Press Vs Judiciary

The ongoing confrontation between Indian media and judiciary is indirectly helping the political class.

If the media and the judiciary get into do-or-die hostilities, the only winners will be the politicians… writes Outlook editor-in-chief Vinod Mehta in his article.

Train Affair

I am not a frequent train itinerant. I prefer road traveling while going to my native place or even for an assignment. But in my most recent visit to Nagpur I rediscovered the fun of traveling in train generating penchant of opting similar mode in future. It all began when I read Shobha Narayan’s Saturday column in Mint few days before. In her piece on Indian train, Shobha wrote: Every Indian has a train story involving food and characters. So I too tried to search for any such story to which I will be a party. Although I could not find so, I realized coming to Nagpur through train itself is an experience to recount as a story.

Even though the train on which I was traveling did not have an opulence of special dining coach like Deccan Queen, but me, my cousin, sister and other friends were never short of eating stuff. Food is an integral part of train journey and we did respect that in totality. When I told others that DQ is the first train in India to have such facility where one can sit on its antique dining table, read the fresh morning news papers and sip tea and coffee with cutlets, they all mourned for having not experienced such wonderful thing till now.

Though Our's wasnt a DQ, the stinky toilets, dust ridden passages, broken mirror were least dampening for me to enjoy the ride through this lofty creature. I always wonder how railway coaches remain fit even as thousands of people board it daily creating kiosk. I was envy to see the antique pattern robust switches even as it was creating uncouthly noise. I wish I would have them at our new flat offering uninterrupted, unending, undemanding service. Within half an hour I peeked outside the window and the next thing which occupied my mind was the ready to cut sugarcane laden fields. I considered farmers of western Maharashtra fortunate enough to have all necessary resources.

After an initial adjustment and readjustment we settled down, only to see a waiter was ready to take evening meal order. We all decided to respect his service and placed an order for food at five-thirty. Then slowly we became Sindhi and went on buying spree. We tasted almost all the stuff we saw entering in our coach. Opinion may vary but it was striking for me to feel railway food is more palatable than at other traveling mode. Every Indian station has its specialty of offering particular items, I too wanted to experience it, but the odd night hours did not permit me to do so. I regret I missed famous Kachori at Shegao station. In the meanwhile at Daund station Lalu’s profit making machine did surprise many when it began to retrace already crossed route. My bewildered sister started looking at me and cousin for answers. A terse explanation of “train will soon change its track here” finally satisfied her.

Indian railway is an amazing creature which never disappoints anyone anytime anywhere. I don’t understand how it was running in losses until recently when Lalu finally took the reign of this mechanical dragon. I also fail to understand what exactly Lalu has done to turn this into profit making business. I have been seeing same railway with same track offering same service to same never-ending rush on its same filth ridden bogies, yet it has become money-spinning. These and similar such thoughts began haunting me when I went to upper berth for sleep. The next morning was pleasant. After having cup of tea twice, we then came to door waiting to be dropped at Nagpur. The journey ended after some time but the mind was taken up with reminiscences of another train trip.

Thanks to my cousin on whose insistence I showed inclination to come with him for his engagement. This gave me an opportunity to revive old memories of long train journey. It was a great experience. From boarding a train at Pune railway station to just before Nagpur near Buti Bori when everyone of us thought our destination is just five minutes away from there and it took big halt, much to escalate the already soaring mercury within my cousin who was eager to meet his fiancée.

Freedom of expression

Since past few days blog reading hasn't been pleasurable enough. Reason: one of my favorite blogger Pravin Tokekar has stopped posting his satirical ramblings and in stead seems to have navigated the url to another tranquil page.

Let us bhankas, the title under which he used to write did have some bhankasgiri. But his fitting remarks on editors of marathi daily, observations about squabbles within the media houses and a mimic commentary was big pass time and an enjoyment. Though there are many blogs to provide more or less same stuff on similar subjects, the bhankas remained altogether different and therefore enjoyed substantial readership. Not to mention the most palpable thing throughout his writing was decency.

