Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Poor Barkha

After the Radia Niira tapes expose there has been a sea change in the firebrand tv journaist and anchor Barkha Dutt. The former eloquent, ebullient, cocksure, brilliant selfconfident Barkha has turned into a gloomy and crestfallen Barkha who has lost her halo as she continues bravely with her interviews. Yesterday I saw her on NDTV interviewing Kapil Sibal the Minister in charge of telecom. It was a totally different Barkha, meek, submissisve and lacking the fire and chutzpah in her cross examination. Kapil Sibal is a great lawyer besides being a politician. It was hard to pin him down or get anyting worthwhile about the 2G scam from his mouth and for once he was the one who was grilling Barkha at several points during the interview. What a fall was there, my countrymen ! It takes years to build up a re putation and all it takes is a small slip and hobnobbing with lobbyists and being unfortunate enough to be caught in the act by the phone tappers from Enforcement Directorate to bite the dust. Gone in a minute ! Will she ever regain her pre-eminence in tv journalism? Dumb question !

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I like Chetan Bhagat as a novelist. His style is racy, saucy and gripping. But when he ventures into pastures new such as writing on politics in the Times of India, I can sense his limitations. He first wrote that everyone should boycott the Commonwealth Games. Post the successful conclusion of CWG he applauds the athletes who got a total of 101 medals 38 of them Gold, earning second position for India, but continues to castigate the establishment for massive bungling and corruption and wants the culprits to be punished, sent to jail no less. He recommends that an independent accounting firm be entrusted with the job of probing the misappropriations. Now we all know how Ramalingam Raju siphonend off 10,000 crores right under the nose of Price Waterloo Cooper, an internationally known accounts and auditing firm. If Raju could hoodwink PWC by forging Fixed Deposit receipts what can we expect such firms to unravel from the adroit bueaucrats who are adept at throwing red herrings in the path of even seasoned CBI investigators and leading them up the garden path? For that matter what did the multinational auditing firms do when Enron went bust in USA ? It was a whistle blower from inside who spilled the beans. As for sending the culprits to jail, Bhagat does not know the labyrinthine ways of justice in this country. The Ayodhya case took 60 years to get a verdict and that too is being challenged in the supreme court. A person booked as a terrorist in 1993 is a superstar today, preaching Gandhian principles in his movies, merrily moving about in his Ferrari and private aircraft.
So, Mr.Bhagat, perish the thought of sending the CWG scamsters to jail.

Leave politics to seasoned political analysts and columnists and concentrate on your next novel.