It was a television report that alerted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the tsunami tragedy that hit India’s southern coast and island territories on Dec 26, killing more than 10,000 people.
That’s right — he did not first hear from officials. He said so himself, according to this Indo-Asian News Service report:
"I must pay a personal tribute to the media in the context of the tsunami tragedy because it was an early report on television news channel that alerted me to the tragedy," he told a function to mark the diamond jubilee of the Calcutta press club.
He said there was no substitute to an alert and energetic media — not even any number of early warning systems.
"It is said that information is the chief means of prevention… But whatever warning systems we put in place, there can be no substitute to an alert and energetic media," he said.
It’s nice to hear a leader praise the media. But it’s strange that even the prime minister has to get his news from television like common people. What were the officials doing?