India’s Best Journalists: Arun Shourie # 1

Ravinar, worked with one of India’s largest selling newspapers and other orgs in Marketing functions who sincerely believe a corrupt media is the most dangerous threat to any democracy writes about 10 most respected journalists in India on his blog Media Crooks:

Since the article on India’s Worst Journalists-2012 (IWJ) last April I had received many suggestions to do one on India’s best. Some even recommended that the same ‘worst’ should be put to another poll to find out which are the best among them. When I looked up the ‘Charter of MediaCrooks’ there were hundreds of provisions to identify and talk about the crooks but not a single one to identify the good ones or the best in the business. Fair, since that wasn’t the task of MediaCrooks. So I derived inspiration from the ‘Worst list’ and ‘manipulated’ the Charter to enable this site to identify the best journalists. The candidates on the best journalists list were all picked by people on the social media. (Thanks to all who contributed). If I had left it to the Anti-SocialMedia (MSM) probably none of these names would have figured.

There is something else about the journalists on the list. You won’t find most of them flamboyant or glamorous. You won’t find most of them frequently in those back-scratching media awards functions. The greatest thing about the candidates on the ‘best’ poll is that when they write an article or appear on TV it is highly unlikely you will find them asking: “Oh God, what should I tell them”? They speak their own free minds. So here are those who have been voted India’s Best Journalists (Poll results on the top right of this page):

10. Ashok Malik – Malik has been in the business for over two decades now. His association has mostly been with The Pioneer but you can also find him in other journals and lately also on many TV channels as a panellist. His writings are not the kind that will set you on fire but Malik manages to put across his views and arguments gently and without offending. That might be surprising since many bios of his mention his wanting to be a gossip-writer in film magazines. That’s hard to believe because he looks so serious. It would be nice, though, to see a gossip column from him – just to see some stuff from him on the Poonam Pandeys, Sonam Kapoors and Uday Chopras.  In any case, don’t expect him to be politically incorrect. Like other successful journalists who have adapted to the Internet Malik understands and values the social media. He is happy to write in a form that the MSM wouldn’t consider really ‘Sexy’ in these times. He speaks his mind anyway and that’s the obvious reason he’s here.

9. Madhu Trehan – She’s one of the survivors from the journalism of the old world charm. The co-founder ofIndiaToday, India’s first weekly news-magazine, has many firsts to her credit. The other significant claim to fame has to be her video news-magazine ‘Newstrack’, in the days of Doordarshan’s monopoly, which was made available as videos through her magazine and through regular video outlets. But Madhu Trehan is not on this list for her past laurels though. She has re-invented herself and has been active on the social media. Her news channel Newslaundry is growing in popularity. It’s a site where Madhu and her colleagues launder the regular crooks in the media with a lot of humour and candour. Viewers and readers of Newslaundry have often felt she has been soft on the crooks but that takes away nothing from her sincerity and her commitment. She has also learned to engage with the crowd on social media. Her popularity is on the up again.

8. R. Jagannathan – Business World, India Today, Express group, Business Standard, DNA he has worked with all of them. A significant involvement has to be the launch of Business Today. Other than that he has spent relatively smaller tenures with most of these publications. But TheJaggi, as he calls himself on Twitter, came to greater prominence with FirstPost. Though I call Firstpost the online sidekick of the Network18 group (CNN-IBN, CNBC-TV18 etc.), Jaggi has brought a lot of balance and freshness in the online news business. As editor of Firstpost not only his own articles but even those of others have largely been truly interesting and fair. That’s what is amazing. Since the group’s TV channels are heavily biased and are nearly political mouthpieces, Firstpost doesn’t appear to be so. Being a business journalist himself, his articles on economics and financial matters make exceptional reading. I don’t have numbers but I would dare to state Firstpost could easily be the most popular dedicated online news site at the moment and will grow in strength. A lot of credit for that must go to TheJaggi.

