Y'know I'll be honest, when I first heard the plans of Sakaal Times, I found the plans a bit bombastic. Mind you, the media boom was still going on and products were still being launched left, right and centre. Newsprint prices had climbed to ridiculous levels but that really didn't stop anyone.
In the midst of this, the plans for creating this western India behemoth - in an arc stretching from Delhi through Jaipur and Ahmedabad and other Gujarati cities through all of the smaller cities in Western half of Maharashtra all the way to Bombay. Several editions were planned, launching in quick succession, starting with Goa and Pune. But just as they launched the market began to show signs of distress, the fact they launched at all was a miracle given the fact that a Delhi bureau brought out the paper. However, this was bound to create problems given that journalists have fragile egos and are more territorial than a bitch in heat.
Anyway, lets not do too much post facto analysis, we're doing too much of that with regards to HT already today and the surgical takedown of UndieTV's woeful coverage will be done later this week. The fact remained that Sakaal was just not sustainable and while Sharad Pawar and his family have undoubtedly become rich on Maharashtra and India's back, the family, and for this you must laud some of the chaps at Sakaal Times. They managed to rip off the Pawar's - an unheard of achievement.
But back to the point, the guys at Sakaal were decent, hard working chaps who deserved better than to be locked out. Are they the best people in the business? Maybe not but in hindsight, you can say that the paper was a doomed project from Day 1 and some of us who were a bit more pessimistic even earlier. But still they deserved better. Anyway, these 61 are talking of taking legal action. But I believe that talks are underway, and the guys might settle for five-six months of salary at the talks and I wish them the best. But given the times, getting new jobs might be nearly impossible for many of them, especially those in their late-30's and older given that a lot of places have a senior level hiring freeze on. But I will keep you posted though given the cash resources of the Pawar's and how the NCP 'claims' they got naresh G to take back the Jet employees this stinks of hypocrisy. But then again, these guys are politicians and the NCP is a party which thinks of things like this as small incidents akin to a few Bihari's being bashed!