Monday, November 28, 2011

"A year later, the state is even better..." ?

The first picture is a huge hoarding in Hyderabad congratulating the CM, Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy for his overwhelmingly successful rule for the last one year. The second picture is an advertisement in The Hindu on November 25th, 2011 (and ofcourse this same ad was there in all newspaper) telling us that "A year later, the state is even better..."

One day later, on November 26th, 2011, a news item titled "No power for villages during daytime" was published. Excerpts below:

"The AP Transco and the distribution companies have decided to continue the present 12-hour power cut (6 a.m. to 6 p.m) in rural areas till the middle of next year,..."

"AP Transco CMD Ajay Jain said the cut now would be implemented for two hours in Hyderabad and other such cities; four hours in district headquarters; six hours in municipalities and; eight hours in mandals"

"If any village gets supply for one or two hours during daytime now, it may be by mistake of the field staff."

And ofcourse the main worry is the implementation of Rajiv-internet something.

"Rajiv-Internet-Village facility launched amidst much fanfare at many villages a couple of years ago will be operational only between 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. when the staff will leave the premises after office-hours"

So let's now revisit, "A year later, the state is even better..." now, shall we?

Like mentioned above, what use is a "internet facility" if there is no power? Of what use will be a SHG that thrives on power, if you cannot ensure it electricity? What about the farmer - where will he get the power from? Leave the 12 hours in villages for now... what about all those small industries in mandal headquarters, municipalities etc? They now have to shell out more money for generators? No power for 4-8 hours for the next six months (and for the past 3-4 months). A state that reels under such massive power cuts for more than half year is supposed to be doing "better"?

When was the last time one heard of a 12 hour power-cut in villages, 8 hours in mandals, 6 hours in municipalities, 4 hours in district headquarters, and 2 hours in cities?

And mind you, the 2 hours in cities is a misnomer. The famed Hitech City area of Hyderabad experiences 4 hour power cuts. There are many such areas that experience these long power cuts and we are to believe that the "A year later, the state is even better..." ?

Ok, leave power cuts for now. Let's talk about those in power. In July, there was this sudden spurt of resignations by Telangana MLAs from the region. The list included 11 ministers including the Home Minister of the state. Obviously the resignation of ministers was not accepted (and of most MLAs too) but the ministers refused to go the secretariat. For about two weeks, they didn't clear any files. And then started clearing files from home. "Work from Home" literally got a new meaning in the state. No Cabinet meet was held after 75 days! Do you know the effect of not having a cabinet meet - many decisions get postponed. Do you know the effect of ministers "working from home"? Only important/urgent files get cleared. An earlier blog piece details this "halt in governance" for months. Yet, "A year later, the state is even better..."?

In September, there was a call for general strike in Telangana. For about 40 days, bus services were affected. Schools and colleges were closed. Coal production stopped. Government employees did not turn up for work. Exams were postponed. Lawyers did not work. This government did not do anything to stop this strike. It just passed time - waited for employees to get exhausted and then come back to work. For about 40 days, people suffered and spent more because of the all the above issues, and yet "A year later, the state is even better..."?

Farmers from many districts were on a crop holiday. Lakhs of acres of land was left unsowed. Primarily because of some government policies. Yet, "A year later, the state is even better..."?

600 out of the 1000 odd mandals in the state have already been declared drought-hit, with no concrete plan to help them out yet. Yet, "A year later, the state is even better..."?

Let's now concentrate a bit on some of the schemes in the advertisement above. The Rs.1/kg rice covers 7.5 crore people in the state. The government is proud of the fact that there 7.5 crore out of the 8 crore people in this state are "poor". So poor that it had to reduce the price of rice from a whopping Rs.2/kg to Rs.1/kg. 7.5 crore out of 8 crore are poor people in this state, and yet "A year later, the state is even better..."?

Rajiv Yuvakiranalu is aimed at giving jobs to people in private sector. The government will act as a facilitator. No jobs have been given out yet - the plan is to give appointment letters to 1 lakh people in December. It's a good thing if these students find eligible jobs, but that still does not mean that "A year later, the state is even better..."!

Indira Jala Prabha was launched in October. Plan is to irrigate about 10 lakh hectares and will primarily benefit SC/ST farmers it seems. It was launched only in October and we are yet to see any tangible results plus there is this power cut problem still!

