After gripping the nation’s attention for nearly a year, the Niira Radia tapes that brought the politics-business-media nexus into sharp focus, is now on a slow but screechy rewind.
The lobbyist Radia has shut shop; arrested politicians (Kanimozhi) are on the way out of jail; the corporate bosses and business executives have secured bail; the government is busy reassessing the quantum of the scam (from Rs 173,000 crore to zero-loss to something more agreeable) and the case goes on.
Now, Vir Sanghvi, the former editor of the Hindustan Times, who “suspended” his weekly column in the Delhi paper and was redesignated “Advisor, HT Media” instead of “Advisory Editorial Director, HT Media”, after he was caught in conversations with Radia, claims he is on the way to resurrecting his “Counterpoint”.
In an interview with Revati Laul of Tehelka magazine (after a two-page column in Outlook* magazine and an appearance on NDTV to tout his innocence after forensic labs apparently certified that the tapes containing his voice were faked), Sanghvi claims he now stands vindicated:
Why did you feel the need to withdraw the column and from political journalism?
Because the allegation was that I was hand-in- glove with the Congress and that I was willing to offer Counterpoint to industrialists who wanted me to write things about them. These were damaging allegations. There are two ways to react to it. One is to say they are fake and I will ignore them. Or there’s my way. Which is to say they are fake and until I can prove they are fake, I will not do anything because I think it’s only reasonable that I go away and prove my innocence. I took the second approach.
Are you going to revive the column?
Yeah. Once I finish shooting the two television shows I’m working on.
For the record, HT replaced Sanghvi’s column in the same slot with a column bylined Chanakya six months after he “suspended” his.
* Disclosures apply
Photograph: courtesy Hindu Business Line
Read the full interview: ‘I have been vindicated’
Also read: Scribe says tribe crossed line in Radia tapes
Vir Sanghvi & Barkha Dutt: “We were targetted”
HT strips Vir Sanghvi of editorial advisory role
The idea of justice takes a very fluid form in India.
Vir Sanghvi’s HT column may return, but what about his Mint column, which was so unceremoniously thrown out by editor R. Sukumar and about which Sanghvi kept wailing for months?