Despite that 82 year old anti-national guy, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, warning parents not to send kids to school, many parents have defied this ridiculous call and have bravely sent their kids to school yesterday. All educational institutes have been closed down since 3 months (because of violence all around). Three cheers to the parents who sent their kids to school.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
1. The Corruption Wealth Games (more commonly known as Commonwealth Games) are back in the news. This time, not for corruption though. First there was this random shooting at Jama Masjid in the capital. Two terrorists came on a motorbike and started firing at a tourist bus. Though isolated, this issue has cast a huge shadow on the readiness of the police force to counter terror attacks. 2 days later, a foot-over bridge collapsed outside the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (which by the way, is the main stadium for the games). 27 workers were injured, 4 of them seriously. The Union Urban Development Minister called this accident a minor incident. Th Delhi CM reportedly told that this bridge was not built fo the atheletes but for the common man. As we were recovering from their shcoking responses, came the news of a section of false ceiling collapse in the weight lifting stadium fell down. The Delhi CM again enlightened us saying it is only a portion of the ceiling and such minor glitches do come around. Again as we were recovering, came the news of the filthy rooms in the CWG village. And when questioned about this filth, secretary of Organising Committee said that hygiene standards are subjective! First it was the corrpution, then this gross incompetence that put us to shame.
And then suddenly the media went all positive!! Within 24 hours, we were bombarded with news that the Prime Minister took charge, and has given strict orders etc. Suddenly, within 24hrs, a "tough guy" image of the Prime Minister, started making rounds! It was all forgotten that the PM himself visited the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium to supervise the preparations, about a month ago. Suddenly, all media personnel started questioning the advisories being issued by some countries, and one media personality even asked why only developed countries were cribbing so much and not other countries from like,say Africa! And 2 days after his cribbing, we have the African countries accusing us of discrimination And as this blog is being written, CNN-IBN is flashing a news saying that only 400 flats out 1100 have not been completed in the games village! The facts speaks volumes about the games, there is really no special need for a separate analysis and it doesn't take an Einstien to figure out who is at fault!
2. While violence continued to spread in Kashmir, an All party delegation comprising of 39 politicians went to Jammu and Kashmir to speak to all sections of people. And the separatist "leaders" who think that they have landed from the moon and deserve special treatment decided not to meet this delegation. The delegation leaders then decided to split up themselves into smaller groups and visit these crooks at their houses. Even while these leaders were travelling up to their houses, the separtist "leaders" were issuing statements decrying the whole effort. Yet, our leaders went and met them. A false sense of achievement was then marketted through sections of compliant media. The delegation also met many other sections of people, had to cancel a visit to two hospitals in view of tense situation and came back with some recommendations. The Union government later came up with a "eight-point" formula to appease these violent leaders. Primary goal was to open up all the schools and colleges. The state government has been asked to ensure that special classes are held to complete the syllabus. So now kids will be further overburdened because certain whims of separatists were not satisfied! Meanwhile, a small statistic - 4000 police personnel have been injured in he 3 months of violence. 4000.
3. September 24th was an eagerly awaited date, for the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court was to pronounce its verdict in the RamJanmaBhoomi-Babri Masjid case. The High court earlier struck down a petition asking for a postponement of the verdict. In anticipation of the verdict, chief ministers and even the Prime Minister issued appeals for people to maintain calm and not resort to violence. The media was also very excited at the possibility of some "breaking news". The hype had begun, and was about to culminate, when a Supreme Court Judge, in all his wisdom decided to give one more week to see if any settlement can be reached! That's right - a conflict which did not see any settlement for more than 60 years can find a settlement in one week - that too, when the involved parties themselves are awaiting the verdict instead of trying for a settlement ! Sadly,for the media, it has to wait for one more week. On a lighter note, the one good thing that happened because of this verdict and it's subsequent postponement - the ban on bulk SMS and MMS stays till the 29th. What a relief it is, your honour!
ఇది ఇలా ఉండగా, మొన్న వినక నిమ్మజనం జరిగింది. బాలాపూర్ లడ్డు 5 . 3 లక్షలు కు వేలం పాడింది. అయితే, 5 లక్షలకి వేలం పాడిన ఒక ఆవిడ టీవీ చానెల్స్ మీద నానా భీబత్సం సృష్టించింది ! ఇది ఒక రాజకీయ కుట్ర అంట. ఆమెని అనగాతోక్కదనికే ఇలా పగ బట్టారు అంటా... అబ్బో ఒకటి ఏంటి అండి బాబు ... విచాలవిది గా, మైక్ ఇచ్చారు కదా అని వాగుతూనే ఉండి ... మన టీవీ చానెల్స్ ఎద తెరిపి లేకుండా చూపిస్తూనే ఉన్నాయి ! అదన్నమాట!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Court Judgement on Ram Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid (RJBM) dispute: What India expects from its media.
