Sunday, October 21, 2007

INDO-US NUCLEAR DEAL: SANGHVI AND THAPAR

I am posting a copy of the letter I have written to Hindustan Times today in response to two articles by Vir Sanghvi and Karan Thapar which appeared on the editorial page of the paper.

Readers should go through these articles, which can be accessed from the home page of the paper, to get a better sense of what I am saying now, and what I have said earlier elsewhere on this blog.

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Sir,

The two articles by Vir Sanghvi and Karan Thapar on the Indo US nuclear deal, in the Hindustan Times today, October 21, 2007 are quite illuminating.

Sanghvi, no matter how skillfully he peddles his journalistic ‘wares’, somehow can never emerge from the limitations of petty debate. He can call everyone all sorts of names, but the fact remains crystal clear that he writes to pursue a limited, unshakable political agenda on behalf of a powerful, sorry, the powerful section of the Congress party, whose sole aim now is clearly to enjoy the spoils of power for as long as it can, no matter that the government can no longer govern. For them, the Prime Minister is an expendable, convenient fall guy.

Karan Thapar, as always, has his integrity intact. He addresses the issue as an independent, honest journalist, not deviously speaking on behalf of someone else. He hits the nail on the head when he says of Dr Manmohan, ‘His credibility lies in his convictions and his capacity for upholding them…..the lure of office has turned the amateur into a professional politician!’.

Of course, Sanghvi’s writings on political issues always reflect his disconnect with anything to do with probity and integrity. Even on non political issues, the level does not rise. Sanghvi recently traveled to New York on shareholders money, ostensibly to cover the celebrations there on India at 60. What did he produce on return, in his columns in the HT, Mint and Brunch? A pathetic personal diary in which the focus was on recounting what food he ate and where, which wine he drank and how much, where he stayed, in which class he travelled, and which celebrities he met and saw in the air, in elevators and on terra firma!

Surely such mediocrity and absence of morality cannot make anyone rise to the level Sanghvi has reached in any worthwhile profession, particularly one supposedly as responsible and important as the media. I may be a bit harsh, but I am reminded of an ad being shown on TV these days in which a well dressed someone in a swanky bar says, ‘I am John, but you can call me Joanna!’.

I have also written on the abortion of the Deal, which, to my mind, is a call on the honour of Dr Manmohan Singh. The same can be found below. Of course, I do not expect it to appear in your paper, particularly after all that I have been saying about Sanghvi. Nevertheless, at least you guys will get to read it!

Regards,

Vinod Sharma