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   Every day, the newspapers carry a new scandal... (January 2, 1996)

Every day, the newspapers carry a new scandal. For instance, today, there is the St. Kitts affair. How do they decide which scandal to carry? I will tell.

Every morning, the editor has a conference with his assistant editors, news editor, associate editor, news editor, associate editor, executive editor, resident editor, etc. Coffee (for the South Indian editors) and tea (for the rest) are ordered, then the editor inquires: "What scandal shall we expose tomorrow?"

"There is still a lot on the hawala racket that we have not reported one," says a junior editor.

An assistant editor says. "There will be enough on the hawala recket for years to come, we have not even touched the CBI investigations yet."

Ď"I think the public are getting an overdose on the hawala racket," the editor says. "Let us give them something else."

"Shall we continue with the St. Kitts episode?" the news editor, who is a minor member of the editorial conference, wants to know. "The prime minister had been definitely involved in it when he was the foreign, minister, and that is news."

The resident editor overrules him: "There can be only so much of St. Kitts and no more. What about reviving the Harshad Mehta scam. There also the finger of suspicion has fallen on the prime minister, though nothing has been proved."

"I would like to have a resume on the Harshad Mehta scam," says the editor. "We can revive it for three or four days, maximum, not more. Unless Jethmalani adds some fuel to it."

"The Indian press can always rely on him to do so," says another assistant editor. "Meanwhile, what about the jeep scandal."

"What jeep scandal?" asks the associate editor.

"I think he is referring to the one involving Krishna Mennen when he was the defence minister. You know, the jeep scandal," says the deputy editor.

"That's cold Turkey," says the editor. "Public memory does not got back that far. Let's have a more contemporary scandal."

"Could we do Bofors again," says the edit page editor. "Much water has flown down the bridge since we last did it."

"Bofors is something we can always fall back on, the editor agrees. "This paper has sold millions of copies on Bofors."

"I am sure we can find something with an Oslo or Geneva dateline, I'll get my boys working on it immediately," says the news editor.

"I think we should stick to the Jain Diary, we haven't made sufficient use of it," says the associate editor. "If we want to sell the paper, we cannot get too far from the Hawala racket right now."

"What about the Tele-communications scandal? Would you say that is done and over with?" asks a third assistant editor.

"Not quite, but, for the time being, let's give the readers more on the hawala racket," say the editor. "Now, about tomorrow's editorial. Would we tell the PM to stay or resign?"

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