Sunday, June 03, 2007

News Post

The NDTV expose and the Gujjar violence in Rajasthan were the two major items that kept the news channel counters ringing this last week. The NDTV sting operation (which I could not see being shown on any of the other channels except obviously NDTV) was indeed sensational just as the BMW case itself was. The collusion between the defense lawyer and the public prosecutor seems to have put the judicial system under the scanner for having scaled the very heights of corruption with the aim of protecting the guilty. The repercussions were many, as the public prosecutor was dropped from further handling the case and the Bar council created a committee to look into the alleged breach of the legal procedures for the same. Kudos to NDTV, which is, by far the best news channel on Indian airwaves. The other two - CNN-IBN and Times Now try to be aggressive to the extent of becoming frivolous, though CNBC-TV18 is good on the business news coverage. The way Sanjay Agrawal, the prime witness was wired with cameras etc and the videos captured, is absolutely fantastic.

The Gujjar violence is a more serious matter, especially due to the sudden violent turn it all took, and then clashes with another community, the Meenas, who are opposed to the Gujjars being given the demanded ST status. This event goes on to highlight the ominous chaos that caste systems, associated politics and reservations can create even in modern day India, with all the alleged India shimmering and 'India Poised' campaigns.

With the economy galloping, spearheaded by the services sector and a GDP growth rate of 9.4 % such events will often recur, if the trickle down effect is not sufficient, the differences between haves and have-nots widening. Although, as I was reading in an article by economist Bibek Debroy, in which he refutes the claim that growth hasn't penetrated down to the masses and also states that the actual GDP growth might have been closer to 12 percent and the existing calculations are based on certain older measurement parameters, that now stand obsolete.

With the Prime Minister admonishing India Inc. and corporate houses (seems like a ploy to appease the left and transfer the blame to the private sector) for indulging in ostentatiousness, lavish show of their riches, and disbursal of high salaries to top executives, Manmohan Singh, the initiator of economic reforms who was key in letting in open markets in India, seems to have come full circle, buckling under intense communist pressure. The CPM itself, though, is wooing Infosys in West Bengal, projecting its low land rates and touting West Bengal as the next big IT destination in the country.


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