Piyush Goyal‘s theory of Albert Einstein‘s theory of Isaac Newton‘s theory of gravity is a cute case study for headline management in Indian newspapers.
The loud railway and commerce minister—who is a chartered accountant and BJP treasurer in touch with corporates—is widely known for his “phone calls”.
The coverage in today’s papers of his faux pas reveals how (many) media owners rever him—and (some) editors live in dread.
Of course, it’s a slip of the tongue, and even motormouths are entitled to make errors—and to forgive is divine and all that—but where, say, a Rahul Gandhi would have been taken to the cleaners, the softball treatment Goyal gets is revealing.
The four English newspapers which feature the “Pappu“-level gaffe, which Goyal compounded with a convoluted explanation in which he put both his feet in his glib mouth, are all based away from the National Capital Region.
The Telegraph, Calcutta: lead story on page 1
Deccan Herald, Bangalore: single-column, below the fold, page 1
The New Indian Express, Chennai: second lead, page 1
Deccan Chronicle, Hyderabad: 2-column, below the fold, page 1
Thankfully, in Piyush Goyal’s hometown, Bombay, the world’s most circulated English newspaper was closed for a festival holiday and did not have to make the difficult choice.
But The Times of India was open in Delhi, where, not surprisingly, the news doesn’t feature at all.
The Times of India, Delhi: no mention
Hindustan Times, Delhi: 3-column story, page 23
The Hindu: 6-column, nation page, page 10
The Indian Express: single column, business page, page 19
The Tribune, Chandigarh: single column brief, page 16