பாயும் வேகம் ஜெட் லீ தாண்டா
பன்ச் வெச்சா இட்லி தாண்டா
Rated PG - for Pseudo-DK, DMK, Liberals, Marxists....
ஊர்ல சொல்றது சொலவடை
உண்மையைச் சொல்றது இட்லிவடை

Saturday, March 07, 2009

ஹிந்து ஆசிரியருக்கு ஒரு கடிதம்

ஹிந்து பத்திரிக்கை ஆசிரியர் என்.ராம்’க்கு ரவி என்பவர் அனுப்பிய கடிதம் இட்லிவடையில் (வாசகர் வேண்டுகோள் )

The Managing Director
The Hindu
Feb/08/2009
Dear Sir,
Since Mr.Ram took over as the Editor, certain unsavoury changes have taken place in our revered newspaper.
Please allow me to elaborate on these.
* The “letters to the Editor” is filled with letters that totally agree with the editor’s views and many sing paeans to his wisdom. Letters critical of the editor/paper are almost never published.
Also, certain readers have their letters published very often (possibly because they agree with the editor always). The reader Kassim Sait comes to mind – we readers are condemned to read his jaundiced remarks, sometimes twice a week!
* The letters supporting the views of the editor are self-righteous and strongly expressed, while the very few critical letters are meek, almost apologetic (possibly due to heavy editing).
I have been watching this trend for years now and I have analyzed this – please find attached an Excel file for your kind perusal. This file has analyzed the “ letters” and the editorial sections for 100 days – from Sept/17/2008 to Jan/12/2009. On average, each day has about 14 letters with one letter criticizing the editor/paper’s stand – on most of the days, there are NO dissenting letters!
* All the leading English dailies have provisions for the readers to post comments on
editorials/op-eds/front-page stories etc that allow for active reader participation. Abusive remarks/postings are removed periodically even by other readers.
Unfortunately, the Hindu does not have this feature. Your readers have to be content with the editor’s views/opinions/beliefs/values/prejudices presented as news and the gospel truth with no discussion or debate – so important for lively exchange of ideas and free speech, things which the editor often professes to cherish.
* The ombudsman is content to clarify on clerical errors, grammar and syntax mistakes. Please give him the authority to be the true conscience-keeper of the paper.
* Biased reporting – we see this as the basic philosophy of the editor: Samples:
· The general news coverage, the editorials and the opinions sell the premise that the BJP/center-right parties in India and the world/the U.S.A can do nothing right and they are the fountain-head of all evil. Equally, the Left (especially the CPM!!!) in India & abroad, and Russia/China can do no wrong and these are the epitome of the combined wisdom of the human race and are the torch-bearers of righteousness.
· According to the editor, nationalism in India/Japan/rest of the world is fascism, but one-party dictatorship seamlessly integrated with nationalism in China is perfectly acceptable.
· Certain public individuals are above board for the editor – Karunanidhi, Karat, Bardhan, Yechuri, Chandrachoodan, Jayalalitha, several others of the Left and selected regional chauvinists are never criticized.
· Sonia Gandhi was referred to by her full name – then it gradually became Ms.Gandhi and now it is only Gandhi – possibly this is meant to convey to the young readers that perhaps she is related to the Mahatma.
· Issues are deliberately reported partially with malicious intent – in a recent example, the BJP was (as expected) castigated for the Mangalore incident, but utterances against the “pub culture” by Gehlot and Ramdoss were not reported. Another example is the vitriol poured by the editor on CEC Gopalaswami’s recommendations. He was ridiculed, chastised, and his motives were “exposed” by 2 articles on the same day! The CEC’s other recommendations (of not giving government jobs to the commissioners and not allowing them to join political parties after retirement) were published two days after the other English dailies reported it!
· Under the present editor, the Hindu has become a spokesperson for the CPM – he is perfectly entitled to his party membership, but the paper should not be a vehicle to propagate the ideology of one party (any party for that matter). If the editor persists in this, the Hindu is not a national newspaper but merely a party mouthpiece.
· Under Mr.Ram’s editorship, certain issues affecting our country are never discussed: examples:
a) the burgeoning cost of Admiral Gorshkov (the free warship now to cost $2bn) – possibly not to offend “the time-tested friendship”.
b) China ’s claim of Arunachal Pradesh
c) Bangladeshi infiltration into India – possibly not to expose their participation in polls to elect the Left parties in west Bengal and Tripura.
d) China ’s back-stabbing in the NSG – believe it or not, Siddharth Varadarajan actually supported their actions!
e) Riots in India whenever instigated by the Congress and the Left ( Delhi riots and Nandigram pogroms come to mind).
f) Corruption in the Left parties – SNC Lavalin issue is a recent example.
We can go on and on.
The central issue is that under the present editor, the Hindu has lost the stature it had in the past. We remember the halcyon days when it was the beacon of free unbiased reporting during the Bofors issue.
Now the credibility and professionalism have been lost – it reads like a handout from the CPM’s office. In the process, the Hindu has only succeeded in misleading its readers, especially the young minds – and that hurts.
Please excuse me for intruding on your busy schedule.
I have also attached this letter as a Word file for your kind perusal -- I look forward to receiving your valuable comments.

