What was India thinking about on April 16th 2008?
Yesterday our three major national dailies were caught up with the issue of issue of Congress President Sonia’s Gandhi‘s snub to HRD Minister Arjun Singh. Sonia showed her displeasure to Arjun Singh for proposing her son Rahul Gandhi‘s name for the Prime Ministership after the next general elections (to be held early next year). The Indian Express (Delhi), The Hindu (Chennai) and The Telegraph (Kolkata) made this issue their main Front Page story.
This is from the Hindu:
Well, certainly whether Rahul Gandhi becomes Prime Minister or not is of great significance to the future of our country and therefore so is whether the Congress projects Rahul Gandhi as the future P.M. I feel the Congress is plannning to do this, but wants to do it more subtly, not the way Arjun Singh did it.
Apparently, Arjun Singh is not close to Sonia Gandhi and he blurted out the party’s line before the party was ready. Therefore Sonia reprimanded Arjun Singh, and called his mention of Rahul as P.M. as sycophancy. A wise move on her part, because according to this article it was Arjun SIngh who had first proposed Sonia’s name for the P.M. after the last election, and we all know what happened. There was opposition, even from within the Congress party, and finally Sonia backed down. The Congress perhaps feels that Arjun Singh’s suggestion will result in a similar fiasco, more so because it is a direct insult to the present P.M. Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Well, usually I don’t like to agree with Sonia Gandhi but cannot help but agree with her on the issue of Arjun Singh’s sycophancy. It must be quite embarrassing for Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister Karunanidhi, as he spoke too soon by echoing Arjun Singh’s rhetoric. I think he should have shown more restraint. Sonia herself has gained immensely by this criticism of Arjun Singh, and this is what makes one feels suspicious as to whether all of this is nothing but staged political drama…
Here is the Hindustan Times, Delhi edition. Although they reported on the Olympic Torch run which is scheduled today, the Sonia Arjun story was given equal prominence.
Where Times of India (both Mumbai and Delhi editions) is concerned, they focussed on the sensational meeting of Priyanka Gandhi and her father’s killer, Nalini. The Hindu and The Indian Express also reported this story in a prominent manner, but the Times went to town with it! I don’t think this story deserved this much importance and in fact one cannot help feeling that the meeting was a some sort of publicity stunt to garner brownie points for the Congress and Sonia Gandhi. It was Sonia Gandhi who granted a pardon to Nalini and that is why this convicted killer (in the conspiracy to murder Rajiv Gandhi) has only a life sentence to serve. I have a feeling that many more such publicity gimmicks are in store for us in the run-up to the elections. And the media is going to play along with the powers that be. We the public need to be prepared and on our guard.
Interestingly, the Hindustan Times Mumbai edition was different. I liked their Front Page story on SIMI’s terrorist network. They did report Sonia snub to Arjun Singh, but it was sidelined and pushed to the left of the page. They did not give the Priyanka-Nalini story any importance.
DNA was on a different tack from other major dailes yesterday. It talked of Maharashtra’s lazy ministers, a good story but I wonder why a regional story was on the front page? Surely it should have been a story of national importance…but no, DNA is basically a Mumbai paper.
And well what can one expect from the tabloids? At last they don’t disappoint!
(All the images are screen shots from the sites)
Related Reading: India was worrying about Kashmir on 25th of August 2008 (post with front pages of English newspapers from all over the country)
The front pages of both Indian language and English newspapers show that there is too much sensationalism in our print media. (pictorial post)
Is Print readership falling in India?
In defense of the Indian Media
Indian print media in trouble
About fake stings and fraudulent journalism
Screen shots of the Front Pages of newspapers (English dailies, Regional dailes and some global newspapers)