Missing the point

Missing the point

This refers to 'Sushma Swaraj gets off the fence, wants Narendra Modi as Prime Minister', (IE, December 1). Swaraj responded positively to a query about Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's ability to become India's prime minister. The Economist, in a recent article, predicted Finance Minister P. Chidambaram as the probable Congress candidate for PM. It is hard to understand why these two statements have deflected public attention from a more serious discussion on the qualities India's PM should have. Swaraj has not pronounced Modi the BJP's prime ministerial candidate; she has merely said that among others, he too is fit for the job. It is astonishing that her statement and The Economists's piece have received such media attention.

M.K. Sharma, Amritsar

Hiding the truth

IT IS shameful that the media and the government in Chhattisgarh have entered into a relationship, wherein for a fee, the former create and publish news that casts the latter in a favourable light ('Chhattisgarh govt pays for all the TV news that is fit to buy', IE, December 7). This arrangement goes one step further than the well- established system of advertorials and sponsored news, through which a media organisation provides its services to publish favourable reports for a fee? Almost every national TV channel and print media house runs advertorials. In the Chhattisgarh case, the media have proactively initiated the arrangement; elsewhere, the government does so. It is not surprising that the credibility of the media is at an all-time low and sinking further. Today, what is portrayed as news is not so much the truth, but what the sponsor would like us to believe is the truth.

R.P. Subramanian


Rest in peace

THIS refers to 'Thackeray funeral permit was conditional: Chavan' (IE, December 6). After getting permission to cremate Bal Thackeray at Mumbai's Shivaji Park, the Shiv Sena has expressed the desire to build a memorial to Thackeray there. In spite of the notices that have been issued to the Mumbai mayor and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut to remove the makeshift memorial from the park, the party is refusing to budge.

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