Yours sincerely,
Jay Rav

39 Comments:

Anonymous said...

It was just a Chinese paper before and now it's Chinese/Italian/Paki/Lankan all combined in one evil rag.

Anonymous said...

என்னய்யா உங்களுக்கெல்லாம் வேற வேலையே இல்லையா? இன்னிக்கு Hindu பேப்பர் படிக்கிறதே ஒரு துப்புக்கெட்ட காரியம். அதுக்கு மேல அந்தப் பன்னாடைக்கு ஒரு லெட்டர் வேறயா? பேசாம முரசொலியில கவிதை படிக்கலாம்.

B. Rangadurai said...

The Hindu alias "Mount Road MahaVishnu" should be rechristened as "Mount Road Mao."

Itsdifferent said...

We call it Chindu. It is perfectly ok for an editor to have communist ideology, but letting it impair the profession is a great disservice to the people who read. TN readers are so brainwashed by this paper, they dont even realise what they are missing and continue to read. Hopefully wider availability of internet and papers online should give this paper a run for their money.
Another idiot who runs amok with letting his ideology comeout in his profession is our ulaga nayagan and that too is unknown to people, and we are so blindsided by that fact.

S V Raghavan said...

Wish somebody write a letter in the same vein to Vikatan

chutneysambhar said...

Jaya ravi’s points are nothing new.

Readers of ‘TheHindu’, especially the Chennai and Tamil nadu readers know this has been happening since Mr Ram took over. Of course the situation was same when Mr Ravi and Ms Malini parthasarathy were it’s previous editors.

Few factors which are working for The Hindu are:

1. It’s traditional base is South Indian states. There was some reader who called it South India’s regional newspaper than India’s National Newspaper.

2. It’s market share is threatened slightly only in Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad because of TOI and DC .But in other parts of the southern states there is not much competition. Still worst is the fact that in kerala this is the only option. The paper costs Rs 3.50 in weekdays and Rs 4.50 in holidays.

3. The Slight dent in the market share has been neutralized because Communist comrades have started compensating in the readers segment.

4. Deccan chronicle is still not upto the standard and TOI is just picking up.

5. Do not forget Indian express which is full of Southern Railway and MES tender notices in the above list.

Jay Ravi has forgot to include the name of Hilda Raja and some retired army officers from kerala whose names also appear often in the editorial column. The way in which they bull doze BJP and other saffron units is highly intolerable. Recent issue of EC Navin Chawla ‘s episode was the worst. It was completely on the wrong side but still was defending by an aggressive posture only with issues of timing of report etc.

Change of Ideology:

The Hindu’s ideology has changed. It’s not the same what it was 10 years before. So when we were reading the newspaper 10 years before both the partner’s(newspaper and readers) ideologies were the same. But when one (Newspaper)decided to change the course, the other(reader) is hurt and is not willing to change its partner.

One should see the discussions in orkut community on ‘The Hindu’. So many people have lamented and felt very bad about it. There are so many readers (including myself)who have just stopped reading the newspaper out of sheer frustration. I can never read the articles written by former chief justice V R Krishna Iyer.

I sometimes wonder what is the use of correcting spelling mistakes(Readers Editor headed by Mr Narayanan) when their whole ideology is corrupt.

The reduction in the circulation and competition from the new entrants forced The hindu to reduce its price. But still there are no official and dependable figures of who is leading the newspaper segment as of now. Time is not far away when Hindu will loose its majority base.

My advice to Jay Ravi :

1. Do not write leeters and waste your time. Nobody is interested in reading his letter and XL sheet. It will be going to dustbin.

2. Stop buying and reading the newspaper.

3. Read the interesting articles in the online edition free of cost from Office Internet.

Anonymous said...

The views expressed are 100% true and that is the reason I stopped subscribing to "The Hindu" after being a sincere and hardcore reader for almost 34 years. Luckily there came a fresh and lively edition from TOI Chennai edition. So far Hindu had been a must in our daily life in addition to the coffee but not anymore.
I want to read the news for news sake and not to see the forced views of the so called intellectuals.

