I start my blog on the first Sunday after Narendra Modi has become the Prime Minister and the Gandhis have become irrelevant.
Some of the Modi critics have changed their tunes, some are singing a new song and many are blaming their contact lenses or spectacles for not being able to see the writing on the wall.
Mukesh Ambani has acquired Network18 Media & Investments and TV18 Broadcast (TV18) for Rs 4,000 crore. This includes In.com, IBNLive.com, Moneycontrol.com, Firstpost.com, Cricketnext.in, Homeshop18.com, Bookmyshow.com and broadcast channels like Colors, CNN-IBN, CNBC- TV18, IBN7 and CNBC Awaaz.
I remember a line I wrote in one of my columns in the early nineties. My line was: if they can’t buy the journalist or the reporter, they buy the editor and if he is not for sale they buy the newspaper!
But much before that, even before Deepak Neogi the Chief Reporter of Free Press Journal joined Ambanis – I don’t know where he is now – Dhirubhai Ambani had asked me about the economics of running a Daily newspaper. I didn’t know anything about the business side of the newspapers. For that matter, I didn’t know the editorial side either and realized that unlike freelance writing, editing a newspaper or a magazine for that matter was like walking a razor’s edge.
And I knew The Razor’s Edge only as a short story by Somerset Maugham.
This is why I never got to be the editor of Sunday Observer, the paper Ambanis brought out.
To be fair to Dhirubhai Ambani, Sunday Observer was a good and non-partisan paper. Vinod Mehta even published my grilling interviews of Sharad Pawar and Ramarao Adik who had to resign after he was accused of molesting an airhostess while travelling under the influence of alcohol.
Rajdeep Sardesai and Sagarika Ghosh have resigned – or will be resigning soon – and some others will do the same.
This doesn’t mean that they are more honest than the others. You can be dishonest while supporting UPA and you can be crooked while supporting the Modi Sarkar too.