With the controversy surrounding porn, coal and exams, isn’t it time we dumped ‘gate’ once and for all?

The law finally caught up with the corrupt public functionary who masterminded a ‘gate’, so goes the story! Sounds funny? It shouldn’t.

Haven’t you noticed some of the recent headlines? There has been an Examgate (an education minister helping his son cheat), Porngate (Karnataka ministers caught watching porn), Porngate Returns (Gujarat legislators watching porn), Memogate (leaked diplomatic memo in Pakistan).

The list is long. Our media added another gem to this list last week with its ‘Coalgate’ (CAG’s draft report over the ‘flawed’ allocation of coal blocks).

The reporter alleged that the MLAs were reportedly watching porn on Chaudhary's iPad while panchayat minister Narottam Patel was answering questions (pictured)So what if such nomenclature makes a potential scam sound like a toothpaste brand!

Wonder why there is this laziness when it comes to newspersons attaching labels to events. Or maybe it is pure and simple aping of the Americans.

Haven’t you also noticed the use of 26/11 or 13/7 to refer to terror incidents in India after the 9/11 attacks on America? Wikipedia has dedicated a whole webpage to the problem – suffixgate!

It lists at least 105 big and small news stories that carried the suffix, ‘gate’.

Coalgate: People carry baskets of coal scavenged illegally at an open-cast mine in the village of Bokapahari in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand To cite an instance of the truly bizzare, a chess grandmaster’s repeated visits to the toilet came to be referred as Toiletgate!

In this age of 24×7 news, when mediapersons are hungry for audiences, they perhaps harbour the hope that attaching ‘gate’ to a scandal will make it hog attention.

Maybe, they await their Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein moment – the duo had broken the original ‘gate’ (Watergate) story.

But it is a blessing that this concerned the Watergate hotel in Washington. Had it taken place at the Ufuk Hotel (in Turkey), French Lick Hotel (US) or Wang Thong Hotel (Thailand), it sure would have made for a risque headline.

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