One good intiative though is "Mee Seva". Now one can get his certificates (caste, birth etc) within 15 minutes without having to bribe every petty official on the way. This program is an extension of e-seva and if it clicks, will go a long way in streamlining government services and can qualify to be advertised under "A year later, the state is even better...".

Interest free loans to farmers upto Rs. 1lakh is not beneficial if they are on a holiday and have no electricity. No way does this mean that "A year later, the state is even better..."!

The much tom-tomed "rachchabanda" program is nothing but clearance of old grievances. And the less spoken of extension of reservations, the better it is :)

At best, this Chief Minister is an expert at maintaining some status quo and introducing a scheme here and a scheme there. He commands little respect amongst his ministerial colleagues. The ongoing tiff between him and the PCC chief is never ending and his handling of the above mentioned problems leaves much to be desired.

If anything, the state is reeling under more problems than ever before. The power cuts for long hours is testimony enough that "one year later, the state is still better..." is a farcial statement.

PS1: On a lighter note, how can "A year later, the state is even better..." be true when we have named only one scheme after Rajiv Gandhi and one scheme after Indira Gandhi. This is such a massive failure!

PS2: Ofcourse, "sources" say Kiran Kumar Reddy was Rahul Gandhi's choice.

Friday, November 18, 2011

UPA 2 : When Politics Trumps Institutions

The following mid-term perspective of the UPA2 rule was written for Centre Right India and published on their site here:

Pasting the whole article below :)

‘I have orders from above.’

When a minister of state (with independent charge) in the union Cabinet says this to his officials, what does it mean?

'I have the blessings of my leader'

When the Home Minister of this country is asked a question, "Do you have the confidence of your leader?" after multiple terror attacks, he answers "I have the blessings of my leader". So who is the leader that the Home Minister is referring to?

"He almost warned that even if the Bill is passed by the Cabinet, he would complain to the UPA leadership"

This report says that Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar was upset about a sports bill (yep, you are reading this right. The agriculture minister was opposed to a sports bill, for the obvious reasons!) that was presented to the Cabinet and therefore in the cabinet meeting (which by the way, many ministers from the allies skip), said he will complain to the UPA leadership. What did he mean by "leadership"?

Back in High School, in our civics lessons, we were taught that the Prime Minister is the most powerful person in the country. We were told that all ministers report to him. We were taught that he/she is the ultimate authority when it comes to decision making. In fact when one is preparing for any state or central service examination, an entire chapter is devoted to explain about the authority and responsibilities of the Prime Minister. As assignments, students are made to write short/long essays on this authority of the Prime Minister of India.

So based on our high school experiences, the answer to all three questions above should have been the Prime Minister.

Alas! Two-and-a half years into the second term of UPA (more pompously called UPA 2.0), it is now time to either rewrite all those lessons or have an addendum - "all general rules have an exception, Dr. Manmohan Singh is an exception to term 'ultimate authority' ".

The above three links of ministers invoking a "leader" other than the PM is just a small sample of the erosion of the authority of the PM. Remember the incident where MoS for Railways openly defied the PM when asked to visit a accident site? Remember the Prime Minister's press conferences when he said he could not prevent the loot because there are "comprimises to be made in coalition". Mamta Banerjee openly flirted with Maoists and the Prime Minister was helpless. Month after month, the rot in agriculture ministry was being talked about but the Prime Minister could not do anything about Sharad Pawar. The losses and mis-management of Air India are a hot topic in TV studios every now and then. Yet, Praful Patel was always let off the hook. The Finance minister and Home minister of the country trade (very) serious charges of spying and 2G scam and it took people other than the Prime Minister to bring about a truce.

There are only three major allies which share power at the centre. DMK, TMC and NCP. Members of the cabinet from these parties have either pioneered massive scams or have been the cause for huge losses to the exchequer through their sheer incompetence and greed, and we have a Prime Minister who cannot even touch their toe nails! And that is the most enduring legacy of this UPA government. The abject surrender of the authority of the Prime Minister of India.

We have had 14 people as Prime Ministers so far (including Gulzari Lal Nanda). We have seen weak Prime Ministers, who could not exude any kind of authority. Such tenures were short-lived because of their lack of assertiveness. And in the course of time, their tenures will be forgotten too. But this Prime Minister is different. He will be the first PM (and probably only PM) who tried to sell his helplessness, incompetence and unreasonableness as an unparalleled virtue!

