I had commented on the Niira Radia scandal when it surfaced, in which were exposed top names in Indian journalism, like Barkha Dutt of NDTV and Vir Sanghvi of Hindustan Times. The post was titled "Long live the free press" and it argued for greater press freedom - more TV channels, more radio stations and so on - as being the only way of better informing the public.
In the meantime, it is indeed quite peculiar that all the newspapers I read have completely ignored this case. However, I did manage to find some journalists making pertinent comments, and one interesting news story too, which I thought I must share with my readers.
The first is a ToI blog by Kingshuk Nag, who was their resident editor in Ahmedabad, and who writes about his "encounter with Niira Radia." He says she started off as Ratan Tata's PR person, when he was attempting to launch an airline some ten years ago. The post also discusses her close association with Narendra Modi, and how she was instrumental in getting Tata land in Gujarat to manufacture his Nano. And how Tata then graced a public function in Modi's honour, etc. This is interesting because, in the leaked transcripts of her telephone conversations with Dutt and Sanghvi, she appears as a lobbyist for Mukesh Ambani, with close links to the DMK.
Also worth reading is another ToI blog, by Santosh Desai, titled "The silence of the hacks." He specifically talks about the total silence on television. He says:
... the silence pervades most of mainstream media but leaps out of television strikingly because of its tendency to pounce on stories of this kind. For television channels, otherwise willing to go to any lengths for the sake of eyeballs to collaborate with each other in this way is quite unprecedented...
Finally, I found this little report in the Hindustan Times today, which lists top bureaucrats who are with Radia's firm, Noesis Consultants. The list includes:
1. Pradeep Baijal, former Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI),
2. Ajay Dua, former Secretary (Industry) to the government of India,
3. Akbar Jung, former civil aviation secretary,
4. SK Narula, former chairman, Airports Authority of India, and
5. DPS Seth, former member, TRAI.
All this merely serves to confirm what I wrote in my post of yesterday - that the greatest error of our socialist, protectionist, interventionist Nehruvian State is in the area of morality. The only way to put an end to all this ugliness is laissez faire capitalism.