Ranjona Banerji: How dare you tell the media what to do: we solved the Sheena Bora case!

24 Nov,2015

By Ranjona Banerji


We’re back then to the Sheena Bora murder case. All right, I’ll accept that. The CBI charge-sheet is ready, naming Indrani Mukerjea, Sanjeev Khanna and Shyam Rai for the murder of Bora. And the CBI threw in a whammy by arresting Peter Mukerjea, husband of Indrani and questioning him on his role.


Well, whammy because Indian news television broke into such a massive melodrama over this. Did the Mumbai cops favour Peter Mukerjea, how dare you speak when I’m talking, the media has no business in claiming to solve this case, how dare you tell the media what to do… And here we are in TV LaLa Land again.


CNNIBN was the most circumspect on the day the news broke, with Mumbai bureau chief Smitha Nair Rasquinha doing a proper reporter’s job with fact triumphing over editorialising. Quite admirable when you consider how often TV confuses fact with opinion. That day, NDTV decided to concentrate on the terrorist attack on Radisson Hotel in Mali and is thus out of this reckoning. The most high-decibel were NewsX (perhaps to scrub all memories of earlier connections with the Mukerjeas in the public mind?) and of course Times Now.


The target of both news channels appeared to be former Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria. Arnab Goswami was particularly enraged with Maria, although as Rasquinha had pointed out earlier in the day that the CBI charge-sheet was substantially the same as the Mumbai Police’s case.


One guest was seen going from news channel to news channel saying that it was the media and the particular channel she was on which had helped solve the murder. Thus one keeps one’s chances of being re-invited alive again! The usual suspects were out in full force after that, each giving us their worthwhile 2-pice bit. I use that old-fashioned phrase deliberately. You can work out for yourself in today’s inflationary terms what 2 paise is worth right now.


The funniest was India Today TV which took us back to the life and times of Indrani Mukerjea’s career, full of the reporter’s own ideas of how a life should be lived and plenty of moral judgments. Of course, to be fair it is very easy to make moral judgments about Mukerjea’s past and present.




The other major causes for excitement on TV this week were Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s birthday party and how dare Arvind Kejriwal hug LaluYadav.




The rest of the world meanwhile was concentrating on the challenges of terrorism, the Islamic State, the situation in Syria, the search for terrorists in Belgium, the connections between past policies and present problems and so on. Nowhere close to as important as whom Arvind Kejriwal hugs.




While on international news channels, my beef (yes, I used that word) with BBC World’s weather forecast continues. November Rain in Mumbai is an oddity, precipitation not the song which plays for more often! It happens, but it’s an oddity. The monsoon ends by October, although it sometimes rains a bit longer. It needs to be remarked upon. We do not need to be told that Mumbai city has had “drought conditions” this year. You can say that the monsoon was weak this year. As a meteorologist, you need to at least have some idea of the climate of the area you are providing information for. And perhaps, you might also like to comment on climate change…


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One response to “Ranjona Banerji: How dare you tell the media what to do: we solved the Sheena Bora case!”

  1. ashok759 says:

    The editor in chief was pleased as punch to hear from invited guests that it was his line of questioning that had put the CBI on the right track. The nation wants to salaam.

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