Nothing Hindu about The Hindu
The centenarian English daily of Chennai (aka Madras) had become a staple companion of English-speaking Tamils. It had actually obtained a status of a second nature. The Hindu in one hand and a steaming brew of “dicoction” coffee in the other is the standard early morning scene amongst the Tamil bourgeoisie.
But things are changing for sure. The weatherman has already waved the flag of the imminent fresh laden clouds! Yes, The Times are stepping in the arena to change the tides of the monarch.
The long-time loyalists of The Hindu have started to get the feeling that the imperious Hindu is dithering rudderless these days, losing its traditional Hindu-moorings and turning into a mouthpiece of pseudo-secularist and leftist ideologues. Yes. Its USP is getting eroded.
Besides, there is a perceptible trend of degradation of the quality of the newspaper which was the chief source of authentic information and impeccable Queen’s English for Tamilians for over a century. Bloopers and howlers galore, what with its own “corrections” nook overflowing even with acknowledged bunglings (including the Karanjia sn(w)ap), not to speak of those unreported ones.
Many old-timers feel that the negative paradigm shift started after the current honcho took over the reins. The present chief is one of the most popular and powerful media figures in India is reported to be left-leaning and ultra-secular in the widely perceived connotation of the term “secular” in India. But the image-shift is a bit difficult for the paper with the name “Hindu” on its masthead and the cross of a long history of nationalist and traditional reporting! Hence the effort to be “more royal than the king” in its endeavor to don the politically correct mantle.
And the city of Chennai awaits the arrival of Times of India, Chennai edition, which will start making the early-morning “thud” on my doorstep from the Tamil New Year’s Day (the traditional one that falls in April ’08 – not the Goverment-sponsored new-year!). And already the tremors are being felt in the Hindu’s layout and structure. It is trying to morph into a tabloid during weekends. Perhaps we are going to witness many more surprises in the ensuing weeks preceding the D-Day!
But things will not be the same for the grand old man of Mount Road!
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Your comments are fair and mirrors of the feelings of old readers of The Hindu. I threw it out on the day when it supported the notorious Emergency. Nowadays I go to the page in which to-days engagements are printed, note down the event which I want to attend and fold and keep it away.
The New Indian Express is notorious for printers devil and its Today’s Engagement column is short of information. Yet, I am for it because it has some courage to expose the misdeeds of “all”.
The Times may not create any tremor so fas as the print media of Chennai is concerned because it has no Editor. Its sponsored (I am told paid for) editorials are only views of the person who pays and writes them.
I wish the New Indian Express improves its lay out, news content.
Thanks, Mr. Krishnamoorthy.
I think many will migrate to Times, if they find content on literature, culture to satiate the traditional tastes. And the “page-3” will have its own clientele!
Anyway, the quality of Hindu has touched nadir and it’s high time we get a breath of fresh air!