Posts Tagged ‘The Week’

Why Modi will address only one rally in K’taka*

25 April 2013

Photo Caption

Security personnel on election duty search a car at a check post on Hospet road in Bellary on Thursday, even as a new pre-poll survey suggests that the Congress, despite all its troubles, continues to maintain a healthy lead over the BJP in the assembly elections due in the “gateway to the south” next week.

The survey, conducted by the centre for study of developing societies (CSDS), for CNN-IBN and The Week, shows that the Congress could end up with at least 117 seats in a house of 224. Like other polls before this one, BJP comes second with 59 seats, JD(S) third at 44. KJP and others are also-rans.

Former chief minsiter H.D. Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) is the most preferred CM candidate, with 18 per cent people voting in favour of him. Ex-BJP strongman B.S. Yediyurappa is the second choice for CM (10%), followed by Congress leader Siddaramaiah (9%), S.M. Krishna (8%), and Jagadish Shettar (6%).



CSDS-CNN-IBN, The Week (April): Congress 117-129, BJP 39-49, JD(S) 33-44

Suvarna News-Cfore (April): Congress 105-122 out of 224; BJP 55-70; JD(S) 30-45

Headlines Today-C-Voter (March): Congress 114-122, BJP 48-56, JD(S) 32-38, KJP 10-14

Tehelka-C-Voter (January): Congress 133, BJP 63, JD(S) 19, KJP 5

Suvarna News-CFore (Decamber 2012): Congress 113, BJP 58, JD(S) 31, KJP 14


* Search engine optimisation techniques at work

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News


2013 election coverage

When a wife-beater campaigns for the Congress

Rahul Gandhi fails five tests in Karnataka poll

They cry before the polls, so we can cry after

‘Diminishing returns from aggressive Hindutva’

Why is corruption not an issue in Karnataka?

POLL 2013: Can the Karnataka opinion polls go awry?

POLL 2013: Has A. Ramdas not supplied ‘henda‘?

It’s unofficial: our democracy has a bribe future

CHURUMURI POLL: The A-hole of the year is…?

30 December 2011

As the year draws close, newspapers, magazines and TV stations unfailingly announce their man of the year, woman of the year, Indian of the year, product of the year, etc. So for Time magazine, 2011 was the year of the protester. For India Today, its newsmaker was Anna Hazare, as he was for NDTV 24×7. For The Week, it will be some unsung hero. Etcetera.

There is no reason to doubt these fine editorial choices, duly audited by Ernst & Young, PricewaterHouse Coopers and other fine accounting firms. But the world is not all full of heroes. The reason we have a man of the year, woman of the year, etc, is because several worthies paved the way for these worthy souls by gladly voting themselves out.

Call them the villains of the year. Or A-holes Of The Year*. Or whatever. It is they who enable our world to get its rightful share of heroes each year by their execrable behaviour, by their obnoxious conduct, by being what they are: A-holes. And you find them everywhere: in politics, business, sport, cinema, media, everywhere.

So, tongue firmly in churumuri-lined cheek, let us give them their due. Let them know we care. Let them know that their efforts do not go unremembered, unrecognised or unrewarded. Let them know we would be a poorer world without them. Let them know who they are.

Who, therefore, is your A-hole Of The Year*?


* cannot guarantee that the phraseology of this poll will meet the approval of everybody.

T.S. SATYAN Memorial Awards: the winners are…

14 December 2011

The winners of the T.S. SATYAN Memorial Awards for Photojournalism 2011: (Left to right) Yagna, K. Gopinathan, Netra Raju, Bhanu Prakash Chandra, Regret Iyer, M.S. Gopal

Karnataka Photo News and are pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural T.S. Satyan Memorial Awards for Photojournalism. The awards will be presented by the governor of Karnataka, H.R. Bhardwaj, in Bangalore on Sunday.

Lifetime achievement award: Yagna, Mangalore

Best newspaper photojournalist: K. Gopinathan, The Hindu, Bangalore

Best professional photojournalist: Netra Raju, The Times of India, Mysore

Best magazine photojournalist: Bhanu Prakash Chandra, The Week, Bangalore

Best freelance photographer: ‘Regret Iyer, Bangalore

Best online photojournalist: M.S. Gopal,

Nominations for the awards came from the Karnataka media academy, press club of Bangalore, Karnataka union for working journalists and the photojournalists association of Bangalore. The lifetime achievement award carries a cash prize of Rs 10,000 and a citation; all other prizes carry a cash prize of Rs 5,000 each and a citation.