7. P. Sainath – He calls himself a ‘rural’ reporter. One of the few Indians to receive the Ramon Magsaysay awards Sainath is the art movie equivalent of Bollywood in journalism. And I say that in a nice way. On the mainstream media degenerating into entertainment he once remarked: “”I felt that if the Indian press was covering the top 5 per cent, I should cover the bottom 5 per cent” and that he does splendidly. On another occasion he observed there were 400 journalists reporting on a Fashion show in Delhi but not one reporting on poverty in India. One recent article by him “Reaping gold through cotton, and newsprint” about the misreporting and twisted journalism by TOI is indicative of the tenor of most of his articles and exposes. It is indeed surprising that he hasn’t been called upon to be a panellist on TV shows relating to farmer suicides and such related issues. Maybe he just detests the very format of these debates and avoids them. Outspoken against Paidmedia and other evils of the press he is one reporter who should be inspiration for a lot more.
6. J. Gopikrishnan – There must be a reason his name starts with G. His stunning investigative reports on the2G scam has exposed many corrupt politicians and the entire UPA govt itself. Gopi, as he is called in trade circles, systematically pursued and exposed the manner in which scarce nation resources were sold for a song by the corrupt. Naturally, apart from rising popularity among people a number of awards followed as well in the last year or so. The mostly compromised bigger media outlets started following the 2G story only after his reports. That Gopi works with a relatively small newspaper like The Pioneer also reflects on where good journalism is coming from lately. In the words of his own editor, Chandan Mitra, “He has put on no airs despite the accolades he has received and the many awards he has won. He remains committed to his profession and profession alone”. What followed Gopi’s reports are similar assessments by the CAG on 2G and worse, the explosive Radiatapes that exposed the media-politician-lobbyists nexus. More power to him.
5. Sucheta Dalal – She could have been somebody…. Somebody like… You know who, a media super celebrity. She could have easily compromised ethics and traded that for millions. But Sucheta Dalal is one of the most reliable financial journalists around. From the Harshad Mehta scam to Ketan Parekh to current misdeeds in the financial markets she has served ordinary investors and consumers all her career. Having worked with all the major newspapers in the country she now runs her own web magazine, Moneylife. Apart from various investment and securities boards, including those of the govt, she is also on the board ofConsumer Education & Research Centre in Ahmedabad. In the crowd of many unscrupulous financial and stock market journalists, in print and on TV, she stands out like a beacon. One hopes future aspirants in this domain will look to her for inspiration.
 4. M. J. Akbar – There isn’t much that I need to write about MJ Akbar that people don’t already know. From a Trainee in TOI to launch of major journals like TheSunday andTelegraph and to also being a member of parliament there isn’t much that MJA hasn’t achieved. One of the senior most journalists of India he has also authored many books. In particular, his analyses of Indo-Pak relations are easily among the best anyone can get to read. His recent launch, the onlineSundayGuardian, has acquired a fair bit of popularity on the internet news readers. SundayGuardian is as hard-hitting a news magazine as you can get. He is currently the Editorial Director of IndiaToday and their TV channel HeadlinesToday. That he retains a high level of popularity after four decades in journalism say everything about why he is still rated as one of the best.
 3. Kanchan Gupta – He is most famous for his association with The Pioneer and even more so as an advisor in the PMO for Atal Behari Vajpayee. Apart from writing on politics and current affairs you could fairly call him a reasonable expert on middle-east affairs owing to his work in that region. He can be subtle, wry and sarcastic but don’t expect him to make you fall off your chair laughing. Straight-talking, blunt and sometimes provocative, his writings do not spin facts. That’s the reason he is very popular with the right wing and not so popular in the mainstream media. Often appears on TV shows but gets shouted down very easily. That is not so much because he doesn’t have a booming voice but because he stops when asked by the moderator and cares to listen to others. In a country where journalism and media is dominated by communists and being ‘right-wing’ is almost criminal, his success stands out for his brilliant, insightful and honest writing. Has been another one to quickly learn the future of media is online and has now started his own venture called Niti Digital.
 2. Swapan Dasgupta – Quite easily the best and most popular of contemporary journalists around. That should be a surprise because he too is a ‘right-wing’ journalist. Not just that, he also happens to be the most sought after TV panellist. I refuse to call him an ‘intellectual’ as many do since I consider that term reserved for ‘Nobeler’ souls. Let’s see, I would callAmartya Sen or Dileep Padgaonkar an intellectual. Which is why it is dismaying to find him debating ‘intellectuals’ like Mani Shankar Aiyar. SD is simply blessed with an extraordinary abundance of simple common sense. That’s what makes his writings a delight to read. The number of journals he writes for is too long to be listed here. Sharp observations, deep insights and simple honesty are key features of his writings. Like Sachin Tendulkar he is not gifted with great vocal chords but he makes up for that with his solid batting. If he is on a TV debate you are assured of a decent one without the usual cacophony that passes for debates. Whatever one’s ideology he is clearly a role model for budding journalists.
1. Arun Shourie – This is quite a surprise. I say that in a nice way because Arun Shourie hasn’t been a very active journalist for quite some time. That he remains the best journalist with voters is a tribute to his standing and accomplishments. He is the first of India’s true investigative journalists who led to the fall of a Chief Minister in Maharashtra in the eighties. His most reputed tenure is that as the Executive Editor of Indian ExpressAt one point the Congress govt had nothing less than 300 cases slapped against the IE after the Bofors episode. Author of many books, MP and was also a minister under the NDA govt. It’s distressing for many that since the days of Shourie the fiercely independent IE has more or less become a ‘handler’ of the govt’s agenda. He had also strongly opposed Pratibha Patilfor president and it’s not so hard now to see why. Every article and book written by Shourie is perhaps better researched, more thoughtful and provocative than any of the ones by many modern day journalists. Not surprisingly, he was he named as one of the International Press Institute’s 50 World Press Freedom Heroes of the past 50 years in 2000 apart from being honoured with the Magsaysay award. The likes of Shourie and the others on this list keep the flame of hope for good journalism floating.
So there it is; India’s Best Journalists and I expect they will remain so for quite some time. In an age where skin colour, lipstick, make-up, laundering and brokering skills determine the prominence and influence of a journalist, it is not very difficult for them to stand out. I believe they would have stood out anyway. If most of the media crooks are a danger to democracy and freedom then there are some who strongly protect it too. And those are 10 good reasons to cheer.
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Indian Media: The Great ‘Kannada” News Channel Circus

