Monday, November 21, 2011

The Interview that set a million tongues wagging.

The Interview that set a million tongues wagging.

Media deliberately dividing people: PCI Chief  “Speaking to Karan Thapar, the new Chairman of the Press Council of India Markandey Katju slammed the media saying that he is very disappointed with the way in which the Indian media works. Katju also said that the media is not working for the interest of the people and sometimes divide the people of the country.” 

As is their wont no sooner had the interview of Justice Katju concluded all vantage points were occupied, an incessant chatter of self-righteous indignation and outrage  was unleashed; the irony is that everyone is speaking, but the victims of Media Yes! We are the victims of media for what they publish, broadcast and equally what the media does not publish and broadcast.

In all these years never has the role of the media been scrutinized in detail, is it politically incorrect to inspect the role of the media, or is it a mine field, which deters these so called experts from delving into its role, a potent tool, when employed strategically can inflict immense damage on the victims. Has our media been reporting factually, without bias for one or the other protagonist? 

Plenty has been said yet no cogent case has been made out why Self Regulation should be permitted for electronic media in particular? This central point is missing.

Has the self regulation so far by this section been a roaring success? If yes! Where is the evidence to back the claim? 

What has self regulation yielded to inspire confidence for continuance? Is it their case what transpired in the aftermath of Radia Tapes expose omerta observed by all concerned, and followed by a Court being convened in the studio of a channel where the alleged accused is also the presiding officer, the defendant, who pronounced self to be innocent by way of “Error of Judgment?” Should we be encouraged by the apology of an apology issued by another channel in the wake of 9th Nov 2011 fake live interview! If this is their basis then conversely there is a mountain of evidence in public domain for appointing an Independent Regulator for Media.

Society exists, functions and thrives by a given set of rules and regulation. No component or part is permitted an exception from this. Why should the media then demand that they be exempt from what the rest have to adhere by? 

Can a citizen or a group of citizens demand that they be exempt from IPC & CrPc since they shall setup a self regulation?

Other relevant articles and programs that appeared as a consequence of this interview  

Quick of the blocks is CNN IBN with its Face The Nation on 02nd Nov 2011

FTN: Should Justice Katju apologise to journalists?

Not breaking news Namita Bhandare, Hindustan Times  November 11, 2011
“The problem begins when the former Supreme Court judge reaches sweeping conclusions, perhaps oblivious to the fact that many issues that make him queasy (sensationalism, celebrity journalism and paid news) make most journalists queasy too. Perhaps he needs to meet more journalists.” { Link }

When journalists turn brokers By KULDIP NAYAR
“Credibility is like virginity. It either exists or does not. Unfortunately, some top names in Indian journalism have lost their credibility. In the few cases that are in the public domain, they have been found lobbying for the scam-ridden A. Raja. Transcripts of tapped telephone talks by the income-tax department have revealed the manner in which these journalists were throwing their weight around, trying to get the "right" minister from the "right" party. They behaved like powerbrokers and crossed the Lakshmanrekha between legitimate news gathering and lobbying. It is like the fence eating the crop.” { Link }

Justice Markandey Katju clarifies
“By criticizing the media I wanted to persuade the media to change its manner of functioning and not that I wanted to destroy it. The Indian media has a historical role to play in the age of transition, and I wanted to remind the media persons of their historical duty to the nation. Instead of taking my criticism in the correct spirit, a veritable diatribe was launched against me by a section of the media, which painted me as some kind of dictatorial monster.” { Link }

Media self-regulation has failed: Ansari
Mr. Ansari questioned whether such freedoms were being manipulated by media companies for their own purposes. “Can the constitutional safeguards on freedom of speech be used to evade regulation of the commercial persona of media corporates and groups? Where does public interest end and private interest begin?” he asked. “Collective self-regulation has yet to succeed in substantive measure because it is neither universal nor enforceable. Individual self-regulation has also failed due to personal predilection and the prevailing of personal interest over public interest,”  { Link }

‘The media industry needs an independent regulating authority with teeth’
“Control over media is a dangerous proposition, but there needs to be an independent authority which can force corrective action on publishers without interfering with their freedom,” said veteran journalist and former Press Council member Mr Paranjoy Guha Thakurta. His comment summed up the lively interactive panel discussion that followed a screening of the movie ‘Brokering News’ by Moneylife Foundation and vCitizens Action Network and MxM India. 

