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Way too much ado about something

india Updated: Dec 28, 2007 00:44 IST
Hindustan Times
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There’s a real fight for news space these days. But if you think that the latest slugfest is between Narendra Modi and the English-speaking media, then you’ve missed out the man who is giving French President Nicolas Sarkozy a real run for column inches (French column inches, that is). But sadly, while Mr Sarkozy is holidaying in Luxor and posing for shutterbugs with his new ladylove, Carla Bruni, our man — former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh — is fighting questions about the nature of his relationship with Pakistani journalist Aroosa Alam.

All this is so unfair. Just as we were enjoying the Punjabi remix of l’affaire Sarko-Bruni and comparing Ludhiana with Luxor, the Spoilsport-in-Chief did us in. In fact, there were two. While the Shiromani Akali Dal accused Ms Alam of being a Mata Hari and working at the behest of the ISI, the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid in Ludhiana issued a fatwa, stating that Islam doesn’t permit a woman to roam around with a ‘non-husband’ man. Ms Alam, meanwhile, said coyly that she has been drawn to Singh because of his “acumen” and “vision” and there’s nothing more than friendship between the two. Never mind that we didn’t see much of that famous “acumen” and “vision” during the last Punjab elections. But that’s our loss.

Accepted that Mr Singh is no Monsieur Sarkozy and accepted that there is little private about public figures, those upset seem to be making a mountain out of a relationship (pardon the mashed metaphor). Moreover, they are denying us a chance to detox after months of reading reams on Moditva etc (never mind the illuminating article by Mr Jha adjoining this editorial). Criticism in public domain should be restricted to a politician’s duties and administrative capabilities. Beyond that, let him — and us — enjoy the less bland bits of life that aren’t politics.

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