Sunday, March 07, 2010

Is the New Indian Express stirring up a Storm in its V-Cup?

I’ve been loyal to The Indian Express for ever so long – probably from the Emergency days. In the good old days when I had enough health to sit on the floor(thara in Malayalam) , my day began on the floor with my legs stretched out, back against the diwan, a cup of light tea and the Indian Express which my son always thought was a crappy paper. Seeing me on the floor with the paper, he’d say jokingly amma is thara in every sense of the word, meaning sitting on the thara I read a thara paper!

Today I had a reason to think about why I need the The Indian Express the way my husband needs the Malayala Manorama with his early morning black coffee – despite his remarks almost everyday that the paper’s become hollow. One must conclude from this that old habits die hard.

The reasons I arrived at for my addiction to The Indian Express are

1. Being politically correct is not one of its fortes.

2. It does not put the English language on a pedestal and perform poojas to it. It believes in Englishes, rather than Queen’s English.

3. Its editorial too uses the English language rather irreverently, accommdating slangs, elisions and those borderline expressions.

Today’s EditPage, however, took a giant leap from its already liberated position with regard to written language in the most serious page of a newspaper. There was an article by none less than its Editor-In-Chief Aditya Sinha. Talking about who India would give its Oscar award to from among the actors in the political arena in the subcontinent, he felt the best actor award should go to Pakistan Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the reason being, I quote

Suddenly the guy acts as if his balls have turned into cannonballs!!!

My MY! What next?!


  1. Definitely NOT a "PC" editorial :) I think I would love this newspaper. hah!

  2. maybe the paper is changing according to the time :-)

  3. Lol... Reminded me of the time when I asked my friend as to which newspaper he reads everyday. He instantly quipped- When it comes to LOOKING, I prefer The Times of India, and when it comes to READING, I prefer The Hindu. Speaking about The Indian Express, we always used to make fun of our uncle for reading that paper, but he still continues to read it. Now I know the reason why. ;-)

  4. thats freedom of expression in its most natural form!!

  5. I have not been with IE for a long time.In fact not since after the Emergency.
    I am surprised by reading what you have to say.

  6. Loved the (new) Sunday Express magazine when Suresh Menon was the editor. Havent read it for a long time now...

  7. I have been wanting to say something about the New Indian Express (NIE) and was looking for a forum to do that. Thank you, KPJ, for doing that. Only, unlike you, what I have to say about it may not all be complimentary.

    As a student (and I'm talking about the 1960s), The Indian Express (TIE) was a rag - and I do not mean just the newsprint. Our teachers used to run it down - and with good reason - that it did not respect English as a language.

    Later, in the emergency days, it did an image makeover. 'Because Truth must prevail' and stuff. They have evolved after that and have been able to live up to that image with some degree of success.

    The stand the NIE has of late been taking against hartals, extravagance, absenteeism, ineffiency, profligacy, VIP security causing traffic snarls, etc is bold and biting.

    You said, 'Being politically correct is not one of its fortes'. I am not sure about that but being 'commercially correct' certainly. try and write a complaint about the loot that goes on in 'Reliance Fresh' [where if the bill is for Rs 263.04, it is rounded off to Rs 263.50 and you are lucky if the girl at the counter returns you Rs 36 (Often you may have to be satisfied with Rs 35 with a 'No change, Sir!'

    Ditto with 'Big Bazaar' where the same item is billed twice!

    Why? Because they give full page ads.

  8. @ wannabe
    looks like you dislike the TNIE for the very same reasons that i like it:-) i believe that not being overawed by anything, particularly language, is an indication of a certain willingness to break structures, arising from the conviction that truth cannot be contained in words - it lies beyond that.
    about the last para - u r right. but it is a recent development.if your letter does not toe the paper's line on issues, they wont waste space on you!

    @ jay
    missed it:-(

    do read and tell us what u think.

    @ sujatha, nalini hebbar, happy kitten

    it's only now i've begun admitting that IE is my paper:-)

    @ clippedin
    it always changed with the times - rose to the occsion.

    @ anjuli
    am not sure - rather wary about recommending it -


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