for India’s “neutral” journalists to take — always quick to pounce on even the whiff of corruption scandals, one wonders why they’re so quiet when a scam concerns the Gandhi family.