Read more about/by the winners

K. GOPINATHAN: Why namma Gopi (almost) cried in January 2008

REGRET IYER: Success is standing up one more time than you fall

M.S. GOPAL: Every pictures tells a story. Babu‘s can fill a tome

M.S. GOPAL: When Chamundi betta relocates to amchi Mumbai

M.R. SHIVANNA, a true 24/7 journalist, RIP.

22 May 2011 records with regret the passing away of M.R. SHIVANNA, an unsung hero of Indian journalism, in Mysore on Saturday. He was 55, and is survived by his wife and daughter.

For 30 years and more, Shivanna slogged away in remarkable obscurity and was one of the pillars on which stands India’s most successful English evening newspaper, Star of Mysore. Starting out as a sub-editor in the local tabloid, Shivanna, a son of a farmer, had grown to be editor of the family-owned SoM at the time of his death.

Shivanna was no poet. His prose wouldn’t set the Cauvery on fire, nor was it intended to.

First in at work and last man out of the office, he wrote simple functional sentences day after relentless day. While dozens of young men cut their teeth at Star of Mysore on their way to bigger things in Bangalore and beyond, Shivanna stayed on, lending his boss K.B. GANAPATHY the kind of quiet solidity every owner and editor can only envy.

Here, CHETAN KRISHNASWAMY, one of Shivanna’s myriad ex-colleagues, who moved from Star of Mysore on to Frontline, The Week and The Times of India, among other ports of call, pays tribute.




For decades, lakhs of Mysoreans have seen these three letters of the alphabet appended to thousands of news reports in Star of Mysore and Mysooru Mitra, Mysore’s dour media siblings, steered successfully by its founder-editor K.B. Ganapathy.

For most readers, these initials are a daily mystery, unravelled only in the anniversary issue of the two newspapers in February and March, respectively, when a mandatory “long-form” piece or an interview appears with the full form of the byline: M.R. Shivanna.

But for the remainder of the year, (MRS) was a byword for his straight, unaffected style.

As a journalist, Shivanna knew his limitations and that perhaps was his greatest strength. In a world of flamboyant story-tellers, he was the odd man out. Shorn of scholarly airs or intellectual pretensions, MRS pursued his vocation with a constancy of purpose, a fierce diligence that is rare in a profession where careerism has taken hold.

At times it seemed as if MRS literally lived in the newsroom, straddling two worlds, two sensibilities.

He finished his work at Star of Mysore, which is an English evening newspaper, in the afternoon, only to seamlessly drift to the other part of the building and discharge his duties at Mysooru Mitra, the Kannada morning daily form the same group.

You called the office at any unearthly hour, and more often than not MRS would pick up the phone, ready with pen on paper. A bulk of the information from across the districts was communicated over phone by a network of stringers and reporters, who spoke in varying  degrees  of clarity. MRS was an expert in tactfully prising out ‘news’ from these guys, night or day.

MRS was a 24×7 journalist before 24×7 became business jargon.


In 1990, just before taking up my journalism course, I ventured to work in Star of Mysore as a trainee.

K.B. Ganapathy, after a cursory chat, called in MRS and asked him to take me under his wing and put me through the paces.

At first glance, MRS was distinctly unimpressive: He was frail, he had a funny moustache, he tucked his shirt out, walked with a slouch and was staccato in his speech. He fobbed me off to his colleague at the desk, Nandini Srinivasan, who helped me tremendously through the early years.

Over a period of time, slowly, steadily I built some rapport with MRS. Sometimes he would call me out for an occasional smoke which I would readily accept in the hope of having a good conversation. But MRS would keep to himself and allow me to do all the talking, seldom proffering advice or insight, a genial smile displaying his tobacco-stained teeth.

There was a manic phase, of about a month or so, when I drank with him regularly at a fancy bar in Mysore. These sessions were unremarkable, almost matter-of-fact,  as MRS insisted that the Hindi music be played at an exceptionally high volume. There was no chance for exchange of ‘journalistic views’ leave alone banter.

