Wednesday, March 22, 2023
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TV news preoccupied with Dhawan’s thumb, Pak TV World Cup promo stars Abhinandan lookalike

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Prime Time

On the day the wreckage of IAF’s AN-32 was found, the public also discovered that cricketer Shikhar Dhawan had a broken thumb.

The latter became the subject of much interest in prime time debates on Tuesday.

India Today: Anchor Shiv Aroor wondered if this meant the Indian opener would miss the entire World Cup.

Senior journalist Rahul Srivastava said, “He may (return to) become a part of the team towards the end of June and….play the match scheduled against West Indies.”

Consulting editor Boria Majumdar pointed out, “Even if he is not available in the group stage, he can still come back and make an impact in the semi-finals and finals.”

CNN News18: Anchor Zakka Jacob discussed who would replace Dhawan as the opener. “(This is a) huge setback for team India…” he said.

“I would like to see Rishabh Pant fly out immediately to London to acclimatise. There should be no changes in the 15 but if need be, Pant can prove to be useful,” said sports commentator Kishore Bhimani.

Former cricketer Shishir Hattangadi felt that one of the 15 players selected for the Cup should “replace Dhawan”. If any other player is in the playing 11, “it will make a mockery of our selection committee”, he added.

Zee News: Anchor Sudhir Chaudhary turned to more serious matters at hand. He lauded his own channel for its role in the trial court’s release of Vishal Jangotra in the Kathua rape and murder case. The court had cited “evidence provided by Zee News” in its verdict.

Chaudhary said the judgment had pinpointed major errors in the investigation by the Jammu and Kashmir crime branch.

A Special Court in Pathankot Monday convicted six of the seven accused in the Kathua rape and murder case.

Times Now: Anchor Navika Kumar focused on journalists being arrested in Uttar Pradesh.

The state police arrested Prashant Kanojia and two other journalists for retweeting or airing a video about CM Yogi Adityanath. The Supreme Court gave Kanojia bail Tuesday.

Advocate Touseef Khan said, “SC has made it clear that it’s (case) an abuse of power.”

BJP spokesperson Anila Khan said she was puzzled by other panelists blaming UP police. “I don’t understand why UP police being is targeted”.

Lawyer Shehzad Poonawala said that it’s the duty of journalists to keep the government in check. “Journalists have the right to irritate and this could be a case of executive misadventure,” he added.

Republic TV turned to the government’s proposal to award five crore scholarships to Muslims in the next five years.

Islamic studies researcher Atiq-Ur-Rehman welcomed the move. “It is a very, very welcome step, provided they secure the minority institutions guaranteed by the Constitution of India.”

However, political analyst Abdul Razack Khan was pessimistic about the scheme’s implementation: “What happened to ‘One Rank One Pension’? These are all fake jumlas that are being promised

As India faces Pakistan on Sunday, the advertisement war between the two neighbours is touching new lows. First, a Star Sports advertisement added a twist to Father’s day, 16 June, the day of the match between the two sides: it features India as the father of Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Now, an advertisement released from Pakistan’s Jazz TV mocks IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman shown enjoying a cup tea.

Front Page

News about the media comes first Wednesday as newspapers report “SC orders release on bail of journalist arrested in U.P.” (The Hindu).

“Holding right to liberty as “sacrosanct and non-negotiable”, which cannot be trampled on by the government by arresting a citizen without sufficient reason, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the immediate release” of journalist Prashant Kanojia, said the report.

Hindustan Times says the judgment “did not mean the court approved of his posts, but a “fundamental right” granted by the Constitution cannot be infringed upon by the state”.

Hindu quotes Justice Indira Banerjee as saying, “We are not appreciative of the manner of his tweets, but we are bothered about his arrest and incarceration.”

“Interestingly, the petitioner’s counsel did not have to utter a word as the court was convinced the arrest was plain wrong,” adds The Times of India.

The Indian Express, strangely, gives the news very little space —a little over a column — in “Right to liberty not negotiable, release journalist, Supreme Court tells U.P. govt.”

