Tag Archives: Indira Gandhi

‘News TV covered Modi US trip like govt media’

Like town criers in the old days, who arrived before the Maharaja and extolled his virtues, Indian news television reporters were in the United States even before prime minister Narendra Modi had set foot in God’s Own Country. And, over nearly a week, provided breathless coverage that left little to the imagination. Superman (or was…

Why NaMo shouldn’t take media on foreign trips

As Indian journalists come to terms with a Narendra Modi dispensation that doesn’t want to court them or take them on foreign junkets, K.P. Nayar, the former Washington correspondent of The Telegraph, Calcutta, writes that the US administration is no better. Each correspondent who accompanied US president Barack Obama on his trip to India had…

The scoop interview that didn’t see light of day

Reporters look as if they have been stabbed in the back, as if the world as they knew it has come to an end, when their favourite stories and hobby horses are stopped in their tracks by those godawful editors who have “never been in the field” unlike the only Indian living editor who has…

When B.G. Verghese is drawn into row, it’s news

Nobody is safe in the treacherous minefield that is Jammu & Kashmir. Not even B.G. Verghese. The Magsaysay Award-winning editor of the Hindustan Times, who was sacked from the Birla-owned paper when he stated that Indira Gandhi‘s annexation of Sikkim was “less than proper” —and a welcome voice of sobriety in a mediascape populated by…

The Editor who declined the Padma Bhushan

Today, 3 November 2013, is the birth centenary of Nikhil Chakravartty, the “barefoot reporter” who founded the journal Mainstream. NC or Nikhilda, as most who knew him called him, plunged into active journalism as a special correspondent with the Communist Party organ People’s War (1944-46) and People’s Age (1946-48), and later Crossroads (1952-55) and New…

‘Licensing journos: recipe for total state control’

The following is the full text of the statement issued by N. Ravi, president of the Editors’ Guild of India, on the proposal mooted by minister of state for information and broadcasting, Manish Tewari, on a “common examination” for student-journalists and a “licence” for journalists to perform their function: “The suggestion of the Union minister…

How Tavleen Singh fell out with Sonia Gandhi

The columnist Tavleen Singh has just penned what she calls her “political memoirs”. Titled Durbar (Hachette, 324 pages, Rs 599), the book charts Singh’s view of the corridors of power in Delhi from the inside out—from Indira Gandhi‘s Emergency in 1975 to her assassination in 1984; from Rajiv Gandhi‘s rise to his downfall and death…

What they said when Shankar shut his Weekly

The capitulation of the Congress-led government at the Centre in the Ambedkar cartoon controversy was welcomed with the thumping of desks by parliamentarians who seemed to have little appreciation of the legendary Shankar‘s work and even less of what its inclusion in a school textbook meant. From Congress president Sonia Gandhi (whose mother-in-law Indira Gandhi…

MUST READ: ‘Shankar’s Weekly’ final editorial

Media freedom in India id est Bharat has never been a more scarce commodity than in the year of the lord 2012. The fourth estate is under concerted attack from all three pillars of our democracy—the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. Organisations mandated to protect media freedom (like the press council of India) are…

Interesting if true: 172 ads over 80 pages costs…

Rajiv Gandhi‘s 2011 birth anniversary: 108 ads across 48 pages in 12 newspapers surveyed by sans serif. Indira Gandhi‘s 2011 birth anniversary: 64 ads across 32 pages in the same 12 newspapers. Now, the Union information minister of information and broadcasting has put a figure to the advertising blitz: Rs 7 crore in all; Rs…

The journalism film that Dev Anand didn’t make

Indian Express editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta pens a warm and personal profile of the departed Bollywood star Dev Anand in today’s paper, with this concluding first-person experience: “His curiosity about my life and years as a reporter too was never-ending. Sometimes, on those long evenings, I would end up telling him stories from the pickets, trenches,…

323 ads, nearly 160 pages to mark 5 anniversaries

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: There are 58 government advertisements amounting to 26¼ pages in 12 English newspapers today to mark the birth anniversary of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. In contrast, there were 108 ads amounting to 48 pages to mark his grandson, Rajiv Gandhi‘s birthday in August. All told, so far…

‘Indira exploited Western media outrage in ’75’

William Rees-Mogg, the former editor of The Times, London, on the Emergency of 1975 and media censorship, in his book, Memoirs, to be published by Harper Collins on July 7: “We attacked in a Times leader Mrs Indira Gandhi‘s suspension of Indian democracy. I only saw Mrs Gandhi once. She was insufferably arrogant, and very…

Why an editor took two empty suitcases to Libya

There is little doubt, as the Niira Radia tapes showed, that journalistic integrity in India is at an all-time low—despite the manifold increase in salaries—especially since the liberalisation process began in 1991 and the notional capital of the media moved from Bombay to Delhi. Whispers of editors who own power plants and mines, of reporters…

An open application to Prannoy Roy, c/o NDTV

Respected Dr Roy, I am writing to apply for the post of Group Editor, English News, NDTV. I am a journalist with 26 years’ experience. Throughout my career I have made innocent mistakes. I have been silly, I have been gullible and I have been prone to making errors of judgement. Frequently, when I am…

‘Indian Media lost all balance during Obama trip’

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: The visit of the 44th president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, and his wife, Michelle, was covered by the Indian media in a way reserved historic occasions like the sinking of the Titanic or the invention of penicillin would have been, if only there was 24×7 television. Everything else…

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…

B.G. VERGHESE: The declaration of Emergency

The former Indian Express and Hindustan Times editor B.G. Verghese has just released his memoirs, First Draft (Tranquebar). This excerpt, carried by HT last week, captures the declaration of Emergency and the introduction of press censorship by Indira Gandhi‘s regime in 1975. *** By B.G. VERGHESE A little before 2 am on June 26 [1975],…

A deep mind with a straight spine who stands tall

B.G. Verghese, the Magsaysay Award-winning editor, author and columnist, has penned his memoirs, First Draft, “a worm’s eye-view of history as an individual saw it“. “George”, as Mr Verghese is better known, did a stint as media advisor to then prime minister Indira Gandhi. Appointed editor of the Congress-friendly Hindustan Times in 1969, he grew…

‘Hindu and HT were worst offenders in 1975’

With  nearly 60% of India reputedly being under 25 years of age—in other words, with three out of five Indians having been born after 1985—it stands to reason that the 35th anniversary of the declaration of Emergency by the Indira Gandhi government should have come and gone without creating a ripple. That, and the fact…