So  for  all those who still doubt whether there is space for one more news channel to make it 7 in all apart from the 11 general entertainment Kannada channels,  it is only a matter of time before they are able to get an fitting answer.  This debate has come to the fore with the recent addition of Public TV of former Kannada Prabha and Suvarna Channel’s News Editor H R Ranganth, to the existing stampede of channels.   With one more player in the market   the fight for the top slot in the small screen is going to generate more heat and the clamor for ‘breaking news’ is sure to witness a new high (or is it low?).  One-time firebrand journalist H R Ranganath being at the helm of affairs at Public TV has only added more nosiness and intensity to the existing fight for supremacy among channels for grabbing eyeballs.

Public TV which was went live on February 12, 2012 and 7 channels are now competing and combating with one another to climb to the top with ‘breaking news’ of every possible kind.  Public TV has become the 7th Kannada news channel of the state which will fight it out with Udaya News, T V 9 Karnataka, Suvarna News, Samaya, Kasturi and Janashree News channels, with each one trying new stratagem to garner public attention.

How these channels will conduct themselves in the course of next few years will be crucial.  In the entire fiasco the viewers will have no other option but to keep changing channels in their search for credible or unbiased channel for news and views.  Nevertheless, many regular viewers of the news channels in Karnataka have expressed their views openly in favour of one or other channels.

Suvarna News is the Best channel. TV9 is losing its scene in state..Kumaraswamy’s Kasturi news channel is used only to blame Congress and BJP..says Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura. Dinesh Rao from Mangalore is irritated about the influx of these channels. He says, ” Of course the number of Kannada news channels has increased over the years. But who cares about the quality? In the name of getting viewership all most all channels are reporting only cheap political, crime related or unnecessary items in the name of news. You must have seen many channels are thriving on murder, rape or accident stories…or even daily household quarrels which can happen at any time next to your door!! Also all most all channels use buffoon like specimens, who will be talking nothing other than nonsense! Why cannot these channels, if they do not have their originality just imitate English news channels like NDTV 24X7 or CNN-IBN? Can Burkha Dutt, Prannoy Roy, Vikram Chandra, Rajdeep Sardesai teach these something so called as… journalism??”

R. Bhandarkar from Mangalore opins that the craze for English in these Kannada channels are not lost. ‘Breaking News’, ‘BIG NEWS’, etc . etc. Many a times the ‘breaking news’are restraint drainers. ‘Break or be Broke’ seems to be the motto of these channels nowadays. These news contents in thses ‘breakers’ are often suicides,accidents, killings etc.These have no repititive values but are aired till one is disgusted. ‘BIG NEWS” does not even have that ‘little’ to make one sit up and watch. Many of the programmes, serials etc are ‘direct lifts’ from the more popular Hindi Counterparts. The less said of the ‘humour or comedy programmes’ the better!

