Bal Thackeray hits out at TV channels in editorial


Mumbai : Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, who is undergoing treatment at the Lilavati Hospital here, has lashed out at television channels and their crew over the way in which they were monitoring his health and reporting on it.

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In a personalised editorial in party mouthpiece “Saamna”, Thackeray said that TV channels were engaged in stiff competition over reporting the minutest details of his health.

“While one channel (called Aaj-Tak) said I suffer from high blood pressure, another (called Kal-Tak) said I had developed low blood pressure,” he said in the editorial.

“Apparently, they are more in the know of my health than the dedicated team of doctors attending on me,” he added sarcastically.

He attributed the extensive coverage to the scramble for TRP rating points among TV channels, which forced them to park OB vans outside the hospital for the past five days, cameras trying to catch the smallest unusual activity and the visitors calling on him.

Expressing sympathy for the electronic media staffers, the editorial said the poor journalists and technicians have been waiting on the pavements in the blazing sun for so many days and nights without going home, having a proper bath or proper food.

All this is because they don’t want to be left out in the rush for “breaking news” and giving “hit and hot” headlines.

Taking pity on their plight, he said in the editorial that he has instructed his local municipal corporator Bala Sawant to make all arrangements, including a mobile toilet, for the benefit of the TV crew.

Terming his spell in hospital as “a prison of love”, Thackeray said that the priority was not his health, but the “health of the nation”.

“Don’t worry about my health, be concerned about the health of Maharashtra and the whole country,” he said referring to the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party fighting over sharing seats for the parliamentary elections.

The 82-year-old was admitted to the hospital Thursday after a bout of incessant coughing. Giving a brief of his health, the editorial said he did feel a bit unwell last week and was taken to Lilavati Hospital for a routine check-up.

He was due to be discharged the same day, but doctors insisted that they may as well carry out more tests – so he stayed put for another five days.

“A decision will be taken in a day or so when the doctors feel I am fit and fine to go home,” he said in the editorial.