Saturday, March 23, 2013

March 23, 2013

From a column (via Deccan Chronicle) about the Sri Lankan issue:
What’s clear is that India’s ability to influence the course of events in the island nation is negligible. Sources close to the powerful first family have told this writer that they see India as an “irritating gnat that can be smacked away at will”.
This is exactly what's wrong with journalism, something Markandey Katju can train his guns on: quotes -- inflammatory ones, at that -- attributed to anonymous sources that only the journalist is privy to. Do we have any way to distinguish genuine quotes from those that are simply pulled out of journalists' asses, journalists serving interests other than that of the public? We don't, so just stop using such quotes. We may lose the insights that genuine quotes provide, but this is a small price to pay to ensure the integrity of the press. On a side note, the incendiary nature of the quote makes it all the more likely that revealing it to the public is meant to elicit reckless action, either from the government or from jingoistic elements outside.

The CBI inquiry scandal throws up an interesting thought: were the raids/investigations initiated by somebody against the UPA? Maybe somebody with leanings towards the BJP? What better way to make the Congress tie itself into knots, trying simultaneously to condemn the action (and protect its erstwhile allies) and to show that it doesn't pull the CBI's strings? Our politicians' actions are a conspiracy theorist's delight, aren't they?