off the record

Not a matter of chance

For a senior Culture Ministry official, the destiny does not seem to be a matter of chance but his choice. A few months back, he was a harried man, sulking with his posting at the Union Textile Ministry.

 His sufferings, however, came to an end after he was shifted to the Culture Ministry as a joint secretary. With his “performance”, he took no time in becoming a blue-eyed IAS officer of the Culture Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch.

 He is now mostly seen abroad, instead of Ministry as he has been marked for taking care of international cultural relations of India among other responsibilities. Mostly on his international mission, the officer has so far travelled many countries including Russia Peru, Cuba, Hawana, Trinidad and Tobago, CIS countries.

He recently returned from an official tour to Hong Kong. That’s called a descent job! It, however, just takes one to make a efforts to get there. Isn’t it true, officer?

Prakash Kumar, New Delhi

Losing screen presence

The week has been unfriendly for political parties as far as  media publicity is concerned. Despite the fact that the week was politically crucial, newspapers gave priority to other headlines. Even polling in Madhya Pradesh attracted poor attention from media. The day had a bigger news event on Aarushi murder case. 

Coverage of Tehelka rape case did more damage to the political publicity at a time that was important for political parties. Campaign in Delhi and Rajasthan Assembly elections was at its peak, but it received minimal attention in media. 

Naturally, heart-burns were there among politicians and they aired it too.  However, they eventually reconciled themselves to the situation. Some of them even tried to go along with the trend and just entered into the ongoing debates on Tehelka case to remain visible.

“There is a need of maintaining a balance,” a comment came amidst an animated debate.

“We run what people are interested in,” replied a TV journalist.

The commentator smiled,” I can not claim, they want to see politicians. Screen has its own priority. ”

Anil Sinha, New Delhi

Invisible presence

Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal's fall from the grace has brought a sense of “divine justice” in Prasar Bharati, where the invisible presence of Tejpal – thanks to his closeness to the information and broadcasting minister Manish Tiwari – was one of the contributing factors behind a long-standing “difference of opinion” behind Tiwari and Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar.

Tejpal is believed to be one of the outsider journalists, whom Tiwari wanted to rope in Doordarshan in an attempt to revamp the image of the public broadcaster. Sircar opposed the move and favoured full time government employee in the DD.

The public broadcaster's experiment with journalists from outside like defence analysts Ajai Shukla ended in a whimper as Shukla too resigned within days. Later a Tejpal company reportedly received contracts to prepare two different programmes for the DD and there was pressure on the top brass of Prasar Bharati to air those programmes in slots with high viewership.

Kalyan Ray, New Delhi

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