Minister In Waiting

Updated: Jan 31 2004, 05:30am hrs
As is customary before presenting the budget, photographers from the media were invited to a photo opportunity with minister for railways, Nitish Kumar, at noon on Thursday.

The venue was teeming with shutter-bugs, what with the Rail Budget scheduled to be announced the next day. However, the minister was not to be seen. His media managers cajoled the snappers to wait, saying Nitishjis flight from Patna was held up due to fog. An hour later, when the minister had still not arrived, the media managers said the minister was held up in a traffic jam.

When the minister finally turned up, he was alarmed to see the crowd. He commented that they were all early, and the photo-op was only scheduled for 3 pm. In fact, he was at home all this while.

When the disgruntled photographers said they had been invited to come at 12 pm, the minister said, It happens.

Cable Broadcast
When cable operators failed to convince the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that broadcasters needed to be reined in, they tried another route. Realising that broadcasters may not be checked by the government or by the regulator over commercial issues such as tariff and cap on advertisements, a group of cable operators decided to evoke the C word: Censorship, of course.

They taped sleazy scenes from films beamed on various TV channels and showed it to the media recently. The cablewallahs argument is that broadcasters must not go scot-free even when they are airing uncensored programmes/films.

Even as TRAI has made it clear to the cable fraternity that regulating content is not under its purview, operators are perhaps waiting for intervention from another quarter. But for now, are these cablewallahs doing the job of the programme monitoring cell of the information and broadcasting ministry