Posts Tagged ‘Aakar Patel’

Bangalore reporter who became a ‘RAW agent’

31 August 2013

bala

In Lounge, the weekend section of the business paper Mint, the columnist Aakar Patel doffs his hat to Prakash Belawadi, the Bangalore engineer who became an Indian Express reporter, who became a magazine correspondent, who became a television chat show host, who launched a journalism school, who launched a weekly newspaper…

Who made a national-award winning English film, who makes a hit TV serial—and who is winning accolades for his role as a Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) agent in the just-released Hindi film, Madras Cafe:

“Prakash Belawadi started and edited a weekly newspaper, Bangalore Bias (it shut down). He has begun so many enterprises, a media school among them, that I have lost count just of those he has been involved in since 2000, and would not be surprised if he has too.

“Belawadi began his career as a journalist and worked for Vir Sanghvi’s Sunday. He remains a columnist and a first rate one. He has the best quality a columnist can have and that, according to Graham Greene, is never to be boring.

“Belawadi has a dangerous lack of ideology that makes him an aggressive and unpredictable debater. He can casually assume a position, often contrary to one he held a couple of days ago, and unpack a ferocious argument. Like all good men, he likes a fight, and like all good men it is promptly forgotten. He has a quality that is admirable among men.

“He is restless and tireless, and totally uncaring for the middle-class ambitions that most of us cannot let go of, and few of us ever achieve.”

Read the full article: A restless Renaissance man

Also read: For some journalists, acting is second string in bow

Finally, Karnataka gets an acting chief minister

External reading: Dibang of Aaj Tak, NDTV India is ex-RAW agent

The many faces of Aakar Patel (as per Google)

8 December 2012

Aakar Prakaar

Google now has a search facility by which you can look up images of people by putting in an image in the search window.

This is what turns up when you look for Aakar Patel, at various times the executive editor of Mid-Day, columnist for Mint Lounge, Hindustan Times, Express Tribune, First Post and Open, and a talking head on CNN-IBN.

Just.

He said it: ‘Indian journalism is regularly second-rate’

Sachin Tendulkar, Mid-Day & the Indian Express

28 January 2012

Thankfully, Sachin Tendulkar‘s below-par performance on the Australian tour has dimmed the spotlight somewhat on the Indian media batting for a Bharat Ratna for the cricketer in quest for his 100th hundred.

In Lounge, the Saturday section of the business daily Mint, columnist Aakar Patel argues why, among other reasons, Sachin shouldn’t get the nation’s highest civilian honour:

“On 15 April 1999, just before the World Cup, Sachin Tendulkar’s car hit a Maruti 800 in Bandra. Tendulkar got [Shiv Sena chief] Bal Thackeray to telephone Mid Day, the paper I joined the following year.

“He warned them against carrying the story. This was surprising because nobody had been seriously hurt in the accident.

“Thackeray told the paper running the story would damage “national interest”.

“What was this national interest? Mohammad Azharuddin was about to be sacked, Thackeray explained, and Tendulkar was likely to become captain again. Such stories could spoil his chances. Except The Indian Express, no newspaper ran the story. In July, Azhar was sacked and Tendulkar was named captain.”

Since that story, Tendulkar and Thackeray, Bandra-ites both, have had a small run-in over the batsman’s statement that “he was an Indian first and Marathi too, but Mumbai belongs to all“.

Read the full column: Why Sachin shouldn’t get the Bharat Ratna

Also read: ‘Indian journalism is regularly second-rate’

Prime minister, maybe, but not a very good sub-editor

A ‘wrong’ map lands Mint in a bit of a bother

16 January 2011

A screenshot of the business paper Mint‘s web homepage on Sunday, 16 January 2011, after a graphic accompanying an Aakar Patel column on corruption showed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir as a part of Pakistan. Result: pages 10 and 11 are now missing from the epaper site of the newspaper.

Salmaan Taseer: The Tavleen Singh connection

5 January 2011

Indian media reports of the assassination of the Pakistani politician Salmaan Taseer have been deferentially silent on his “Indian connection”—his dalliance with the columnist Tavleen Singh.

Although Twitter is abuzz, most newspapers (including The Indian Express, which carries Singh’s column on Sundays) have preferred to ignore any mention of the cross-border connection.

Except…

An IANS report: “Salman Taseer came to India in March 1980 to promote a laudatory biography of Pakistan’s leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. According to columnist Khushwant Singh, Taseer met Tavleen Singh at the Oberoi hotel where he stayed and fell in love with her. The two married briefly, but fell apart swiftly, leading to much bitterness.”

Sankarshan Thakur writes in The Telegraph: “Taseer teased the edge in private as he did in public. He married thrice and a brief tryst with Indian journalist Tavleen Singh produced his best-known progeny, author Aatish Taseer.”

