A couple of days ago, TIME magazine billed Our Dear Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh an “Underachiever.” They put it right on the cover of their Asia edition. But we Indians were not mad. We were already quite ticked off at the old incumbent for keeping mum through all the scandals during UPA’s reign.


Well, not all of us. Some people in Chennai who were said to be members of the Youth Congress tore pages of Times of India in front of the US Consulate. I don’t blame them for tearing up TOI. The quality of its articles is going down: no unbiased articles, continuous coverage of the sordid lives of celebrities, and Chetan Bhagat. They give him chance to write the editorials about once in a week or two. He should honestly be stopped from writing anything anymore (‘The man who made india read,’ my foot!). Anyway, those poor Congress workers confused TIME with Times of India! They do sound the same, but as mentioned, the quality is at two ends of the scale. Maybe they shouldn’t have torn it. But hey, it’s a free country! I could think of at least one other use for that newspaper.

But I digress. Bashing TOI is a favorite topic of mine! I am a recent TOI apostate; I switched to The Hindu a month ago. Manmohan Singh might be an ineffectual Prime Minister, it is ignominious to label him in such a way and put that on the cover of a widely read magazine like TIME Asia. And, it is too late! If this was done after UPA-1, maybe that would have touched a nerve and given him impetus to govern better. But I doubt it again, as he has received his fair share of criticism all through UPA’s rule without the desired result, and it is high time the whole lot is voted out. No protests, no paper-tearings, no media-led accusations, but just the cool power of democracy.

In retaliation to TIME’s portrayal of our PM, Outlook is going to put a picture of Obama with the same caption on its cover. This is just what MAD Magazine would have done, not Outlook! MAD has done this many times with its iconic Alfred E. Neuman caricaturing many famous personalities. But Outlook! It will probably be another hastily written feature on Obama’s shortcomings with another caption saying “No, we can’t.” They could have at least been discreet about the fact they are in the pocket of Congress. Maybe the same poster of Manmohan Singh saying “AS PROMISED? A look at Singh’s achievements and failures.” Maybe we should just stop reading magazines and go back to reading Champak or Tinkle.



2 thoughts on “Underachiever

  1. Harsh Khetawat

    You, sir, are awesome. This move my Outlook is not just juvenile, but is also representative of how this government tackles criticism by not accepting where it’s erred but by pointing in the direction of others who have made the same mistake. I think it’s shameful that a magazine with as vast a readership as Outlook would seek to instill national pride by an act that I would personally term as a national disgrace.

    1. Abhinand Post author

      Thank you.
      Yes, the government just does not want to own up. It is like a contumacious kid who refuses to acknowledge that he has broken the vase. And I also think that Outlook was simply a front, a coercion, by Congress to put down Singh’s critics. But still, I would never have thought that Outlook would sink so low. This leads us to the question that where do we get the real news and not some vile cook-ups.


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