Allow me to kick off by openly confessing, I am like you - a regular consumer of news, who starts the day with a hot cup of coffee in one hand and a rustling newspaper in the other. From my morning discussion with my lovely spouse, Beatrice, to heated debates with friends over a weekend brunch, my narratives are often glazed with colourful tidbits from the good old Times of India. But the elephant in the room stays - is "The Times of India" a pro-Congress or a pro-BJP newspaper? Let's embark on this voyage of discovery together.
When looking at this question about the Times of India's political leaning, it would be remiss of me to not begin from, well, the beginning! Established in 1838 as the 'Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce', the Times of India has been brewing in the pot of India's political scene for more than a century. Stepping back in history—in the labyrinth of my grandma's tales and my history books—during the British colonial period, the paper was essentially a mouthpiece for promoting the British government's policies and actions. In contrast to its initial stand, it shifted its editorial standpoint after India gained independence, reflecting the jubilant new sentiment of the free nation.
The 70s and 80s saw The Times of India steering largely clear of any stringent political bias, perhaps because, unlike our contemporary era of polarised politics, issues were not so black and white then. During these years, I remember devouring articles that celebrated India's pluralism, showcased a diversity of views and examined governmental policies – be it Congress or BJP – using the same lens of accountability.
But hey, times change! And so did the stand of newspapers, matching the dynamic turbulence of Indian political waters. With the 90s and the rise of competitive politics, the fascinating study of the Times of India's political reporting style becomes as enthralling as an unputdownable thriller. Like a suspense novelist not giving away the plot, the Times of India, paradoxically, began keeping its readers guessing about its political alignments.
Now, huddling up in the warmth of the 21st century, does the Times of India lean towards Congress or does it favour BJP? Is it the jasmine scent of 'Hand' wafting through its pages or is it the saffron hue of 'Lotus' tingeing its articles? Well folks, it isn't as straightforward as it seems.
Every morning, Beatrice and I laugh, argue, and discuss over readings from the Times of India. And let me tell you, there are days when I feel it has a Congress bend to it, only to be jokingly countered by Beatrice with anecdotes showing a reverse bias the next day. The truth, my friends, lies somewhere in a grey zone. The Times of India’s strategy appears to be an endeavour to present every hue and cry of both these parties, and many more. After all, asking a newspaper in a thriving democracy like India to pick a side would be a tad uncivil.
In the endeavour to unearth the political bias of The Times of India, we have rambled deep into the woods of its glorious past and its eventful evolution. Let's ponder over the other side of the coin now, that is, our perception of the written word. Our own political biases often cloud our judgement, resulting in perceived "bias" in the media.
It never escapes my notice how my high-school buddies and I perceive the same article differently during our fuzzy evening tea sessions. Where my close friend, an ardent Congress follower, often accuses the Times of India of having a BJP tilt, my staunchly pro-BJP brother in law holds a contrary opinion. Hence, it begs the question, is it the newspaper that is biased, or is it us, the readers?
In conclusion, the Times of India, like the treasured tomes in my home-office, is a splendid kaleidoscope of differing narratives, varied viewpoints, and diverse opinions. Its immense popularity is perhaps not in spite of any perceived bias, but because of its commitment to presenting a broad spectrum of viewpoints, allowing an easy access to—as well as an understanding of—varied political viewpoints.
So, next time you and I sit down to read the Times of India, let's take in the rich tapestry of political representation within its pages. After all, bias is a many splendoured thing and few things reflect it as clearly as our morning newspaper.
News Nation Global is your one-stop destination for the latest, most relevant news from around the world. Stay informed and updated with our comprehensive coverage of politics, technology, entertainment, and more. Join our community and experience the pulse of the world at your fingertips.