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What’s exclusive?

Our Delhi Bureau | Updated on January 08, 2018 Published on October 15, 2017

Uncompromising: And to the point

Doordarshan has been experimenting on the social media with hashtags and television news tactics, such as liberally using the ‘Exclusive’ tag on interviews. But when DD ran an interview with I&B Minister Smriti Irani and tagged it an exclusive, a journalist was quick to point out that DD operates under Irani’s ministry. As another journalist quipped, “If I interview my boss and publish it, will it still be an exclusive?”

Funny bone

While some of the younger BJP leaders can be rude and dismissive, they also can be humorous. Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, though neck deep in work, showed he was also a movie buff. In a speech at CERAWeek — India Energy Forum — last week, Pradhan compared electric vehicles to Alia Bhatt in Bollywood and Angelina Jolie in Hollywood. He was trying to highlight how novelty always gains more attention. While the comparison to Alia was spot on, Pradhan was somewhat off the mark with Jolie. On another occasion, he referred to TV soaps and said that there were similar characters in the real world who just sit and criticise others for taking the initiative.

Cab coup

Representatives from ride-sharing and hailing service Ola Cabs were recently caught on the wrong foot. The cab service major had tied up with Indraprastha Gas Limited to procure prepaid cards for re-fuelling CNG in its taxis. To market the event, an Ola cab was stationed at the CNG station where media personnel were supposed to see a demonstration of the prepaid cards being used to pay for a purchase. But to the surprise of Ola officials, a cab branded Uber India, their arch rivals in the Indian market, arrived for the event.

Even more embarrassing was that the company officials realised this only halfway through the event. In a bid to cover up, the Ola representatives hid the Uber India branding with two pieces of paper, hoping journalists wouldn’t notice. But luck somehow favoured Ola cabs, the event went on longer than expected and the representatives were able to switch the vehicle with an Ola branded one. Embarrassment averted?

Tough talk

Former Chief Economic Advisor Shankar Acharya deserves kudos for coming down on both the UPA government and the current dispensation for the daunting economic challenges that India is now faced with. Only a man of exceptional courage and an economist to his calling can hold a mirror up to the current crop of policymakers. In his widely read column in a pink paper, Acharya not only rued the demonetisation move, he also trashed the ‘reform’ record of the Gandhi-Singh government, 2004-14. (He says the Gandhi-Singh government “did little” by way of economic reform.)

Acharya, who had a record stint as CEA between 1993 and 2001, preferred to describe the demonetisation move as a “demon”, adding: “Demon has happened and the economy just has to grin and bear its toll.” No mincing words. So if you thought the recent squall of criticism on economic policies came only from within the BJP’s Hindu-nationalist fold, think again.

A farmer’s son

Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, while interacting with over 400 farmers from Outer Delhi area, said: “A doctor wants his son to become a doctor, a lawyer’s son becomes a lawyer, an actor wants his son to become an actor despite not being fully qualified, but a farmer prays for his son becoming at least a Class-IV employee.” Why? Naidu’s answer: this is because of the uncertainty of farm incomes even as farming is physically very demanding. “The only way to address this is to ensure remunerative and assured incomes to farmers through necessary interventions,” he said. He stressed the need to address the distress situation, inherited over the years, on a priority basis.

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Published on October 15, 2017
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