Posts Tagged ‘Oxford’

A happy new year to all you psychopaths!

1 January 2013

sans serif wishes all its readers, in every media house in every part of the world, a very happy new year.

May all your hopes, dreams and prayers—and your devious plots to scam your colleagues, bosses, sources, readers and viewers—come good in 2013.

After all, we are all psychopaths, almost at the top of our game.

A new survey puts media folk from TV and radio (you know who you are) at no.3 on the totempole of psychopaths, and underachieving journalists from the print world at no. 6.

The ranking of psychopaths, contained in a book by an Oxford scientist and published by Scientific American) reads:

1. CEO
2. Lawyer
3. Media (TV, radio)
4. Salesperson
5. Surgeon
6. Journalist
7. Police officer
8. Clergyperson
9. Chef
10. Civil servant

If you didn’t know what it means to be a psychopath (which is unlikely) here’s the clinical definition:

“Psychopathy is a personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficial character, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality.”

If you should know, the least psychopathic professionals (i.e. the guys giving us a bad name) are: care aide, nurse, therapist, craftsperson, beautician/stylist, charity worker, teacher, creative artist, doctor and accountant.

Shame on them.

Also read: The ten worst jobs on earth

Eight reasons journalism is best profession

External reading: Ten worst jobs of 2012

What Aung San Suu Kyi learnt from a ‘Hindu’ man

14 November 2012

The Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi is on a four-day visit to India. In her interview with Nirupama Subramanian of The Hindu, the Nobel laureate remembers her association with K. Rangaswamy, a political correspondent of the paper in Delhi, during her growing-up years in the capital.

“I got to know [Mr. Rangaswamy’s] daughter at school. We were together at the Convent of Jesus and Mary. Kamla and I were in the same class and then we also went to Lady Shri Ram College together the same year. We both took political science honours, and that’s how I became friendly with them.

“But I became particularly friendly with Uncle Rangaswamy when I was preparing for my Oxford entrance…. Uncle Rangaswamy knew, because I was in and out of his house all the time, that I did not have a teacher and that I wanted to take this exam in three months.

“So he said he would teach me!

“Some people were rather scared of him, because Uncle Rangaswamy has a rather formidable exterior. But I thought he was very sweet, and he was very, very sweet to me.

“He said to me one day, which I shall never forget and which I think was so admirable about him, he said: “I’ve taught you all I can, I can’t teach you anymore, but you’re the best student I’ve ever had, so I’ll find you a teacher.” And he got a contact of his — an old student of his for all I know — a mathematics teacher. He told her to continue to teach me the rest of the curriculum, which she did, and then I managed to just scrape through the exams, and I made it to Oxford that year instead of having to wait another year. It was because of Uncle Rangaswami.

“He had enough faith in me. He said “I’ll teach you”, but I’ll never forget the way he said “I’ve taught you all I know.” I was so fond of him. I wish he were alive now. I’m sure he’d have had a lot to say to me!”

Read the full interview: Aung San Suu Kyi

Follow Nirupama on Twitter: Tall stories

Salman Khurshid, India Today & Sunday Guardian

21 October 2012

Salman Khurshid, the Oxford-educated Union law minister, has taken the India Today group to court in Delhi, Bombay, Lucknow and London claiming damages of Rs 243 crore following Aaj Tak‘s sting operation that accused the trust run by his wife, former Sunday magazine journalist Louise Khurshid nee Fernandes, of a discrepancy of Rs 71 lakh.

But ranting on TV against pesky reporters or the threat to meet his detractors with “blood” are not only the excesses of the smooth-talking Khurshid. His supporters are no better.

In The Sunday Guardian edited by M.J. Akbar (who also wears the hat of editorial director of India Today), reporter Abhinandan Mishra writes of the reception he got in Khurshid’s constituency Farukhabad, when he had gone to investigate the truth behind the camps organised by Zakir Hussain memorial trust.