Through the years in college, my association with Star and MRS continued. He would give me occasional assignments and background on stories that I was following.  Although writing in English did not come naturally to MRS, he honed it over the years through repeated practice.

His news reports were structured tightly in the classic “5 Ws and 1 H” formula, and it served him well.

There were reams and reams of buff paper on which he wrote with a cheap ball point pen that leaked, smudged and grew errant due to over use. He had this peculiar habit of bringing the nib close to his lips and blowing at it, like as if he was fanning a dying cigarette. He did that always, probably to fuel his pen’s fervor.

As an old-school journalist brought up on letter press, MRS also used and understood sub-editing notation better than most journalists. He used a red ink pen to underline a letter twice for capitalisation, a hurried swirl to denote deletion, “stet” if he wanted something to stay as is.

And for all his limitations with the language, if you were ever at a sudden loss for a word, those standard ones that you use to embellish journalistic copy, MRS would spout it in a second. The words swam in his head all the time.

Instinct and Intuition guided his journalistic disposition.

Passion and Persistence gave it  further ballast.


In 1993, “MRS” won the Karnataka Rajyothsava award. And as it happens in journalistic circles, there were whispers of how he had engineered it all, how it was a complete joke, how he was underserving, etc. MRS continued unfazed, doing what he did best, day after day after day. In due course, the tired critics went to sleep.

Many years later, at the Taj Lands End in Bombay, I hastened to the breakfast buffet for a quick bite before a conference. I had by then quit journalism to join Intel.

I heard a familiar “Hello, Chethu”.

I swung around to see MRS holding a bowl of fruits.

Over breakfast, he told me that Intel had flown him down to cover the event and simply amazed me with the information he had collected about the company’s latest products and plans. He kept jotting down notes verifying and cross-checking facts as we spoke. That evening we promised to get together but it didn’t happen.

During R.K .Laxman’s  last visit to Mysore about two years back, MRS took on the entire responsibility of hosting him in the City. Apart from ensuring that the Laxmans stayed in a friend’s hotel he organised their trip to Chamundi hills for an exclusive darshan. Laxman was profusely thankful to him during the visit.

On their last day in Mysore, MRS called me over the phone. He began with enquiring about my well being and slowly moved on to  a long conversation on Laxman’s perspective on various issues around him. I took the journalist’s bait and went with the flow filling him with facts, quotes, trivia.

I imagined MRS at his desk, his pen scribbling away on sheafs of paper, periodically blowing into his nib, probably conjuring the headline, the lead, the middle for his copy.

MRS will continue to write wherever he is. In the end, the smudges don’t matter really.

Also read: A song for an unsung hero: C.P. Chinnappa



Naresh Chandra Rajkhowa: journo who broke Dalai Lama story

Chari, a lens legend at The Hindu

Harishchandra Lachke: A pioneering cartoonist

T.N. Shanbag: Man who educated Bombay journos

Rajan Bala: cricket writer of cricket writers

Jyoti Sanyal: The language terrorist and teacher

Russy Karanjia: The bulldog of an editor

Sabina Sehgal Saikia: The resident food writer

M.G. Moinuddin: The self-taught newspaper designer

In defence of India’s 14th PM, the State’s 14th CM

14 January 2010

CHETAN KRISHNASWAMY writes from Bangalore: In one moment of fiery bluster, the venerable old man ripped the synthetic façade enveloping Indian politics asunder, and revealed its true essence.

Not for him the nuanced subtleties in speech, the clipped accent, the dramatic arching of the brow, the elaborate hand-wringing—or even the eloquence hidden in the unspoken word.

Those are best left to “cultured politicians”; the city-bred types harrumphing over Black and Blue Label.

Haradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda, to give the venerable old man his full name, pulls up his panche, sups on ragi balls and soppina saaru, and speaks a mean, belligerent, even bellicose, language.

Gowda’s in-your-face, no-holds-barred style poses a nightmare for erudite analysts, who earn their daily bread deciphering the actions and utterances of smooth, inscrutable politicians.

Gowda’s WYSIWYG approach offers no scope for interpretation.

It is as direct, as coarse, as crass as it can get.

The unrestrained rants of the former prime minister on the current chief minister are in bad taste, no doubt, but spare me the bloody histrionics and indignation, will you?

