Tag Archives: CNN IBN

CBI acts on Raja, Kalmadi: too little,too late

CBI moves!

Suresh Kalmadi’s house and offices in New Delhi and Pune were raided and former telecom minister A. Raja was questioned for almost nine hours by the premier investigating agency of the country.

No mean feat. They questioned at last.

It seems the premier investigating agency woke up (presumably after enjoying its festivities) on the eve of festive season.

Not too long back, they questioned Niira Radia after a sizable pause.

With these developments, at least for the sake of argument they did act.

But is that enough? Is their pace of action justified? Are they alone to be blamed for this? Or have the law brokers outnumbered the watchdogs?

A report by DNA in April 2010 said CBI has 9000 cases pending in various courts across country.

Another report few days back in The Hindu pointed that despite CBI’s plea to remove Kalmadi and his lieutenant Lalit Bhanot be removed for they obstructed the probe, but the government claiming to fight corruption said Kalmadi can’t be removed as CNN-IBN reported.

Raja buys time, Kalmadi can’t be removed how bad can be too bad for law enforcing agencies.

Giving those under scanner a lifetime to apparently put things in place and then fighting against the lack of political will shows why there are no results in corruption cases.

At times one wonders when the last time CBI was brought the culprits to justice.  It was in January 2010 when it brought culprits in techie Ansu Kuruvilla to justice after four years.

This speeding act of CBI seems to be too little too late, in fact going by the dismal record of the investigation these move don’t hint at looking at improving the score.

Along with catching those culprits, it should also learn to safeguard its site, which was hacked earlier this month.

Jokes apart.

Wish CBI improves its strike rate. High time some examples are set to install some fear of law in the mind of culprits.

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Tendulkar V/S Bradman:the unfair debate

A half century of centuries is no mean achievement. An average of 99.9 runs in Test matches is equally unparalleled.

With Sachin Tendulkar slamming his 50th ton the decade long debate of who among Tendulkar and Don Bradman is the greatest batsmen in the game of cricket is again alive.

Television, print, online all media platforms across India and some in Australia are abuzz with the debate, which for me does not exist.

Game’s evolved

What the debtors forget is the fact that both are geniuses in their own rights and over the decades the gentleman’s game has evolved but it seems that those debating the topic haven’t.

Google ‘Sachin Tendulkar Don Bradman’ and staggering 81, 900 results pop up and the debate can be traced back to 2001. When BBC did a debate and compared the maestros almost a decade back, Don on their scale outnumbered master blaster by two points.

Cut to 2010, without doubt Tendulkar has made up for those two points, but in no way would have surpassed Bradman.

Numbers

Watching the Debate on who is the best on CNN-IBN, what struck me was former test player Sanjay Manjrekar’s comment was that in Bradmans era the second best average was at the max 60, whereas today there are many near Sachin’s average.

Post War the game changed, while Don Bradman could only play 52 test matches, he managed to hit 29 centuries. Tendulkar on the other hand has played 175 test matches.  While Don hit a century every 1.8 test Tendulkar managed triple digit runs every 3.5 test.

However if you taken into count the first class centuries scored into consideration Bradman shows his class; Don has 146 of them collectively compared to Tendulkar’s 127. (Source of stats for both: wikipedia)

Having said that its difficult to find those who accept the supremacies each of these greatest batsmen hold in their eras.

Emotions

The debate generates extreme sentiments. In a report in The Sydney Morning Herald Sourav Ganguly when asked his opinion said Tendulkar, while former Australian cricketer Greg Chappel picked Don.

It’s not merely cricketers, even bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan couldn’t hold back his emotions when he blogged and tweeted saying that Sachin is the best and that is all.

Once more

The debate will continue, but let’s salute the greats.

Sachin has raised the bar indeed and see who dares to overtake him. A century of tons collectively in ODI and Test too is not far away.

You bet the debate will come alive again.

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Time to walk the talk

The Niira Radia tapes interestingly are still being debated. The matter is far from over and marks a new page for me in the way Indian media functions or will function in the days to come.

The blog by Rajdeep Sardesai, editor in chief, CNN-IBN brought the ‘sting stung’ expose involving journalists back to mind.

Sardesai who doubles up as president, Editor’s guild of India, though late in putting his views across on the debate makes few candid points.

