Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Ghanaian President Mahama concedes defeat to opposition leader Afuko-Addo

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's TV Career Continues

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

President Park Impeached, Ghana's High Stakes Election (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Aleppo Offensive, Renzi Resigns, Trump's Cards (part 2)

Read more

ENCORE!

South Korea: An inside look at the K-pop wave

Read more

#THE 51%

Diving back in: Offering support for French mothers returning to work

Read more

REPORTERS

Chaotic post-hurricane relief efforts in Haiti

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Cash crunch casualties: India's wedding industry suffers from currency changes

Read more

FOCUS

Ivory Coast faces uphill battle against counterfeit medicine

Read more

Asia-pacific

Regrets, goodbyes, curtains - and a Bollywood bungle

Text by Leela JACINTO

Latest update : 2009-10-19

FRANCE 24's Leela Jacinto reports from India's financial capital as the city slowly recovers from the devastating attacks that killed nearly 200 people.

05/12/2008 - India's first anti-Semitic attack - goodye Mumbai

03/12/2008 - Mumbaikers take to the streets

01/12/2008 - Questions for a likely ex-chief minister

30/11/2008 - In the city of dreams, a star café

 

Thursday, Dec. 4

 

Just two days ago, the mood at the Maharashtra’s future ex-chief minister’s press conference was very different.
 
Back then, the local journalists were howling for Vilasrao Deshmukh’s head, pushing for a resignation announcement following the security and intelligence blunders that failed to thwart the Mumbai terrorist attacks.
 
The press corps literally cut short the opening statements by the chief minister of Maharashtra - the state of which Mumbai is the capital - until Deshmukh admitted that he had submitted his resignation. The leaders of the Congress party - the largest in the ruling coalition - would now have to make a decision, he said.
 
Today, the local papers are splashed with the news that Deshmukh’s resignation has been accepted. It took two days, a delay highlighting the advance stage of paralysis that seems to have gripped the Congress party.

But now that it’s finally official, the journalists seem almost wistful about his departure. Some sound anguished about the future of the Congress party, which frankly, doesn’t look very good right now.

A consummate politician, Deshmukh strikes the right tone. Here then, is the familiar discourse of departure:  “bowing to the will of the party,” “submitting to the will of the people,” “my service to the people will continue in any manner the party deems fit.”

There’s no doubt the chief minister of the wealthiest state in the Indian union committed quite a few blunders. But none have been more baffling than an ill-advised visit to the Taj hotel along with his Bollywood actor son, Riteish, and one of India's best-known film-makers shortly after it was cleared of militants.

 
The Indian media howled. Post-attacks, large sections of the Indian media seem to be going the American way, dividing the story simplistically between the heroes and the villains. Not unlike a Bollywood saga. And like Bollywood characters, they can be quite sensitive about things.
 
Local papers speculated that the visit by the Bollywood director was a “recky” for an upcoming film about the attacks. The speculation was denied. And today, once again, Deshmukh is profuse with his mea culpas over the Bollywood bungle. “It was a mistake, I feel sorry about it. I am sorry about it,” he repeats.

And so goes another Indian politico...

 

    

 

Date created : 2008-12-04

COMMENT(S)