கொடும்பாவி-Kodumpavi said...

இந்த கடிதம் எழுதற வேலைய தமிழ் நாட்டில ஒருத்தர் செம்மையா செஞ்சுகிட்டு வர்றார். அவருக்குப் போட்டியா எத்தன பேருயா கிளம்பிருக்கீங்க?
இடைச்செருகலா ஒரு கவித உண்டா?
எதுக மொனை உண்டா?
நீங்க கடிதம் எழுதனும்னா ஒரு மஞ்சத்துண்ட பக்கத்திலோ அல்லது தோளிலோ போட்டுகிட்டு கடிதம் எழுதுங்க அப்பதான் ஒரு flow இருக்கும்..

suresh said...

I agree with 'chuneysambar'.
Its a sheer waste of time in writing letter to them. I had stopped reading this news paper when there was a leaning towards left. This almost started 10-12 years ago.

The Central pager article used to be a good read and the range of articles covered were very good.

It was a time when your letter were published that you were proud.

This pattern is not only with HINDU, similar process is also visible in TV media like NDTV.

These are dead against the BJP and shower anti -BJP or Pro Left /Pro congress views expressd.

Not that we are pro BJP, but not definitley pro-Neutro as we tend to take a deciosn on the issues based on facts avalable. But if we see the coverage missing certain obvious facts, we tend to question the Media.

The best way to do this stop reading/watching these.

The media be it print or visual is now terribley cartalised.

In Tamilnadu atleast we know that there are 2 camps and cannot expect neutrality.

This is reallty sad as the so called 4th pillar is being coloured/recoloured/partially colured, whereas we would like to see it colourless.

naarayanan said...

I STOPPED BUYING HINDU AFTER ITS WORST COVERAGE OF 'BANDH-UNNAVIRADHAM' IN OCT 2007. I WAS AN AVID READER FOR 25 YEARS. THE DAILY HAS NEVER BEEN THIS BIASED. AND IT WAS SO GLARING IN 'NAVIN CHAWLA' ISSUE.

SHAME ON RAM.

Anonymous said...

Jay ravi,

Totally agreed with your letter contents with a caveat. Still news stories published in the hindu enjoy a greater credibility..but their views, oh my god, are highly distorted and skewed to extreme center. But we got to keep in mind that worldover, news papers take center/left/right stand to an issue and ,as a reader, if we dont like the paper- press CTRL+ALT+DEL to news paper subscription!

Some missing points in your letter:
this is the only newspaper in india that publishes stories planted by xinhua news agency, a communist government propaganda vehicle!

Hindu ridicules LTTE violence, tibetian violence (remember the recent articles by Ram that Tibet is doing fantastic under chinese central rule?!) but honors palestinian violence as 'struggle against oppression' ..puriyala!

Suresh

Anonymous said...

Suresh,

I agree with your views ....

On the point of view of Srilanka and Tibet hindu follows the views of Cong and JJ... They will oppose israel aggression on palestine only

seetha said...

H e always writes how Tibet is progressing.I wrote to ram pointing out that he should go to dharmashala and talk to some of the refugees.I dont think he even published it.

Yes ,he will see progress now ,coz Tibet has been colonised by the chinese, so what does he expect.I wish the pro LTTE in tamilnadu gets soem idea that Ram is not jaundiced about only the eelam ,but also about Tibet as well.

Vedantha Desika Dasan said...

I agree totally with the author and others who have posted comments. When I was young, my teachers would advise me to read The Hindu to learn English. And later on in late eighties, it was known for its unbiased news (especially in Bofors case). But in late nineties, the newspaper has lost its neutrality and since then I have stopped reading it. Mr. Ravi has rightly sent his letter (or a copy of it) to a right person, ie Idly Vadai. Because, if you send the letter to the intended person, it will go to dust bin.
To be precise, it is not "The Hindu" but is "Throw Hindu"

kasaikannan said...

I have been reading this paper from my 13th year till date , that is for fifty five years, It is just like taking coffee in the morning , we know taking coffee is not good for health, but we are unable to stop it.Hindu of the past made many a student well versed in world affairs and classic English. But now it is full of mistakes ,needing a full time spelling corrector , giving undue importance to unwanted news.
We pay for the left brainwash, and
90% of advertisement pages. Once it was said that Hindu will publish a death report only after veryfing from the pal-bearer. Now it is all past and we read all thrashes in it. Let us forget the old Hindu, and stop reading it.

Sethu Raman said...