And now you must be wondering - if PM is not the ultimate authority, then who is? It has been successfully passed to the Chairperson of the NAC, and the Congress President, Sonia Gandhi (full list of her "achievements" here). The NAC she leads is the parallel decision making authority when it comes to policy matters. Sonia Gandhi is the parallel decision making authority when it comes to political matters. Manmohan Singh is the decision making authority when it comes to maintaining status quo!

Politics of Divide/Vendetta

The strength of a democracy depends on how freely the opposition (not just the political parties) is allowed to work. Another enduring legacy the second term of UPA will be leaving, is the politics of vendetta. Question them on corruption - immediately very old cases are dusted and thrown out in the open. If the principal opposition party, BJP questions them, then "what did they do in the 6 years they were in power" is parrotted with the help of a compliant TV media. If a politician falls out with the Congress party and leaves it, then automatically he becomes a corrupt person. If citizens of the country question, then either obscure income tax cases are foisted on then or lectures are given as to how they don't vote, how they resort to petty bribing and blah blah. Attempts were even made to discredit CAG but thankfully they failed at it (atleast for now!)

Anyone, practically anyone, who dares to the question the government is automatically hounded by it. There is very little informed debate on matters concerning public interest, and the primary onus for this fall in standards rests on the shoulders of the ruling party. If you don't want to believe me, then please follow the debates (I know it's a challenging task :D) on TV for about a week.

Vote bank politics have reached their peak during UPA. It is always about "minority welfare", "minority well-being", "minority rights" etc. This is not to say that minorities should not have any of those. It is just that the ruling party is creating this divide that will only be detrimental to the country's progress. At every step, the ruling party makes the minorities feel weak, and then project itself as their saviour. Any government's aim has to be to empower them. This government is doing the exact opposite and worse, is proud of doing it.

Federal Structure

Fellow blogger Jiten documented in 2009 that there was an ad in TOI during the Maharashtra elections. Gist of the ad being that there will be better centre-state relations if people vote back NCP-Congress to power. And in July 2011, we see a news report that says "State gets little fund allocation in Centre’s schemes: Ministers" !! Guess which state this is? Maharashtra! Congress big-wigs, Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh who is a central minister and Prithviraj Chauhan who is the Congress Chief Minister (earlier minister in the PMO!) have made this observation - they accuse their own party of hyping development in their state and thus releasing lesser funds!

The importance of Centre-State relations can be gauged from the fact that it is an important part of the manifesto of all political parties. That congress politicians feel miffed at treatment towards their states is another irony in itself, but that's aside the point. With respect to the States -To interfere when necessary and to give a free hand otherwise - is a sound policy for the centre to follow. This way, federalism is strengthened. UPA has done the exact opposite!

The recent Manipur blockade is a perfect example. For 100 days, the two national Highways that connect Manipur to the rest of India have been blocked, and the centre has not even moved an inch towards trying to resolve it. The state government should have taken the lead, but clearly it hasn't and more importantly a state in this country is completely cut off from the rest of us for 100 days and UPA was unmoved! And this is not the first time, a blockade of this magnitude happened. Just last year, there was a nearly 2 month blockade.

The Telangana fiasco is another perfect example. When everyone looked towards the centre for resolving this issue, UPA 2.0 hurriedly took a disastrous decision and the result is there for everyone to see (fellow CRI commentator Amar says that the Telangana fiasco deserves a separate post in itself and I agree). Nearly two years since that "Sonia's birthday gift", this contentious issues continues to bog the people of AP.

Tamil Nadu CM, Jayalalitha made some very interesting observations at a recent National Development Council meeting. She correctly said that the Centre is taking hurried decisions on matters that hugely affect states, thereby reducing the states to merely "glorified municipal corporations". The examples she cited were the Communal Violence Bill (which will give more powers to the Centre than the states, given that law&order is a state subject!), the GST (Goods and Services Tax) and changing formats of Entrance tests for professional courses (this is by far the worst executed program in my opinion. The Centre is giving very short notices for states to comply with ridiculous demands. If you think it is the opposition-ruled states that are complaining, then you are mistaken. Maharashtra and Congress filed a petition just 2 days back against the Centre's diktat on medical entrance test!).

