December 13, 2005

Exclamatory tone

The last time a politician was caught on camera taking bribes, one writer dismissed it thus:
    [The tapes] cast an incalculable damage on [Bangaru Laxman's] reputation. Consider that one sequence in the publicised Tehelka transcript that ran as follows:

    Tehelka: Rupees or dollars?
    Laxman: Dollars. You can give in dollars.


    The above "quote" of Laxman was given a eight-column headline in The Asian Age, but with the exclamation mark (!) after "Dollars." ...

    What Laxman in all probability said was "Dollars??" with an exclamation of shock in his tone, and "You can give dollars??" with another exclamatory tone. But Tehelka must have just clipped away the exclamation marks in its transcripts while the audio in its tapes was just too damned garbled to reveal the exclamatory tone.

Note that this writer is not trying to say Laxman did not take the money. But he diverts attention from that with a curious hypothesis ("in all probability") about an "exclamatory tone" and punctuation marks that were "clipped away."

Such are the convolutions our own political affinities force us into. So I can't wait to see the convolutions that lie ahead after the most recent episode involving bribes, hidden cameras and politicians from multiple parties.

4 comments:

shrik said...

"You can give me dollars??!?" is not the statement of a man who's astonished that he's being offered a bribe.

It's the statement of a man who so far has been taking bribes in Indian Rupees so far.

All it says is, "Hey cool, I didn't know I could sell out for phoren buck$$$".

Indian said...

Please mention a few more:
These Tehelka people used prostitutes for their sting operations.
http://www.rediff.com/news/2001/sep/04arvind.htm
They solicited donation from many leading personalities greater than Rs 1 lakh including the owner of this blog.
Please see the list of donors at their website.
So if these worthies themselves are found guilty of any wrongdoing,will Tehelka ever expose them
When such people talk of exposing corruption, one can only laugh at their pathetic antics
At least the BJP suspended their guilty members.

BTW -Dilip - So far there has been total silence on the Congress -Natwar-Volcker report and the Mitrokhin archives expose on your blog.
My last few comments have not appeared on your blog. But if you have the guts, you will put up my comment.

Tanuj said...

i know this might be premature and naive, but this time around i am pleasantly surprised at the relatively quick sacking of many of those caught on tape.

indian, i don't see why you should have a problem with prostitues helping expose these crooks. a sting operation is a dangerous, effective task that is good for society - does it matter who does it?

Nikhil said...

Tanuj
Sorry if I am going to sound cynical, but your enthusiasm is premature. I doubt whether all these exposes really improve matters. It will be back to business as usual in the next few days/months etc...
Has any follow-up action been taken after the last Tehelka expose?
The Satyendra Dubey case caused some furore but no action once again until the Manjunath case happened.