TOI also runs a column of news adjacent to its lead that says, “The SC had advised the UP government on Tuesday to “show magnanimity”. But it was revealed hours later that yet another journalist had been picked up by police…for sharing or airing content deemed defamatory to the UP CM.”

AN-32 found

Also making headlines in the Express and Hindu is the wreckage of the Indian Air Force (IAF)’s AN-32 jet which had gone missing eight days ago.

It was found, reports the Express, in a “remote location in high mountains, close to the China border” in Arunachal Pradesh. It carries a photograph showing scattered remains of the aircraft.

Officials are yet to determine the exact location, however. While there is information that the wreckage is northeast of Tato, “the headquarters of Shi-Yomi district, bordering China”, locals from a village, Gattee, have claimed to have spotted wreckage “on the left bank of the river Siyom near Gatte”, which is “in Siang district, adjoining Shi-Yomi”.

The Hindu adds, “Gatte is in Payum circle over which contact with the AN-32 was lost 35 minutes after it took off from Jorhat in Assam in the afternoon of June 3”.

“The nearest ground search crews will take at least three days to reach the wreckage site and the option of heli-dropping soldiers is being considered to accelerate the rescue effort,” informs HT from its front page flap.

TOI gives the news less than column space on page 1.

Ex-CEA’s GDP growth report

Former chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian’s comments in an opinion piece in the Express yesterday, that India’s GDP from 2011-12 to 2016-17 has been overestimated by 2.5 per cent grabs headlines across papers – except HT reports it on the inside pages.

TOI writes that his claims are “prompting economists to doubt the size of the claimed overestimation, and the government to defend its data”.

Express concentrates on the government’s response in “Ex-CEA cutting GDP growth 2 pc points: Govt defends its data”.

The Hindu says this means “the tag of the fastest-growing major economy may not hold”.

The Ministry of Statistics has, meanwhile, “reiterated its stance that the methodology adopted was in line with international standards as set by the United Nations and was as such robust” (The Hindu).


HT has been focusing on reporting the latest weather conditions in India, in recent weeks. Today, it gives prominence to “India staring at longest heatwave in 3 decades”. It is the bearer of frightening news: “If the mercury doesn’t dramatically drop in the next two days, 2019 will become the year with the longest heatwave spell in recorded history.”

“4 train passengers die of heatstroke in Jhansi” (TOI) and “Long spell of below normal rain leaves western and southern India parched” (Express) are other stories related to the current rise in temperature.

The lead in the Express today is “Plan to import talent: A third of Deputy Secys from outside”. The Department of Training and Personnel has been asked to draft a proposal recommending 400 domain experts from the private sector fill the posts of deputy secretary and director (“expected to take away 60 per cent of the 650 posts…which are available to officers from the three all-India services”).

It also publishes another exclusive report: “IL&FS top executive bent norms to favour Ansals: internal report”.


Express: “Listen to him”, asks the newspaper, referring to Tuesday’s piece by Arvind Subramanian where he saidthere had been an “overestimation” of GDP of 2.5 percentage points from 2011-12 to 2016-17. It says nothing “political” should be read into this as it covers both UPA 2 and NDA and the “shift in methodology” for computing GDP was “initiated under the UPA”.

After explaining Subramanian’s methodology and findings, Express says his analysis “should help generate useful debate over the current methodology…” A first step would be to allow independent experts to deliberate the issue and the government should provide access to its database on companies for “independent validation”.

Hindu: “Thin-skinned masters” discusses the arrest of journalist Prashant Kanojia for sharing a tweet on a video regarding Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. However, the Supreme Court’s granting him bail was not “unexpected” as the arrest was “arbitrary, unwarranted and without basis in law”.

The newspaper lists out UP Police’s disregard for “well established norms for arrest and remand” and the “flagrant illegality” of taking Kanojia out of Delhi without a transit remand from a local magistrate. It says that the “perfunctory attitude of civil servants” towards personal liberty is “disquieting”. Such officers should face “exemplary action”.

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With inputs from Shailaja Bajpai and Harshit Mansukhani.

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