Former Czech president Vaclev Havel may be writing bestsellers even after remitting office. Bill Clinton may be wowing the world with books on how to give. But India’s A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has shown the world that he may be older but he is a step ahead of most of his younger peers and compatriots.
The enormously popular former president—a former missile technologist who answered every email sent to him while he was in office and was amusingly critical of the media’s obsession with bad news—has launched a fortnightly e-paper to highlight the stories of India’s “islands of success”.
Titled Billion Beats, the e-paper has been launched on ex-prez’s website abdulkalam.com
“We have islands of success in every field of activity and we have to connect them to make a garland. Why an overdose of politics, murder, caste wars? Why, why?” he said in his message to the first edition of the e-paper.
V. Ponnraj is Kalam’s associate on the project, M. Anantha Krishnan is the national affairs editor.
Also read: Kalam: why is the media so negative?
Surely you must be joking, Mr President?
Illustration: Uttam Kumar Ghosh Laljhandawala/ rediff.com
Every media house magically finds the resources to send correspondents to the Cannes, IFA or Frankfurt festivals. Indra Nooyi‘s climb up the global power ladder has our media charting her step. Every Mira Nair film has film correspondents flitting half way across the world for her bon mot. And of course each new car or cellphone release has our auto and tech correspondents doing a “dummy run” before the ad hawks swoop in.
Yet, why has no Indian media house still sent a correspondent to Malaysia to cover the plight and persecution of Tamils, and why do we have to depend on the International Herald Tribune and international news agencies to tell us of razed temples, asks Dasu Krishnamoorty on The Hoot:
“For our media, Indians reside only in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. Neither our media have space nor has our foreign office the time… Our newspapers are as loathe to posting correspondents in these countries as our journalists are loathe going there except in the company of the prime minister.
“Our media and foreign office make us believe that there are minorities only in India and not elsewhere. Our secularism is so pristine that Indian minorities in Muslim countries are not its concern. Are they children of a lesser God? Our embassies and consulates come to life only when a minister from India is visiting. People of Indian origin are not their concern.”
Read the full story here: Children of a lesser god
Crossposted on churumuri
Hedley Thomas, the Australian journalist who wrote a series of stories about his government’s mishandling of Indian doctor Mohammed Haneef‘s arrest on suspected terror charges, has won the country’s most coveted journalism award.
Thomas, who is associated with The Australian newspaper, won the “Gold Walkley” award.In his acceptance speech, Thomas thanked Haneef’s lawyers Peter Russo and Stephen Keim for risking their careers to expose vital facts about the case. And criticised the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for pursuing the lawyers who leaked the information that allowed him to write his award-winning articles.
Photograph: The Australian