The state of Indian newspapers and news channels (and magazines*) can be judged by the condition of their toilets. And so, it seems, can the state of the most important address in the country—that of the prime minister of the democratic, socialist, secular republic of India.
A correspondent for an English news channel forwards a picture of what passes off as a toilet for the media scrum waiting outside the prime minister’s office at 7, Race Course Road in New Delhi.
The correspondent writes:
“Till 2006, the media was allowed to wait for visitors to the PM’s house at a media stand built during the prime ministership of Atal Behari Vajpayee and located inside the сompound of the PM’s residence.
“”It had a covered roof to give protection to reporters and cameramen against sun and rain, and given its location some amount of care was taken for its upkeep and maintenance.
“In 2006, the special protection group (SPG) guarding the PM ejected the media from the precincts of the PMO after some TV channels made the trespassing of two girls and a boy a breach-of-security issue.
“The media gaggle now waits on the other side of the road (near Race Course). Visitors to the PMO now have to walk across the road and talk to them. Needless to say, many media people spend the whole day here.
“The PMO has erected a temporary toilet for the media, facing the exit gate of 7, RCR. The media and police share the toilet and more often than not, it is dirty and stinking.”