Almost all (99.9%) the inputs for this post are from "Oldtimer". Couldn't have put it better than this.
News reports of the burning (real or alleged) of the Quran have an incendiary effect on Islamists. Recently, a fundamentalist pastor in the United States threatened to stage a Quran-burning event. His threat generated a lot of anxiety around the world. Obama administration swung into action to dissuade him from his declared action. In India, the Home Ministry urged caution to the media in reporting the incident, if it were to take place. Though the pastor eventually backed out, rumors of Quran-burning still circulated, leading to riots in Kashmir and Punjab and to the loss of lives.
The dangerous ramifications of pubilicizing a (real or alleged) Quran-burning incident were known in India even earlier than the latest fracas over the issue. In early March, 2001, VHP staged a protest in Delhi against the then on-going destruction of Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan. Rumours surfaced that copies of the Quran were burnt at this meeting. VHP denied the rumors, but a photogrpah supposedly depciting the alleged burning rapidly spread on the internet. Trouble erupted after Friday prayers in Hyderabad, Aurangabad, Pune and Mumbai. Things took a turn for the worse in Kanpur, where a violent SIMI rally confronted the police, resulting in the death of more than a dozen people.
Cut to exactly one year later. It was early March, 2002, and parts of Gujarat were burning in the wake of the Godhra incident. People were being killed, buildings were being set on fire. In the midst of this mayhem, a prominent media personlity reporting the riots from Gujarat claimed in a dispatch that the burning of Quran was witnessed. It was a beautifully caligraphed Quran, the person added helpfully. When the whole homestead is burning, stuff in that home, like books, would burn too. What then was the point of specifically mentioning the burning of the Quran? This media person could not have been unaware of the riots in Kanpur a year ago. Why add fuel to fire, as if incidents of the rioting under way in Gujarat weren't inflammatory enough to cause trouble outside the state? It is instructive to recall, in this context, that the Gujarat administration, fearing the incendiary potential of the riots coverage, prohibited the broadcast of some TV channles in riot-prone districts.
Cut to 26/11. The ugliness of the drama on TV of the terrorist attacks is so fresh in mind that it needs no repetition. Jouranlists pumped up on adrenaline turned into loose canons. Hysteria, hyperventilation and callous disregard for the safety of the people trapped in the carnage were abundatly on display. Unwittingly, the coverage provided terrorist handlers in Pakistan with live visual feedback for their direction of operations. Obviously the media learned no lessons from its Kandahar and Gujarat misadventures.
These examples illustrate the fact that the ability of the media to regulate itself is under question. There seem to be no watchdog bodies honored or deferred to by the media; there are no institutionally-mandated guidelines on reporting sensitive issues; and it does not seem that most journalists are aware of any professional code of conduct, let alone honoring it. Open, unapologetic criticism of the media within the media is nowhere to be seen. Even as TV channels and publications fiercely compete with each other for market share, they however seem to be scrupulously observing the unwritten rule that they would not confront each other on the question of conduct of journalism. Journalists seem to fear that such criticism would undermine their desired image of being society's "eyes and ears" and do-gooders.
Where criticism from within is "managed" so effectively, will scrunity from outside be tolerated? Criticism of the media by outsiders is generally met with extreme defensiveness and denial. Media bodies are deployed not to monitor the conduct of their members but to counter this outsider criticism! In the wake of complaints in 2002 that the media's reporting of Gujarat riots was incendiary, an editors' committee led a "fact-finding" expedition, and declared predictably that the media was not guilty. If only institutions like the stock markets had the same privilege of having their own people as jurors, notwithstanding the conflict of interest involved!
To cut a long story short, at a time when there exist no guidelines to regulate media's reporting of sensitive issues, another sentitive issue is upon us. The Ayodhya title suit judgement is expected to be delivered by the Allahabad High Court on the 24th of September. The government is apprehensive that there could be trouble after the judgment is announced. How should media exercise restraint in its reporting of the judgement and its aftermath so that it will not worsen an environment already rife with portents for violent conflict? To answer this question here in this blog, we, the consumers of Indian media, propose a few do's and dont's for the media. We encourage readers to leave their own do's and dont's in the comments section, and we might add the good ones among them to the list below.
