Jug Suraiya's column in today's pages of the Times of India was conspicuous by its absence.
Suraiya, a regular contributor to the paper, has two columns, "Jugular Vein" and "Second Opinion". Today's offering did not appear in print, though it was published on the newspaper's website.
The piece was titled ". A satirical piece, it featured a conversation between a "supreme leader" and his "supreme sidekick" on how to "counter the increasingly bad press they're getting amid the rising tide of Covid cases in the country".
No points for guessing who is who.
The Wire on its website, with Suraiya's permission, after which several prominent personalities criticised the Times of India for not carrying it in its print edition.
Newslaundry's calls to the newspaper's editorial editor, Swagato Ganguly, were unanswered.
Suraiya himself, however, told Newslaundry that a "mountain is being made out of a molehill".
"Like any publication, the TOI reserves the right to print or withhold any contribution made to it," he said. "In this case, no reason was given to me as to why my column was not used in the print edition. However it was carried as a blog on the TOI online site.”
He added, “I guess it's a free country, or supposed to be, and as such I'm free to write what I like and the TOI, or any other publication, is equally free to carry it if or where they like.”