Gimmicky, unappetizing green times

05 Jun,2012

Ranjona Banerji

By Ranjona Banerji


What is the general feeling on the pista-green shade adopted by Bennett Coleman newspapers for World Environment Day, June 5? To me, not only did it look unappetising (not that I have anything against pistachios, quite the contrary) but it also seemed gimmicky. The giant Fiama de Wills ad which ran horizontally from top to bottom and half the page on TOI did not help either.


The effort has to be commended – Sunita Narain of Down to Earth as guest editor and a whole slew of stories on the environment. However, the kind of stories chosen were “same old, same old” and that, even for an interested party like me, it was a bit yawn-inducing. Wagging fingers about environmental degradation and human iniquity is now passé. The movement has progressed since then and practical applications and answers would have perhaps been a better track to follow. An opportunity lost, unfortunately.


Most other newspapers just paid basic lip service to the day, so plaudits for Bennett Coleman there.




Sachin Tendulkar taking his Rajya Sabha oath should have been a fairly simple matter, with a requisite press presence suitable for a star. But this propensity for national hysteria can get a bit boring. Yes, we have already discussed in great detail the whys, wherefores, whens, hows, what-ifs and wisdom of this move. So apart from breathless coverage we also had some laboured debate on NDTV about Tendulkar and the Rajya Sabha.


When there are no major issues at hand then TV’s desire for “scintillating” discussion (can’t find the sarcasm emoticon) falls a little flat. Even Arnab Goswami’s going round and round the mulberry bush over India against Corruption and Baba Ramdev’s on-off love affair was uninteresting since there were very few answers that India actually demanded from either of them.




Watching a press conference with Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee after the Congress Working Committee meeting on Monday was fascinating. If he were not so busy being the main trouble-shooter, the Congress could have used him as their chief TV debater. His breadth of knowledge is so large and understanding so acute, he sort of stops people in their tracks. I suspect that journalists are a little frightened of asking him the frivolous questions they usually do of others. Imagine what Mukherjee would do to Nirmala Seetharaman or Ravi Shankar Prasad in a TV debate?




Since the French Open is into its second week at Roland Garros, it is a pleasure to see so much coverage on so many sports pages. I take the Hindustan Times and the Hindu off the hook here – they have always given fair play to tennis. But even the Times of India which barely manages a nod to other tennis tournaments has clearly decided that a Grand Slam is worthy of its venerable attention. So too the Indian Express, which gives a little nod to sports and focuses on cricket, has been covering events in Paris.


However the cynic in me says that since some European football tournament is due to start this week, tennis may soon be back in the briefs sections.


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One response to “Gimmicky, unappetizing green times”

  1. Himanshu says:

    Wow…never read this section earlier on MXMIndia, though have come across your writings in DNA when I was in Mumbai. This is good.

    On environment…I’ll like to add what I learned from yesterday’s talk I attended by the authors (Simone, Navi and Rajdeep) of Jugaad Innovation…

    1. Mansukhbhai in Gujarat make earthen refrigerators that are made of clay and run without electricity. He also make non stick frying pans made of clay…!!

    2. Came to know about a Bangalore based organization that makes baby incubators priced at approx $200 and work without electricity…

    There were other umpteen examples of how frugal and flexible materials are being employed by these entrepreneurs which are not only eco-friendly but also innovative…don’t know if TOI carried such stories!