Anil Thakraney: Oye, ‘Time’ mein job milega?

11 Jul,2012

By Anil Thakraney


TIME mag has termed our Prime Minister an ‘Underachiever’. I completely disagree with this description, it is much too kind. The truth is, and every sane Indian would agree, MMS has been a total flop show since he became PM once again in 2009. His government failed the country on every single parameter, and in particular, his team has damaged India’s growth story. Anyway, enough has been said on Manmohan Singh’s stellar performance, so I won’t delve on that.


What got me interested is the impact of TIME’s cover story in India. Both, the politicians and the media got their knickers in a twist discussing this article threadbare. Almost as if the final report card had arrived from the Big Boss. As if what the goras, located thousands of miles away from the action, think of our PM is the gospel truth.


All sorts of insinuations are being flung around. Some people suggest it’s a marketing gimmick from TIME mag to boost its circulation in India. One Left leader claimed it’s a conspiracy hatched by America to put MMS under pressure so that they can launch new businesses in India! And of course, the netas are busy hurling dirt at each other. As the BJP leaders gloat over the article, the Congresswallahs are firing back with: ‘Hello, but they were harsher on Atal Bihari Vajpayee!’


However, what hurt me the most in this tamasha is that various Indian columnists and speakers have been dissing Manmohan Singh’s policies for a long time, but no one takes them seriously. It’s as if what India thinks about India does not matter. Quite obviously, after over six decades of independence, our colonial hangover hasn’t gone. No wonder then that some top industrialists from India happily meet the foreign press, while desi journos don’t even get a response to interview requests.


My conclusion: To be taken seriously in India, I need to work for a foreign publication. That’s the irony of our existence. Therefore I am busy preparing my CV afresh, and will soon be knocking on the doors of gora editors. Jai Hind!


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PS: Glad this utterly charming ad from Chipotle won the Grand Prix at Cannes. My most favourite commercial of last year. Superb idea backed by terrific animation. It’s all soul, and it makes you think where we are headed. The film is particularly relevant in India, where we have lost our way in the mad ambition to be an industrialized nation. And yes, Coldplay’s haunting track, ‘The Scientist’, works wonderfully out here.


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