And ofcourse, there is the Governor's post always to be used for political machinations. One perfect example of using this post to undermine an elected state government is from Andhra Pradesh. Surprised at the choice? Here's why I strongly feel so. Mr. E.L.Narsimhan was appointed as governor after the great N.D.Tewari expose. The state was just beginning to go through it's most tumultous phase. Rosaih was the Chief Minister, and since he was perceived to be less competent to deal with such political matters, the new governor was given the mandate of invovling himself in matters of daily governance too. He even reviewed the law and order situation with police officials directly, without the CM or any minister present. Mr. Rosaih once advised his ministerial colleagues something on these lines "I can't do much. If there is anything else, please go to the Governor directly." To date, E.L.Narsimhan continues to play an active role in important matters of law and order. And please be aware, the people of AP have elected the Congress party to govern them. And a crisis in their party, led the UPA to find a solution in an appointed governor, not in any elected leader!

Damaging institutions

The institution of the Prime Minister is not the only institution that has been damaged by the UPA. Do correct me if I am wrong, but the post of Governor has never been so abused before. Either the post has been used for vengeance or to reward it's former leaders. The Governor of MP even announced that it was Sonia Gandhi who recommended him. Buta Singh in 2005, HR Bharadwaj since 2008, Kamala Beniwal recently, E L Narsimhan in AP are examples of proactive governors. Shivraj Patil, Rosaih, M.K.Narayanan, J.B.Patnaik etc get appointed to the royal Raj Bhavans to lead a happy retirement life. Take a look at the complete list and just see the number of former politicians of the Congress on that list.

The CBI has been used like a pawn as never before. Election Commission was bogged down with some controversies. The institution of Vigilance Commissioner was also put through severe testing times only because of the adamant attitude of UPA leadership. During Team Anna Crisis, this government unilaterally decided to not involve any elected opposition parties in delibarations while at the same time had to gall to lecture us on the supremacy of elected representatives! There just seems to be no institution left for the UPA to damage further.

What about policy then?

Quiz Question. What happens when an "economist" PM who concentrates excessively on Foriegn policy. Disaster on both fronts! Inflation has been on a high for more than 2 years. Our "economist" PM has no solution for that. Food prices go up - global problem. Fuel prices are up by Rs.11 over the past 1 year or so - global problem. Spending goes up on social sector, impeding the growth in the infrastructure sector - thankfully not a global problem but a problem whose solution should remain a "priority concern". Mamta Banerjee causes losses to Railways (and thereby to the economy) and we have no one to ask about it. The EAM is there only to parrot the PM's views. The once powerful office of Foriegn minister has been reduced to doing secretary level work to the PM's foreign policy.

We have already seen how Jairam Ramesh goes off the tangent. The less said about Sports ministry, the better. The mess in Civil aviation gets highlighted in Parliament as well as media, but the PM can't even touch the concerned minister. "Rural Development" is happening only in the sense of NREGA, where people are getting income for repetitive work. Kapil Sibal seems to be a man in a hurry. He announced of reforms within 100 days. Two and half years hence, we are still debating them! Speaking of Kapil Sibal, his famous "zero loss" theory in the 2G spectrum scam has become the butt of jokes, but that has exposed another serious legitimacy issue in the government.

All the above mentioned points lead to only observation - UPA's serious problems with decision making of any kind. This is one more dangerous legacy that we will have to live with. Till date, the PM has not clarified whether he agrees with Kapil Sibal's "zero loss" theory. Each minister is on his own. No one knows who takes decision, or at whose behest decisions are taken. It took a Supreme Court to openly direct the investigations on massive corruption scandals, not an executive order. Apart from the above mentioned policy points where decision making has stagnated, take the recent handling of the Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare agitations.

At every step, the only thing that reigned supreme is confusion. First, top ministers go meet Baba Ramdev and praise him. When he goes ahead with his plan for an agitation, they start to deride him. The midnight scoop (because UPA feared communal elements will take over) killed one hapless woman. A similar story with Anna Hazare. All that the "Team Anna" asked in the beginning was to be heard. The egoistic UPA refused to even do that, thereby giving them space to launch bigger agitations and make fiercer (and unreasonable) demands. And then they arrest him, release him, cajole him and finally give in. All this while, there is no single authority of the government saying "Yes, I take responsibility for these decisions".


