Ranjona Banerji: The Hindu breaks a great story with Jayanthi Natarajan’s letter to Sonia Gandhi

30 Jan,2015

By Ranjona Banerji


The Hindu of January 30 has broken a fine story about former minister and long-time Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan’s letter to Sonia Gandhi, talking about the way she was humiliated by the party and forced to resign in 2013. This is a real “break” and exclusive, not the “today the sun is shining” sort of breaking news story that TV has made infamous. The text of the letter is here: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/full-text-of-jayanthi-natarajans-letter-to-sonia-gandhi/article6835522.ece


The Hindu also has a cover story about Natarajan’s situation and her reliance on Congress son and heir Rahul Gandhi’s advice. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/i-honoured-rahuls-requests-jayanthi-natarajan/article6835930.ece


Times Now has run away with the story and as usual, worked hard to confuse viewers. It is hard to tell from watching TV news alone whether Rahul Gandhi wanted Natarajan to clear projects for industrialists or to stall projects to save the environment. And from the morning, the channel has run BJP spokespersons rubbing their hands with glee. The Congress was missing in the morning at least which makes one wonder if Times Now has any “sources” (TV wallahs are so proud of flaunting them) in the Congress at all. Any viewer knows the channel has many direct lines to the BJP.


Further, the point which Times Now has chosen to focus on is Rahul Gandhi’s involvement in the running of the government and what Manmohan Singh was doing. This seems an odd angle when there are so many more obvious ones in front of them. But the ways of Times Now are mysterious to all!


The other news channels though continue to be obsessed with the Delhi state elections and the two most likely chief ministerial candidates, Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi. India being a massive country with over a billion in population it is only natural that a few million who live in the national capital are of any importance.


As a plug, I post my view of the Delhi elections which appeared to the website DailyO: http://www.dailyo.in/opinion/kejriwal-vs-bedi-why-i-dont-care-who-the-next-delhi-cm-is-delhi-elections/story/1/1730.html




Narendra Modi’s 10,000 pound suit and Barack Obama’s visit to India continued to dominate media space not least because of general incomprehension about what this visit achieved especially when it came to the nuclear deal. India’s best commentators and experts (no, I am not talking about TV) have laboured to explain this to us.


Social media and websites have had a blast about the Obama visit. Here are a variety:



And, http://www.dailyo.in/laugh/five-things-indians-would-not-have-noticed-about-modi-before-obamas-visit/story/1/1707.html




The Government of India put out an ad on Republic Day which carried the Preamble to the Constitution before the 1976 amendment which included the word “secular” and “socialist”. This has caused several uproars on social media especially between journalists who are proud of being partisan. Commentators have also weighed in, some pointing out that the Indira Gandhi government rushed through the amendment. Others have demanded the government come clean about whether it wants to remove or retain the words and still others have said that the change needs to come from Parliament and not from a government ad. Phew.


Meanwhile Venkaiah Naidu has confirmed that this government is committed to being “secular”. A storm in a teacup or some exploratory steps to check how the nation reacts? We can have another fight about this on social media soon.




January 30 is also Martyr’s Day, the day Nathuram Godse killed a frail old man in cold blood. Indian Express traces some of Godse’s steps on his way to murdering Mahatma Gandhi:




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One response to “Ranjona Banerji: The Hindu breaks a great story with Jayanthi Natarajan’s letter to Sonia Gandhi”

  1. ashok759 says:

    One can understand the historical angle in displaying something as it existed originally, but would someone countenance display of a map of India as it was on 15081947, excluding Goa and Sikkim ?

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