Media War in Bhopal: Bhaskar Besieged

For the first time in many years, Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar appears besieged. The Agarwals are forced to start DB Star and Business Bhaskar to counter Rajasthan Patrika that has now launched its edition from Madhya Pradesh.

But it serves the Agarwals right. Dainik Bhaskar is never known for great journalism. Due to their monopoly they were able to dictate terms. During the recent raid at the premises of Raj Express owner Arun Sahlot, the paper was again exposed when it didn't publish his name. Though he was their bete noire until now.

Last year when Income Tax authorities conducted raids at the house of a minor official KK Singh Chouhan, this flagbearer of Hindi journalism blacked out the news. It was shameful. But Agrawals have always run the newspaper in this manner.

The officer was neither an IAS officer nor a SAS, rather a minnow in the Bhopal Municipal Corporation who had clout due to his political connections. KK Singh Chauhan had helped Bhaskar in their shoddy deals and the paper cheated its readers when it didn't publish the news about the raid.
And that was just one of the incidents. At least, with Patrika's arrival Bhaskar will be forced to publish news, as it is no longer the sole mass circulation Hindi daily in Bhopal. Just to recount another incident:

A journalist who had joined DNA (Mumbai) and within days of joining decided to switch to another paper, was told by Sudhir Agarwal, 'I will destroy you'. That's not the way big newspapers grow.

That's the reason that though they may be the owner of India's largest selling paper but the Agawals can never command the respect which other publications get. Once you sell millions of copies, you should behave gracefully, don't you!


"My father is minister....shall I fix you?"

Ramdayal Ahirwar became Minister of State for Home in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday and the next day his power-drunk son called on the police inspector asking him to fix electricity at his residence in Chhatarpur.

"Fix the electicity connection or I will fix you", said Laxmichand Ahirwar, to the Inspector HR Pandey of Maharajpur police station on phone.
When Pandey said that it was basically the job of Electricity Board to correct the fault but he was still sending a police constable to the minister's residence, Ahirwar got angry.

With his friends the Minister's son reached Pandey's house, broke open the door, damaged the government vehicle and tried to attack Pandey, who took out his revolver to save himself from the youths.
Ahirwar had all reasons to be angry, as father was made minister for home and transport just a day back. He must have thought that with father being minister he can call the shots and treat every policeman as a domestic employee.

Love live our democracy!!!

(Photograph of Minister, Ramdayal Ahirwar)


Health minister Ajay Vishnoi goes after 'unhealthy' term

Health Minister Ajay Vishnoi, whose tenure would be remembered for allegations of corruption and scams in the Health department, had to resign under pressure from the party leadership and organisation.

During his term the Health department received huge funds but most of the funds were gobbled by corrupt officials. The scandal in which patients were given injections meant for animals is just one of the instance. Those responsible were suspended and then soon reinstated. Outside Bhopal, the situation became even worse.

Either it is the scam involving outdated streptomycin medicine purchased for TB patients or the hundreds of crores under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) that never reached the poor, it all happened in his regime.

Such was the level of shamelessness that hundreds of crores that were allocated for buying medicines, were siphoned off. Dr Yogiraj Sharma turned out to be a millionare. Such a 'historic' term came to an end on Monday.

Workers of a party blackened his face in a hoarding and the police took action against them. Vishnoi was still not ready to submit resignation. Even if Vishnoi claims he was not part of the rackets involved in corruption and the CBI raid at his brother's residence yielded nothing, he should have resigned owning moral responsibility.

'Gharibon ki davaai tak khaa gaye'. Such are the officials of his department. He could have owned up. But one has to have values for morality. Alas, most of our politicians are bereft of any morality. Vishnoi's 'historic' term at last ended.

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