There is an air of negativity around this UPA dispensation (led mostly by Sonia Gandhi and partly by Manmohan Singh). Mere status quo is being maintained. Dr. Manmohan Singh has reduced the job of Prime Minister to a mere desk job. Even the most tom-tomed schemes of UPA - MNREGA, Loan Waiver, Forest Tribals act are not his ideas. No flagship economic reform has been carried out. During the infamous trust vote in July 2008 (called because of the Nuclear Deal, of which we don't hear anything these days!!), he tabled his speech in which he spoke about "achievements". The first one was about controlling inflation, and we all know how well it is being controlled. He spoke about "revitilising agriculture" and we know what happened there. "To deal firmly with terrorist elements" - we all know what has happened since.

One of the worst things to happen during UPA 2.0 is the Supreme Court's active invovlement in matters concerning corruption related investigations. More than a couple of times, the SC has rapped the government for it's lethargic response. The political legitimacy of UPA is in serious doubt only because it is the judiciary and not the executive that is driving the cleaning up act. The political legitimacy of UPA is in serious doubt not just because the centre is severely undermining the states. Last, but not the least, the political legitimacy of UPA is in serious doubt only because it is Sonia Gandhi who is driving policy and politics, not the Prime Minister.

Arun Shourie summed it up best, in an interview on the 2G scam - "This was not the Manmohan Singh cabinet that the ministry could do anything. It was Atal Behari Vajpayee's cabinet. You could not do one milimetre more than what Cabinet has decided."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

That's all, Your Honour! : Nov 6 -12

After a break for about 2 months, trying to revive back this weekly series. Starting with a short update this week... hopefully from next week, will be giving full time updates :)

1. Indian english TV media continues to fool the viewers and get away with such crap. Last week, the famous Sagarika Ghose who runs a show "Face the nation" (FTN at 10pm on CNN-IBN every night, openly cheated her viewers. FTN planned to carry a live debate on Sri Sri Ravishankar ji's "campaign" in UP against corruption. The recorded an interview with him a couple of hours before the show. And then at 10pm, Sagarika Ghose informed the viewers that Sri Sri is live with them along with three other panelists !! Shocked? Here's more shocking news.... at about 9 minutes into the program, Sagarika actually asks Sri Sri to respond to severe criticism by one of the panelists! Please watch the program to see the despicable manner in which Sagarika "questions" Sri Sri. Knowing fully well that Sri Sri cannot respond, this great journalist with a totally condescending tone, demanded that Sri Sri "respond" to criticism! This Indian Express article tears apart the entire program and her defense after that. Please read to understand the depth of the deceit this journalist resorted to. And they apologized later in the night - not because their conscience said so, but because their bluff was called by alert viewers. From her defense, Sagarika Ghose has clearly implied that these things happen very regularly. And they got away with a "small apology". That's what Sagarika Ghose said on at the end of her show the next day - - before ending, a "small apology". A pity really.

2. Here's more pitiful stuff. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh again met Pakistan's Prime Minister. That's not the pituful stuff. Returning from that meeting (actually there was a SAARC summit in Maldives but we all know that the only purpose SAARC serves is these bilateral meetings), our Prime Minister had this to say - "Indo-Pak relations are subject to accidents". That's right - he terms all those multiple terror attacks that emanated from Pakistan's soil as "accidents". Worse, he calls the despicable 26/11 attacks as an "incident". This man's obsession with Pakistan is worse than that of jilted lover. This Prime Minister is ready to go to any extent to appease international community that he will lose sight of domestic apprehensions. Simple question - for starters can this man answer what exactly has Pakistan done in the three years since 26/11 happened? That's all, your honour!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"Serious Introspection"

Hi Rajdeep,

Apologies for writing a long mail, but somehow 140 characters in twitter is just not enough to express a few thoughts of mine regarding the "serious introspection" tweet of yours. I will first write about missed opportunities at introspection, and then would suggest some introspection steps. I am also directly publishing this letter on my blog.

You had a golden opportunity to seriously introspect when the radia tapes were out. That golden opportunity presented itself in the form of a meeting organised by PCI and EG with fellow journalists. We were anticipating the kick-starting of a serious introspection, but instead we witnessed the charade of the the President of Editors Guild reducing the whole episode to just "professional jealousy".

Members of your own fraternity were outraged by those comments. Members of your own fraternity said "we don't want to be like Barkha Dutt". Members of your own community said "this is not expected from the chairman of Editor's Guild." Members of your own community bought out serious contradictions in the way reporting is done. Most of the points raised there were the exact same that got raised in various online forums. Barkha first rubbished them, then wrote a couple of articles saying that the matter is closed and then in a 45 minute charade on NDTV, she tried to tell us about the double standards of those who accused her! Vir Sanghvi wrote an article, came on TV once and then vanished!