Control freakery Hindustan Times November 15, 2011 By Arun Jaitley
“The chairman of the Press Council of India, Justice Markandey Katju, lost little time after his appointment to make known his contemptuous views about the Indian media. The obvious danger of talking out of turn in order to sound crusading is that one ceases to be objective. You only have to tabulate the weak points of the target institution and emerge a reformist yourself.” 

Switching off from news By: Vanita Kohli-Khandekar  2011-11-18    Mumbai
“If credibility is the currency a news brand trades in, most are running low these days. And having star anchors will not improve it. It is only when news channels can harness, educate and train young people to gather facts, research and apply rigour to their work will you see good stories on your TV screen. That is when India will see really strong, profitable news broadcasters emerge out the mess the industry has become today.”  { Link }

Who owns media? BY Vaidehi Sachin  afternoonvoice news  Mumbai
“First we have to look that who is running the media. Let us see the ownership of different media agencies.  NDTV: A very popular TV news channel is funded by Gospels of Charity based in Spain and supports communism. Recently, it has developed a soft corner towards Pakistan because the Pakistani President has allowed only this channel to be aired in Pakistan. CNN-IBN: This news channel is 100 per cent funded by the Southern Baptist Church with its branches in all over the world and HQ in US.” { Link }

MHADA will allot a total of 230 flats at Pratiksha Nagar, Sion for journalist members/nominees of the Press Club. This will include 168 High Income Group (HIG) and 62 Middle Income Group (MIG) flats. This will include a reservation of 13 percent for SC applicants and 6 percent for ST applicants.” { Link }

Updated on 25th Nov 2011

Can a reporter make a comment of his own?
The report was illustrated with a photograph. The photograph showed an empty, throne-like chair between one seating Advani and the other seating Modi and the report said: “The reported dissent between Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani… came to the fore… with the two keeping a distance while sharing the dais.”  The report added: “Despite lauding Advani’s fight against corruption, Modi preferred not to take the throne-like seat next to him… throwing enough hints at their continuing cold war”.  It also reported, wrongly, that Modi “sat two chairs away from Advani”. The headline said: “Modi-Advani Cold Vibes Continue”.  { Link }

I welcome a debate and discussion on this…As always, please keep your tone civil, your language polite…no sweeping generalisations please and no personal abuse.  Thank you.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Being "Apolitical" is it the best way forward for India?? Friends of BJP event 13th sept 2011 JaiHind College

Brief introduction of the subject (Keynote Address)

"Please don’t politicize the issue is a common refrain to any inconvenient question raised by the protagonists in political sphere and also by the media. This per se instills a sense of revulsion & disgust towards politics & politicians with the other oft repeated Aam Aadmi.

We have been witness to an event the like of which has not been on display previously. Yes protests against corruption. 

The latest addition to our vocabulary is “Apolitical” there have been other words also bandied about like “Unelectable” and “Unelected” which have not found as wide an acceptance or usage by the public in the regular discourse.

We really need to understand this 'Apolitical'. Is it a word, a term, an ideology, an ism, a statement or an expression?

Is this an accessory or a new product? What is its true meaning? Does it have a definite meaning as do other words if it is a word? What are the implications if we do accept this in any of the above forms?

How does this measure up; when we compare with words such ‘Amoral’ & ‘Atheist’? Is Apolitical the opposite of Political and politics or is it devoid of politics.

Do we need this? If yes why?

