Skip to main content

Editor Unplugged by Vinod Mehta

I bought this book because it was written by editor of Outlook, one of the best English magazines in India. Is it also because recently he has expired? I am not sure. Or is it also because the author is self proclaimed pseudo secularist - at a time when the word - secularism is ridiculed or frowned upon.

And the book is really good. The author gives us an in depth view of the world of journalism, media and politics. And the narration is detailed without ever getting boring.

Consider an essay about should newspapers be owned by big industrialists. In India and in world over, it is difficult for a newspaper to survive without financial backing of a rich industrialist. Because running a news paper is costly and most often lossy business. Industrialists run this business and in return they expect the paper should support their causes. An editor will always have to struggle between the duty to tell the truth and need to obey his proprietor. Honest editor will often be fired and will have to search for another place. Vinod Mehta himself had to quit so many newspapers before he joined Outlook.

So he says more than industrialists owning the media, monopoly of the media is very bad for the country and democracy. Here he takes the case of Rupert Mudroch. This owner of Start network here and Fox channel in USA, owns more than 30% of media in UK, is a major player in USA and Australia. He would send shivers in the hearts of presidents and prime ministers of these countries. They knew that opposing him would mean losing their post.

But a very small paper "Guardian" brought a scoop on Mudroch showing how his papers would tap the telephones of politicians, industrialists and even common people. This scoop caused terrible loss to Mudroch's company and he is still fighting legal cases in USA and UK.

So media monopoly is terrible. Media owned by Industrialists is OKayish evil.

And in another essay on AK, the author explains how he had believed that Arvind Kejriwal is one person who can change the politics of our country. How he had supported AK in Outlook. And how after a brief period of government in Delhi, AK started putting one wrong step after another. And the worst of all, he called media as criminals and when he comes to power, he will send them to Jail. I think by making that statement, he digged his own grave.

I was a huge fan of AAP and AK and am a fan even today to some extent. Because he had the courage to oppose our PM when most politicians, common men and intellectuals all were blinded by his spell. And he has some honesty in him at a time when Politics has become synonymous with corruption. And he influenced honest and intelligent common men and women to join politics. And brought down the price of onions :). May be if he had read essay about him before I read the rest of the book, I would have discarded the book.

But we need to accept the reality and try to accept the limitations of our heroes. After the second Delhi election victory, AAP is always in news and always for in-fight. And the party appears to become less and less transparent.

But as Vinod Mehta puts it in epilogue of the essay - AK has his heart in right place. So let us wish him and his party luck and some smartness.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Someshwara shataka

ಚರಿಪಾರಣ್ಯದ ಪಕ್ಷಿಗೊಂದು ತರು ಗೊಡ್ಢಾಗಲ್ ಫಲಂ ಈವಿದಾ
ಮರಗಳ್ ಪುಟ್ಟವೆ ಪುಷ್ಪವೊಂದು ಬಳಲಲ್  ಭ್ರಂಗಕ್ಕೆ ಪೂವಿಲ್ಲವೆ
ನಿರತಂ ಸತ್ಕವಿಗೋರ್ವ ಗರ್ವಿದಂ ನೃಪ ತಾಂ ಲೋಭಿಯಾಗಲ್ ನಿಜಂ
ಧರೆಯೊಳ್ ದಾತರು ಪುಟ್ಟರೆ ಹರ ಹರಾ ಶ್ರೀ ಚೆನ್ನ ಸೋಮೇಶ್ವರ

Will a bird in the wild go hungry just because one fruit tree dries up? If one flower withers, will not the bee get any flowers? If one haughty king is miserly, will there be no patrons (of poetry) on this earth?


ಕೆಲವಂ ಬಲ್ಲವರಿಂದ ಕಲ್ತು ಕೆಲವಂ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಂಗಳೋದುತಂ
ಕೆಲವಂ ಮಾಳ್ಪವರಿಂದ ಕಂಡು ಕೆಲವಂ ಸುಜ್ಙಾನದಿಂ  ನೋಡುತಂ
ಕೆಲವಂ ಸಜ್ಜನಸಂಗದಿಂದಲರಿಯಲ್ ಸರ್ವಜ್ಞನಪ್ಪಂ ನರಂ
ಪಲವಂ ಪಳ್ಳ ಸಮುದ್ರವೈ ಹಾರ ಹರಾ ಶ್ರೀ ಚೆನ್ನ ಸೋಮೇಶ್ವರ

Learning from wise men, reading from good books, observing others  work and learning from good company, these are the ways a man becomes omni-scient (sarvajna - one who knows everything). Just like many streams join together to make an ocean.

P.S.
1) If you find some of my wordings in this shataka is wrong, please let me know. It is a 40 year old memory.
2) There are also many tripadis(poems with 3 lines ,…

Art therapy?

The other day, I was feeling little bit off. That happens most of the time, doesn't it? Well, that day I was feeling more off than usual. And was trying to fill the gigantic void with television shows, dumb mobile games and of course food.

Then I got up and took my color kit and started painting. OK, I am not an artist and am quite bad at it. But still I paint plain colors on empty jam and sauce bottles now and then. And it helps. And mind you, I started this much before these the "art therapy" became hip.

I even try to do some sewing. But that is more time consuming and needs better eyes. I may have patience and attention span of a two year old. So sewing is not for me.

So, the question arises, why don't I use this form of meditation - for the lack of better word, every time? I would have been ten kgs lighter and much much calmer. I don't have an answer. Here is my work from that day.

Again the photo has another story - I took the photo on old dining table clu…

Shantam papam

I plucked some leaves from my kitchen garden for (cooking) making tambuli in the evening. Imagine, I who can not read small letters, even in broad daylight, plucked some dodda patre leaves in the dark kitchen garden. I tried dry roasting them with coriander leaves. Suddenly I saw something whitish. A worm? What sin I was about to commit? I was about to feed non-veg, that too a worm, to two pious brahmins. Threw out the whole thing. Should I wear glasses even when I am cooking?
I hate these chalis. So never wear them. It hurts my nose. I go to a super market. I read a box of something to buy. I can not read its price. I ask the sales boy/girl, what is the price. They will think that I am illiterate. But see, I can't help it. Can't these people print atleast prices in large print for forty plus people.
After a long time today, I tried reading my daily horoscope from newspaper. Could not read anything. At this exponential decay rate, the day is not far when my vision would be zer…