I quote few of his points which struck me:

1.       In recent times, the media has lived by the dictum of guilty till proven innocent. Guess the concept of trial by media has now come back to sting the media itself!

2.       At one level, the ethical decline is a consequence of changing market realities?

3.       In a highly competitive news universe, access is the key, a privilege which is often dependent on building personal equations.

4.       When was the last time corporate corruption was exposed with rigour in the media? Most business interviews are soft focus profiles, designed as image-building exercises rather than genuinely inquisitorial.

All valid and ironically dangerous questions concerning the way media market is booming in India.

The questions are for real, but what surprises me is the media apathy to the subject, and whatever has been coming out has largely been acquisitions and counter cleansing exercises or mere pressure cum need based debates.

NDTV ran an hour long unedited show to give a chance to Barkha Dutt to put her point across, CNN IBN too did a shown where the anchor said, the issue has set websites on fire and hence the debate. Vir Sanghvi posted his views in his column and website and few discussions on who is to be questioned and basics not being followed was the end of the issue.

Why are editors not coming forward on a collective forum to address the larger issues? Why when Sardesai says when was the last time corporate corruption was exposed with vigour he does not provides an alternative or a way out? Why the dependence of advertisements and advertorials not being debated? Why is the issue of leading media houses(The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Indian Express to name some) abstaining from the debate not being discussed.

Two very senior editors Dileep Padgaonkar and N. Ram on two different platforms raised similar thoughts. While Padgaonkar on NDTV said: “In my times we would not allow PR guys to come near the editorial section.” Ram on CNN-IBN said, “I don’t believe in the theory of stringing sources to get information.” He added, “Has this been the BBC, the NYT or WSJ, the careers of those involved would have been over.”

I feel the controversy provides a unique opportunity for media as a whole to come together and set the rules straight for the new breed and established lot of journalists to follow.

Time for editors and media organisations to walk the talk.

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Where will this lead Journalism in India?

At last the debate on the ‘Journogate’ (popularly being called Barkhagate) has begun to gain some momentum in India.

Ever since the tapes involving some leading names in Indian journalism in debatable conversation with a high-profile public relation executive Niira Radia have been made public by two news magazines, some platforms have started discussion.

The credit to this late yet timely development goes to the bloggers and social networking sites where the issue is a hot debate.

Journalist Karan Thapar who debated the issue on The Last Word a prime time news debate show on CNN IBN started saying that the topic ‘has set the websites aflame’ despite the issue being ignored by media houses.

The debate for me was a step forward, but it added a few more questions to the already complex scenario.

Panelists debated that why did those involved in the tapes not report that a publicist for the leading business houses (Tata and Mukesh Ambani) with Tata’s having a sizeable presence in telecom sector was acting as a power broker for DMK.

It also justified the stand of Open Magazine and Outlook to go ahead with the story sans versions of those involved. N. Ram, editor, The Hindu said: “it’s a part of journalistic practise, did we (journalists) asked Vin Chadda before publishing the Bofors expose?”

What was missing from the engaging session was that neither Barkha Dutt nor Vir Sanghvi participated despite being called for the show. This was predictable.

However both have tweeted and posted their explanations for one last time to set the record straight.  Dutt has published her argument on NDTV website giving links to the stories that she did against A Raja and Sanghvi too after putting a letter last week on his website has explained his stance in his weekly column Counterpoint, which appears in Hindustan Times on Sundays.

Interestingly, Sanghvi has made it clear that battered by the allegations he will discontinue his column in for the time being.

He writes on his website and I quote “I have no desire to subject counterpoint to this filth. It deserves better. So, Counterpoint will be taking a break. When life returns to normal, so will counterpoint.”

It seems the controversy has hit hard.

The debate was also discussed at Foundation for Media Professionals, in New Delhi.

Some question the debate arises are firstly is it alright to go ahead with an expose despite the tapes not being officially and secondly is it fine to go ahead without securing the views of those questioned?

While Ram answered the latter for the first I feel if something is there for a larger public interest the journalists are well within their rights to bring it out.

Will this bloodletting improve journalism standards in India? The question looms large over the fraternity.

I would quote N.Ram from the CNN IBN debate that had this happened at the BBC, the New York Times or the Financial Times, such behaviour would not have been tolerated and the career would have been over.

Will the media houses come clean on this issue is a big question for future of Journalism in India?

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