Monday, August 20, 2007

News, news, wonderful news...

The funny thing is that while people are blaming the Commies for creating the impasse in the government and distinguished editors like Mr Sanghvi talk of the ideological bankruptcy of the Communists, and while the rest of the media try to blame the Chinese for the impasse, which is something I don’t deny (the Chinese don’t like the deal one bit, but today’s Commies aren’t as crazy as they were in the 60’s – when Mani Aiyar was a one of them), everybody forgets one thing.

Who on earth is responsible for this mess? Y’see, distinguished Editors will blame Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury, not remembering that the not everybody is up for elections right now, other than the BJP which sees huge opportunism right now, even though if they were in power they would have done the same thing. And believe me, I’m a right-wing sympathiser.

I support the Nuclear Deal simply because the Americans are giving us a fantastic deal. This is an American administration that is seriously hobbled and is looking for friends and also wants to use India as a bulwark against the Chinese. Any which way, the question I asked above is who to hold responsible for the impasse – and while journalists loathe to blame one of their own – I think the blame should pretty much completely and totally fall at the feet of Sanjaya Baru, the Prime Minister’s inept and incompetent Media Advisor.

Why on earth did Manmahon raise the stakes all of a sudden? I’m pretty sure because Baru put him up to it. No, Baru DID put him upto it! Heck, the interview was in The Telegraph, a paper that is only read in Calcutta (though ToI is #1 in Calcutta now according to the latest circulation figues). This is not the first time Baru has made a monumental cock-up, there have been cases of leaked letters and botched quotes before - notably during the Natwar fiasco! A senior editor at a large English Daily when I asked him, “So do you believe Baru has been a ‘slight’ disaster?”, replied quite sardonically, “Slight???”

I’m sure the media will continue to vilify Karat and his ilk, and while I am no Left-Wing sympathiser, I believe these guys are getting a bum deal. This is a crisis not of their making, this crisis was created by the country’s worst PR professional, and for that he should lose his job!

That said, are we totally prepared for an election right now? Narendra Modi certainly hopes so, a national election will take the spotlight away from Gujarat, Praful Patel won’t because Air India will place a $10 billion follow-up order next year. But for a media perspective? I guess this will mean that INX (Hear stories of Barkha+INX+NDTV Options) will start with their feet running and relegate Headlines Today yet another notch, and CNN-IBN and NDTV will definitely be battling for ratings, and we will hit silly season again with 1001 stories about how ‘great’ Rahul Gandhi is.

Whatever it is, we are heading for interesting times.

Just on another note, it has been mentioned that the Indian media's collective failure to report on the floods and concentrate on Sanjay Dutt was the lowest point the media has touched in decades. And I agree. Sanjay Dutt is a good actor and one would like to believe a reformed drug addict, but why his tragedy made the front and ten middle pages of every daily and hours of television time while hundreds of people died in Bihar is puzzling. At a level it is antipathy I would believe. Bihar floods every year and every time Bihar floods it is a chance for Laloo and Nitish to start fighting again. It is beyond me why the state has not invested in simple flood defenses, but that is another argument. The collective euphoria of the media at Sanjay Dutt getting his interim bail minutes ago is a bit crazy too. I will not be surprised if the media takes credit for Sanjay's release. Sometimes I wonder...


TV said...

The manner in which you have dealt with the tragedy of Bihar floods is yet another instance of how it is dealt - like a footnote. To answer the pertinent question as why the state has not built simple flood control measure is that it has not been allowed to do so. Nehruvian planners sitting in their ivory towers gave a flood control model that has actually increased the flood prone area from 2 M hectares to 7 M hectares! And busy external affairs guys have no time left after dealing with Nicaragua and Pakistan to engage Nepal.

Shashikant said...


This is the first time Congress has shown some spine. For last 3 years Left has treated Congress like doormat which seriously dented credibility of the Govt.

I suppose, Congress realized that it is less than 2 yrs when they have to go "aam aadmi" asking for votes and they have nothing concrete to talk about.

thalassa_mikra said...

Here's what I feel - if the Indian govt. thinks of the nuclear deal as merely a symbolic gesture indicating America's willingness to engage more with them vis-a-vis China, I think that's great. However, I hope the Indian govt. isn't thinking of nuclear power as a serious alternative to thermal power and oil.

It's simply a matter of logistics. To replace or even complement existing fossil fuel sources with nuclear power, you'd need thousands of nuclear reactors. This comes from one of the foremost authorities on energy in the US whose name I forget.

What are the Chinese doing funding mainstream Communist parties? I thought they were more on the Maoist funding trail, and that too mostly in the past.

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Anonymous said...

The doormat chamber of industry is disaappointed at being called the scum under the algae under the toilet seat at the 10 john-path. We demand your recall

kinger said...

the nuke deal is not about india at all. if one looks from a global politics viewpoint. but who cares if the in this fight of left and right the centre gains and the centre stands the indian public

radical said...

Sagarika Ghosh has finally found it fit to mention bihar floods & more or less admitted the point I made earlier..that the common man doesn't care a fig about the nuclear deal..

But as expected she passes the buck to the politicians choosing to forget that its the media not politicians that set the national agenda in today's 24/7 news channel times.. its the first time she has made a mention of 3 million displaced, but like you just as a footnote..

Ms.Ghose, if you reading this blog, don't attempt to absolve yourself by shameless buck-passing. No matter how much you try to put a spin on it, it is a shame that our urban middleclass knows more about the New orleans or London or Doha floods than the bihar one..The fact that despite 3-4 millions displaced the number of deaths has been moderate proves that at least the administration has taken some action to tackle the disaster. Our governments might not be very efficient, but atleast they have the mechanism in place to handle such disasters.. What about you? Don't you have any reporters stationed in Patna? Are these reporters blind, deaf, dumb and stupid that they didn't feel the need to cover the floods or is it that you or rajdeep sitting in your editorial chairs simply decided that floods & displacement in rural areas are not newsworthy enuff and choose to ignore their reports?

Anonymous said...

Mr. K. Whoever you are. My father, Mr. Baru is just doing his job. If you were in his place you would have done the same. So, don't blame him. He's not the PM. You all just sit at home and watch all the drama. Bloody do something for your country as well. If I hear one more thing against my father I shall file a case against you. I'll find the link and ip address as well.My father has done enough. Dont you dare call him inept. He wouldnt have been there for 3 years then. why dont you try for the post. so dont blabber shit when you no nothing.

Anonymous said...

Who the hell is this "K"

Anonymous said...

Are you jealous?
Well, quit getting so nasty.
Stop bitching.
Atleast he has achieved more than you.
I agree every one has their own rights and opinions etc but you've crossed the line.
Your mentally sick for writing such stuff.
If I ever come across you I swear I will slap you right across your face.

I challenge you to take up his post and then we will see. cant you guys ever see the positive side. thats the problem with you . hes not the one to blame. just get that.
Pick on people you know. You dont even know my father personally.
He's been way to honest.
You dont even know what all hes gone through.