Amitabh Bachchan and the circus and the King of Bad Times!

11 Nov,2011

By Ranjona Banerji


What seems to be the imminent collapse of Kingfisher is now looking to dominate the news. Newspapers are full of it – and not just on the business pages – and one can expect TV to follow soon. Ironically there was Vijay Mallya celebrating the “success” of India’s entry into Formula 1 just a few weeks ago; now he is described as “cash strapped”.

On top of that, we have Air India employees claiming they have not been paid for months, which means that the glory story of Indian’s aviation industry may be heading for some dark days ahead and should also move out of business pages and papers into the mainstream.

It would be fitting if our umpteen business channels would get their heads out of the stock market and examine a collapse like Kingfisher’s. We spend so much time congratulating ourselves for every teeny achievement by any random Indian anywhere. Surely we can expend a little effort to explain to readers and viewers why things have gone wrong?




Given the amount of excitement the collapse of the News of the World generated earlier this year, the second questioning of James Murdoch by a group of British MPs should have got some more airtime, surely, from international channels. Especially since firebrand MP Tom Watson likened the young Murdoch to a mafia chief. Indian TV and newspapers both covered the questioning but the BBC remained obsessed with the Eurozone crisis and so on.

Interestingly it also took a long time for the BBC to acknowledge the riots which broke across the UK this summer. Is there some decision to keep home news quiet and just show prime minister David Cameron making a speech every now and then? Like Doordarshan of the old days?



Edits in most newspapers focused on the first convictions in the Gujarat riot cases of 2002, pointing out that while this was a rare occurrence which must therefore be lauded, there was a lot to do before peace and harmony could be established in Gujarat. TV channels need to get their heads around some basics of journalism: first report the facts and then get obsessed with reactions. For almost 30 minutes the other day the ticker on Times Now told us that Zakia Jafrey was happy with the verdict without telling us what the verdict was. Jafrey’s response is not the primary news. Time to go back to school? Oh, sorry, I forgot, most young journalists today have come out of some journalism school or the other.



Am curious to know whether anyone is going to tell us anything about the impending birth of the child of Aishwariya and Abhishek Bachchan. The fight between Amitabh Bachchan and the media is not new – it existed for most of his illustrious career and seemingly made no difference either to his fortunes or indeed to the film media’s. But to have a code of conduct over a celebrity event is surely too precious. Celebrities would not exist if it wasn’t for cooperation with the media. I guess Bachchan senior will send out tweet at the relevant moment and the whole world will know. The circus acts can follow later.

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One response to “Amitabh Bachchan and the circus and the King of Bad Times!”

  1. In the troubled times that we are living in, does anyone really care about the new addition to the Bachchan family? Everyone is immersed in their lives – on the next prince rise, the stinking politicians and their dirty games and how to continuously bear it. How does one more birth affect us?