Archive for February 23, 2011

Tehelka’s Talwars

There’s one part of Tehelka that’s all investigative journalism and a potpourri of nice articles. Lately there’s another part that’s sound more like the PR arm of about Aarushi Talwar’s parents. At least it seems like that even for a sympathetic reader like me.

Last week we were given the rundown on what the magazine thought of the
case. We had some very touching pictures accompanying it too. The article did have snatches of good journalism and made some forceful points in favour of the distraught parents of the victim. (Let’s not bother about the other victim, if you don’t mind!) But faltered so often to sound like a PR piece for the Talwar couple.
It is actually was a disservice to the couple. That’s assuming Tehelka’s
intent is declare the parents innocent.

The magazine’s crusade sounded even more suspect when it’s managing editor came on national television and called the Talwars advocate by her “pet name” (Becky) and then spews fire and brimstone at a panelist for having a remotely contrarian view than her’s. The lady even confessed to have seen the parent in parties/social gathering and wondered how they where so composed. That’s probably okay. Tehelka shouldn’t be accused of being objective. They’ve preferred to be refreshingly brave.

But I’ve just got the latest issue of the magazine. There are quite a few
pages devoted to the Aarushi case again. While I have enormous sympathy
for Tehelka’s concerns, I wish they didn’t make a fetish out this one.

Not quite the debate on the ills of parliament

When the former cabinet secretary, T S R Subramanian, asks: Has Parliament lost all its significance? One does realise that things have gone awry. Not just in parliament, but also in the elite’s unabashed penchant for stating “nothing” rather profoundly.
While he notes that the past 30 years as being particularly bad, Subramanian doesn’t contrast the fall in esteem of parliament lately with that of the “honourable” conduct of parliamentarians just after the stroke of the midnight hour. Instead he mentions Benjamin Franklin and Disraeli! Satyamurti comes up at the rear end of of the list. But Piloo Mody of course gets special mention.
Subramanian has missed out on the Indian parliament’s glorious history. His ideological myopia dissuades him from naming the likes of Hiren Mukherjee, who has otherwise won wholesome praise from even rabid reactionaries. Subramanian wouldn’t of course be expected to name the likes of Nehru or Ambedkar!
The former cabinet secretary has post-retirement found a vocation as a columnist, but he could do a lot better if he didn’t inflict readers with incomplete analyses, even if biased. It would have really helped enhance the debate on a genuine disquiet facing India.