Dinamalar: We have a lot of same wavelength with the BJP family is around, says Director

Dinamalar: We have a lot of same wavelength with the BJP family is around, says Director

cobrapost |
May 25, 2018

Lakshmipathy Adimoolam says, "We believe in Hindu spirituality."

Martin; Lakshmipathy Adimoolam, Director, Dinamalar, Chennai

“Dinamalar” in Tamil means morning flower, and like a morning flower the daily shined on the media landscape of the country under the watchful eyes of noted freedom fighter, philanthropist and anti-caste crusader Thazhuvia Ramasubbaiyer, popularly known as TVR. Founded by TVR on September 6, 1951, Dinamalar grew from a single city edition to a multi-city edition published simultaneously from Tirunelveli, Tiruchi, Chennai, Madurai and Erode during his lifetime. Selling  about a million copies daily, today the newspaper is published from 10 cities of Tamil Nadu including Chennai, CoimbatoreErodeMaduraiNagercoilPondicherrySalem, Tiruchirappalli, Tirunelveli and Vellore, apart from Bangalore in Karnataka and Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. But the values with which TVR nurtured Dinamalar have been long foresaken by the third generation of his family as our interview with his grandson Lakshmipathy Adimoolam establishes.

In the course of this pan-India investigation, Pushp Sharma visited the Tamil daily’s Chennai office where he first met Martin. Seated along with Martin are some of his other colleagues. As Sharma settles down to brief Martin on his agenda, he tells him that there are three important points of the media campaign. The first and foremost point is the promotion of Hindutva, which should in no way be diluted, through the preaching of Bhagwad Gita and Lord Krishna. The second point is thrashing of political rivals such as Pappu. Hope you know who this Pappu is? “No, okay,” replies Martin, whereas his colleague chips in to inform: “Pappu is Rahul Gandhi.” The campaign has to be designed, using this nick name, so as to fulfill our objective of his “character assassination” through satire, and this has to be hammered consistently. Apart from Rahul Gandhi, you have to target the character assassination of Bua and Babua, that is, Mayawati and Akhilesh, respectively, using the same trick. As his colleague seeks to know, “This is five months campaign?” Martin tells us: “And the thing is after our editor also created it, we need editorial approval.”

What is left in the story, you must be wonder, as did Sharma. But, to his surprise, this seeking of editorial approval first was simply a ruse as when the journalist met his boss Lakshmipathy Adimoolam, the Director of the Tamil daily far from shunning the malicious agenda was willing to go an extra mile to give it space in his newspaper. The reason was more than business, as we found him wedded to the ideology of the RSS.

After exchanging pleasantries, as Sharma settled down to discuss his agenda, we come to know that Martin has already briefed his boss in detail. Says Adimoolam: “I think Martin briefed me on your visit … You want to take some space and that’s not an issue. We have a lot of same wavelength with the BJP family is around … true Hindu family. We believe in Hindu spirituality.” In the same breath, he tells us that since his family wears their allegiance to RSS and BJP on their sleeves, it has hurt their business a lot. “We have been very strong RSS … but newspaper we are straightforward honest. We don’t… both the governments.  In fact, last 35 years we haven’t got any government ads. We went to the court six month back and got it. So, 35 years no governments want to ad[vertise with us] and we whatever we feel we just write. We don’t bother about any government. That is why the central government is very close with our family,” says Adimoolam.

He then goes on to tell about his father R. Lakshmipathy who was chairman of the Press Trust of India for many years and who headed the Indian Newspaper Society twice. They have now a favourable government at the centre. “So Central government we have been doing lot of things. You know after very, very long time, we have got honest straightforward government. A government who doesn’t want … who doesn’t run a government for elections,” says Adimoolam of the present government, as he launches into platitudes about how close to the Prime Minister his family, including his father, is and how the Prime Ministers makes a point to visit them personally whenever he is on a state visit. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari is also a friend. His father still visits Delhi once every month, we come to know. “Anything we are open for it and what best …,” says Adimoolam, to assure us now that he is completely on our side. He then tells us about some software that he has bought on license. This software can be applied to help in campaigns such as ours. “Sent to brochures, leaflet sent to party workers … say there is Modiji’s picture is there, just move your camera over here … it gives audio of Modi ji,” he informs us in not so elegant an English.

Coming back to his agenda of Hindutva, their client the journalist explains to them how the campaign has to be run to create an ambiance of Hindutva all around, through field activities and videos, on Gita and Lord Krishna preachings. Adimoolam is ready to lend help, as he says: “Okay … anything let me know.” When the journalist asks Martin to send him a proposal of how they would go about working on his agenda, Adimoolam again assures us in these words: “What best we can do … rest you can be assured.”

The generational shift has ensured that no values of the profession remain sacrosanct particularly when you happen to be the votary of a particular ideology.

Dinamalar response

We have received the response from Dinamalar Group to our detailed questionnaire. To read in full, please visit check here.

If you like the story and if you wish more such stories, support our effort Make a donation.


If you believe investigative journalism is essential to making democracy functional and accountable support us. »