Why Media Bashing of Sunanda Pushkar Was Justified

I read this article written on The Hindu’s Opinion Page, which blamed the Indian media to pound on Sunanda Pushkar. The article accused of the media being sexist and biased against the professional women.

I am no authority on the treatment on women by Indian media, but I never see Indian media bashing the successful career women like Sonia Gandhi, Chanda Kochar, Kalpana Morparia, or Kiran Shaw Mazumdar. Though it bashes Mayawati big time but then I can safely assume her bashing has got nothing to do with her being a women or being a career women for that matter.

Coming back to the case of Sunanda Pushkar, so do we really believe that she was bashed by the media because she was a woman dating a high profile minister? I would not agree to this, because as far as my understanding goes, the Su-Shi relationship is not a new one and hasn’t been extensively covered by the media. All this despite Tharoor’s knack of inviting controversies, Sunanda was never covered much in media.

So why is she being targeted now, is it because of she is a successful career women or because she is dating a minister? I don’t think that has caught the eye of the media, what has caught the eye is the pretty little sweet equity she got in a deal being “mentored” by her “beau” minister. I haven’t heard a career women getting sweet equity like this, that too worth close to 70 crores. I agree there are professional services required and deals are done but then why Sunanda? And why such a deal? And why is Tharoor involved and trying to influence decisions?

I mean why are equity worth 70 crores being given away free, this is something not normal, doesn’t happen to every career women and is a big deal. So the media bashing and glare is bound to happen. Another question is now that Sunanda has surrendered her equity, is she still doing the services for the team. If yes then is she getting paid in accordance to 70 crores which her services were initially valued at. Does the writer defending her realizes that the dividend income show would have been receiving out of her equity would have been tax free and a loss to exchequer which now would be taxed at the normal taxation laws. If she is not the one doing the services the alternatives providing the same services are being compensated to the same extent?

Neither the people of India nor the media are fools. Both have enough sense to understand and derive the two plus two equals to four. The personal equation of Sunanda Pushkar and Shashi Tharoor was an important consideration of the equation behind that 70 crores of free money. The reason behind the media glare, bashing and probing was not her being a successful corporate women but rather an obscene amount of unaccounted money being involved. When that sweet equity is gone and resolved the glare is off too. In cases like these the media glare is justified, required and necessary for the people to know the facts and place them right, be it Mayawati’s garland or Sunanda Puskar’s free equity.

15 comments on “Why Media Bashing of Sunanda Pushkar Was Justified”

  1. Smita Reply

    The 1st ques that needs to be handled is if Sunanda Pushkar a career woman? From what all I have been reading I have serious doubts on that! And as u have rightly pointde out nobody is picked for the sake of harassing! The whole thing is shady!!!

    Nice piece of article!

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  3. Monika Reply

    well written like smitha said I am wondering is she really a career woman

    having said that I have my own problem with the whole thing… there are tons of politicians with wives and nephews having equity in so many things… lands being bought by their relatives just before a project is launched to be bought back by the govt in 10 times the rate, why are they never caught?

    does make shashi and her right but makes us think about the whole motive of this… was it really justice?

    phew long comment

    • Prats Reply

      @Monika: I don’t think it has created any difference to Shashi Tharoor. He is still an MP, there on the committee for the external affairs, will again become an MP in couple of years time. But the guy who blew the whistle all over this Lalit Modi is now jobless with IT after him and no one to help… Thats what happens to you when you mess with the government in India

  4. shilpa Reply

    Sure Su might be in the wrong here and got the contract only because she was ‘close’ to Shashi. But my beef is with the way she is being criticized. Sure say that she is not capable, and that it was all a murky deal etc, why call her a siren and a temptress and associate negative things to her femininity? It is almost like people love to hate her only because she is a smart, beautiful woman who rose to the top. When is a man who similarly gets the goodies he does not deserve criticized on the fact that he is a handsome man who knows how to use his looks to get what he wants?

    • Prats Reply

      @Shilpa: But the question would not have arisen if the deal was done legally, openly and the equity was transferred in a legal fashion. The sweet equity contract was illegal and huge money was involved, I am sure there are women in corporate India who would do bigger deals than this one and still don’t invite any media attention. Case in Point- Chanda Kochar acquired Bank of Rajasthan. So the bashing of Pushkar wasn’t entirely wrong she was a party to something murky and it got out of the closet.

      • shilpa Reply

        Like I said before, I have absolutely nothing against bashing Sunanda for being unethical and for the under the wraps dealings, but I have problems when people/columnists etc call her a sexy siren, a woman who used her looks to get etc. Surely there are other ways to critisize her than putting her down saying she is just a pretty face?

        • shilpa Reply

          Also, what about my question of when is a man who gets caught dealing like she did critisized for his looks?

          • Prats

            @Shilpa: They do, though the occurrences might not be frequent… But I remember Shivraj Patil facing the flack for changing too many dresses during the crisis.

        • Prats Reply

          @Shilpa: Well I would agree but the reports in media were pulling out her relationship with Tharoor and indicating a suspicion that she was just a pretty face and it was Tharoor’s money playing the bid. The cynic in me totally believes that.

  5. talll.com Reply

    Disagree with the point made in the article. 2 plus 2 equals four, only if the base is 10.

    “The personal equation of Sunanda Pushkar and Shashi Tharoor was an important consideration of the equation behind that 70 crores of free money. The reason behind the media glare, bashing and probing was not her being a successful corporate women but rather an obscene amount of unaccounted money being involved.”

    Media looks for spice. if they cant find one, they pull out whatever they have and make it spicy.

    But I like the way you have put forward this argument. ” In cases like these the media glare is justified, required and necessary for the people to know the facts and place them right, be it Mayawati’s garland or Sunanda Puskar’s free equity.” – you almost convinced me there.

    • Prats Reply

      @Tall: Well media looks out for spice, it might hype as well. But it doesn’t creates any spice where there is none. I still stand by my argument that the glare was justified.

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