Aakar Patel writes in Mumbai Mirror: “Taseer was fond of women and stories about his sexual appetite were part of his legend. With socialite-writer Tavleen Singh, he fathered a boy.”

Sameer Arshad and Omer Farooq Khan in The Times of India: “Taseer married twice and fathered six children including Indian journalist Tavleen Singh’s son, Aatish Taseer.”

A report in The Economic Times: “Born in London in 1980 to Taseer, the slain governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, and renowned Indian journalist Tavleen Singh , a Sikh by faith, Aatish always wanted to discover the faith of his father, Islam.”

Paparazzi pic of Bollywood babe sans makeup

23 June 2010

If Indian journalism is uniformly second-rate, you ain’t seen nothing yet, Aakarbhai.

Let Kanchan Gupta of The Pioneer tell you a story:

“The popular Gujarati newspaper Sandesh had an interesting story about aspiring journalists who appeared for this year’s entrance test for the media course offered by Saurashtra University.

“I have no idea about the quality of the course, but it would be safe to presume that those who applied for admission are from average middle-class families, representatives of what political parties, particularly the Congress, refer to as aam admi—the common man, average Indian, or whatever term you may want to use for the masses.

“The answer scripts have revealed that among the applicants are those who believe Warren Anderson is a Hollywood superstar and (though not connected with the Bhopal tragedy) Teesta Setalvad is a Bollywood actress.”

Journalism students please note: activist Teesta is a former journalist at Ashok Advani‘s Business India. Sandesh is India’s first stock-market listed newspaper

Read the full piece: Rip van Winkle wakes up to Bhopal

Also read: Outlook magazine ranking of top-10 J-schools-2010

Hindustan Times‘ ranking of top-10 J-schools—2010

Hindustan Times‘ ranking of top-10 J-schools—2008

Tehelka announces its school of journalism

‘Indian journalism is regularly second-rate’

20 June 2010

Indian media doesn’t know. That is the conclusion that has been reached by Aakar Patel, formerly of Asian Age, Deccan Chronicle, Mid-Day and Divya Bhaskar, as he tears into the Indian media in a column in Lounge, the Saturday supplement of the business daily Mint.

Indian journalists do not know how to ask questions. Indian journalists look for validation of their views rather than fresh information. Indian newspaper proprietors are more knowledgeable than editors. Indian writers are rarely asked to write for publications abroad because they are so bad.

And, since he is writing in a business paper, Patel takes care not to bite the hand that feeds.

“There are good journalists in India, but they tend to be business journalists. Unlike regular journalism, business journalism is removed from emotion because it reports numbers. There is little subjectivity and business channel anchors are calm and rarely agitated because their world is more transparent.

“Competent business reporting here, like CNBC, can be as good as business reporting in the West. This isn’t true of regular journalism in India, which is uniformly second rate….

“You could read Indian newspapers every day for 30 years and still not know why India is this way. The job of newspapers is, or is supposed to be, to tell its readers five things: who, when, where, what and why. Most newspapers make do with only three of these and are unlikely to really you ‘what’….”

Where would Indian journalism be if it weren’t for its columnists?

Photograph: courtesy My Space

Also read: SEBI chief: Business journalism or business of journalism?

Raju Narisetti: ‘Good journalists, poor journalism, zero standards’

New York Times: Why Indian media doesn’t take on Ambanis

CNBC barbs that resulted in a Rs 500 crore lawsuit

Pyramid Saimira, Tatva, and Times Private Treaties

How come none in the Indian media spotted Satyam fraud

Vir Sanghvi lashes out at Mint ‘censorship’

When a music mag (Rolling Stone) takes on Goldman Sachs

When Jon Stewart does the business interview of the year

External reading: Aakar Patel on working at The Asian Age

Prime Minister, maybe, but not a very good sub

29 April 2009

Indian prime minister hopeful, L.K. Advani, prides himself as a former journalist, having worked at the journal Organiser, published by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), where for seven years he wrote film reviews.

Former Mid-Day editor Aakar Patel uses Advani’s memoirs My country, My life to assess the man credited with the “when-asked-to-bend, the-Indian-media-crawled” quote during the Emergency years.

“His writing is lazy and he leans on clichés and stock phrases. He describes a criminal as “dreaded gangster”. He uses too many adjectives and likes hyperbole. He calls Indira Gandhi’s Emergency the “darkest period in Indian history”, but then reports its years wrong in three places (pages 259, 266 and 270).

“I edited newspapers for 10 years and I can place Advani as a journalist immediately. He would not have risen beyond middle rank.”

Read the full article: Advani the party man

Also read: A lifetime achievement award for L.K. Advani?

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