Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Trouble in Modi-Land!

There is this rather ridiculous charge of 'sedition' against the Times in Ahmedabad. Now, the Times isn't prone to doing hachet jobs, a la HT, but this was a good story.
Now, the Times has a stranglehold on the Ahmedabad market, a almost 90 per cent share and the Times' brass is very close to Narendra Modi. Mathur probably knows he is cornered, and is looking for a way out but like all cops looking for a way out of a difficult situation of late (UP Police) but the man will not go down with a fight, he is purportedly digging out old cases and is threatening Times journalists in true mafia style, getting more coverage to the case which might take on a political angler, though it is unlikely the story did not have some sort of 'official' blessing earlier. Now Narendra Modi does not want to alienate the national media all over again, the 2007 Elections did allow him to repair his image with a lot of the middle-classes. A loose cannon of a policeman is the last thing he needs.
Though if the Congress gets involved, he might just say, 'Screw It!', though given that Arun Jaitley might want to matter to die down sooner might mean some action will take place. The charge of sedition will never hold in court and arresting journalists, including some close to him (and also tied into the pro-Modi Gujarati media) is anathema. The Times is not Tehelka blowing up some lame 'sting' operation.
What do you think will happen? Will the right-wingers in the Times Group get through to BJP top-brass and prevent a meltdown? Will Modi realise that if he is to ever become PM, he should not make enemies with the English language media all over again, after all Gujarat doesn't have that many seats in the Lok Sabha and delimitation just increases the power of cities (where people read the Times). I personally think this will blow over by the middle of this month, but given that this is the Times, things could stretch.
Moving on, we stick with Jain-run company. Yes, the self-congratulatory stories aside, why did the Times Group foray into Radio in the UK? I have a funny feeling that the 'Radio Mirchi' brand will be stretched and from being a purveyor of sad Brit-Pop, it might actually start going after rich desi's in the UK with sad Indi-Pop. Long live Globalisation. To clarify, HT Media's tie-up with Virgin for Fever FM is not affected by this deal since 'Beardy Branson' (to quote Jeremy Clarkson) runs that through Virgin Radio International.
Also, to be fair, this is not the worst government since 1977, because I forgot the VP Singh, Chandrashekher, IK Gujral and Deve Gowda governments. But those are like footnotes in Indian history, this government will likely be the worst full-term (or close to full-term) government we have ever had. I am not saying that because of my affilliations for the BJP, I am saying that thanks to the complete and total economic mismanagement of the country. It isn't all the UPA's fault, depending on such great allies like Prakash Karat, what could you expect.
Oh yeah, and the Financial Chronicle website is frikkin scary.

1 comment:

Chirag said...

Radio mirchi is going nowhere near that station.

AFAIK, British licenses are handed out on the basis of the genre you play on the station. so you can't just flip a switch and take it to indi-pop.

rock is assigned to that station apparently and that is what is going to play.

Tho nothing stops them from acquiring more licenses to play Indi-pop

From all blog reports, employees are happy to have TMIL Golden Square (name of the co) running things...

Golden square part of the name coming from the Oxford based partner... :)