[MJR] The big wound in Indian newsgathering covered with Kareena Kapoor’s bandaid

03 Apr,2012

By Ranjona Banerji


Even three years ago, my father couldn’t tell the difference between Kareena Kapoor and Shah Rukh Khan, if he even knew who they were. Now he can recognise every single Bollywood star and can even talk knowledgeably about their new films and their goings-on. He has not watched a film, I must clarify, in I-don’t-know-how-many years. But he is a news junkie. Therefore, when he told me on Saturday that the biggest TV news of the day was that Kareena Kapoor had a band-aid on her leg, I believe him.


I think I also take back every criticism of Markandey Katju I ever made. I opened the e-paper of The Times of India this morning, to have a look at what was happening in the world. The front page of the main edition and the front page of Bombay Times opened next to each other. I have not read Bombay Times since Medianet began, so I did not look further. Why should I, when I already knew from opening the TOI website that Sajid Khan thinks that the Shah Rukh Khan-Farah Khan fight was meaningless and that Sachin Tendulkar had handed over the captaincy of the Mumbai Indians to Harbhajan Singh.


Actually, it said ‘Bhajji” but by now we all know who that is. Should they have called Sachin “Tendlya” to keep the casual tone consistent? Maybe you’re not allowed to get casual with Sachin.


I then went to Google to have a look at Hindustan Times. “Click for the latest Bollywood and cricket news” said the link. Ah well. I already know that, I thought. Kareena Kapoor has a band-aid on her leg and Sachin is no longer captain of the Mumbai Indians. Of course I was wrong. The most viewed story on the Hindustan Times website is “Akshay Kumar, John Abraham in a brawl”.


I had foolishly thought that the Myanmar elections and Aung San Suu Kyi’s imminent victory was big news but couldn’t find it on the home page of these two worthy websites.


So I went to the Times Now website and that is where normal service was resumed. Arnab Goswami, in save-India mode, looked at me sternly and I then knew all about Jaganmohan Reddy’s yatra as the CBI noose around him tightened, the fact that Team Anna was now taking on the BJP over Himachal Pradesh and the Lok Ayukta Bill, that the prime minister had refused to meet army chief VK Singh. I also saw Mynmar there.


I hereby humbly take back all the nasty things I have ever said about Indian television. This I predict will last three days. Because I just remembered Kareena Kapoor and her band-aid.


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