Skip to main content

Why Blog

I started blogging in May 2011, when I was with the Times of India’s Gandhinagar representative, looking after Gujarat government. The credit for this goes to Bharat Desai, who was editor of the paper then. I was discussing with him how, when I went to see a Gandhi museum on the spot of yet-to-built Mahatma Mandir, I saw life-size, even bigger, photos and cut outs of Narendra Modi, then Gujarat chief minister. The Modi displays outsmarted those of the Mahatma, not to talk of other national movement leaders.
“I am reminded of what I saw when I was in Cuba in 1985 for a ‘Patriot’ assignment”, I told him. “I saw larger than life screens showing Cuban leader Fidel Castro giving speeches... Screens were on roads, in hotel where we stayed, everywhere.” Prompt came Desai’s advise: “Why not write a blog on this?” A blog? Only a chosen few in the Times of India were allowed, I thought. But I was happy.
He chose me, forwarded my first blog, and it was published. Thereafter, I wrote 86 blogs for the Times of India, the last one being “The Wavering Vaghela” in July 2017, which was removed from its site after publishing it, with no reasons given.
No complaints, part of many journalistic hazards, I thought, but stopped writing blogs for the Times of India thereafter. I argued with myself: Why not spend time instead on writing stories for my own news site, Counterview, which is an open forum, where all can write? This is what I have been almost exclusively doing since July 2017.
In this site, CounterView.In, I have sought to revive my blogging skills, whatever they are left of me, after a span of two years plus. The reason is simple: All journalistic stories cannot be blogs. The space for stories is Counterview.  
All of my Times of India blogs can be accessed here, and except a few, they can also be accessed here.
After all, by definition a blog considered a truncation of "weblog", is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web (www) consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries. Seventy-nine of 86 Times of India blogs fall in this category, hence I have reproduced them in CounterView.In.
Please feel free to read, comment, react, criticize. Email id: counterview.in@gmail.com

Comments

ALSO READ

Surprised? Communist candidate in Ahmedabad bypoll in a Hindutva bastion

On October 11, 2019 morning, as I was scanning through daily news online (I don’t read papers now), I found that both BJP and Congress candidates from Ahmedabad’s Amraiwadi assembly constituency, which fell vacant following the victory of its BJP MLA in the Lok Sabha polls, have been asked to explain as to why they had cash in hand for election campaign, and why they did not deposit their money in a bank account. Fighting the bypoll, BJP’s Jagdish Patel and Congress’ Dharmendra Patel had declared they possessed Rs 1.81 lakh and Rs 1.70 lakh as cash in hand, respectively, for election expenditure.
The Election Commission notice reportedly said it is mandated for candidates to first deposit their expenditure funds in a bank account and then spend from their bank account money for various purposes. Interesting, but who cares for Election Commission, which has no teeth now, I thought. As it was Amraiwadi, what interested me more was (surprise of surprises), CPI had put up a candidate in t…

Repression on anti-CAA, NRC protesters: Are 'notable figures' silent? Not any more

In an amusing opinion piece in “Washington Post” (WP), former "Tehelka" journalist Rana Ayyub  – whose book on Gujarat riots, “Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover Up”, based on her undercover operations with government officials as a documentary filmmaker, made her famous – has blamed three Bollywood Khans, but most notably Saif Ali Khan, for playing an “off-screen role, enabling the worst impulses of the government.”

A top Gujarat High Court lawyer who lived and worked for the underprivileged

When I came to Ahmedabad to join as assistant editor of the Times of India in 1993, I didn’t know Girish Patel was a senior advocate of the Gujarat High Court. Apart from assisting the then editor, Tushar Bhatt, my job was to specifically look after the editorial page, which also meant I should be selecting from among the letters to the editor that we would get, edit them appropriately, and put them in the Letters to the Editor column.
Apart from those who would genuinely write letters, reacting to, particularly disagreeing with, this or that story or comment that appeared in the paper, there were what I would then call “professional letter writers”, too. They would regularly write letters to the editor always profusely praising the paper, just to see their name appearing in the paper. I found this annoying, and the first thing that I did to give them regular space.
Among these regular letter writers was Girish Patel, too. Initially, I would looked at his letters skeptically, but I fou…