# In a country where ministers callously stand by and watch a policeman hacked in front of their eyes breathing his last by the way side….

# In a country where 150 of 543 MPs face criminal charges including “human trafficking, immigration rackets, embezzlement, rape and even murder”….

# In a country where politicians take money to ask questions, take money to vote, take money to buy coffins for soldiers or fodder for animals….

In a country, in a State, that is completely desensitised to the average politician’s shenanigans, a sensitive streak suddenly emerges after a lazy Sunday siesta because of a fulltime politician’s abusive language?

Make no mistake, I do not condone Gowda’s diatribe.

But I would not condemn it, either.

India’s politicians deserve each other.

To all but those who have just returned from their year-end trip to Mars, here’s the news: Deve Gowda has always revelled in the politics of antagonism, and the operative word there is always, not antagonism.

Be it with his brother Basave Gowda in Holenarasipur, be it with his bosom buddy Ramakrishna Hegde, be it with his one time trusted aides Siddaramaiah or P.G.R. Sindhia, be it with his kinsman Venkatagiri Gowda, Deve Gowda’s default mode is one of antagonism.

People of Holenarsipur still talk of Gowda’s legendary enmity with the late G. Puttaswamy Gowda, a local Congress politician. I have met every one of these notables at some point or the other and they have all confessed of being stunned by Gowda’s ruthlessness.

He has been intemperate and surly in his interactions even with his confidants. Barring one or two individuals, his coterie is in a state or perpetual churn. Entries and exits happen in swift succession, in keeping with Gowda’s shifting ambitions and volatile moods.

In other words, his outrage with B.S. Yediyurappa is one of a piece.

Gowda has been as unpredictable with the media.

Journalists who imagine themselves to be close to Gowda, suddenly find themselves at sea. If, on one occasion, he is thrusting an indulgent arm around you and addressing you as “brother”, the next day he could simply turn the other way around and say, well, bhosidi maga.

Gowda has always been an interviewer’s nightmare. He can be completely incoherent and scattered, or bitingly caustic or abruptly turn into an inveterate mumbler.

For the hungry journalist, Deve Gowda rarely gives good copy.

On one occasion, sometime in the late 1990s, I traveled to his modest home in Haradanahalli, over 200 kms from Bangalore, had a fabulous lunch with his family, served by his son H.D. Revanna’s wife Bhavani, engaged him for an hour and returned without a story.

It is fortunate that I had a liberal editor in The Week’s T.R. Gopalakrishnan.

On another occasion, while he was the chief minister, his then-press secretary, S.V. Jayasheela Rao, promised me an early-morning “exclusive” at Gowda’s Padmanabhanagar residence. All I got that morning was a disjointed monologue and avarekal uppittu, which was the saving grace.

We might compare him with other former PMs and quibble with Deve Gowda’s choice of words.

We might compare him with other former PMs and let our tongues wag about mountains of moolah.

We might compare him with other former PMs and talk of his gracelessness.

Yet how many would boast of a rousing endorsement from their top bureaucrat?

In his 2004 book, former cabinet secretary T.S.R. Subramaniam says of Gowda:

‘‘On the day I took charge as cabinet secretary, he told me, ‘My sons and my relatives will want to exploit my present position to their pecuniary advantage. They will use their proximity to me, through open and subtle ways, to influence you, and to put pressure on you. I want you to be completely fair and impartial and not oblige them’.’’

Haradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda, India’s 14th Prime Minister, Karnataka’s 14th Chief Minister, who began his career in public life as president of Anjaneya Cooperative Society, Holenarasipura, is will go down history as a bare knuckled, unrelenting fighter .

And at 77 he is all set to release his autobiography, perhaps ready to spout more invectives and tear his critics to shreds. Those who trifle with the volatile Vokkaliga trifle with peril.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News archives

Also read: ‘Bastard, bloody bastard, bastard, bhosidi maga

‘Degenerate bastard, I will not trouble thee’

I shouldn’t have been born in Karnataka: Deve Gowda

A snapshot of a poor, debt-ridden farming family

Something has to give for somebody to reach 272

9 April 2009

The Week magazine has joined the opinion poll fray with a set of predictions made for it by the pollster, C-Voter. The Congress, it says, will emerge the single largest party with 144 seats, with the BJP close behind at 140.

