19 June 2017 National The Insider

Deep Throat

A regular column on the essential buzz
Deep Throat
Cartoon by R Prasad
Deep Throat
outlookindia.com
2017-06-10T11:03:54+0530

Discordant Signals

As Vice-President Hamid Ansari’s term comes to an end on August 10, uncertainty surrounds Rajya Sabha TV, which may be merged with Lok Sabha TV and asked to change its tone or shut down. The channel, owned and operated by the Upper House, was set up in 2011 with Ansari pushing for it.  Seen as a white elephant of sorts since the beginning, it is also believed to have rubbed the government the wrong way on more than one occasion. Its refusal to toe the Centre’s line, unlike Doordarshan and Lok Sabha TV, has caused questi­ons to be raised on its coverage, among others, of Yoga Day  2015 and demonetisation.

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The Right Award

The RSS is holding its annual press awards ceremony this month. The choice of venue—in the heart of Lutyens’ Delhi—has surprised many as the right-wing famously despises it. The cash prizes, though, starting at Rs 10,000, may not enthuse as much as the Red Ink or Ramnath Goenka awards. Interestingly, there is a category called “social media activist”, giving a boost to those who use online portals for their work. A magazine called Disha will also be launched at the ceremony, which will feature pieces written by the President, prime minister and RSS top boss Mohan Bhagwat. The latest category, we are told, is “news anchor”, which has journalists wondering if volume or vitriol would be the key to crack it.


The Know-All Leader

Going by Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien’s social media posts since his election for a second term, the outspoken TMC leader has developed a flair for writing too.  In a recent post, titled “Centre doesn’t know the meaning of F-word,” he writes that for all its lip-service to federalism, the BJP government is systematically undermining the states. In an earlier post—“Six lessons I learnt as an MP, inc­luding the perils of Khan Market”—he held forth on the import of not limiting research to “two dozen know-alls permanently hanging around in Capital’s Khan Market.” Amusing, as he is seen there quite often.


Overheard Former West Bengal minister Madan Mitra organised a public feast for sons-in-law (jamais) on ‘Jamai Shashti’ as “Jamais married into poor families can’t afford to throw lavish feasts” .

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