“Some channels have alignment with political parties, some are pro congress and some are pro BJP and some are pro communists and some are pro communual. Some channels are there to make money and blackmail by sting operations. The journalistic ethics have been compromised…Forget about the regional channel, even the national and international channels are biased..God alone knows the truth. Anyway journalism has grown very well in India and would continue to grow. But they should work in the best interest of community, peace, nation, truth and act as bonding agent between different faiths and communities…should work as watch dog against social evil practices, alcoholism, corruption, female foeticide, dowry, caste system etc etc”, writes Shahnawaz Kukkikatte from Dubai.

Below are views from the cross section of society from Karnataka:

“i think TV9 is doing good job, many criminals and corrupt officer and politician behind the bar, because of TV9. for simple reason: one week i did not get this cannel i am watching other news channel but their communication is very poor. but TV9 is sound and communication very good. what ever it i like only channel u can give good report like corrupt officer, and corrupt politician. some channels don’t. have power to publish against corrupt politican and police dept. but Tv 9 not worried about all this thinks.”

“Suvarna 24×7 is the best channel, they caught porn MLA’s watching porn Video. TV nine is busy in film news n always busy in telecasting Bhootha n Pretha stories. Busy in slapping it’s on back. TV9 loosing it’s credit after Suvarna news came into  existence. Udaya news pro congres. Janashri pro BJP. Etv is neutral.”

“I have lot of respect towards H R Ranganath who have started Public Tv. I believe he will do justice for the same.I want all culprits to be exposed so that people can understand the double game of all politicians. Best of luck for u and ur future.”

“Most TV channals are behind TRP rating, & are craze with giving foolish news, highlighting rape stories, pralaya & exagarations, slapping their own back as top rated channels. All channels should learn ethics from basic & telecast with sense. The wrong news published or news published in wrong way will be watched by people across state. ‘Ethics first – Publicity last'”

“Tv9 started a very peculiar way of presenting news by pronouncing words split-in at unwanted places and ending sentences with an awkward style. Suvarna started well, but followed TV9 in style. Very irritating way of presentation. One lady news reader (Ms. Soumya?) has developed a peculiar style of ending sentences – very shrill ending deliberately developed(?)to look special???. pronounce the words as it is in its natural kannada way and make hearing the news pleasant. Too garish appearance by some of the anchors is not appreciable.”

“Looks like most of the news channel are funded by political party. New Entry is Public TV looks to be unbaised and appreciate the effort of Ranganath owner. He has a very good knack in explaining in details about any news which attracts. Lets see how Public TV future goes without support of Politicians……..”

Half of India lives without toilet, but no one is denied a TV!!

Mr. K. B. Ganapathy, Editor of Star Of Mysore (SOM) a widely read English Daily in Mysuru (Karanataka) &  also the editor of ‘Mysooru Mitra’, a Kannada Morning Daily writes his (SOM) editorial POSITIVES OF IDIOT BOX :

Idiot Box: Promises the moon to the gullible millions

During the years spanning almost seven decades since television scored a commercial success after a wait of nearly two decades following its invention by Logie Baird, the ubiquitious showpiece having earned a none-too-flattering label as the ‘idiot box’ is currently enjoying an honorable identity as the small screen. Its penetration in India with an officially declared literacy of less than two-thirds of the land’s population is within sniffing distance of 100 per cent.

It is an irony of sorts that while more than half of the country’s population lives without the toilet facility and open defecation is more the rule than exception in the more than six lakh villages across the nation, virtually no Indian is denied a chance to view the small screen. Given this predominance of the small screen across the land, both the State-owned ‘Doordarshan‘ and the multitude of private channels beaming programmes in all languages of the country have an immense responsibility and social role to telecast programmes that are high both in knowledge content and promoting people’s welfare.

While the press is functioning under the legal provisions, obliged to comply with a set of written as well as unwritten diktats of the Press Council, the small screen thus far has been enjoying unbridled freedom. It is only recently that the Centre was mulling a system in which the small screen too is subject to some order and discipline. The task is bound to be far tougher than dealing with the press for logistic reasons. For one thing, the small screen is virtually a 24×7 moving image and would need critical inputs of technology for successful monitoring, not to mention censoring.

