Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tehelka's secular meltdown

I must admit that I had a moment of schadenfreude when I read about Tehelka's headlong surge towards financial bankruptcy. Notwithstanding its grandiloquent maxim announcing "fearless" journalism, Tehelka, devoid of any distinguishing trait, was destined to be a media non-entity over the longer run.

Tehelkas of this world feed on being political hitmen for the prevalent establishment, always gunning for ascendant opponents. In return they are richly endowed with siphoned-off public money. An object of limited utility with low shelf life, such mediums usually rapidly unravel into intellectual irrelevancy.

Tehelka's problems, though, are much worse. The seemingly charitable testimony offered by patrons like Anil Dharker cannot take away the fatal conceit borne by Tehelka. It claims to speak for the putative aam aadmi in taking upon the establishment, but yet is propped up by the very same elite class, that always has had a symbiotic relationship with the present ruling dispensation. Tehelka's very goal thus undermines its own existence. Let's face it, Tehelka attracted monies from secularist establishment out of gratitude for coffingate. Of course the money was retrieved through public treasury once Congress came to power.

The intellectual class has no appeal for Tehelka's low-brow journalism, and the aam aadmi has a surfeit of secular news sources to access the predictable menu offered by Tehelka. Thus, those who fund it remain disinterested in its coverage, and those readers it attempts to target don't see any need to purchase it. Faced with such an existential dilemma Tehelka finds itself mortally cornered.

Tehelka cannot target ruling Congress, and every Congress term in office by default becomes a period of professional winter for Tehelka. There is the added danger that its liberal patrons will turn upon Tehelka if it ever were to sting Congress-- or the Sonia dynasty. Having shot itself in the foot and fallen wayside politically, Tehelka has to brace up for a secular(worldly) meltdown. ;-)

3 comments:

Dosabandit said...

The backfiring of the Gujarat sting may have expedited it's troubles. With the Congress got gaining, rather losing heavily & Tehalka itself losing it's credibility, it will not find may supports or readers left.

socal said...

Tehelka is not dependent on readers for liquidity. Congress will resurrect them as the need arises.

Prudent Indian said...

Let me remind you one another publication of the same off soot of the Tehalaka. The one run t Anirudha Behal- Cobra Post. The names are reveling :).
Any way that publication had interviewed prince Rahul, mouthing the now infamous "could have been PM at 25 remark".These courageous journalists then withdrew all copies (not much to say in any case)at the instance of some one from Congress, sources indicate it was Tom Vaddekan.
Other spINDIAN Express too claims to be a publication of 'Journalism with Courage'!!!???
Need we say more?
PI.