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Truce at Kasturi Buildings

The Kasturi clan running The Hindu Group of Publications seems to have brought peace among the warring scions. Competition from Times of India,  more recently from Daily Thanthi, the electronic media, as also better financials seem to have helped in this truce. Chairman N Ram seems to have struck a new arrangement: through de-merger, a new holding company has been formed and liberally provided for higher posts: N Murali is chairman and Nalini Krishnan co-chairperson of the holding company, Kasturi & Sons Ltd. The existing directors of the pre-merged KSL constitute the board of the holding company.

Ram is the new Chairman and Dr. Malini Parthasarathy Co-Chairperson of The Hindu Group’s publishing company, THG Publishing Private Ltd, whose Board is stacked with the existing directors of Kasturi & Sons Ltd. The Hindu Group’s newspapers, magazines, and digital news media publications are now a part of this company.

N Ravi has been appointed Publisher of The Hindu and the other publications of The Hindu Group. Earlier editors, N Ravi and Malini Parthasarathy, are also to run along with Ram the Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy. One notices younger scions like Vidya Ram given more space. 

In the past, under the management of G Narasimhan and G Kasturi, it was taboo for staff to show their face in public events. Senior journalists were not permitted to participate in discussion programmes over radio, television and other media. With Ram active in several fora, things have changed. Today one finds journalists of The Hindu participating freely in such discussion programmes. Simultaneously K Venu has been aggressive forging partnerships with several industry associations, sponsoring events and fielding senior journalists in discussion with celebrities. With this move, The Hindu has been pre-empting space for other newspapers, resulting in lack of enthusiasm on their part to cover even major events associated with The Hindu. 

Of course, The Hindu continues with left-of-Centre and a not-quite-transparent antagonism towards the BJP. The usual suspects-Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Shiv Visvanathan, T M Krishna and Congress spokespersons in Delhi-are given liberal space. 

Contrast this with phasing out the space given to Hindu religious discourses for decades. I remember the quip once Jawaharlal Nehru reportedly made to Delhi Correspondent Rangaswamy on a pointed ‘secular’ query with an anti-Hindu slant: “Ranga, may I remind you of the name of your paper (Hindu)!” 

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