# 37 per cent of those interviewed felt Congress-led UPA can handle the issues before the nation better than the NDA; 27 per cent supported the NDA.

# Samajwadi Party 32, NCP 13, DMK and allies 13, Trinamool Congress 11, RJD-LJP 15, UDF two, National Conference three, and JMM one.

#JD(U) 18, Shiv Sena 12, Asom Gana Parishad five, Akali Dal five, RLD four, and INLD two.

# Left parties 33, BSP 29, AIADMK and allies 24, TDP/TRS 14, BJD nine, JDS two, HVM one, PRP two, and others nine.

The sample size, the polling dates, and other details are not known as per this report.

Also read: All the ole faithful can concede is a slim lead

What will President do if BJP is single largest party?

Arun Nehru: part I, part II, part III, part IV, part V

How come media did not spot the Satyam fraud?

8 January 2009

A requiem for Indian business journalism, in the delightfully breathless style of Juan Antonio Giner, founder-director, Innovation International Media:

‘Satyam’, meaning truth.

India’s fourth largest software services provider. The darling of Hyderabad.

An outsourcing company with 53,000 employees that serviced 185 of the Fortune 500 companies in 66 countries.

A company which now says 50.4 billion rupees of the 53.6 billion rupees in cash and bank loans that it listed in assets for its second quarter, which ended in September, were nonexistent.

India’s biggest corporate fraud ever.

Hell, India’s biggest fraud ever: customers, clients, shareholders, employees, families down in the dumps.

India’s Enron.

We have heard all the big questions being asked. So far.

How come the analysts did not know?

How come the auditors did not know?

How come the regulators did not know?

How come the directors did not know?

How come the bankers did not know?

Yes. But where is the other question?

How come the media did not know?


How come the English newspapers did not know?

# Not Deccan Chronicle, not The Hindu, not The New Indian Express, not The Times of India.

# Not The Economic Times, not Business Line, not Financial Chronicle, not Business Standard, not Financial Express.

How come the foreign newspapers did not know?

# Not New York Times, not Wall Street Journal, not Financial Times.

How come the Telugu dailies did not know?

# Not Eenadu, not Andhra Jyoti, not Andhra Prabha, not Saakshi.

How come the general interest magazines did not know?

# Not India Today, not Outlook, not The Week.

How come the business magazines did not know?

# Not Business Today, not Business World, not Outlook Business.

How come the English news channels did not know?

# Not NDTV, not CNN-IBN, not Times Now, not Doordarshan News.

How come the business channels did not know?

# Not CNBC, not NDTV Profit, not UTVi.

How come the Telugu channels did not know?

# Not ETV, not ETV2, Not Gemini, not Maa TV, not TV9, not TV5, not Doordarshan

So many media vehicles, but so little light on the infotech highway yet so much noise.

But who is asking the questions?

Is journalism that doesn’t shed light journalism?

Or puff?

Or PR?

Or Advertising?

Also read: Is this what they really teach at Harvard Business School?

Is Satyam alone in creative accounting scam?

New Year card Ramalinga Raju did not respond to

And finally, who is giving each party how much

23 May 2008

All the electronic voting machines have been sealed in the Karnataka Elections—and so are the fates of all the opinion polls, exit polls, pre-poll surveys, post-poll surveys, and table-top surveys. This, then, is how it all looks.

Each one, take one: opinion polls to please all

6 May 2008

With just four days to go for the first phase of polling in the 2008 Karnataka Elections, there is now a buffet of opinion polls, pre-poll surveys, internal surveys, to pick and choose from depending on your political taste:

CNN-INN-Deccan Herald: Congress 114, BJP 60, JDS 37

The Week: Congress 89-97, BJP 83-91, JDS 13-21, others 19-27.

DRS-INX News: BJP 130, Congress 65, JDS 30-45

BJP internal survey: BJP 119-129, Congress 60, JDS <20

Anglo-Indian Unity Centre: Congress 46 per cent, BJP 39 per cent, JDS 6 per cent

Kannada Prabha-Suvarna News (first phase): Congress 43-44, BJP 22, JDS 20

Photograph: Cricket gear, with bats, stumps, balls bearing the JDS symbol, seized at Sakkarepatna near Chikamagalur. (Karnataka Photo News)