Tag Archives: Rajiv Gandhi

How N. Ram’s reporting of the #Rafale scandal in ‘The Hindu’ sped across the digital world and into the phones of readers before the Narendra Modi government could put its pants on

Behind the investigation of India’s two biggest defence scandals—the Bofors deal under Rajiv Gandhi and the Rafale deal under Narendra Modi—is one common newspaper and one common byline, The Hindu and N. Ram. But with one big difference: the first scandal was reported when hard-copy, ink-and-paper journalism was king; the latter in the digital age, when…

N. Ram: ‘Today’s mainstream media is scared to touch the Rafale scandal like it did Bofors. An overarching fear of Narendra Modi has had a chilling effect.”

It is rare in Indian journalism for the same journalist to be at the centre of two major investigations, 30 years apart.  In 1989, Narasimhan Ram was Associate Editor of the family-owned newspaper The Hindu when he, along with Chitra Subramaniam, dug into the #Bofors gun deal that set the stage for Rajiv Gandhi’s downfall.  In…

How ‘The Indian Express’ is covering the #Rafale scandal—and a scandal it is—compared to the way it covered #Bofors

The Congress president Rahul Gandhi has addressed five press conferences on the Rs 140,000 crore Rafale aircraft deal involving the Narendra Modi government and the bankrupt businessman Anil Ambani. These press conferences have been on 30 August, 22 September, 11 October, 25 October and 2 November 2018, and they have all been held in New…

‘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…

Mani Shankar Aiyar launches into Arnab Goswami

After a fiasco of an interview with Times Now editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, Mail Today reports that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will now go through “mock interview sessions” before further TV powwows to prevent further fiascos. “The duration of future interviews will be around 30 to 45 minutes instead of 90 minutes as on Times Now.…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Rajiv Gandhi birthday: 108 ads across 48 pages

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: There is yet another advertising blitzkrieg by Union ministries and Congress-led State governments and departments in today’s newspapers on the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi‘s birthday. And it beats the number of ads on Rajiv’s death anniversary hollow. While there were 69 ads amounting to 41 published pages in…

Jawaharlal Nehru: 24 ads, 11 pages in 12 papers

A week is a long time in politics, especially if you are a dead Congressman. On May 21, the 20th death anniversary of the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, various ministries, departments and State governments unleashed an advertising blitzkrieg in the media. Result: 69 ads totalling 41 pages in 12 newspapers. Today, on…

Rajiv Gandhi: 69 ads over 41 pages in 12 papers

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: On the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi‘s 20th death anniversary today, different ministries of the Congress-led UPA government are falling over each other to demonstrate that the “collective flame of political sycophancy” continues to burn brightly and shamelessly. While Rajiv Gandhi’s widow Sonia Gandhi and their son Rahul Gandhi…

The light goes out of Selvan Shiv Kumar. RIP.

sans serif records with a heavy heart the passing away of photojournalist Selvan Shiv Kumar in Bangalore today. He was in his early 40s and had been ailing for some time. He is survived by his wife and son. Shiv Kumar had worked in The Times of India, Deccan Herald, Hindustan Times and DNA in…

Why media houses must maintain a proper library

The library has become an endangered section in Indian media houses in the age of the internet—and in a business culture populated by philistines that frowns upon the concept of a “newspaper of record”. But India’s original newspaper of record, The Hindu, has just shown the invaluable role a well-maintained archive can play in shaping…

Dressing up (and dressing down) as journalists

The dressing up of plainclothes policemen as journalists representing a television station from Singapore to trap the Maoist leader Chhatradhar Mahato in West Bengal has resulted in a right royal kerfuffle. Journalists groups in Calcutta have said the police action lowered the dignity of the profession. But there are also those who believe that if…

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…

‘Indian media’s bias ominous for democracy’

New York City-based human rights and media activist Partha Banerjee, in Counter Currents, detects an eerie similarity behind “the media-supported rise of Rahul Gandhi” as the next potential prime minister of India and the rise of Rajiv Gandhi and his brother Sanjay: “I must say I’m frustrated to see the rampant bias in favour of…

Pseudonymous author spells finis to Mint editor?

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: Journalists at Mint, the business daily launched by the Hindustan Times group as “an unbiased and clear-minded chronicler of the Indian dream”, are in a state of shock after the dramatic weekend announcement of the resignation of its founding editor, Raju Narisetti (in picture), less than two years after…

H.Y. SHARADA PRASAD PASSES AWAY IN DELHI

sans serif announces with deep regret the passing away of Holenarsipur Yoganarasimha Sharada Prasad, aka H.Y. Sharada Prasad, the legendary Mysorean who served as media advisor to three prime ministers of India, in New Delhi, on Tuesday, 2 September 2008. He was 84 years old, and is survived by his wife Kamalamma, and two sons.…

‘A DISGRACEFUL ASSAULT ON MEDIA FREEDOM’

What is the role of a newspaper in a democratic society? Is it just supposed to reassure us that the sun rose majestically in the east this morning? Is it committing a cardinal sin in reporting that the big fellow may have strayed off his path while we were groggy? Is a newspaper wrong in…