Wednesday, March 19, 2008

When small-minded people have pots of money and power ...

In an Outlook column titled "F*** All Editors", Kushwant Singh says this is what they do:

... [The Illustrated Weekly of India], like all others published by Bennet Coleman, including the Times of India, had been restored by the government to the Jain family. As soon as they took over, they started meddling in my business. My contract was terminated and my successor appointed. I had one week to go. I wrote a tearful piece of farewell, wishing the Illustrated Weekly future prosperity. It was never published. When I arrived at the office in the morning to tidy up my desk, I was handed a letter asking me to quit immediately. I picked up my umbrella and walked back home.

It was an undeserved, deliberate insult. It still rankles in my mind. The Jain vendetta continues to this day. Even functions held in my honour presided over by people like Amitabh Bachchan, Maharani Gayatri Devi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while reported in the Times of India, never carry my name or photograph. That is how small-minded people with pots of money and power can be.

* * *

Back in the 1990s, ToI was well on its way to becoming a tabloid, with very little real news. When it sacked its editor (I think it was Dilip Padgaonkar, who was re-hired sometime later), a rival newspaper suggested this recruitment ad for ToI: "Editor wanted; journalists need not apply." ;-)


  1. sepulchritude said...

    Amen on the ToI bit. Without 't', 'o' and 'i', "tabloid" would just be "abld" rearrangement away from "bald".

  2. Anonymous said...

    Today's desipundit has a link to a blog highlighting the benefits of celebrity/frivolous 'journalism' for Deccan Chronicle. I looked at the Deccan Chronicle online and it has no editorial and four out of the five columns are copied straight from American newspapers! The alternative to this tabloid-style publication is the Hindu which looks increasingly (especially after the recent coverage of the Russian elections and the ongoing violence in Tibet) like a glorified mouthpiece of the CPI(M). The Indian Express has been doing a better job of late with a lot of good columnists moving to it. Barring that, at least in the south, there does not seem to be much of a choice.

  3. Anant said...

    Let me direct anonymous to my own recent take on a certain newspaper that remains unnamed, see the link here.