Wednesday, June 3, 2009
The Trashy Times of India, Except Today
By Manuwant Choudhary
I do not buy the Times of India as I do not think its worth the rupees 4 they charge.
But I do read The Times of India - by borrowing - and for years i've been reading their trash as a matter of habit.
Perhaps, I was a fan of R.K. Laxman - India's legendary cartoonist - but now with Laxman himself being unwell and his cartoons not finding a place I wonder why anyone should buy the newspaper.
They lost their editors a long time ago.
And the columnists with honourable exceptions like Jug Suraiya, Swami Ankileshwar Aiyyar and Shobha...somehow do not connect.
And a few like Sashi Tharoor simply misused the paper and alphabetically bored the readers..A for Apple, B for Boy and C for Congress.
It got him the Congress ticket and he is now a Member of India's parliament and a minister. Another sychophant to join the ranks!
So what makes me write about a newspaper I say is trash.
Well, today it is not.
After ages - their headlines is about a minister caught in corruption as the medical college he owns charges 20-30 lak rupees capitaion fees and this has been caught on camera.
The Congress Party's policy against private sector education is the reason why India's youth are taught to be corrupt doctors from Day 1.
The rest leave the country for the US, UK and Australia (now to be attacked).
Their second boxed story is how 145 Members of Parliament have won with less than 20 per cent of the total votes, so India is in fact an unrepresentative democracy.
A majority of Indians have MPs in parliament whom they either do not like or are indifferent towards.
Smaller parties cannot win even a single seat, even when they poll 4 per cent votes.
This should be a cause for demanding proportional representation, at least in the Rajya Sabha.
The third great story comes from Transparency International which says India has the worst bureaucrats in Asia.
A quote at the top of the newspaper by Thomas Sowell "You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for bureaucrats procedure is everything and outcomes are nothing."
Local Bihar stories are about an ex Member of Parliament Vijay Krishna (now in JD (U) ) and his son facing murder charges for killing another JD (U) leader Satyendra Singh.
The complete story is not out yet but as I have it Satyendar used to be Vijay Krishna's pointsman in Bihar involved in the spending of the MP funds and the dispute over cuts and scam money is suspected to have led to this murder.
Then how Bihar has no ministers at the centre this time.
And an obituary on the death of an eminent Indian industrialist Jit Paul, chairman of Apeejay and Surendra Group - and elder brother of Lord Swaraj Paul.
I did not know about Jit Paul except through my lawyer Mr.D.N. Pradhan who happened to be Jit Paul's lawyer when in Calcutta.
Mr. Pradhan is a former district judge but he became a lawyer after retirement.
When in Calcutta he went to the elite and exclusive Saturday Club but was refused membership since he was not a director of a company.
Mr. Pradhan had a eureka and soon he had an appointment fixed with Mr. Jit Paul.
Mr. Paul, "Yes, Mr. Pradhan. What can I do for you?"
Mr. Pradhan, "Sir, nothing. I have just one problem in Calcutta. I cannot even visit Saturday Club."
Mr. Paul calling his secretary and handing some cards, "Mr. Pradhan. You will not ask me for money or attend my meetings or poke your nose in my business but from today you have been appointed a director of my shipping company."
The next day and for his remaining years in Calcutta Mr. Pradhan always got a royal treatment at the Saturday Club.
Mr.Jit Paul had humble origins and travelled economy class even as Chairman of one of India's top company.
I am fortunate to have Jit Paul's lawyer as mine and to hear this story from him.
And finally Sacred Space:
"I sought a soul in the sea
And found a coral there
Beneath the foam of mine
An ocean was laid bare. " Jalal-ud-din Rumi.