Daily Archives: 11 April 2011

ARUN SHOURIE: The three lessons of failure

Bouncing back from failure isn’t easy, but some people do, as an Economic Times on Sunday cover story shows this week.

The former journalist and Union minister, Arun Shourie:

WHEN I FAILED: “I am the only editor to be dismissed not once but twice from The Indian Express.  The first time, Indira Gandhi, put such pressure on [Indian Express owner] Ramnath Goenka that even a tiger like him made a goodwill gesture out of me. But he did call me back and I was delighted to go back. But then he had a series of strokes. Those who were trying to swallow the company thought that S. Gurumurthy and I would be the obstacles. And therefore, they first removed me, and then Gurumurthy.”

WHAT I LEARNT: “My first learning is never look back. Or else you will suffer the fate of Lot‘s wife [in the Book of Genesis, Lot’s wife ignores the advice of the angles not to turn back when fleeing the city of Sodom, and turns into a pillar of salt]. My second learning: put your difficulties to work. There are very few difficulties that cannot be put to work. This is easier if our goal is inner growth. Third: always have three careers going at the same time. And carry each one lightly.”

Also read: The sad and pathetic decline of Arun Shourie

Arun Shourie: ‘Intolerant. Abusive. Dictatorial’

A columnist more powerful than all media pros

How Arun Shourie became the Express editor

Ramnath Goenka: Courage of the 2 o’clock kind


‘No one can destroy Ramnath Goenka’s Express’

In which, Prabhu Chawla, the new editorial director of the South-based The New Indian Express, tackles readers’ queries on the media and the launch of The Sunday Standard from Delhi, with trademark frankness.

Vol I. No.IV.


Q: How much did Jayalalitha and her associates pay to get paid news published in your daily? Not even one article about Karunanidhi‘s massive election rallies.

A: The person is yet to take birth on earth who can compromise the paper founded by late Ramnath Goenka.

Q: In one of your answers you tried to defend Tehelka, but it is known fact that father of Tarun Tejpal of Tehelka was a close associate of [the late Congress leader] Arjun Singh and Tehelka was started at the behest of Arjun Singh to go after BJP. Why shy from reality?

A: That is your view. Why do you blame the son for what kind of company Tarun’s father keeps. Tarun has worked with me in India Today. He is one of the best writers in the country.

Q: What is your monthly income?

A: Income Tax department knows it very well.

Q: I will pick up the hard copy of NIE from news stalls if at least the front-page lay out/news is appealing. How long do we have to wait for improvement?

A: Start doing it now and you will get a surprise sooner.

Q: Your Sunday Standard looks like a paper from the 1980s. There’s no glamour to it and its design is no match for the likes of Hindustan Times. Inside pages are worse still. Please do something about it.

A: We welcome your feed back. But huge numbers of readers have welcomed both the content and the design

Q: Almost all English dailies in Tamil Nadu have an epaper for readers. Why is NIE trailing in this?

A: We want our readers to read the hard copy and feel and enjoy a new look paper.

Q: Is NIE thinking of entering into electronic media, like other newspapers? Why not go in for a 24/7 news channel?

A: Slow and steady wins the race. Please wait and watch.

Q: ‘Don’t stretch your legs before you sit’ is a saying in Malayalam. The NIE should have taken action to stop its marginalisation in the south, because of its trash-like production quality, before venturing to capture New Delhi with Sunday Standard. Don’t you think so?

A: I am sorry. I don’t share your pessimistic opinion. Even in the wake of powerful competition, NIE is the only newspaper to grow by more than 20 percent in circulation in South. We know our business very well.


Prabhu Answers

Vol I. No.I: Straight drives from the man behind Seedhi Baat

Vol I. No IIHome truths from the man behind Sachchi Baat

Vol I. No. III: My greatest feat and my greatest failure