Tag Archives: BJP

‘Arun Shourie: a Hindu right-wing pamphleteer’

There are few more polarising figures in Indian journalism than Arun Shourie. For many of his professional peers, he is everything a journalist should not be: a wonky-eyed, hired gun of the Hindu right, selectively and deviously using facts to push its ideological and political agendas. Arrogant, intolerant, abusive, dictatorial, . For multitudes more, he…

A photographer’s delight strikes again (and again)

There is no other way to say this: the media will miss B.S. Yediyurappa. For three years and two months, the Karnataka chief minister was a photographer’s (and front page editor’s) dream come true, striking poses with his hands, legs, eyes, clothes and general demeanour. (Thankfully, he has reassured us that he will be back…

The hard life and tough times of beat journalists

Despite the exponential growth of media in recent years, few facilities have been created for mediapersons to cover public events of note, with their shirts intact. Exhibit A, above, is the Raj Bhavan in Bangalore. For years now, the governor’s house has been a beehive of political activity. Yet, journalists assigned to cover Karnataka chief…

In Bangalore, 14 parties for media in 36 months

PALINI R. SWAMY writes from Bangalore: Although the size of the Karnataka market is smaller than Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Bangalore probably has the largest news media presence than the other three southern capitals and perhaps most other cities, barring Bombay and Delhi. At last count, there were 14 major morning brands (eight…

Note to directors: It was Shammy not Barkha

No One Killed Jessica? Well, someone ‘killed’ Harinder Baweja. Raj Kumar Gupta, the director of last weekend’s multiplex marvel—in which Rani Mukherji essays the role of a single, bitchy, aggressive, passionate, foul-mouthed, investigative journalist probing the murder of the model Jessica Lal at a Delhi bar—may have made the world believe that his ‘wet dream’…

‘Media houses are sitting on plots leased at Re 1’

The BJP general secretary and member of Parliament, Ravi Shankar Prasad, in an interview with Kunal Majumder of Tehelka magazine: Q: [Maharashtra chief minister] Ashok Chavan has resigned after corruption charges. Will Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa follow suit? A: Irregularities in housing societies are nothing new. The Adarsh Society scam shocked the nation because…

A blank editorial, a black editorial & a footnote

When Indira Gandhi introduced media censorship as part of the Emergency in 1975, Indian newspapers ran blank editorials as a form of protest. The Kannada newspaper Vijaya Karnataka, belonging to The Times of India group, runs a blank (and black) editorial today, in protest against what happened in the State legislative assembly on Monday, during…

Survival of tallest when politics hits a new low

Initially barred from entering the Karnataka legislative assembly to cover proceedings on the day the trust motion moved by the BJP government of B.S. Yediyurappa was coming up, television cameramen compete with each other to capture the chaotic (and shameful) scenes in Bangalore on Monday. Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Why (perhaps) BJP sent Chandan Mitra to RS

Chandan Mitra, the editor-in-chief of The Pioneer, has been elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha for a second term, this time as a nominee of the BJP. In a piece in his paper, Mitra once again addresses the conflict of interest in being the editor of a paper and an active politician. “While it is…

How Congress regime stepped in to help Tehelka

The Indian Express has got hold of 82 pieces of correspondence between prime minister Manmohan Singh and the president of the Congress party, Sonia Gandhi, after the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government came to power in May 2004, using the Right to Information (RTI) Act. One of the first letters between the head of the…

RSS feed: New BJP chief spikes journalists

Coomi Kapoor in the Indian Express on the journalists’ contingent in the new team of BJP office-bearers. Also read: For the BJP, is the pen mightier than the trishul? Who are the journalists running, ruining BJP? L.K. Advani: PM maybe but not a very good sub Don’t laugh: do journalists make good politicians? ‘The lone…

For the BJP, is the pen mightier than the trishul?

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: Four months after the “nasty jolt” in the 2009 general election (RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat‘s description), the BJP continues to be in a flap over the role of “friendly journalists” in its defeat—and after. Twice the party’s resident intellectual “for all matters requiring an IQ of 60”, Arun Shourie…

Arun Shourie: ‘Intolerant. Abusive. Dictatorial.’

Shoma Chaudhury, the executive editor of Tehelka, does a much-required re-examination of Arun Shourie, the former editor of the Indian Express, who occupies an “adumbral position between liberal knight, self-righteous crusader and unselfconscious fascist”, in the context of a recent interview with his protege, Shekhar Gupta. “Shourie joined the Indian Express as executive editor in…

Who are the journos ‘running & ruining’ the BJP?

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: Former Indian Express editor Arun Shourie‘s explosive interview with the paper’s current editor, Shekhar Gupta, while revealing the deep schisms within India’s principal oppostion party, the BJP, has also once again thrown light on the less-than-professional role political journalists have been playing. For the second time in two months,…

Sure, but would he like to receive them today?

Watching TV used to be simple in the age of terrestrial broadcasting. The advent of satellite, cable and dish have made viewing a more pleasurable experience, of course, but there are also some unintended consequences. This afternoon, after news emerged that India’s principal opposition party, the BJP, had sacked its leading light Jaswant Singh against…

It happened one night on the day of the eclipse

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: Chalk and cheese can never taste the same. Bill O’Reilly can never be confused for Walter Cronkite. But, on the night of the longest solar eclipse in the 21st century, probably because of it, something close happened on Indian TV. Prannoy Roy (right), the calm and cultivated voice of…

‘People, not the press, are the real fourth estate’

The press in India, like the press elsewhere, holds on to the belief that it is the Fourth Estate of democracy, after the legislature, the executive and the judiciary, although the press in India, as much as the press elsewhere, finds its institutional and individual integrity increasingly under question. In an article on the Open…

Don’t laugh: Do journos make good politicians?

PRITAM SENGUPTA in New Delhi and SHARANYA KANVILKAR in Bombay write: The stunning defeat of the BJP in the general elections has been dissected so many times and by so many since May 16 that there is little that has been left unsaid. What has been left unsaid is how the BJP’s defeat also marks…

In a democracy, prince and pauper beg together

Given the kind of space, importance and attention newspapers, magazines and websites give photographs these days, it would not be unfair to say that the just-concluded general elections was visually below-par. There was no stellar frame, no standout picture, no large canvas frame that sticks in the mind’s eye. ‘Astro’ Mohan (in picture, left) of the Kannada daily Udayavani…

How come nobody heard or saw the worm turn?

SHARANYA KANVILKAR writes from Bombay: Hindsight, as the moronic aphorism goes, is always 20/20. And we have been seeing plenty of hindsight dressed as foresight over the last fortnight following the announcement of the results of the general elections, which bucked the “anti-incumbency” cliche and put the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance back in power. #…