Freaking News: Tendulkar upstages the budget extravaganza

19 Mar,2012

By Ranjona Banerji


Pranab Mukherjee owes a big debt to Sachin Tendulkar. By the time Saturday morning dawned, the newspapers it seemed were far more excited about the century of centuries than they were about fisccons, indirect taxation and how do you solve a problem like Mamata.


The Times of India, Uttarakhand, had “Sachin, Thanks a Ton” as its lead headline and story. The budget was tucked below the fold. The Hindu went with convention and the budget, “Dr Pranab’s bitter medicine” but there was Sachin’s “century of centuries just below the fold. The Hindustan Times (Delhi) put Sachin as a banner on top of the budget – “God of All Things” and then said, “Reforms on Rewind”.


The Times of India’s Mumbai edition put Sachin at the top and the bottom. There was the banner “Tondulkar goes where no one ever has or ever will”, then a graphicked-up finance minister with the headline, “Face it. Life’s got a lot more taxing” and then “Thanks a ton, Sachin” at the bottom. DNA, Mumbai went with “Budget bores, Sachin scores” which about put the matter in perspective.


As far as headlines go, I would say Hindustan Times has won, DNA has come second, Times has tried too hard and Hindu not at all.


Interestingly, Hindustan Times, Mumbai’s Sachin banner read “Man of the Century” which perhaps proves that HT thinks that either no one in Mumbai will get the Arundhati Roy reference in the “God of All Things” or that people in Mumbai can’t do maths (man of 100 centuries, surely?) or that the Mumbai edition just felt it had to be different from Delhi. Now that’s a legitimate desire, surely?


Even The Economic Times could not ignore Sachin and tied the two together into one headline, “On Budget Day, Sachin scores”. The Vodafone tax case also got a cricket reference “Vodafone may have to face Pranab’s Doosra”.


Thus the nation’s fascination with cricket and Tendulkar managed to upstage the annual extravaganza that newspapers go through every year.


* * *


In fact, Saturday must have been a news editor’s nightmare, trying to decide which story was bigger. After all, we’ve spent almost a year going on and on about Tendulkar’s 100th century and couldn’t give it second place even if it arrived on budget day.


As for what the newspapers said about the budget, it was more of the same – some people liked it and some didn’t. More than likely: all will be forgotten as Mamata Banerjee plays out some new drama and Akhilesh Yadav loses some of his sheen. Pranab Mukherjee will probably have the last laugh.


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One response to “Freaking News: Tendulkar upstages the budget extravaganza”

  1. Lifeisonelove says:

    Ranjona Banerji is look a like Shahnaaz “Creamwali”

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