Does this pit one against the other? Is this an oversimplification or an overkill given the current state of affairs in India!

Would this involve Indians increasing in the political process or will it make Indians more cynical about our political process and hence our democracy. 

There is an urgent need to deconstruct & place this in its true perspective lest we cause any long term damage to our Democracy.

Much harder work is required, more effort than participating in candle vigils or wearing Gandhi caps. Politicians thumping desks and civil society thumping chests don’t make a revolution. Waiting for a hero is not the way. When Andrea lamented to Galileo in Brecht’s play that there were no heroes, Galileo said: pity the nation in need of a hero. And pity, too, the nation that can’t tell apart a real hero from a false one."

Speakers in the chronological order




                    Question & Answer Session Video

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Have we lost the plot? " "Jaate the Japan pahunch gaye Chin, samajh gaye naa! "


Heat and dust of Anna’s fast has settled somewhat. Most Indians have been put through a wringer and have experienced a kind of emotional vacuum which can be felt only after an epic event has transpired and sucked out every drop from your body. 

Indians born post Independence specifically second and third generation; had only read or maybe seen it in the fictional form of movies. This was a chance of life time many may find it difficult to come to terms with, what they have witnessed or participated in.

The accompanying euphoria that this event brought with itself is unimaginable. Now is the time to settle down and take stock of what was the genesis, purpose and stated goal of this mass movement called India Against Corruption.

The two most crucial questions that need to be answered! 

1. Was India Against Corruption formed for demanding swift action against the unprecedented corruption of Congress lead UPA government?

 2. Was India Against Corruption formed for Jan Lok Pal bill exclusively?

Have we achieved any of those through the 13 days fast by Anna Hazare? 

There are a host of other questions as well. 

Are all the original members of the team still there? 

What can we project as an immediate achievement? 

Have some original members been ignored totally? 

Has the movement maintained its ‘Apolitical’ character?

Did the team pander to any particular section of the society?

Did the team ignore any section of the society?

Has it focused sharply on the ongoing cases of corruption?

Did this movement divert focus from the urgent issues of corruption?

Have the due credits been placed where ever deserved? 

The list is long and every reader would also have his/her questions to pose and seek answers, hence will not dwell any further on the questions alone.

Let us retrace or as it is said lets start at the very beginning! 

India Against Corruption (IAC), whose website says, “India Against Corruption movement is an expression of collective anger of people of India against corruption.”  

The IAC website lists as founders besides Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev, Mahamood Madani, Arcbishop Vincent M Concessao, Syed Rizvi, Justice D S Tewatia, B R Lall and others. Where are the other members? Why are they not visible? What is going on? Has this movement been hijacked or converted in to a Jan Lok Pal bill only? 

Have we been lead up the garden path by the so called team Anna?

Without going into the chronology of events and making this into an essay or a dissertation which would make it unbearable or be construed as imposing personal view, shall conclude here with what has been reverberating through length and breath of India Vandemataram Bharat Mata Ki Jai.

 link to Ms.Kiran Bedi's interview Video  with Headlines Today

link to_Arvind Kejriwal's interview with Headlines Today

Cartoons on Corruption 

Most Important Update 16th Dec 2013
Internal security and external security is solely predicated on the politics and the prevailing political chemistry of a country. Without security there can be no stability and consequently no development. The security discourse and foreign policy posturing of a country is therefore intrinsic to the politics and cannot be seen through different prisms.     

 Articles on Anna's fast

Anna movement. BJP bracketed with the Congress loses; the Congress does not.


“The BJP is certainly deriving some political mileage due to clumsy handling by the government and the Congress."

Don’t push for Rahul’s idea’ “Such amendment needs more two-thirds’ support of MPs, which is unlikely,” 

The media and Anna Hazare 

Bipartisanship helped end Annas fast what facilitated an amicable end.The salutary role played by senior BJP leaders.