Hindu lost its credibility long time ago. Ram has a group of so called intellectuals, whose statements - on whatever cause and however biased they may be - will be highlighted in the newspaper. This group amongst others hold Arundhati Rai, Prince of Arcot, Subramaniam Swamy, V.R. Krishna Iyer,Kanimozhi, Medha -- they do have a readers' editor, but this gentleman can only pass on whatever comments he receives to the Editor, and then it is muffled.
Their reporting of events have become totally biased these days -- but I am glad that in the case of the ongoing Advocates issue, some fairness is shown. It is a pity that the daily who once stood with the country and its patriots is going down !!
In the olden golden days there used to be a Nagarajan who contributed to the letters to the editor column,almost daily -- in a very interesting, and topical manner .. today, if the opinion expressed in a letter is not favourable to Hindu, the letter goes to the wastepaperbasket.

Anonymous said...

இட்லி வடை

ரவி எழுதிய கடிதத்துடன் முழுமையாக ஒத்துப் போகிறேன். பெயரில் மட்டுமே இந்து என்ற பெயரை வைத்திருக்கும் தி இந்து, இந்துக்களுக்கு எதிராக ஒரு பெரும் பொய் பிரச்சார யுத்தத்தையே நடத்தி வருகிறது. சீனாவின் அதிகாரபூர்வமான ஏடாகி பல ஆண்டுகளாகி விட்டன. இந்து ராமின் மூஞ்சியை நன்றாக உற்றுப் பாருங்கள் அடிப்படையில் அவர் ஒரு மங்கோலியர், கஸ்தூரி ரெங்க ஐயங்கார் குடும்பத்தில் பிறந்த ஒரு சீனக் களங்கம். சீனக் கம்னியூஸ்டின் கைக்கூலி. இந்தியாவில் யாருமே தி இந்துவை வாங்காவிட்டால் கூட பெய்ஜிங்கின் ஆதரவில் தி இந்து தொடர்ந்து நடத்தப் பட்டே வரும். கம்னியுஸ்டுகள் ஒரு புறமும், இந்து ராமின் இரண்டு கிறிஸ்துவ மனைவிகளின் மிஷனரி கைக்கூலிகள் மறுபுறமும் இன்று தி இந்துவின் நிர்வாகத்தை நடத்தி வருகிறார்கள். ராமின் முதல் மனைவி ஒரு ஸ்வீடன் கார மிஷ நரி, இரண்டாம் மனைவி அல்லது துணைவி ஒரு கேரள கிறித்துவர். கஸ்தூரிரெங்க ஐயங்காரின் குடும்பப் பத்திரிகை இன்று கண்ட கழிசடைகளின் கைகளிலும் கிடந்து இந்தியாவைத் துண்டாட திட்டம் போடுகின்றன.

இந்தப் பத்திரிகையைப் பெரும்பாலும் வாங்கிப் படிப்பவர்கள் பிராமணர்களே. ஆனால் இது இன்று பிராமணர்களால் நடத்தப் படும் பத்திரிகை அல்ல மாறாக சீனக் கைக்கூலிகளாலும், சர்ச் கைக்கூலிகளாலும் நடத்தப் படும் ஒரு தேச விரோதப் பத்திரிகை என்பதை பிராமணர்கள் புரிந்து கொள்லாமல் இந்தக் கேடு கெட்ட பேப்பருக்கு ஆதரவு தெரிவித்து வருகிறார்கள்.

தமிழ் நாட்டுப் பிராமணர்கள் இந்துப் பத்திரிகையை வாங்குவதை நிறுத்தினாலே இந்தப் பத்திரிகை இழுத்து மூடி விடும். அந்த சேவயை நாட்டு நலன் கருதி அனைத்துப் பிராமணர்களும் தயவு செய்து செய்ய வேண்டும். இந்தியாவின் மீது பாசம் இருக்கும் ஒவ்வொருவரும் தி இந்து என்னும் ஆண்ட்டி இந்துவை அவசியம் புறக்கணிக்க வேண்டும். செய்வார்களா? மான, ரோஷம் உள்ள சோற்றில் உப்புப் போட்டுச் சாப்பிடும் எவனும் இந்தப் பத்திரிகையைக் குண்டி துடைக்கக் கூட உபயோகப் படுத்த மாட்டான்.

Anonymous said...

SUNDARESAN Writes,
The Brahmin Community Never Supports "THE HINDU" And I Have Severed My Reading This Newspaper Some 4 Or 5 Years Back ,After seeing Its Biased Reporting & Depicting After 36 Years Of Continuous Connexion. Not Only Me ,But My Brothers Too . In All M.K.'s Functions ,Even Now, You Can See Mr. Ram, Vairamuthu, And Vaali Without Fail And Exception. What Does It Mean ?

