P for Pappu

A lexicon of the Indian media’s triumphs and tribulations in 2013

01 December 2013
Robert Vadra denies flexing political muscle, but still practises strong arm tactics.
RAJWANT RAWAT / OUTLOOK
Robert Vadra denies flexing political muscle, but still practises strong arm tactics.
RAJWANT RAWAT / OUTLOOK

Asaram Bapu  Septuagenarian spiritual leader, who, having been accused of sexually assaulting a teenaged girl, indirectly bequeathed to the media the phrase “potency test”. The term confused journalists at first, but only until many realised that they had been administering potency tests upon themselves for decades already.

bicep  A muscle of the upper arm. Every human being has two, but India will, tragically, never see either of Robert Vadra’s. “I can’t flaunt my biceps in India,” Vadra complained to the Delhi Times in October. The reporter, with never-say-die spirit, asked if he flaunted them elsewhere. “Well, I do, surely. When I am on holidays abroad, I sport T-shirts.” India’s loss is abroad’s gain. This bicep drain must stop.

CEO  Designation that Shekhar Gupta gave up in August, even as he continued to remain the editor-in-chief of the Indian Express. He had accepted the role of chief executive “one winter afternoon,” he wrote in an email to his staff, although he did “not even know debit from credit and thought an RO, our daily bread-giving advertisement Release Order, was some water purifying system”. We understand the confusion; acronyms can be tricky creatures. In his email, Gupta wrote that he hoped to find more time to work with EXIMS, “a labour of love”. It turns out he was referring not to some start-up export-import business but to the Express Institute of Media Studies.

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    Samanth Subramaniam is a contributing editor at The Caravan and the India correspondent for The National. He is the author of This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War, and Following Fish: Travels Around the Indian Coast.

    Keywords: media Narendra Modi The Hindu god-men humour social media Tehelka
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