The "lynch mob" mentality that journalists on twitter so often use, was quite evident in that meeting attended only by members of your own fraternity. So I ask again, why was that opportunity to introspect not utilized at all? Why was there a mud-slinging match led by none other esteemed office bearers of PCI and EG?

Paid news was a big revelation two years back. Radia tapes were a bigger revelation about a year back. Yet, not many TV channels could even devote a 30 minute special to discuss the muck in the media. Not many newspaper devoted enough print space to write about the muck in their own backyard. When the opportunity knocked at your door for serious introspection, why was it not grabbed?

And needless to say, when questioned about these things, either we are branded as trolls or ignored all together. Persistent questioning on serious issues only leads to one thing - we getting branded. In the time that I have had, I documented 18 instances of my discussions with various TV and print journalists. Most of the time I was just ridiculed (was called loser and moron by Nidhi Razdan. Sagarika wondered if "I was for real" when she found out that I actually believed Dhritharashtra was blind). And sometimes, discussions were abruptly ended. Countless chances of "serious introspection" arose in online forums - only that the bigwigs chose to ignore those opportunities.

A good start towards serious introspection would be to improve coverage on policy and good governance. A recent survey conducted by your channel ranked the chief ministers in the country. And your own channel does not even have 10 good stories to showcase the 10 best chief ministers. Isn't it alarming that channels don't have one good story per chief minister atleast? The negativity that has seeped into the public mind is partly because of the continuous negative coverage on TV. Positive stories about common people are a good watch. Likewise, positive and also programs that make one think about governance are the need of the hour.

Another step towards serious introspection would be to improve the level of public discourse in the media (TV media especially). Excessive concentration on needless and banal soundbytes of attention-seeking politicians has contributed to the abysmal fall in today's discourse. The matters affecting the people of this country are too serious to be captured in one headline, one soundbyte and in a "yes or no" fashion. We need better debates on policy, governance and politics. We need enlightening discussions with sane politicians and law-makers. We don't need debates on one-liners and then follow-up debates on one-liners that comment on the original one-liner! The "generalisation" that you folks are now complaining of, has been perpetuated by none other than you folks! Surely, if LS TV can conduct such decent debates with aplomb, private TV channels can do too.

There are multiple instances on twitter when journalists (including from your channel) banally simplify complicated issues, and try to pass them of as a product of serious intellectual discourse. And ofcourse negative feedback on those comments are, more often than not, treated with contempt; which brings me to my third point.

No amount of serious introspection is possible without gauging the feedback and engaging the viewer/reader. You could begin by advising journalists of your channel to engage more with the viewer/reader. There are many folks online who are keen to engage in decent debates. Just because folks question persistently and continue to reel out facts that contradict your (as in journalists) conclusions, doesn't mean the forum is worthless. The loss of not engaging with the viewer/reader is yours, not ours.

For any given program, there will be +ve and -ve feedback. Sometimes the criticism can be scathing too. One would assume journalists are mature enough to engage with such folks. More often than not, journalists come on twitter, throw out some platitudes, market their show, engage in flourishing rhetoric on how the medium is ignorant, troll-infested etc and leave. This needs to stop ( I can give you examples of how editors picked up on points that trolls made months/years ago). Surely, editors/bureau chiefs need to be mature enough to ignore the miniscule percentage of those who actually abuse.

Serious introspection also demands that an ombudsman be appointed. The viewer/reader needs to have a channel of communication through which he/she will be able to ask questions regarding facts and coverage. And yes, questions on coverage are very legitimate, contrary to what many members of your fraternity feel. The amount of coverage that certain topics/policies/persons/departments/states is subject to questioning, and "don't watch if you don't like" is not the introspection one is looking forward to!

Lastly, please refrain from calling yourselves (all TV channels based out of Delhi) as "national" channels. It takes a while for you to just figure out that something serious is happening to the south of Vindhyas and the north-east. It feels depressing to seek attention to problems in our states from you folks. Either you measure up to the name "national" or rename your taglines.

I repeat again. It's been about two years since the paid news scandal broke out. It's been about an year since the Radia tapes came out. Nothing changed. No introspection happened. Rhetorical and sanctimonious tweets are a big bore. And please note that members of your own community echo the views of many "trolls". Perhaps this is another opportunity to introspect and change. What better place to begin, than at home.