Bhupathi said...

I just don't agree with Anonymous' tirade against RAM.I too have reasons to dislike THE HINDU but I would not write anything to degrade the Founder'sfamily at this time.
I also wish to see the dominance of The Hindu ending.But what is the alternative.Who else will write a south indian's perspective whether we like it or not?
Let us not disgrace ourselves.

Valaignan said...

The Hindu lost all its glory ever since the pseudo communist Ram set his foot way back in 1986 with his highly biased Bofors story

With all Newspapers printing only lies and falsehoods we have to choose the cost wise cheapest paper.
The Hindu is also looting the readers by its very high cost.

Let us switch over to Indian express/Deccan chronicle/TOI which are available at 1/4th of the price
of The Hindu

I fully agree with all others views published here.Let us unite and teach a good lesson to The Hindu

Anonymous said...

Well.

What all are the other options? (in Bangalore)

Time of India - It is like reading Kumudham in English. Certainly not worth reading it as a morning news paper.

Deccan Herald - Highly biased. Sometimes, I wonder whether they know how and where to publish a news. Most of the times, important news come in 6th or 7th pages. Readers will be surprised to see an important news in the side columns. Mostly BJP bashing will be in the first page.

Deccan chronicle - Cheap copy of TOI

The new Indian express - Far better than any other English newspapers. The problems is you will never be able to get the news paper before 8.00AM, sometime not before 10.00AM. Some days, you may not get the newspaper.

Vijay Times - Cheap edition of times of India.

- Sitrodai

Suja said...

I agree that Hindu is biased, but it is far better than the other newspapers.
Quote: S. V. Raghavan said Wish somebody write a letter in the same vein to Vikatan.
I wish the same. Vikatan has become unreadable.

karthikeyan said...

It is really sad to hear such comments attributed against "The Hindu". This newspaper contributed to my global vision. Thats why i easily got adapted to the western culture in which i am living now. This newspaper instilled Gandhian values and socialist viewpoints which stands in good stead now i am in Europe. There are times when i disagreed with one of their columnist prakash kumar jha. The culture in the Hindu is savoury. All the names mentioned in their report is preceded by Mr or mrs or ms. Attention readers! If you say no to The Hindu the loss is yours. you get stuck with narrow vision and ultimately will put your life into backburner.

மாலன் said...

Brilliant analysis. Congratulations!
Hindu needs to review itself.An institution shall not be lost to certain whims.

Anonymous said...

JayRavi has articulated the long
simmering anger of most of the loyal readers who have been so for
long years. I too was one, but
stopped buying it when I found that
under Ram it had not only been
pro Left (read CPM), but worse still anti Hindu. HIndu would cheerfully put on its front page any news against BJP but about the
Left parties, Congress or the pseudo secularists if it isn't palatable to the Hindu it will be
in an obscure corner as a small
column with smaller headlines.
It does not deserve to be mentioned any more as India's National Newspaper. As another said here it has its captive writers who rush to condemn anything even remotely connected with Hindus, Hindutva and ofcourse the BJP. Doing that is like drinking paal paayasam for this
newspaper.

Anonymous said...

I am not happy with the tirade against Mr.Ram just because he is causing some inconvenience to some fanatical party or gangs.
My reason is that he is blind to the sufferings of Sri Lankan Tamils.His position on Liberation(Independent Tamil State or a nation is unacceptable and he takes the position of a jingoist government headed by a bunch of crooks who are oblivious to truth and justice in the name some 'isms'(including Nationalism,Hinduism Aryanism etc..).That's why i stopped my subscription to The Hindu since about a year or so after 15 years of association with it.Now i don't read any main stream paper.They are all one and the same on major humanitarin issues.

BHUPATHI said...

The Brahmins ,Banias,Babus are getting disappointed with the paper because in some issues Mr.RAM's position is against their interests.I salute Mr.RAM for his courage.
At the same time his position on Sri Lankan Tamils is that of the jingoistic GOI.
For that reason I have stopped my subscription to it since about a year or so.
But I don't use bad language like somebody.
Live together or leave is the right position in any civilized society.
Unfortunately not many in India or ascribing to this highest tenet of Human Race.

Bairavi said...

U say siddharth varadarajan defended chinese behavioiur at NSG.

I think u are wrong.

I came across this piece by SV which tells just the opposite:

http://www.rediff.com/cms/print.jsp?docpath=//news/2008/sep/11spec.htm

Why China did what it did at NSG

Siddharth Varadarajan in New Delhi | September 11, 2008 | 12:55 IST

Disputing official Chinese accounts of Beijing having played a "constructive" role in last week's Nuclear Suppliers Group meeting on India, diplomats from several NSG States say China stood by the handful of countries resisting approval of the India waiver and only backed off when it saw the opposition melt away on the morning of September 6.