The jazzy advertisements which (a) occupy major time space during prime time, (b) interrupt telecasts of even news features and of course, (c) bring in the only revenue in the enterprise, many of which promise the moon to the gullible millions are presently enjoying boom time. This side to the small screen is a huge negative and needs to be brought under the scanner.

Programmes that nurture the land’s culture in all its forms such as music and those which enrich knowledge even among the unlettered are great positives of the idiot box. They stand out amidst the cacophony called entertainment.

Ansari(Rajya Sabha) TV is soaking up money faster than a sponge does water

Speaker, in a joint session after nomination of Rekha in Rajya Sabha

Speaker, in a joint session after nomination of Rekha in Rajya Sabha

In creating an independent television channel to promote the Rajya Sabha (RS) and its members, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, who is chairman of the Upper House, seems to have indulged in an extravagance that our stretched public resources can ill-afford. Pallavi Polanki  files a very important & explosive report in Firstpost India :

Headed by Gurdeep Singh Sappal, formerly OSD (officer on special duty) to Ansari, Rajya Sabha TV is soaking up money faster than a sponge does water. For 2012-13, the bill will be around Rs 73 crore. In November 2007 when Sappal, then OSD to the chairman, requested the file on the initiative to “launch Rajya Sabha Television, which was eventually abandoned” to be put up for his perusal. Subsequently, in April 2008, when the GPC gave its ‘in principle’ nod to RS TV, the channel was proposed as joint project with Lok Sabha TV, under a common network called the Sansad Television Network. However, what transpired – the launch of RSTV as an independent entity – was neither approved nor endorsed by the GPC. This, despite members of another Rajya Sabha committee, expressing strong reservations about the creation of an independent channel.

… setting up of a new RS TV channel by spending several crores of rupees may not serve any purpose, as it would not be run by experts in the field, thereby leading to production and airing poor quality programmes. Moreover, the exercise to project the members of the Rajya Sabha was not advisable as proceedings were already being telecast by Doordarshan…But that was not to happen.

..No gazette notification was issued on the setting up of the channel…And for 2012-2013, the budgeted expenditure (for the channel)  is an astounding Rs 73.30 crore.

….Raising the question, do we really need more general interest programming using taxpayers’ money — on a channel dedicated to Parliament, when we already have a national broadcast network (Doordarshan) with a fleet of channels catering to everything from news and current affairs to entertainment, sports and more?

Read the full report: Ansari’s Rajya Sabha TV swallows huge state resources

‘desileaks ideator’ Aamir nays 125 Crore for ‘satyamev jayate’

Aamir Khan’s 13-episode Satyameva Jayate which fuses together the mass appeal of celebrity with the mass reach of the TV medium to raise awareness on social issues, is already the toast of drawing rooms. But it has also sparked questions: do hi-glitz shows such as this have a lasting impact? Or could this, like other shows, end up being just another platform to peddle products? Aamir spoke to Outlook’s Namrata Joshi in Jaipur. Excerpts:

I am using entertainment to reach out. Which is not to say I am using fun and games. It’s more about underlining things with emotions. Like I did with the issue of childcare and education in a film like Taare Zameen Par. The information people get from a newspaper and magazine article doesn’t change their heart. Very few people cry on reading newspapers. I try to affect them emotionally.

Asked about charging Rs 3 crore per episode for a show on serious social issues Aamir say:

I never discuss my fee. But since you asked I am getting Rs 3.5 crore per episode. Firstly what I get is none of anyone’s business. Main apni mehnat ki kama aur khaa raha hoon. [I am earning and enjoying the benefits of my hard-work]. I am not doing anything wrong. Main izzat se, achchaa kaam karke roti kama raha hoon aur mujhe fakr hai is baat ka [I am honourably, by doing good work, earning my bread, and I am proud of it]. Secondly to clear the misconception this amount includes the cost of the episode also. The bulk of the money goes into the cost and some of the episodes may have overshot the amount. Thirdly, I have endorsements deals of about Rs 100-125 crore per year. I have stopped them for a year while the show is on. There’s no logic in the decision, it’s purely emotional. But tell me who has ever said no to Rs 100 crore for a cause?

