Mr Murdoch’s TV channels and newspaper columns would have projected only favourable reports.Having to chop and change was a sad comedown for a theatre that braved convention in 1956 to stage John Osborne’s socially pioneering plays Look Back in Anger and The Entertainer. Initially, the Royal Court pleaded “financial reasons” for suppressing it.Diplomats at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office must have enjoyed telling India House diplomats who complained of hostile or slanted coverage in the old Daily Express, which always referred to “Bandit Nehru”, that while they deplored any hurt caused to Indians, Britain’s press was free and, sadly, outside the government’s control. All China did to win over such a diligent ally was to allow him the opportunity of making money. The Royal Court also made historynine years later by turning itself into a “private members club” that lay outside the purview of censorship.
The world’s oldest publisher, Cambridge University Press, agreed last year to block access to some 300 articles on subjects ranging from Tibet to Tiananmen Square in China Quarterly, which it publishes, and to which Beijing objected. Not that Beijing has uttered a word in protest. China’s foreign direct investment in Britain more than doubled last year — from $9. Behind its warning that China might retaliate by blocking another project involving the Royal Court and 16 writers in China must have loomed fears regarding the massive Chinese investment that could provide Britain with a crutch when it hobbles out of the European Union. It now seems likely that the play will be staged after all early next year. The dodge succeeded until the Theatres Act of 1968 abolished theatre censorship altogether.Such pragmatic partnerships are not possible in India because of two reasons.
The Alibaba Group which now owns the Post has reportedly “gone on a hiring spree of journalists from outlets like the BBC and the New York Times to help bring an international tone to its coverage. Mr Murdoch made no bones of the BBC being in China’s doghouse as much because of its coverage of the Tiananmen Square massacre as for broadcasting an China audio cable types Manufacturers unflattering documentary on Mao Zedong.Having acquired Star, he lopped off the British Broadcasting Corporation’s news broadcast to northern Asia, again to placate Beijing.Had New Delhi encouraged Rupert Murdoch’s dreams of an Asian media network, it wouldn’t have needed to worry about adverse propaganda over Kashmir. India can’t match the huge investments that China makes out of its foreign exchange reserves of more than $3 trillion, but India can give strategic investors a more compelling stake in its continued prosperity and stability. The Royal Court, where it was to be staged, famously defied censorship in the 1960s but is in danger now of falling prey to the old adage that no censorship is so effective as self-censorship.More recently, the organisers of the Man Booker International prize agreed to change the nationality label of Wu Ming-Yi, a Taiwanese artist who is also known for his non-fiction books, and who was one of the 13 longlisted authors for the prize.The controversy over a play being withdrawn from a leading London theatre reminds us how much India can learn from China when it comes to winning friends and influencing people.
His ambition of controlling the airwaves across all Asia – Mr Murdoch paid nearly a billion dollars for Star TV, already Asia’s largest cable television network – explained his decision in 1993 to sell the South China Morning Post whose liberal tradition of fair reporting probably wouldn’t have gone down well with China’s authoritarian rulers.8 billion — despite uncertainty over Brexit.The trick lies in finding international allies who not only accept India’s position on certain controversial issues but find it rewarding to broadcast their support. Narasimha Rao and then Atal Behari Vajpayee considered allowing the international media to publish in India.. It didn’t need it. In consequence, despite all the talk about “soft power”, India has little influence abroad. Faced with a volley of international criticism for kowtowing to the Chinese, they restored the original definition.China doesn’t always get its way. Bowing to pressure from Beijing, the Man Booker authorities arbitrarily changed Wu’s nationality to “Taiwan, China”. Second, jealous Indian businessmen fan official mistrust to protect their own empires from legitimate competition by foreigners. Capitulating decisions are sometimes reversed.
To rub in the message, the play in question is by an Indian, Bengaluru-based playwright Abhishek Majumdar.V. Mr Murdoch’s publicity machine wouldn’t say a word that contradicted the official Beijing line.2 billion to $20. We saw both factors in operation in the violently hostile reaction when P. Only an application under the Freedom of Information Act dragged out the truth. That would be a more effective way of projecting a positive image than embassy or high commission officials lodging petulant protests.The Chinese, on the other hand, are able to persuade some of the West’s most prestigious institutions to do their bidding. Apparently, Majumdar’s play Pah-La takes a more sympathetic view of Tibetans than the Chinese are expected to appreciate.From Thames Water to Barclays Bank, football clubs to nuclear power, tourism to real estate, the Chinese are into everything British. That seems to have happened with Abhishek Majumdar’s play. First, all Indian politicians — of the militant left and the Hindu right — remain suspicious of the presumed political designs of foreign investors. Its work was done by the British government’s cultural wing, the British Council, which was quaking in its boots lest China takes umbrage.” Narendra Modi’s image makers should find it instructive to watch and see how reputable journalists, as opposed to sycophantic hangers-on, reconcile professional credibility with their mission statement of improving China’s image abroad
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