– By Sanjay Jha
The last week has been a never-ending barrage of controversial news; Telangana, David Headley, Copenhagen and climate change , liberally interspersed with the sexual marathons of Tiger Woods’s putts , butts and long drives, and of course, cricket. With news coverage becoming increasingly commodity-like amidst this constant jamboree , certain features stood out.
I thought Barkha Dutt’s quick-fire interview with KSR from TRS established beyond doubt that the Congress made a political miscalculation in giving the sharp fellow an early VRS. It has created an absolutely unthinkable chaos in Andhra Pradesh, totally inconceivable till just a while ago when YSR was AKR ( Andhra ka Raja). Full credit to Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Manish Tiwari of the Congress for a valiant effort at sustainability even as the odds mounted with every passing faux pas.
I think Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh is one of our most erudite, articulate and market-friendly politicians with an acidic wit and biting sarcasm. It is good to have a savvy negotiator who knows his onions and potatoes as India’s representative at Copenhagen. It made for amusing viewing , however, as Jairam walked the red-carpet being serenaded by TV microphones on both sides , yet speaking with remarkable equanimity and choosing carefully crafted language to avoid skirting another controversy. The Ayatollah will be pleased.
CNN-IBN has managed to make it’s 9 pm bulletin fairly well-paced with multiple news in proportionate distribution to the importance of the event. It works although with due respects to Rajdeep Sardesai’s regular co-hosts , it is a program that Sardesai is better equipped to make a signature program solo. Unlike Arnab Goswami of Times Now who hogs the complete program with his telltale bulldozing , Rajdeep for all his fire and brimstone is an accommodating senior partner to his visibly impressed colleagues.
The Haagen-Dazs ice-cream ad campaign manifests the chronic bug that bites all “ creative types” ; let’s be different. Frankly, the “ international passport holders” line is neither stimulating, funny nor wacky, it is unalloyed rubbish for which the multinational giant must have paid a whopping sum after midnight-oil burning brainstorming (?) sessions. They have been correctly chastised. First round to apna Amul and vegetarian Baskin Robbins! Maybe American businessmen need to learn from the mistakes of their noble counterparts like KFC, for example, who blundered their way into Indian sensibilities. Both the creative team and General Mills who approved the infantile text have chocolate chip with mint on their faces.
Which brings me to the ridiculous installment of titillating details on the sexual excesses, pun intended, of the most famous face of golf, Tiger Woods. Woods has no skeletons in the cupboards, he has them in abundant flesh in hour glass figures of varying age-groups. Since sex sells 24x7x365 we had Headlines Today promoting it as a tacky Whimpering Tiger and Crouching Dragons ( with silhouettes of skimpy women resembling Sherlyn Chopra look-alikes) . It was not just grossly exaggerated but pointedly stupid; just what does Wood’s manic obsession for just-in-time-demand for instant gratification have to do with an average Indian whose life is stretched daily to merely eke a survival? Just why do Indian TV channels blindly follow the US media has me flummoxed. I can imagine Headlines Today coming up with some pedestrian golf joke when the 18th woman surfaces with her nocturnal tale. Expect the worst.
Anyway, they say that golf and sex are the only two things that you can enjoy without being good at either of them. Clearly from the salacious sound bytes from his grocery-list of surreptitious conquests and 14 Grand Slam titles, Woods was good at both of them. But it is about time we left the legendary master of the green grass alone in his trying moments of self-discovery. Letting people be is part of responsible journalism.