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OM S(H)ANTI OM ! : Blaming It On Barkha

-By Sanjay Jha

Om Santi Om, Nandita Ji ! I regretfully noted in yesterday’s publications that Nandita Puri seemed mighty peeved with NDTVs Barkha Dutt ( The Buck Stops Here) for having quizzed her on her famous actor husband’s sexual “uprising” ( pun unintended , although the revered Om Puri’s movies were usually always on such passionate social subjects in the turbulent seventies). Nandita is frankly being clever by one and a half, having the cake, the marzipan coat and eating it too. Sorry Maam , but who cooked the pot-pourri? Frankly, I watched with prodigious admiration how Barkha asked those “inner conscience” questions with such a straight face, while simultaneously imagining Bollywood’s latest tryst with all labels Maid in India. Maybe the BJP was ahead of it’s time when they went sloganeering India Shiney-ing . Puri’s grouse that there is more to Om than the interview sounds flaky , fake and all fluff; after all, what did she expect from those graphic descriptions of adolescent Om’s discomfort with prickly heat? And by the way, even my hirsute counterpart Tarun Tejpal of Tehelka was evidently stunned by those admissions and must have seen his beard turn crimson as Ms Puri poured promiscuity out with panache. One thing is for sure, most men will shiver in their pants ( please ignore that , folks) before marrying a journalist.

The slapping of the perpetual gad-fly Abu Azmi , the SP MLA in the Maharashtra Assembly by Raj Thackeray’s loyal goons led to some amusing exchanges and once again to Barkha’s credit, she displayed remarkably equanimity. The MNS spokesman has the ultimate poker face not in sync with his belligerent outpourings. Essentially, if Azmi had been shot dead for insulting the vada-paav as well that day , Mr Patkar would have still said—“ He asked for it”. Sanjay Nirupam struggles with his past Shiv Sena lineage, and it shows . Amar Singh looked overall quite pleased with the publicity bonanza and would have probably not minded if Azmi had got a few more slaps. As for Bharat Dabholkar who has rumoredly some dangerous pets roaming wild in his office, he looked ready to pounce out of the screen.

On CNN-IBNs Face the Nation Sagarika Ghose had the standard mix on the Manu Sharma parole issue. The question on the parole issue that we need to find out is who was on the “pay-roll”??. Suhel Seth made solid sense on the nouveau-riche but isn’t that the inevitable new arrogant ostentatious face of Rising India? But the entire media deserves full credit for escalating the issue into a national embarrassment for all concerned violators of basic ethics. If I was Sheila Dikshit , I would stay miles away from such inane controversies.

Arnab Goswami ( Times Now) had the Yeddy-Reddy brothers Karnataka fracas thrown in but what intrigued me was the presence of corporate suited-booted types waxing ineloquent on political corruption and typical homilies in a manner fairly condescending . Point noted, but these are the same Silicon Valley upstarts ( start-ups??) who voted the BJP to power and reinforced that faith in May 2009. Having been a commercial banker and asset fund manager before I can tell you that almost the majority of hyped companies in India fudge balance-sheets in broad day-light. Satyam is in august company actually. Even a mighty respected industrial house as the Tatas quickly struck a deal with Narendra Modi post-the West Bengal Nano or shall we say jumbo fiasco. Ethics??? And aren’t some of India’s biggest IT companies sitting on huge real estate property purely out of government charity in prime areas? Sure, there is no denying that Karnataka is slipped dramatically on account of poor management but it is about time the executive class cut out their self-righteous bullshit.

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