1. Do NOT hype only anti- or pro-judgement views
2. If there is violence, please stick to reporting just the facts.
3. IBN is already running a ticker - 3 days to go. 2 days to go (haven't watched other channels yet). This is exactly the kind of stuff we don't need.
4. Please avoid hyper-anchoring. Avoid the use of superlatives at will.
5. Stop throwing in references to 1993 blasts, 2002 riots etc.
Please feel free to add to this list. We will send this to all editors tomorrow, and see if anyone of them care to respond. The News Broadcaster Association already framed some "guidelines" which are not binding, but September 24th is another test of how much self-regulation the media is capable of.
Monday, September 20, 2010
2. A couple of weeks back, goons from Telangana decided to threaten the cancellation of Group 1 exams. Taking a cue from them, lawyers of the AP High Court resorted to some shameful methods (some of them violent) to demand 42% reservation for Telangana lawyers in the High Court! They climbed trees, threatened suicide, ransacked the High Court premises, disturbed the court hall proceedings of a Judge, who got so miffed that he even resigned ( a first in the history of AP High Court). All this because they want 42% reservation in the High Court! Demanding is one thing, resorting to such cheap tactics to get your point across is a whole different story - a story that goons in the T region seem to have perfected. Chandrababu Naidu wanted to visit Mahbubnagar district and goons again blocked his convoy, threw stones at his cars, etc. What sense of perversion is this? And worst part - all this goes unquestioned. Such is the sad state of affairs!
3. His Eminence, Shri Rahul Gandhi has enlightened us that "there is politics everywhere. It is in your shirt, your pants". That's all, your honour!
ఇది ఇలా ఉండగా, ఈనాడు పత్రిక, జగన్ మోహన్ రెడ్డి మీద కొత్త అభాన్దాలు వేసింది. దానికి సమాధానం గా సాక్షి రామోజీ రావు మీద పాత అభాన్దల్నే మోపింది. జనం చదివారు, కాసేపు నవ్వుకున్నారు. పేపర్ ని పక్కన పెట్టారు ! అదన్నమాట!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
1. A flag was hoisted at Lal Chowk in Srinagar, the capital city of Jammu & Kashmir. Now, if you are wondering what the fuss is all about - take a look at the flag hoisted. That's right people - the flag of Pakistan has ben hoisted in Srinagar (so called national media did not cover this - not that it is surprising!). There has been huge unrest this week too, many civilians were hurt too, and the best solution the sincere most Chief Minister of this country could come up with is - "Amend or Withdaw AFSPA". And he took this proposal to the Prime Minister, who promised to look into it with all seriousness, and sources even started leaking out saying a special "Eid package" will be announced. Media as usual went gaga over this "Eid package". What happened next? The Congres Core group was reportedly split over withdrawing AFSPA and the Cabinet Committee on Security postponed its meeting! Sadly for the media no "eid package" was announced. The separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani was arrested and that sparked more protests. After celebrating Eid, more separitists threw stones (please don't ask why, this seems to be their only way of passing time). And amidst all this - Pak flag is hoisted at Lal Chowk (the same place where, at the height of insurgency, the then BJP President went and hoisted the Indian flag in 1992, and is the same place where separitists burnt the Indian flag in 1990).
2. Remember all that ping-pong match between BJP and JMM in Jharkhand. Remember how the whole thing was messed up beyond control? And just when we thought there some lessons learnt comes this shocker - BJP forms a government with the support of JMM in Jharkhand. The previous Chief Minister, Shibhu Soren gets to become the Deputy Chief Minister now. Given that Arjun Munda is the 8th Chief Minister in 10 years (the "circus" is well explained here!) , we can all see that he will not last long. Plus, me thinks this is a wrong move by BJP (though politically it gets to benefit, it loses out on the whole "party with a difference" tag with this alliance!).
3. Well, this week has been a slow news week, hence the updates are brief too. As a closing read, please listen to her highness Arundati Roy classify India as a "corporate, Hindu state"! That's all, your honour!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
2 years back, I wrote this mail and these troubles still hold good for the rest of Hyderabad too. The standard excuse that we didn't expect so much rain is given almost every year (even when there is little rain). This year, we had heavy rains but I still feel this is no excuse for the ridiculous conditions our roads have been reduced to. The Hindu has regularly been carrying pictures of these battered roads, but I guarantee you, the condition will be the same next year too! Continuation of the mail below :)
1. Right in front of CM's house (now camp office) (yes... right in front of it)
2. Panjagutta to Nagarjuna Circle
3. Panjagutta to Ameerpet
4. Jubilee Hills to Kondapur
I travel mostly on these roads... the list will be much bigger I know! By the way, these are all the "main" roads of the city.
