Tag Archives: 26/11

Nation Shocked As Suhel Seth Has ‘No Comments’ On Kasab Verdict

In happier times

Mumbai. 06 May 2010.

More than a billion people, including Arnab Goswami and Sagarika Ghose, went in a shocked silence of more than 20-seconds as Suhel Seth confessed that he “frankly” had “no comments” on the Kasab verdict in 26/11 trial that ended yesterday.The interviewer Rajdeep Sardesai, at the other end of the phone line at that moment, initially blamed the dropped-bombshell to ‘some disturbance in our phone connection’ and asked the question again. But to Rajdeep’s, and the milling Indian masses’ utter discomfort, he repeated “No comments” and cut the line.

Though most of the Indian news channels are still in denial over this unexpected development, Times Now calling it “a passing phase” and NDTV’s Barkha Dutt claiming “Suhel will be present in the studio on the weekend discussion discussing Suhel’s absence”, some seem to have come to terms with this “loss”. A prominent business channel with a multiple of 9 in its name featured a half-hour ‘Suhel in the studio’ (SITS) special, recounting his best moments in newsroom discussions. SITS producer Vikram Randhawa said “He was a tiger (in newsrooms). I hope he has something to say about something soon.”

These hair have not whitened in sun... (Image Courtesy: NDTV)

The common man, though, is less forgiving. Saurov Dey, an executive with an international bank in Delhi and an avid media-watcher,  said: “How could he do this to us? He could have just repeated what he famously said about Jessica case, Save the Tiger campaign, Mumbai traffic woes, Malgudi days, Bra color on Facebook, and French food: “I  think it has something for everyone.” I hate him now.”

Meanwhile, public prosecutor in Kasab case, Ujjwal Nikam, has been selected as the first celebrity participant for the coming season’s Bigg Boss, owing to his charisma, achievement, and love for drama.

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Kasab being victimised because he is a dalit: Indian politician

(image Courtesy: Outlookindia.com)

Mumbai. 04 May 2010.

A bit late in the day, but just before a Mumbai sessions court finalises a sentence for Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, an Indian politician has thrown a virtual trump card in the arena. “Kasab is a dalit. He is being victimised like A. Raja“, said KS Priyan, International President of a district-level party in a southern Indian state.

The allegation, now even a part of ‘Oxbridge Dictionary of Alibis and Excuses’, came as a shocking reminder to major national parties like Congress and BJP that how complacent they have been acting off late. “It’s a shame, we agree”, said Congress’s spokesman Avishkar Birla, “we should have come up with this gem of an allegation before anyone else. It would have gone down well with Rahul Baba’s UP game-plan.” The BJP spokesperson couldn’t comment as the sun was strong and he fainted.

KS Priyan, addressing a press conference in Mumbai, seemed to be in a rough mood as he threw a water bottle in anger while asking – “Who the fuck is watching ‘Housefull’?” After regaining his composure a couple of minutes later, he restated his allegation that “Kasab is as innocent as, choose any metaphor you like. But the point is, he is a dalit.” On being asked that is there a proof that Kasab is dalit, his face lit up. “The fact that he doesn’t even have a proof of his dalit identity is the proof! See, they won’t even let a dalit keep his identity proof.”

Though Priyan’s allegations may not affect the final verdict, the political players as well as intellectuals are excited with the possibilities such insinuations bring. “It’s like having a Red Indian character in a mainstream Hollywood flick. You can use it for emotions, purity, sudden twists, or any random last-minute plot device conveniently”, said Delhi-based social scientist Neeru Bajwa in some other context.

Triplicate Girl: Wet dream of an Indian Bureaucrat

Meanwhile, Kasab said, “Given the state of Indian courts, and the number of boring hours I had to spend repeating the same answers a trillion times, even if I am set free, I will never indulge in any act, even remotely related to anything illegal. I am done with triplicates. I am done with triplicates. I am done with triplicates.”

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Indian News Channels Commemorate The 1st Anniversary of Going Hoarse

Not at 'Ground Zero'

25 November 2009. Mumbai.

Barkha Dutt looks into the calm sea at Marine Drive, her eyes welling up with memories of a day she launched into the biggest shrill-assault on the unsuspecting Indian viewers across the nation. “I won’t take full credit for it. It was an accumulated skill, a ‘being at right ground-zero, at the right time, with the right hoarseness’ moment”, she says modestly while still avoiding a direct eye-contact.

The 'Now' Man

Arnab Goswami, Barkha’s counterpart at Times Now, is more forthcoming. “I was in the studio and my job was tougher. We already had a few reporters on the streets – screaming, babbling, showing ‘exclusive’ footage in a loop, and my job was to tie the loose ends with an equally incomprehensible narration. It was a watershed moment. And as I said, we had ‘exclusive’ footage. I mean ‘exclusive footage’.”

It’s courageous stories like Arnab’s and Barkha’s that make 26th November 2009, the first anniversary of Mumbai attacks, a day to commemorate the spirit of Indian News TV. Never before a wholly complex system of (Papua New Guinea launched) satellites, OB vans, confused mike-holders, and wide-eyed studio presenters was put in such a grave danger of being toppled by the bigness of an event.

The righteous shrill

“It was BIG. INDIA was ATTACKED”, reveals Rajdeep Sardesai, wearing his trademark silk kurta and white pajamas to show his solidarity with the nation.”We were being tested,” he continues in his calculated style, “and we had to show that we are no flukes, or derivatives of some other channel. Let’s be frank – it was a shrill event, and we were forced to shout. But we are proud of the way we did it.”

Smiling for hidden camera

Amidst all these candid recounts, one man still remains guarded. Rajat Sharma, whose niche channel India TV was the only one to get an exclusive interview with one of the terrorists of 26/11, maintains his dignity a year later too. “We have the blessings of Sri Sri Bhabhoot Baba – our in-house future teller as well as health show host,” starts Sharma, almost in a trance. “He helped us get a ‘spiritual connection’ to one of the terrorists. But I am sorry, I can’t reveal more. Journalistic integrity doesn’t allow me”, Sharma trails off. But just when one thinks that he is done, he adds, with a rare smile – “We were different that day.”

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