At the same time, some diplomats questioned the suggestion that China was out to block the deal, with one European envoy who took part in the three day meeting describing the Chinese interventions in the plenary as "careful and moderate".

In multiple interviews conducted by this reporter with a number of diplomats who took part in the NSG's deliberations, the picture which emerges is one of a cautious Chinese strategy of remaining in the shadows going awry and eventually running aground on the second day of the three-day plenary meeting of the nuclear cartel. If China overestimated the capacity of the six-likeminded countries and Japan -- described pejoratively by one European country as the 'seven dwarfs' -- to resist the juggernaut of US pressure in the eleventh hour, Beijing, say the diplomats, also erred in underestimating India's ability to hold firm to its demand for an unconditional waiver.

The accounts given by the participants provide a fascinating, if sometimes contradictory, ringside view of Chinese attitudes and actions at the NSG that the diplomats said were driven as much by a desire to condition or even block the India waiver as by resentment at Washington's attempt to change the rules of the international system without due consultation with Beijing.

In the early hours of September 6, India issued a demarche -- diplomatese for a formal representation -- asking China to back the consensus. The message was delivered by telephone to the Chinese ambassador to India. And after the waiver came through, the Indian government made its displeasure at Beijing's role publicly known as well.

In remarks at a public function in New Delhi on Tuesday, China's foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, said he was "shocked" at reports that his country had stood in the way of the NSG's decision. "Our policy was set from a long time," he said. "I can tell you that we conveyed to India in a certain way our support for the decision, period, before consensus was reached within the NSG."

Yang's statement was factually correct, in that consensus was established at 11:56 am, Central European Time, and China had already informed India that it was going to approve the waiver as finally tabled at the NSG plenary. But the Chinese decision only came at 1 pm China Standard Time, barely four hours before the final bell was sounded on the 45-nation supplier group's extraordinary proceedings.

Earlier on Friday, the unity of the Group of Six spearheading the opposition to the American proposal to allow nuclear commerce with India crumbled when Netherlands and Norway backed off following the incorporation of a reference to the Indian foreign minister's statement on nonproliferation in the waiver text. Switzerland, too, conveyed its assent to the US by 1 am on Saturday.

But when the NSG adjourned for the night soon after, Austria, China, Ireland, Japan and New Zealand were still holding out. Tokyo was the first to come on board, followed by Beijing, and then the last three. The fact that the Chinese decision was so late coming is at variance with the idea that its policy had been set "from a long time". Unless, say diplomats, its policy itself was to play for time in the hope that the seven countries would do the heavy lifting. And face the maximum flak, in case the waiver was successfully blocked.

"It is my view that China was hoping the exemption would be delayed to such an extent that India might walk away," a diplomat from one of the G-6 countries told me in an email message. "They did not wish China to be blamed for doing this but hoped the group of six would do it for them. Ultimately, when it became clear that [we] would not block consensus on the exemption, they also made sure that they would not be blamed in any way for holding up progress." The diplomat, who represented his country in last week's NSG meeting, added: "Our group was always wary of China's role, knowing that their interests were very different to ours."

But if the G-6 was "wary" of China, diplomats from other countries say the group actively sought Beijing's help when it became clear on September 4 that the mood within the NSG was largely in favour of granting India the waiver. "The six approached a number of bigger countries," said one diplomat. And though Australia, Canada and Germany refused to be dragged in, China did step forward.

According to the diplomats, China acted in two distinct ways, though at least one of this reporter's sources admitted it was "hard to say what exactly China's strategy was". "The Chinese did manoeuvres in a procedural way in order to support the six. But they didn't want to come out in the open. They wanted to remain in the bushes rather than come on to the battlefield," said one diplomat from a European country that backed the waiver with reservations.

A G-6 diplomat described this phase as one where the Chinese "offered quiet but clear support for a number of proposals put forward by the like-minded group of six." This support, he said, continued "right up to the last moment." But when it seemed to China that the G-6 was standing resolute, the Chinese delegates also began putting forward amendments and sentences of their own. "They suggested a lot of minor changes to the text during last Friday, seemingly with the intention of delaying progress," the diplomat said.

Though these changes were more often than not unacceptable to India, the diplomats said the Chinese suggestion to include language which might open a door for "other States" (ie, Pakistan) to seek a similar waiver met with stiff resistance by virtually all NSG members, including the G-6. This idea was a complete non-starter, said one diplomat. Another described it as part of a tactic of "procedural procrastination".

