Below the Line: Blame game

Our Bureaus | Updated on January 17, 2018 Published on August 21, 2016

Made to order Thachankary shares cake with motorists at a petrol bunk in Kochi   -  The Hindu

It is fashionable for politicians and activists to blame the media for everything. Now corporates have added their voice.

At a press conference hosted by one of the biggest corporates in India, the chairman of the company, after announcing restructuring of his business, blamed media entities for causing a crash in the company’s stock price by writing speculative stories a few days ahead of the official announcement.

The argument was that the share price crashed because investors picked incorrect information from media reports and came to the conclusion that the restructuring was a bad deal. The chairman urged reporters to set the record right by sharing information provided by the company.

A week has gone by but the stock has not picked up. Whose fault is that, then? Misreporting or business restructuring?

No more cake

The shunting out of the outspoken Tomin Thachankary, an IPS officer of ADGP rank, as transport commissioner in Kerala, has come as a relief to many and led to much tongue-wagging. State Transport Minister AK Saseendran went straight to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, to rein in a Thachankary who did not bother to consult his minister before announcing policy measures on behalf of the department.

‘No helmet, no petrol’ was only one such, but the minister himself was roped in to handle its State-wide launch. The last straw was a ‘note’ circulated by Thachankary to all offices under the department directing that a cake be cut on his birthday! The minister seems to have done the best he could in the circumstances — prevail on the CM to tell the transport commissioner that he can’t have his cake and eat it too!

Fund of troubles

An Indian e-commerce company seems headed for some trouble, not considering the fact that it is taking too long to raise fresh funds. The company saw quite a few exits at the top level over the past one-and-a-half years. It appears some of these executives are contemplating the possibility of taking the company to court for not honouring the terms of the contract. Both parties will now have to brace up for some action though an out-of-court settlement seems a possible way out.

Endorsement, Ramdev-style!

Irked by notice after notice from the Advertising Standards Council of India on misleading claims made for Patanjali Ayurved products, Baba Ramdev has decided enough is enough. At a recent press conference, he got the Dentists’ Association of India to validate Patanjali’s toothpaste, Dant Kanti, for being “most effective in antimicrobial action, reduction of dental plaque and on gingival inflammation”. The association claims it gave the accreditation after it got a comparative study done of several popular brands.

Forget about yesterday

Earlier this week, the chief executive of a top private sector company in the oil and gas space was talking about the churn of employees in the organisation. He quipped, “This is not ONGC and it shouldn’t be ONGC. Employees should be judged on what they bring to the table today, not what they did yesterday.” Is anyone listening?

Independence Day special

Hacks not conversant with Hindi and covering Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech from the ramparts of Red Fort were faced with multiple challenges. The most difficult one was the multiple versions of the English rendering of the address that the Press Information Bureau put out on its website. First, there was a preliminary text, then a draft text and then, the final version. There were also highlights and brief highlights of the speech! All uploaded over a period of several hours after the speech was delivered. Confusion confounded!

Published on August 21, 2016

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