Ranjona Banerji: Good News on Diwali?

13 Nov,2020

By Ranjona Banerji


Diwali, said the editor. Good news, said the editor.

I took that to mean enough about that awful journalistic masquerader Arnab Goswami. Okay, okay, enough.

Diwali. I get it. Happy times.

I searched for good journalistic news. And then, just good news.

The venerable Economist said that there was hope because of all the good news about Covid 19 vaccines.


The not-so-venerable Russia Today said some Russian doctors took a Covid-19 vaccine and got Covid-19. Maybe that is also good news in some roundabout manner according to the laws of vaccination and the lore of homoeopathy.

That’s one of those take it as you will good news things.

Then I thought, forget good news and good journalism because good journalism is about bad news and it’s Diwali and good news said the editor.

So, why not a Diwali gift from me to you?


All of us journalists need a good kick up our whatevers every now and then and then once again. And we’re getting it good and proper from Sonali Ranade on Twitter. Trader, US-based, that’s all we know about this phenomenal Twitter handle. But she provides analysis, perspective, humour, poetry even and over past few days, some good lessons for our, umm, questionable tribe and not least the most venerable amongst us.

The screenshots with this column carry her new series, “Cut the Crap” These are short edits, taking the mickey out of edit-writers, mocking us and our shortcomings, our cowardice, our lack of honesty, our failed integrity and more. “National Interest” is also what she calls her edits, and there is here reference to a friendly feud she has running with the venerable Shekhar Gupta, founder-editor of The Print and his website’s 50-word edits.

I quote from her edit “Cut the Crap: Modi is Unassailable” on the Bihar election results: “Tejaswi is God but for the future. The Communists are resurgent. Asaduddin Owaisi has decimated the Congress which in turn has dessicated the MBG, which in turn annihilated the dynasty. Liberals may quibble that some seats were won by a margin of less than hundred votes. But look at Rahul. Modi is unassailable”.

The sarcasm that drips from these words should not be lost on our fence-sitting commentators, our strong valiant columnists, our self-focused talking heads who sway whichever way the wind blows but always in the direction of where the most favours will be handed out.

How about from this one on the RSS and the Constitution: “So grab a khakhi knicker, a lathi, apply the tilak and march freely with the masses in National Interest. Women may make appropriate excuses for not joining from their kitchens. They may however watch on TV.”

Follow and enjoy!


Meanwhile, don’t pollute the atmosphere, don’t forget your masks and if any news outlet you follow bothers to tell you what “green fireworks” actually are, do share.

Happy Diwali!


Ranjona Banerji is a senior journalist and commentator. She is also Consulting Editor, MxMIndia. Her views here are personal



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