Later, when I got to know from my sources about the reason for which his blog is not in service was Tokekar has been asked to contain from going overboard. Though I could not independently crosscheck the veracity of all such things I don’t need to mention who is the container in this case as has been implied in an obvious way.

COMMENT: The very fact which lies undigested is media professionals enjoys criticizing the whole world, at the same time they can’t tolerate of being carped. It is more conspicuous especially when their own men drag them. It is to note that Tokekar himself is a journalist and currently attached with a magazine which linked with Loksatta.

May be another side of journalism.

a welcome step

When something bad happens, good follows. Similar thing has taken place, hopefully the beginning of few good things in Indian media.

Taking a cue from the incidence of fabricated sting operation backfiring on Delhi based journalist and Television channel; Live India, the Mint, a pink paper belonging to HT has put in place its own Mint code of Journalist conduct.

This is most probably for the first time any Indian newspaper has taken such a bold step, which requires an imitation by all news papers and channels . Of course it will be an interesting to see how Mint correspondents adheres to it in the days to come. Yet I would term it as welcome step.

Not so intelligent

A gathering of selected.
Time- evening; ten past eight.
Agenda - undecided or undisclosed.
Venue - renowned club in east Pune.
Accompanying stuff at hands - Scotch and other spirits along with fruit juice followed by dinner.
Partaker – distinguished members who prefer to work from only behind the curtain and journos.

A formal introduction is made after the card exchanging while fizzle begin to blow. Some jokes on Indian politics, Pune police and media of course.

Actors behind the curtain come forward. Endeavor to give personal touch to the event.

The chief from actors takes the charge. Assured of at least two/three pegs have been gulped by everybody, his subordinate readies hmself to take position.

An interaction with each but saperately.

Supposedly carrying intention to pass on or plant so called secret info, they stumps the other information carriers. Contrary to the expectations a request for cooperation on info Sharing comes from their side. Fizz droops down. Get-to-gether comes to an abrupt end.

Keyword: Intelligence

Hey Ram...!!!

Yes, the above mentioned title of this post totally resembles with the one which appeared in today’s Saamana. I liked it very much especially when one of the BJP leader was seen on TV saying the same in the afternoon. His bite was in response to UPA’s major goof up. Sure to say, questioning the very existence of Lord Ram in its affidavit in the SC on Setu Samudran project was UPA one of the most dangerous political blunder. And for this congress party would have suffered drastically had it’s shrewd chairperson did not have pressed damage control button anon. Ofcourse rediscovering Lord Ram within 24 hours wasn't shrewdness but more of a political compulsion for her.

Unfortunately, here, leaders of BJP, starving for issues and sometime even non-issues lost the battle even before it began full fledge. Mature enough to sense an opportunity, BJP leaders saw Shahabanoo and Ayodhya like situation which it had encashed rightly and gained them run the rudder of New Delhi. I think a similar thought must have come in Sonia Gandhi’s mind on how her late husband had to pay the price for resurrecting Ayodhya and ShahBanu case issues.

Interestingly, within hours of filing an affidavit government admitted its mistake and assured that it will withdraw the controversial “Remarks” from its proclamation. The saffron leaders who were alleging it a clear case of blasphemy lost one more opportunity to gain political mileage on the issue.

Though I personally feel that what government had submitted in the SC was right in a way since the science on which Archeological Survey of India was banking to make its case for Sethu Samudran project does not support existence of god. But again, Faith is a thing which can not be challenged on any parameter. Nor it can be challenged in a court of law.
Curiously, the same BJP which is trying to rake up the issue on the basis of Faith has not touched the intricate subject of whether Lord Ram really existed. It only termed the move against the Faith of crores of Hindus. Congress too now seems to have joined the same boat. The grand old party of India now does not want to take any chances especially when snap polls are imminent in view of Left’s act of barking reaching to actually bite.

Amidst such delicate political situation, I am sure, Sonia must have told her party collegues "hey ram!!.. yeah kya kar diya tumne".

Everything is being Googled


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