Tuesday, January 13, 2004

... celebrity delegates who did not turn up were listed anyway, press briefings were cancelled 20 minutes after they were scheduled to begin. And if there was information that you were seeking, you did well not to bother asking. Facts and figures rolled out slow, but there were any number of people offering sanctimonious advice instead on how to do your job.

Sample: To an innocuous query on why V.S. Naipaul, listed as a confirmed delegate, didn't turn up, a shocked official said: "This is about other pravasis . Why should it matter if a few VIPs don't turn up?" Sound logic to that actually, save one couldn't understand the pique.

-- From a political diary piece in today's Times of India.

There was a noticeable drop in the number of delegates for this year's PBD. What was more revealing was the fact that several big names from the Indian Diaspora skipped the meet though some of them were in India itself. Salman Rushdie, Shashi Tharoor and Amartya Sen were in India but they all stayed away. V.S. Naipaul, whose participation was being touted as a coup by the organisers, also stayed away.

-- From an article on

All over the subcontinent, journalists & leader writers are making a big deal of the fact that a number of high-profile invitees have stayed away from the 2004 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, & for some reason Naipaul is the one they get most worked up about.

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