“Once done with our investigation, we moved toward our car to discover that a small group of men had gathered. One of them asked me the purpose of my visit. When I realised that I was verifying the credentials of the disabled, the mob got agitated and asked me to leave.

“They were shouting that I was wasting my time and was trying to malign “SalmanSahab“.

“I understood the gravity of the situation and did not wish to get into further arguments with the men and decided to leave Pithora. But a well built man in his early 30s started following us on a Bullet motorcycle. He started banging the passenger window asking my companion to roll down the glass.

“When we ignored him, he signalled to the driver to roll down the window. I obliged.

“What followed was a string of abuses and threats at me: “Tu nikal yahaan se. Tu Salman Sahab ka kuch nahi bigaad paayege. Farrukhabad se bahar niklo, batate hain tujhe (Get out of this place. You will not be able to do anything to Salman Sahab. I will deal with you once you step out of Farrukhabad).”

“We asked the driver to speed up.

“The next stop was Kaimganj. As I finished with the investigation and was about to exit the city, the second attack happened, much more ferocious and well planned. I heard a loud thud on the window and saw a man who appeared to be in his 40s attempting to break the glass.

“Threatening me, he shouted, “Kar li tehkikat? **&*&* kuch nahee kar paayega tu, kitna bhee likh le Salman ke khilaaf. (Are you done with your investigation? You cannot harm Salman no matter how much you write).” He then asked the driver to stop the car.

“I asked the driver to accelerate the car. However, the attacker caught up with us and shouted, “Bahar nikal tujhey batata hun. Tu yahaan se zinda nahi jaayega. (Get out of the car. You will not return alive from here).” He then raced ahead and parked his bike. We saw three people joining him and then starting to pelt stones and bricks at our car. They missed us narrowly because of the speed at which our driver was driving the car. They followed us till the time we entered the main city of Farrukhabad.

“I called up the superintendent of police, but the number was switched off. I then called up the assistant SP of the district, O.P. Singh, who said to my shock that I should have informed the police before going to these areas.”

In the Hindustan Times, the Cambridge-educated television anchor and interviewer Karan Thapar gives Khurshid a clean chit:

“There’s one question that’s dominated the last week. It’s been asked again and again. Equally significantly, it’s been put by a wide range of people. “Do you believe Salman Khurshid?” My answer is simple and blunt: yes….

“I have three deeper reasons for believing Salman. First, I’ve known him since I was 21 and cannot believe he would forge letters or pilfer money meant for the handicapped. Second, I admire his willingness to subject himself to a rigorous interview less than two hours after returning from London. A man with a guilty conscious would have ducked for cover instead. Third, he wouldn’t sue for defamation if he did not have a credible and convincing defence. Oscar Wilde did that and look where he ended up!”

Cartoon: courtesy R. Prasad/ Mail Today

Did this man stand a chance with a future PM?

27 December 2007

Death is a pretty grim business in Asian media. Unlike in Britain, where obituaries have been turned into a juicy art form, Asian tributes generally play it safe, spiking all the spice out of a false sense of deference. Last night, however, Karan Thapar, India’s premier television interviewer, who cut his teeth on Channel 4, was different.

Thapar was an old friend of Benazir Bhutto, the slain former prime minister of Pakistan. They had known each other since their days at Cambridge and Oxford, respectively, and Benazir had tried to get him remarried (unsuccessfully) for 18 years after his wife Nisha died of cancer.

Thapar says he spoke to her just four days and had asked her to “stay safe”.

Thapar says Bhutto also had a fine sense of humour. At one Oxbridge debate on “sex before marriage”, Thapar recalls that he rang the bell and asked her if she dared to practice what she preached. The hall went up in laughter. And after the last laugh had been heard, Benazir pulled out her spectacles, screwed her eyes, look at her future interlocutor, and said: “Certainly, but not with you.”

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,444 other followers

%d bloggers like this: