Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Minister's remark on 'pet food' & Media coverage

During the presentation of Union budget, Congress minister Jairam Ramesh, had a heated exchange with Communists in the House. The dog food was made cheaper (taxes cut on it) and this was specially mentioned in the speech.

This was not too intelligent thing when steep 'price rise' is becoming a real issue. But during the heated exchange a minister reportedly said that 'those who aren't happy with this budget, should eat cheaper pet food'.

Later a few more things happened with bytes outside the house and later TV channels reporting it. But Pankaj Vohra in Hindustan Times on the editorial page on March 12 wrote that ' a junior minister' argued foolishly that if poor could not afford the high-priced stuff, they could settle for goods meant for dog and another animals. He wrote that such mindset of minister needs to be corrected and such a person should be shown the door.

Great work! But in his entire column titled 'Tread with Caution' nowhere the name of the 'junior minister' was mentioned. Why? How would the reader come to know? Hardly any mainstream paper reported it except the Hindu. Isn't it too much caution!

But newspapers in general ignored it except the Hindu. To an extent Times of India reported it but played it down. Was it because everybody in Delhi is well-connected and the gang of socialites.....
anyway.....It was reported as a tail piece In Asian Age, "

Jairam Ramesh triggered a controversy over his unsavoury remark on dog food and the Left, where he said that Left leaders should start eating pet food if they felt it would be cheaper than what is eaten by human beings. Ramesh has come under fire not only from the leaders of the Left but also his own party. The most talked about reaction has come from RSP MP Abani Roy. When reporters wanted him to give his reaction, Roy asked, if a dog bites a man should the man bite him back?
Overheard in Parliament
Post budget, it is no longer "Congress ka haath, aam aadmi ke saath." It is, "Congress ka haath, aam kutte ke saath." If only dogs could vote."

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