I welcome a debate and discussion on this…As always, please keep your tone civil, your language polite…no sweeping generalisations please and no personal abuse.  Thank you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Opportunity to read CNN IBN, for those who do not watch this channel!!


This may seem incongruous; trust me it is an important statement. Will explain, the significance of this picture in conclusion!
Wanted to post this article on 13th July got delayed due to blasts that occurred and this got further delayed since another article appeared on the 14th in Hindustan Times. This threw up an opportunity for a truly unique experiment which was hard to ignore "Reading CNN IBN" since I do not watch this channel. I do hope visitor will also enjoy this experience.

Here she is again with her usual self assumed sense of importance and a holy grail who seems to have the moral if not a divine right to rail against all that does not fit into a convenient box. All possible aspects are touched, yet the role of the one corrupt section of our society is ignored, is it by design or due to ignorance or is it that it is above board and all is hunky dory with our Media? Maybe only saints and angels inhabit this sacred space!  Would you believe it?

In this entire article this is a significant paragraph. “The shockingly wide network of Hindu extremists responsible for some of the blasts has been cracked. The culpability of Islamist groups has been tracked too. Home minister P Chidambaram may be unpopular with the Sangh parivar for cracking down on ‘saffron terror’ and the CBI’s actions against Amit Shah may have alienated the BJP.” Where is the evidence for such claims while making light of the other end of spectrum which has wreaked and is wreaking havoc on a regular basis. This indeed is her DK Bose moment Link to the article please do not miss out on the comments posted on this article.

There is an obvious pattern to what is broadcast, what is written example above and what is tweeted as below.

“But Digvijaya Singh used the reporter’s leading question to hold forth, as he’s done provocatively in the past, on the subject of “Hindu terror”. He even offered to testify in court on the involvement of RSS activists in terror-related activities.”  Why Digvijaya Singh is no less dangerous than terrorists:

This is the second part, that is no better than the one above, here again what comes out is the striking similarity of using the latest films released as the springboard for constructing an article  how much sense it will make to the readers?

“Unfortunately, the so-called ‘young guns’ of Indian politics have done themselves few favours by remaining prisoners of  their lineage but offering little else by way of fresh ideas. A number of them are democratic dynasts, sons and daughters of politicians who see electoral politics as an extension of their family fiefdom.” So very convenient to be judgmental of other! Notice the similarity of pontification and sanctimonious attitude.

Blessed with an exaggerated sense of entitlement, we rarely see them speak out in Parliament, take up socially relevant issues or give us a sense of what they stand for.
This is the crux, here again the man is ditto of the woman above, he refuses to look inwards when the shining example is the Channel where both are Editor in Chief and Deputy Editor, need one say any more. Please do read the article  “Now pad up and play”. Get the entire plot please do read the comments posted. Did they speak on Radia Tapes? Alacrity that is reserved for a particular community and a political party.

Post-script: Rahul Gandhi still stays away from joining the government. We are told that he feels he is not ready yet. When a youth icon doesn’t want to take up a ministerial responsibility at the age of 41, is it any surprise that we have one of the oldest Cabinets in the world?

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old farmer, who's hand was caught in the gate while working, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man...Eventually  the topic got around to Media and its many personalities.

The old farmer said, 'Well, ya know, she/he is a 'Post Turtle''..

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him, what a 'post turtle' was.

The old farmer said, 'When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a 'post turtle'.

The old farmer saw the puzzled look on the doctor's face so he continued to explain. '

"You know she/he didn't  get up there by herself/himself, she/he doesn't belong up there, she/he doesn't know what to do while she's/he’s up there, she's/he’s elevated beyond her/his ability to function, and you just wonder what kind of dumb *** put her/him up there to begin with."
                                               GOD BLESS INDIA

Please feel free to add name of your choice to the above story and you get the significance of the Picture and the story. 

I welcome a debate and discussion on this…As always, please keep your tone civil, your language polite…no sweeping generalisations please and no personal abuse.  Thank you.