Monday, November 2, 2009


If a picture can say what a thousand words can't, this is one of them.

Taken at the recent Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi and given top billing across six columns on a page that bore the heading "Vision 2020", in the paper of November 01, 2009, it tells a story that is quite different from the one that the man who got it published wanted to.

Seen in the picture are two leader role models chosen by HT, Bollywood actors Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan. And guess who is in the middle? A certain mediocre journalist who is known more for his powerful connections and unconcealed political affiliation than for any insightful work that he has churned out in his long and understandably successful career. His strategic presence in the picture should also tell you something about the media that you always wanted to know but did not know whom to ask.

To me this picture symbolises, more than anything else, the existing and emerging leadership vacuum in this country. It also depicts the central role that the media is playing, as asked to perhaps, to deflect the attention of the nation from it. What better way to opiate Indians than with the help of a glamorous Bollywood couple?

Will anyone be surprised if HT has actually been paid handsomely for this seemingly free publicity ahead of Kareena and Saif's forthcoming film?

Here is a shot of the photo as it appeared in HT: