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!