ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Blind Praise

The Indian media’s failings in 2010 did not end with the unholy alliance between some editors and the corporate sharks (“Journalists on Call”, EPW, 4 December 2010). Late December saw the Malayalam media going hysterical, forgetting that it is more important to be faithful to history than to shibboleths about not talking ill of the dead. The TV channels, in particular, provided a sentimental, sickeningly hagiographic account, full or in part, of the long final journey of nonagenarian Congress leader K Karunakaran from the hospital in Thiruvanthapuram where he died on 23 December to the cremation site.

The anchors and reporters often harked back to the leader’s love of speed (remember his brisk walk, the breakneck speed of his plush cars?), his unfailing monthly trips to the Guruvayur temple, his early morning puja, his favourite room in the government guest house in Thrissur, and so on. The late leader’s trade union years and the palmolein import scandal which haunted him for long did fi nd occasional mention.

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