The big news last evening was that of the Congress not giving a ticket to scam-tainted Member of Parliament Suresh Kalmadi.
Having lived in Pune for a few years and a plan to hang my boots there, I feel anguished by the lopsided development in that city. Infrastructure sucks, and even though there is a huge real estate and retail boom, precious little is being done on ensuring citizens have a good future.
I thought it was quite commendable of the Congress leadership to not give Kalmadi or anyone in his family a shot at the Lok Sabha from the constituency. I thought the channels could’ve done more with the wah-wahs to the Congress for the bold decision.
For a change, I didn’t tune into Times Now at 9 pm, and when I did, I found a debate on the Henderson Brooks Report on the 1962 India-China war being made public. Maroof Raza was on air along with a host of others. The defence expert spoke for a good minute (or more) and I was certain there was something wrong. Did I get the channel right? How could Arnab allow him to go on and on without interjecting even once?
Nah, the channel was the same, except that there was no Arnab Goswami. Some digging in revealed that the main man is on leave for a week.
Clearly, Times Now without Arnab is bland and boring. The stand-ins aren’t bad, but not a patch in comparison to the third rung of anchors on other channels. That’s been a major concern about the channel... other than the ed-in-chief, there’s no one else other who can hold the nightlies together.
My vote for the two best shows on news telly last night were:
1. Rajdeep Sardesai’s report card of MPs. Good, solid content. There was a nice interview with Kirron Kher to lighten the mood.
and 2. Barkha Dutt reporting from Varanasi. She is so good at these things, and quite a natural. Apologise for the Radia tapes, lady, apologise. Perhaps, both you and Mr M should do it together.
Pradyuman Maheshwari is a senior journalist and editor. When he’s not chasing news, he’s watching it. Twitter: @pmahesh