22 April, 2021

Past Isn’t Perfect. But.

It’s no wonder journalism got embedded in the high stakes of a newly rich India

Narendra Bisht
Past Isn’t Perfect. But.

There is the famous, if apocryphal, story of Girilal Jain, one-time editor of The Times of India, meeting with then prime minister Indira Gandhi, one of the regular meetings editors have with those in authority for off-the-record conversations to understand the mood of the leader and the policies he or she is pursuing. A close associate of hers asked her, “What did Girilal have to say?” The cryptic answer was, “Well, he spoke, and I listened,” implying that he was so keen to advise her on how to run the country that she was content to indulge him and did not have to reveal her hand in the process.

I was reminded of this gem while reading about the tapes on the present 2G spectrum controversy involving journalists, corporate leaders, politicians and a sharp corporate lobbyist. Surely, one feature of the often eye-popping transcripts is how journalists of a certain level think of themselves as kingmakers, rather than mere...

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