Sunday, March 28, 2010

That's all, your honour!: Mar 21-27

1. The Worli Sea link was inagurated, for the second time in one year :D. Well, the comedy in the story was supposed to be the fact that it was being "inagurated" again, but then the Congress party thought that humour is not enough for the nation. So it decides to take a huge step forward - The Chief Minister of the state, Mr. Ashok Chavan was disappointed that Amitabh Bachchan was also invited to the same function. He see this as a ploy by his ally NCP to embarass him in front of the High Command. Now, why would Amitabh's presence irk the high command? Hold your breath - because he has decided to become the brand ambassador of Gujarat! Yes - you read it right. And you'd think that after the media highlights this, the issue would have subsided? See, that's where Congress again stumps you :D. The CM and Amitabh were to share the stage at a literary event on Sunday but the CM prepones his presence by a day, in an "attempt to pacify Congress leadership". And then Abhishek Bachchan's posters were removed from the Earth Hour campaign too by Congress workers. All this because an artist decided to become the brand ambassador of a state. And not long ago, the same Congress was talking about artistic freedom etc. haa!

2. Last week, we lost count of the number of eggs that landed up on the face of sections of the national media (english). Documented the whole thing in a letter to teh Editors Guild
here, to which Rajdeep Sardesai was kind enough to reply. A subsequent discussion with Nidhi Razdan of NDTV revealed just how much they are unwiling to accept their mistake. And then came March 27th - the day Narendra Modi and SIT decided to meet. Media houses started discussions (yet again) on what this case holds for Modi, his "aspirations" to become the PM etc etc. About 1 1/2 hours into the dicussion they ran out of topics, and started speculating that the questioning might be over soon, and then shifted to talking about "nearly 2 hours of questioning, what must have transpired?". The questioning began at sharp 12. And Modi came out at around 5:30! He addressed the Press, and told them that he will come back at 9pm and complete the second round today itself! He came back at 9pm sharp, and the questioning went on till 1am in the night! That's right, 9 hours of questioning. Some journos started saying that this means Modi had a lot to answer for, hence the long hours. Whatever dude! You had a huge problem speculating that he will not come to the SIT, and when he called your bluff and attended the deposition, chose not to drag and completed the whole thing in one day, you still continue to have a problem! It is nobody's case here that he should not be punished if he is guilty, but this is the first time a constitutional body wanted to question him and he followed it. Offstumped blog piece here sums up succintly the conclusions. The likes of Bhupendra Chaubey will do a huge favour to the nation, if they stop speculating and wait for the report to come out. Otherwise the chances of more eggs landing on his face are sky high!

3. Ahh - this you have to follow! The Indian Express broke
this story on the battle in The Hindu top management for control over the newspaper! And then all hell broke lose! Certain members party to this struggle come out on twitter and make the fight public! This Outlook blog has all the details in full, no need to discuss them again here. Yours truly's question to one of the stake holders also finds mention here :).

4. Late YSR, promised 4% reservation to backward Muslims in state government jobs. As always, catering to vote bank. The High Court stuck this down twice when he was alive, and once recently too. The state government then approached Supreme Court, and guess what, the SC upheld the reservations! And then it was referred the whole case to Constitutional Bench who will decide it's final validity, because this involves many constitutional questions. Wait for other religions to up their ante now. See, reservations based on economic do make sense, there is no denying that. The larger question now will be why just include one religion in that? Why not the others? And more importantly how do you decide on which "communities/categories" fall under this category when the said religions don't follow a "community" system? We are just screwing up our system with so many reservations. The OC's will soon become the worst sufferers. See, this is the problem if you don't vote!

5. Ahh wait, the media had one more thing to go gaga this week. The US-Pak talks this week. Rumours of a purpoted Nuclear Deal with Pak plus many more such "gifts" to them made our media go into a tizzy. Ofcourse, all those turned out to be untrue. US as expected did not talk tough with Pakistan. The total bungling up by India in the David Headley case slowly was put on the backburner. Frantic efforts by the government to reign in the media paid off - not one channel questioned the political executives in the government. Don't ask why, you very well know the answer your honour!


Umesh Patil said...

May be I do not know details here so excuse me for the ignorance - why did any of the Bachchans decide to become 'brand ambassador' of Gujarat when CM Modi has blood on his hand? I feel secular credentials of Bachchans are indeed compromised here.

Sudhir said...

Loaded question :)

Two announcements took place simultaneously. One was Amitabh's film Paa was made tax free in Gujarat and Amitabh will be the brand ambassador for Gujarat's tourism. :)I'd leave it upto the reader to add 2+2 ;-)

Coming to secular credentials being compromised, I guess that is a matter of opinion which I respectfully disagree with, but would not contest. Like Rajdeep Sardesai said, the debate on Modi is a hugely polarised one.

However, I don't think his accepting to be Gujarat's offer should be the reason for Congress party to snub him and his family in this manner. Would they do this to all the people that voted for Mr.Modi? My point was the hypocrisy practiced by the Congress to satisfy their high command is in no way inferior to the violent politics of SS/MNS/TRS parties. I feel that terming an artist as untouchable because one doesn't agree with their choices is absurd.

- Sudhir

mvaru said...

Even if I read 2+2 there is nothing wrong. Here Gujarat govt has given exemption and Amitabh accepted to promote Gujarat govt tourism project. It may go as one more skilful negotiation of Modi.

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