Posts for category ‘Indian media’

India Today’s 10 Crore Fake Rupee Boondoggle
| February 12, 2009 | 10:34 am

Are Pakistani spies flooding vast amounts of fake cash into the Indian economy with the intend ot devaluing the rupee? That the question that India Today wants you to ask this week with its cover story titled Fake Currency, The New Threat. It’s a solid topic for an investigative piece, too bad they don’t have any evidence for the claim.

Quoting a mid-level minion on Maharashtra’s Anti-Terror squad named Param Bir Sing, reporter Malini Bhupta claims that 8 out of every 1000 notes are counterfeit. Never mind that the anti-terror squad doesn’t have jurisdiction over currency matters, the rate of .8% isn’t exactly staggering.

Which is to say, in absolute terms, peanuts.

The real story killer comes when you start to read the data they’ve collected. In 2007, when counterfeiting in the country was at its absolute worst, the police seized about Rs. 10 crore (about $4 million) worth of fake notes. In addition to those busts, all commercial banks in the country combined reported receiving rs 5 crore ($2.5 million).

By contrast, in 1993 alone, the US seized $120 million in counterfeit currency.

Even if they were off by a factor of 10, and there was $70 million worth of fake rupees changing hands in a year, it would barely be a hiccup on India’s road to development.

Given that India’s GDP is $3.319 trillion. It would take billions of fake notes to even come close to making a dent in the economy. Counterfeiting isn’t much of a problem at all. In fact, the total fake currency detected by the government between 2001 and 2007 comes to just 61.7 crore rupees, or about $15 million. Which is to say, a little less than a nice apartment in Mumbai.

There is no way that a story like this should pass through even a rudimentary fact checking process, let alone end up on the cover of a national magazine. India Today is becoming the Fox News of South Asia. The claim of a counterfeit menace doesn’t even stand up to its own internal logic and seems only aimed at scaring readers into believing that Pakistan is up to no good dirty tricks.

The New Indian Express "Bobitises" Itself
| December 2, 2008 | 11:35 pm

Amid the array of conflicting stories in the Indian media over the Mumbai attacks last week comes an article that tests the true strength of the local newspaper industry. I’m reprinting it here as it appears on page 9 of today’s New Indian Express. Tell me if you think anything is amiss.


Lady dentist bobbitises lover

Bangalore: A city-based private dentist bobbitised her lover with whom she continued to have a relationship even after her marriage.

“Arshad Ali, 33, a Mysore-based practicing doctor, was bobbitised by his lover Syeda Amina, 32, a dentist running her own clinic in Bangalore, on Saturday.” Deputy Commissioner of police, South-east division, Soumendhu Mukherjee said on Tuesday.

“Though the motive could be jealousy or sudden change of mind, it is still surprising, since Ali who has known Amina for the past ten years had informed her about his marriage. His wife infact knew of their relationship, which continued even after the marriage,” Mukherji said.

“It could be a sudden feeling of jealousy, a perverted mind which made Amina call Ali, who had come home to Bangalore on some work to her clinic. She gave him a glass of juice with sedatives and then bobbitized him in a state of semi-consciousness,” he said. Amina then admitted him to a private hospital here on November 20, he added.” – Press Trust of India

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So it’s official, “bobbitise” has been accepted as a verb by the Indian news media. Did the reporter just not know what the word “bobbitise” meant, but decided to write the story assuming that his readers would, or was PTI so squeamish about printing its meaning that they decided that only readers familiar with the famous John Bobbit case should know the news of the day.

Addendum: I’ve noticed a surge in traffic from people looking for the official meaning of “bobbitize” and I realize that I haven not answered their pressing questions. The word comes from the famous incident in 1993 when Lorena Bobbit cut off her husband John’s penis with a kitchen-knife and threw the member out the window of her car. For more information check out the Wikipedia entry.