As the evening wore on Friday, the Chinese, by all accounts, grew increasingly impatient. The US was running multiple consultations in parallel steering groups, which were yielding incremental changes in the draft language. After going through an Indian filter, these changes were then taken to the plenary and incorporated into the main text. Either irritated by the slow pace or by the fact that the redrafting process was making serious headway, the Chinese delegation began calling for an adjournment. "During the day, everyone's assessment was that we were going to be deadlocked," said an East European diplomat. "By the time it was apparent that there would be no deadlock, the Chinese started saying they had to wait for instructions from Beijing."

It was at this point, said many diplomats, that the US started paying attention to the Chinese stand. The two countries went into consultation and remained closeted for a long time. One European diplomat recalled a conversation he had with another colleague that night when he was wondering whether he had time to slip outside for dinner. "Oh yes, he said, you have plenty of time. The Chinese are meeting with the Americans, mad that they were not consulted by them earlier and determined to let the US pay the price -- it will take at least two hours. We went down to eat, and he was right that several hours passed." It was this diplomat's assessment that the reason China held out for so long was because the US had not bothered consulting with it earlier in the day. And that the reason the US delayed doing so was precisely because the Chinese had struck a more moderate tone throughout the day compared to the G-6.

Though the Chinese eventually yielded on the drafting language, they continued to hold out for more time. Most delegates did not find the Chinese plea for an adjournment to be credible. "When we broke at 2 am, it was already 8 in the morning in Beijing. There would have been no problem getting the requisite authorization," said a diplomat. Matters were further complicated by a semi-'walk-out' by the Chinese at midnight on September 5. Though some Chinese officials remained in the small consultations run by the US till 1:30 am, its two senior diplomats in the plenary left the main room leaving behind only "a rather junior" official "presumably to pick up the final draft".

"Many delegates felt there was a certain gesture," a west European diplomat said. "It was not clear that it was a walkout, for that would have meant the NSG might have adopted the waiver without their presence. But it was more of a signal that we can't take this for much longer."

Days later, participants remain divided about what exactly China was trying to achieve. If the G-6 diplomats were clear the Chinese were firing from their shoulders, others without a dog in the fight tended not to see China as a country that was blocking consensus. "My sense is that they were balanced, and not in the limelight," said a diplomat from the former Soviet bloc.

"We believe China did not try to block the deal and never wanted to block it alone, although the opposition from the six and others may have suited them well� Certainly it would have been very late in the day for them to block the deal at the last minute given their earlier moderate posture," said a European diplomat who undertook to discuss this reporter's questions with his colleagues in order to get a more accurate assessment. "But that is speculation. We are pretty certain, though, that the Chinese were dissatisfied with the way the issue was handled at the meeting and made it clear in their own way to the US� Perhaps they just cooked the US a little to teach them not to neglect China."

Asked whether he agreed with this assessment, one of the G-6 diplomats said no. "It is hard to decipher China's attitude at times, but I would be very certain that their behaviour was based on more than simply a desire to teach the US a lesson not to neglect them," he said.

Either way, Indian officials feel it is significant that when China eventually came on board, it communicated its decision not to the United States but directly to India. The Manmohan Singh government's handling of an awkward situation was correct but firm. But having issued a demarche and secured the NSG waiver, it is important for the country to move on. Beijing -- and New Delhi -- are sure to have come away from this entire episode the wiser, and in diplomacy that is ultimately what counts.

(The author is Associate Editor of The Hindu and was in Vienna to cover the NSG meetings of August 21-22 and September 4-6)

ramabhadran said...

I used to subscribe to The Hindu and Ind Express long ago. After the bias of the former became intolerable I stopped buying it. Now I buy NIE and TOI, borrow TH from my neighbour for 1. Obituary and 2.Music programme columns. Unfortunately, a good no. seem to think, against experience, that readers look only for these columns and only in this paper. If sabhas and mourners stop their ads in TH, even the borrowing will stop.
I know that many Brahmins have stopped even touching it. I look up the internet edition in the morning for the obit but I still need the paper in cellulose for the engagements.
I get my letters published in many others but not in TH, because I dont start writing 'You hit the nail on its head...' or 'As you rightly put it..'
In an erlier comment someone wrote about Hilda Raja. She is pro-Hindutva. Maybe the point was that her letters appear more frequently. Actually I am surprised to find hers there at all.
Ra. Narasimhan

Anonymous said...

Appo BUSINESS LINE, SPORSTAR -llam yeppedi irukku. Athaipathiyum konjam kizhichhu podungonna!

