Massaging the media by tickling the underbelly of its movers and meisters is the cheapest trick in a politician’s handbook. And never does it get more obvious (and more obscene) than when Karnataka Rajyotsava is round the corner, and it’s time to honour the good and the great of journalism for their “contribution” to the State.
The year of the lord 2010 was no exception, with representatives from every news channel and newspaper finding—if not cajoling, pressuring, even threatening—their way into the list of 182, including one worthy who has spent less than three years on the Kannada nela, and would be hard put to name one restaurant in Bangalore besides quote-unquote ^^Koshy‘s^^.
Could this, therefore, be one reason why these telling pictures of a tired chief minister, who had to greet, garland and honour the giants of the nadu at the rate of one person every 45 seconds at the Rajyotsava fete, did not make it to any newspaper this morning?
Or, could it just be plain courtesy, if not patriotism; a desire to not show a beleaguered and battered CM in negative light on a day as luminous as November 1?
Or, is only poor H.D. Deve Gowda destined to be shown yawning or sleeping?
Below is a letter shot off by the editor of Kannada Prabha, Shivasubramanya K., in late October, to colleagues and friends expressing his disinclination to receive the Rajyotsava honour, while firmly asserting, apropos of nothing, that he did not “apply” for it.
After the B.S. Yediyurappa government acceded to his “request” by not including his name in the final list, Shivasubramanya put the matter on record with a front-page box announcement, stating that the only reason he had made such a request was because the task of building the newspaper was still “incomplete”.
Composite photographs: Karnataka Photo News
The B.S. Yediyurappa photo portfolio