Nationalization and Necrophilia

By Varadarajan, Tunku | Newsweek, May 7, 2012 | Go to article overview

Nationalization and Necrophilia


Varadarajan, Tunku, Newsweek


Byline: Tunku Varadarajan

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Lost in the thick soup of apologies, bluster, and tergiversation that comprised Rupert Murdoch's testimony before the Leveson Inquiry into the ethics of the British press was a dark forecast by the man whose name is synonymous with unethical newspapers. Murdoch predicted the impending demise of print dailies "in a very complex world with disruptive technologies." With the straightest of faces, he named government oversight of the press as the likeliest cause of death. "I think you have a danger of regulating, putting regulations in place which will mean there will be no press in 10 years to regulate -- So when it comes to regulation, I just beg for some care." The message, in plain English: Get off my back!

Little Master, M.P.

Until now, the only argument Indians have had over Sachin Tendulkar is whether he is the greatest cricketer ever to have played the game, or merely the greatest Indian cricketer. But with his nomination to the Rajya Sabha--the Indian parliament's upper house--some of his fussier compatriots are asking what (if any) skills the batsman possesses that would equip him for a legislature. Tendulkar, known to the game's followers as the "little master," is a notably apolitical man. He will be the first active sportsman to sit in the upper house, a sedate institution when compared with the Lok Sabha, or lower house--where a bat would really have come in handy.

'Neocorporatism'

That's the word the poli-sci brigade is muttering to itself in the wake of the nationalization of YPF, Argentina's largest oil company, by Cristina Fernandez, the country's president. "Corporatism"--the word used to describe the time when the government, big business, and organized labor were all in bed together--was a feature of Peronist Argentina, and "Evita" Fernandez's seizure of YPF has revived the Peronist heart that had lain dormant in the national breast. Argentina's neocorporatist nirvana has, however, a downside: an economic war with the European Union and Spain, one of whose companies, Repsol, was dispossessed of its majority stake in YPF. …

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