Thursday, February 05, 2004

Tehelka is back

The legendary Tehelka is back, this time as a weekly paper( launching date February 2). Of course, it's different with its own fare of stories and articles in its line of commitment, but one misses the characteristic punch it had in its earlier avatar as news portal.

What immediately puts you off is its tabloid-like look, and once-sensational"Blitz"-like layout. Since it champions the real, investigative journalism, it should have come in a new distinctive format. Those who don't know about it might take it as another run-of-the-mill newspaper.

The lead news titled "George Bush Has A Big Conversion Agenda For India" is a well-researched story, but is too long and exasperating. As a topic, it's neither hip nor hot at a time when the country is abuzz with forthcoming general election. Other stories in the news section are no better, and seem like fillers.

In 'essaya and opinion' section, you have writers like Pankaj Mishra, Gita Hariharan, Patric French and Hari Kunzru. Except French, all of them churn out the usual --nothing much insightful or extraordinarily thought-provoking.

But I have enjoyed Tarun J.Tejpal's editorial and Shoma Chaudhury's
'The Making Of A Paper'. Tarun is a brilliant writer, and can hook you easily with his honesty and conviction.

No doubt the paper will evolve with each issue, but is it possible in this milieu to run a paper which is not "affiliated to any political party or business house", and consists of "crusading and constructive journalism" and "display a moral centre"?

Anyway, I have subscribed to the paper. And I wish it a smooth journey.


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