E S Bhanu Prakash wasn’t the only one to get the dateline wrong yesterday. Arts and Letters Daily, the wonderful repository of all things cultural, began the day with a January 1, 2006 dateline and it hadn’t changed even at the time of writing this, 12.50 pm.
T V R Shenoy, the former editor of The Week, edited a weekly newspaper called Sunday Mail towards the end of his career. He once wrote a fantastic “apology” about getting the dateline wrong in the first issue of the revamped Mail.
The date appeared as, say, October 1, 1987, when it was actually supposed to be October 1, 1988. In other words, on its launch day, the Sunday Mail was a year old. Shenoy’s apology the following week for getting the dateline so wrong was fascinating.
He wrote that when Jawaharlal Nehru died on May 27, 1964, he and his colleagues at the Indian Express brought out a special afternoon edition but with the May 28, 1964 dateline. In other words, the dateline was one full day ahead.
Shenoy’s explanation: “When I was young, I wanted to be ahead of the times; now I want to be behind!”