The demise of the editorial page as the voice and conscience of a newspaper is much lamented by the thinking class. But we in the journalism business have ourselves to blame for devaluing it by publishing tripe.
On the eve of the unveiling of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel‘s statue, the prime minister’s office sent out a high-school essay written by some faceless bureaucrat in the PMO, but appended with Narendra Modi‘s signature.
India’s allegedly free and fair press is falling over each other in giving it pride of place.
It is on the edit page of The Times of India:
On the edit page of the Hindustan Times:
On the op-ed page of the Indian Express:
On the edit page of the Economic Times:
On the op-ed page of The Tribune:
On the op-ed page of Praja Vani:
Only The Hindu among the major English newspapers does not carry this press release, as is, (it has a news report) but that’s only because India’s most prolific op-ed writer, vice-president M.Venkaiah Naidu is doing the honours.
As he does on the edit page of Eenadu:
On the edit page of Vijaya Karnataka:
It is nobody’s case that Sardar Patel doesn’t deserve play on his birth anniversary. It is certainly nobody’s case that Narendra Modi should not get credit for his statue. But surely the role of newspapers goes beyond acting as a megaphone for megalomania?