Maneuvering in the traffic is painful enough, now we even have to look out for other "obstacles" like pitfalls, potholes, water pools etc!
It is a tribute to our planners that one night (infact 1 hour) of rains are enough to throw the entire city life out of gear. It is to their credit that they can come up with such mediocre stuff and still happily get away with it. And it is to our disgrace that our tax money is so "well" spent.
But, please blame only the rain,
for that is cause of all this pain.
While we the people suffer again and again,
it's only the officials who always stand to gain!
GHMC... way to go! In between, when you find the time, show us the way to go too!
I know this might be getting excessive, but really see the need to document all such articles and coverage items on the saviour of India - Rahul Gandhi. Reading this article yesterday (where else, but on NDTV) almost made me puke.
For starters - "Students asked him tough questions about farmer suicides in Maharashtra". Not one mention of what the actual questions were. Not one mention of what the actual answers (if any) were. Just that he was asked tough questions. Why this silence? Why can't we get a full report, laced with facts rather than with fiction?
Then this - "There are three ways of entering politics, he said". And then NDTV goes on to report only the first method he describes. The other two - haa, go take a toss my friend!
There is this PTI report on this report which is longer than this, but nowhere close to answering any of our questions. Here we are further enlightened that his highness was moved by the plight of the poor that he has decided to visit them more often. That's right - hasn't tried to alleviate their condition, but has tried to visit them more. What changes these visits have bought - we will never know, because we are never told.
What made me puke was this oft repeated line - "There is a fault in the system and you (students) will have to rectify it," he added.
Which BEGS the question - What exactly has HE done to rectify it? How can "you" change something that "he" has not been able to? The sycophant media has never dared to question this point in any of its "news reports". Don't "you" have a right to know how exactly "you" can rectify faults?
Monday, September 6, 2010
2. Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) declared that it would conduct Group 1 prelim exam on September 5th. Now, "agitators" from Telangana were dead against this exam being held, without an assurance from the government that 42% of seats would be reserved for Telangana students. They promised "bloodbath" on this day, if the exam were be held. Yep, you read it right - "bloodbath". Ruling party MP's even said on TV that if a bullet was fired, theirs would be the first chest. Approximately 1.9 lakh students have registered for the exam. 10,000 would be selected from this pool. Now, which competitive exam can assure 42% reservation at this stage?! Nevertheless, leaders from this region have made hate speeches one after the other, but thankfully the govt. did not budge. The exam went on peacefully except for in one centre. However, there is one very important drawback that has been sidelined fist fight - the gross incompetency of APPSC. Why does it take 2 years to conduct a preliminary exam? Speculating the date, coaching institutes milk money from aspirants. Why doesn't APPSC release a schedule? Even today, they are not sure when the mains will be conducted. Speaking of mains and interview, please visit this earlier blog post on how those marks are fudged so as to favour favorites. The rot in APPSC is far too deep to be sidelined by such petty issues.
3. So, 3 Pakistani cricketers have been caught resorting to match fixing. Well, technically it is called spot-fixing, for the money they took was for bowling specific no-balls. Now, how long do you think Indian media's fetish should last on this issue? About 5 days later, we are still carrying this news and all news related to or stemming from it, as the major news headlines. Indian media was utterly disappointed that this sting operation was carried out by a UK based news channel. Now, they can't claim exclusive rights for the same. So they do the next best thing - pass on their "discussions" and "debates" over the issue as something unique and hard hitting ! While the three players have been banned, the epitome of fixers, Mr. Azharuddin, who is now a honourable MP from Congress, has sermoned us with this gem "Guilty of fixing should be punished" ! That's all, your honour!
ఇక పొతే, జగన్ గారి ఓదార్పు యాత్ర ని తట్టుకోవడానికి కాంగ్రెస్స్ పార్టీ కి ఒక అద్భుతమైన ఐడియా వచ్చింది. ప్రతి జిల్లా కేంద్రానికి ఆయ కుటుంబ సభ్యుల్ని పిలిపించి, లక్ష రూపాయలు అండ చేయ్యమై జిల్లా ఇంచార్జీలకు చెప్పింది ! అదన్నమాట !