Asked whether such shows bring about change? Or do people engage and move on, Aamir says:

 The biggest change we can bring about is in ourselves. .. Female foeticide is a crime planned in our bedrooms and we can’t have cops in the bedrooms to monitor us. ……The choice has to be yours, …Even if one girl child is saved then the show is a success. I will be on TV. I will also be on Vividh Bharati, AIR, Radio Mirchi, Star News. I will write a column in HT. With every issue I want to go wide on many platforms. It’s a deep and concentrated approach to reach out in as many different ways as possible. I hope it will make people understand an issue for a life. I hope it will have them converted for life.

Read the full Outlook interview: You’ll see all kinds of India: the India I have seen. 


Indian TV channels going beyond all acceptable limits- T.J.S.George

Inaugurating a State-level workshop on Media—changing times’ organised by the Kerala Press Academy in association with the Calicut Press Club at the Centre for Information and Guidance India (CIGI) in the city on Friday,veteran journalist T.J.S. George said:

It is sad that even the critics of corrupt and unscrupulous tendencies in the media soon became its imitators. The growing greed for revenue is fast institutionalising degeneration in media… The fact that certain media organisations easily succeeded in minimising the importance of an editor in a newspaper and gradually eliminated that very post replacing it with a marketing officer is a clear indicator of were the industry was heading to in the recent times. It is a move that clearly established their zero social responsibility as a media organisation.

The famous editor and columnist also maintained that he was of the view that a regulatory authority for media was essential in the current scenario. He said:

“Self-regulation is not happening and media, especially television channels, are going beyond all acceptable limits.” 

In his column ” Freedom Must Be Earned”  in Outlook magazine George says:

In India’s current situation, the difference between print and visual media cannot be over-emphasised. It’s not just oranges and apples. It’s more like Greek and Mongol civilisations. Print, when it was alone in the field, acquitted itself reasonably well, the black sheep remained identifiable as black sheep. In TV journalism, there is so much muck flying about that black sometimes looks grey while white sometimes looks blue and sometimes like Cheshire cats. 

Read the full column in Outlook: Freedom Must Be Earned

Bollywood Idealist Aamir’s Satyamevjayte to create history in world television

Bollywood megastar Aamir Khan’s television production Satyameva Jayate (Truth Alone Prevails) is going to be telecast across India from May 6, 2012. With this hugely promoted project Aamir Khan is set to create history in Indian Television on three major counts.

First, Aamir Khan, the perfectionist-idealist among the three famous Khans of Hindi Cinema, is going to make his debut on the small screen. This mega show marks the first ever television serial to have the superstar as the performer-anchor-producer.

Second, Satyameva Jayate will be first Indian television show to be telecast simultaneously by a private entertainment television channel and Doordarshan—the national broadcaster. This concept of simulcast emerged out of Aamir Khan’s insistence on getting the largest possible audience. With its countrywide terrestrial network Doordarshan has a formidable presence including the vast rural belt. The simulcast is not even restricted to Star Plus—the private channel and Doordarshan as a few other television channels too are joining in due to the serial’s dubbing in several Indian languages including the four major South Indian ones.

Third, this project has launched reportedly the most expensive ever promotional campaign for any Indian television show in history. All possible advertising avenues including the movie houses of India have been tapped and booked for the promo. Its high-value theme song is being shown across 300 movie houses of India just after the compulsory screening of the national anthem. With the huge star around big sponsors had already lapped up the project eagerly.

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In the first lot 16 episodes of Satyameva Jayate will be telecast shooting for which had been done extensively across the whole of India. Each episode will be of one and half hours duration. Aamir Khan had reportedly asked for the Sunday morning slot as this chunk is regarded as the ‘family prime time’ and Doordarshan has a history of achieving unprecedented rating points in this slot for the telecast of the greatest Indian epicsRamayana and Mahabharata—about three decades back. Sunday, 6th of May, 2012, 11am is the date the Indian audiences have with their most favorite movie star in the comfort of their homes.

Aamir Khan has great expectations from the larger Indian audiences for his first ever television show and also trepidations. He has succeeded in not revealing the content of the serial and has kept everyone guessing. Reports say that the content has a lot to do with the common man and the common problems faced in this country. Like the idealist that he is, Aamir Khan could never shy away from the common man with whom he would want to identify himself, always. The small screen is definitely the ideal place to do so.

Interestingly, in 2011 Aamir Khan’s offbeat Delhi Belly did surprise and horrify quite a few in the conservative chunk of the Indian population, but the movie got wide critical acclaim.

The perfectionist understands the pulse of India only too well! (courtesy:  Chinmay Chakravarty  & Technorati)