Dungarpur Uncut, sub sub
When my friend Shamya Dasgupta called me from Pakistan, he sounded excited. He had an interview that was to expose the cliquish and sectarian mindset of a man managing the Indian team touring Pakistan. Not that he said that. But he knew he had "the" interview. He had no clue of what was to follow.
Veteran journalist M J Akbar, in his book, Byline reminds us why he became a journalist. Because this profession allows one to travel like a salesman without becoming one. In 2006, he might just add to it, if one is honest, this profession also ensures that the reporter on the field, is either "off-side" or shown the "red card" in soccer terms or "grounded" forever. That's the direction of global media today.
On Friday January 6, 2006, sports journalist Shamya Dasgupta, interviewed manager of the Indian cricket team, Raj Singh Dungarpur. The manager talked at length on Sourav Ganguly
and made it clear he did not like him being part of the squad now touring Pakistan. The interview was on tape. It went on-air. Raj Singh's sectarian mindset close to the Bombay lobby and school of cricket he belongs to was exposed. The twist came hours after that.
Raj Singh Dungarpur denied having given an interview to the journalist in Pakistan. He also said that the tape was doctored. The President of the Indian Cricket Board seconded him. And there were other BCCI croonies who came on TV to support Dungarpur.
Dungarpur also questiond the integrity of the reporter. His twist to the report would have made Rupret Murdoch proud. If this was any other nation, the manager would have been recalled. For man of his age, Mr Dungarpur should keep his love for cricket ( add to that his love for Hindi film music) to himself. He should stay in Bombay, enjoy his drinks at the Bombay Gymkhana (does he go there?) with his friends from South Bombay. He should also know that if he hits someone below the belt, someone else will hit back and hit back hard.
Anyone remembers Bob Geldof? He was on a TV show on Star World ( incidentally owned by my friend Rupert Murdoch). The show is called Parkinson's. Bruce "all-bald, Die-Hard, Demi Moore" Willis was also there. Fun show. Please watch it every Sunday. If it is .2 degree, cold and you are home.