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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Shekhar Gupta on the BIAL controversy

Shekhar Gupta analyzes the current B’lore Intl. Airport (BIAL) controversy where N R Narayanamurthy has stepped down from the helm of BIAL. If these kind of treatments are meted out to corporate chieftains, the corporate sector might shy away from participating in such future public interest projects. Shekhar Gupta reminds us of the days when the media used to flash Deve Gowda’s ‘dozing’ pictures in the front pages of national newspapers :-

I cannot conclude this without sharing a story from the brief period of Gowda’s prime ministership. Pravin Jain, the Indian Express picture editor in Delhi and his team had figured early on that the greatest photo-op in that period was the prime minister found asleep in his public appearances. They would catch him sleeping at functions, felicitations, in cabinet meetings, even while meeting foreign dignitaries and, sure enough, the front page was theirs for the asking. So one day, inevitably, I got invited for tea by C.M. Ibrahim, then information and broadcasting minister, and Gowda’s closest confidant and hatchet-man (though now they are estranged).

‘‘Arrey bhai, Shekharji,’’ he said, ‘‘aap apne photographer ko bolo na kyon us bechare ke peechey pade hain (why won’t you ask your photographers why they are stalking that poor fellow)?’’ What can I do, I asked. If the prime minister is found sleeping in his public appearances, it is front page news. Why don’t you reason with the prime minster instead to be more alert, I added. Ibrahim’s answer was as hapless as it was – it now turns out – prescient. ‘‘Arrey bhai, yeh aadmi saara din prime minister nahin hai (this man is not a full-time prime minister),’’ he said. ‘‘From nine am to seven pm, he is prime minister of India, from seven pm to midnight he is chief minister of Karnataka, from midnight to two am, he is district magistrate of Hasan, then at 4.30 am he has to get up for puja, then breakfast, and then back to being prime minister of India. So when can he sleep?’’

4 Comments:

  • Indeed, when can the poor man sleep? How about not on the tax-payers time? How about all the time? That way, the rest of us can get some useful work done. Nice extract.

    By Blogger Übermaniam, at 8:06 AM  

  • Dopppsy,
    Narasimha Rao's grim face and Deve gowda's sleeping pose provided lot of entertainment to the media folks. we are missing all that now.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 11:15 PM  

  • and now deve gowda alleges a nexus between NRN and s.m.krishna to destabilize the karnataka govt! atleast he's showing some creativity in his thoughts. 'dare to think beyond...', aye?

    By Blogger StupendousMan, at 12:09 AM  

  • Deve Gowda is a vile creature that starts every alternate sentence with "When I was prime minister..." We can finish that with
    1)I was dozing most of the time
    2)Alloted petrol pumps and LPG agencies to all my thirty million wretched relatives.
    3)Ensured the taxpayer got screwed over providing Z grade security for distant and smelly relatives of his who lived in villages so obscure even they didnt know where it was or who Deve Gowda was,for that matter.
    4)Generally proved that you can take a corrupt prick out of Karnataka but it aint going to do Karnataka or where you take the prick any good.

    By Blogger The Bangalore Torpedo, at 3:25 AM  

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