Indha lokathile - onnume puriyale!

அப்போ BUSINESS LINE, SPORSTAR - ல்லாம் எப்பெடி இருக்கு?
அடதைபதியும் கொஞ்சம் கிழிச்சு போடுங்கோன்னா!
இந்த லோகத்திலே ஒண்ணுமே புரியலே!

Anonymous said...

"Attention readers! If you say no to The Hindu the loss is yours. you get stuck with narrow vision and ultimately will put your life into backburner."

இதோ வந்துட்டாருய்யா தொரைக்குஞ்சு. இங்க திட்டி எளுதுனுவங்க எல்லாம் வேலை வெட்டி இல்லாதவங்க, இவரு மட்டும் தான் ஈரோப், அமரிக்கால்லாம் போய்ட்டாரு. என்னா அது backburner, இங்க திட்டற திட்டு எல்லாம் பின்னால எரியுதோ?

"Live together or leave is the right position in any civilized society."

இத்த அந்த எடிட்டர்கிட்டயே போய் சொல்லுங்க. திபெத்-ல அட்டூழியம் பண்ணாம சைனாக்காரனை 'live and let live' ன்னு போகச்சொல்லுங்க.

karthikeyan said...

You are a true fascist! I am dropping you from my favourites! Religious fanatics! Poor India is infested with these predator Rats! When the day will come when every Indian realise that every indian common man needs food, cloth, housing more than religion! warning! Gandhijis principles never die! because they are based on truth!
THALAIVAN IRUKINDRAN!

Prasad PN said...

It was a good paper we were reading since 1960s in our family. But today we find it useless with no news and editorial content. I find Deccan Chronicle has good editorial content and guest columns with lots of debates on current topics. Hindu is now more of a yellow pages or advertisement handout

Anonymous said...

Mr Ram has done more damage to The Hindu paper than any one else. May be he has many hidden agenda and he is using the Hindu for his personal gains. He can choose to be a stooge to the ruling crowd but he has submitted the paper itself to sing the song of the rulers in power. He has no moral right to continue to be the editor / chief of Hindu and should gracefully step down. Though I am a regular reader of Hindu for the past 35 years, recently I have switched over to TOI Chennai edition and i am happy about it.

Li. said...

ok.. the most important thing... did u get a response from the Managing Director of Hindu?

Bhupathi said...

To All,
India was born out of a compulsion and this country of heterogeneous societies has started behaving like a country of homogeneous society.That is why this country doesn't have a uniform policy and hence lacks moral authority.If such inconsistent stands are exposed by some they are targeted.Knowing one's area of rights is very much needed to forge a strong nation.Country is of land and nation is of people.When my country men are indifferent to Tamils' cause any where then why should a Tamil feel bad about any thing (i repeat anything) that may befall on any ethnic group of this country.
Let them go through hell. Why should we bother.In Fiji, in France, in England and in numerous places India has intervened only in the interest of non-tamils.This is the most disturbing phenomena.The nation must have a federal structure of government. In elections also proportionate representation should be there.Then only this Central Government will act in a justifiable and moral way.

sridharan said...

I am in total agreement with the majority opinion found in the blog(though it is quite painful for a person like me who has been a reader for the past 30 yrs or so; well I am now 48). But this paper serves me one sure purpose yes it has a 'toilet' paper value. I mean my bowels work properly only when I read The Hindu in my toilet. So habits die hard and on this basis only I continue to buy Hindu.

Anonymous said...

it is priced atRs.3.25P. but in no shop they are giving back the balance if u give Rs.4 or Rs.5. the shopowner will give u a Halls or Vicks whether you want it or not. They dont accept 25p coin also. come on, dont say subscribe for it then. They should not sell it in the retail outlets and bookstalls in busstations and railway stations. by doing so they are (the Hindu group) DIRECTLY encourage corruption at lower level. let the price be Rs.3 or Rs.3.50p. what they are going to do with 25p.? I have stopped reading Hindu for the past two years. It has lost everything. P.Muralidhar, Cuddlore

Rajaraman said...

சீன கைக்கூலி கம்யுனிச கைத்தடி ராமுக்கு உண்மையிலேயே ஈன மானம் இருந்தால் உடலில் இந்திய ரத்தம் ஓடினால் (புரியும் என்று நினைக்கிறேன்) The Hindu என்ற பெயரை மாற்றிக்கொள்ள வேண்டும்.

இந்த கழிசடையை போன்ற தேச விரோத சக்திகளை இந்திய தேச பற்றுள்ள அனைவரும் பகிஷ்கரிக்க வேண்டும்..