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Sign of the Times

Sign of the Times IN the national daily circuit, the editorial musical chairs have about them the same mystique that goes with Union cabinet reshuffles. There are contenders from within, besides expatriates and superannuated editors from without. And with every round of reshuffle, each daily looks so much more like the other, adding to the monotony.

The Foreign Connection

The Foreign Connection Nireekshak IT certainly would not add to the joy of any politician or journalist to tell himself that foreign money, both overtly and covertly, has been subverting our parliamentary institutions, political associations, academic and other organisations and the press. Following charges of foreign money intervention in the 1967 elections, the Centre asked its Intelligence Bureau to make a report. The details of the findings were not disclosed but it is fairly well known that foreign money has been and is very much a part of the red light district of electoral politics. The general conclusion of the report, which the government shared with parliament, confirmed this belief. Action was promised to check the flow of foreign money into vital areas of national life.

Decorative Press Council

on the-establishment of diplomatic relations, but also attended the banquet for the Malaysian leader. China received, Razak with great warmth and treated him with the highest courtesy. And hack home all these years the Communists in Malaysia have been calling Razak a reactionary, a follower of Western powers and the enemy of the people. Some of the Communists must now lie wondering if they were right. If they were, then certainly China would not have displayed such friendship for him! THE FOURTH ESTATE Decorative Press Council Nireekshak EVER since its inception the Press Council has never had the legitimacy and. therefore, the moral sanction needed to function as a regulatory body or as an organisation charged with safeguarding the freedom of the Press. The tenure of the present Council

The Image-Builders

that it must take certain steps to conduct its business in international affairs. For instance, it finds the Soviet Union rapidly establishing relations with Asian governments around China. China therefore, perhaps, feels that it cannot allow itself to be isolated by maintaining no direct contact with governments in its neighbourhood.

With a Little Bit of Threat

Genscher. It was after all the agencies under his ministry which had given a green signal to the appointment of Guillaume as an aide to the Chancellor. Observers point out that the question of Genscher resigning was ruled out from the very beginning since insistence on Genscher's resignation would have endangered the SPD- FDP coalition itself.

Paid Pipers

Paid Pipers Nireekshak OPPOSITION spokesmen in the Lok Sabha were justified in charging the government with arranging a "calculated leak" to prejudice, even scuttle, the talks with trade union leaders to avert the railway strike. The charge relates to the letter the Prime Minister wrote to Chief Ministers on April 27, when negotiations between the railwaymen and the government had just been resumed. Spelling out the government's tough line on the strike, the Prime Minister called upon the Chief Ministers to act firmly, adding that it was impossible for the government to accept all the demands of the railwaymen. In particular, the demand for bonus was characterised as untenable by the Prime Minister. Simultaneously, and rather contradictorily, she also suggested that the railwaymen should await the report of the Bonus Review Committee

Not-So-Hidden Persuasion

Nireekshak THE credibility of a journalist cannot but have an inverse relationship with the extra-mural perquisites, patronage and rewards he enjoys. All the same, it is necessary to sustain the myth that all these do not compromise a journalist's independence. The relationship has to be elevated to the realm of metaphysics, like the one between aid- giving and aid-receiving nations. All aid is intervention per se but all aid is always described as 's'ringless' by both sides.

Ordeal by Fire

of Home Minister Uma Shankar Dikshit, Searchlight and its Hindi counterpart, Pradeep, resumed publication less than two weeks after the attack on their offices and press on March 18. Dikshit, the wizard behind National Herald's finances and its Managing Director for years, knows his newspaper economics well However, returning from an on- the-spot study he almost suggested that the two dailies might not see the light of day again. While replying to the Lok Sabha debate on the Patna incident, he even implied that Searchlight could have saved itself had it sought his help, as the rival Indian Nation is supposed to have done.

New Statesmanship

New Statesmanship Nireekshak NEXT year, The Statesman will join the small band of Indian dailies which have celebrated their centenaries

A Diffused Debate

A Diffused Debate Nireekshak AFTER two years and more of prevarication and feet-dragging, the government now finds it expedient to whittle down the issue of diffusion of newspaper ownership to one of delinking the industry from big business. It is non longer fashionable to talk of diffusion, the demand for which was subtly engineered by the government in its rage over the allegedly unsympathetic role of the press when Indira Gandhi wanted to get herself a massive mandate in

Taken for a Ride

breakthrough, the state must exploit to the full its power potential and must establish an extensive irrigation network. To bring all this about, it needs additional funds, Whore can Assam obtain such funds unless it could get, by way of royalty on its crude, substantially more than the present pittance of Rs 6 crores per annum? It is, however, the hint of the further message implicit in the Chief Minister's statement which cries out for attention.

Not a Numbers Game

Not a Numbers Game Nireekshak ONE of the many freedoms that the countries of the so-called 'free world' are supposed to cherish is the 'freedom of the Press'. How effective is this freedom in practice? An interesting answer to this question has come from the Prime Minister of Sweden, believed to he, not without justification, among the freest of the 'free world' countries. According to Olaf Palme: "Mass media in all Western industrialised countries are in reality controlled by a few. In general this power structure in the moulding of public opinion is closely connected with the capitalistic power structure in general." This remark of the Swedish Prime Minister should be instructive to some of our pro-West intellectuals who swear by the democratic freedoms which are supposed to flourish in the Western countries, Surely, Olaf Palme cannot be dubbed a communist. And Sweden is perhaps the one Western country which has an elaborate Press law which confers special rights, including the right of access to all public documents, on those who work for newspapers.


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