Indian English, when written, comes across like tabloids. Here's an example:
Corporate America is embracing Indian philosophy in a big way. Suddenly, says Businessweek magazine in its latest issu, phrases from the Bhagavad Gita are popping up in the management tomes and on web sites of consultants.
Indeed, this kind of information barely passes itself off as news. It's more of a PR thing where India can say "Hey, people love India!". Much of the newspaper shows this kind of light fluff.
I wonder why that is. I wonder if the goal is to produce a rosy picture of India for its readers. Sure, there's international news about Jeff Skilling, former CEO of Enron, going to jail, and there are mentions of various political ongoings. But would the Times of India ever have discovered the corruption of Enron were it in India?
Indeed, I'm told, like many countries, India has its fair share of corruption, yet, this kind of everyday knowledge is not covered. The newspaper does not serve to inform the public or shame the public or what have you.
When President Bush wanted legal action against the New York Times for revealing torture, that's the kind of hard hitting journalism that's expected in a so-called democratic society. The lack of it in such a popular newspaper shows, at the very least, willful ignorance of what's going on.
My feeling, and it's only just that, is there are two reasons for this. First is indeed, the USA Today effect. Audiences may not want to read negative things in India. After all, the vast majority of the public want movies with singing and dancing. They don't want auteur cinema. They don't want depressing endings. They don't want the bad guys to win at the end. They simply want to have a good time, to forget about their own personal issues for a while.
The other, which is, alas more insidious, is whether the government would clamp down on such investigations. Thus, there is a polite agreement. The newspapers report on rather tame items, and the government proceeds as it wants, free of really serious investigation.
Now, again, maybe I'm picking on the wrong newspaper. Maybe this newspaper is really absolute fluff, and not indicative of true Indian papers. But I'm not so sure. This main newspaper is much thinner than even USA Today, and certainly a great deal thinner than the Washington Post or the New York Times which are nearly booklike in its thickness, and thus, show how many reporters are covering all facets of society.