Is that the Real Indian Youth in Reality TV?

Do you want to take revenge on your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, convince your parents about your love relationship, or shout abuses at people? Call up a TV channel (MTVUTV Bindass or Channel V, in particular) and you may be the star of a reality show!

Yelling, pulling each other’s hair about trivial issues, silly arguments, public displays of emotion, and manipulative thoughts, are the nitty-gritty of many of India’s reality TV shows. A significant part of MTV RoadiesDare to DateAxe Your Ex, and Emotional Atyachaarepisodes contain beep sounds that block “innovative” and “out-of-the-box” abuses!! These are the basic ingredients that go into the making of most (so-called) prime-time, reality, shows and an even bigger mockery of Indian Youth!

After the huge success of Indian Idol in 2004 and Roadies in 2005, Indian reality television has made it big and most of its programs target the youth.  From how to flirt, to how to axe you former lover, a plethora of shows are up and blaring on TV for the entire nation to watch (and raise eyebrows perhaps).

What’s startling amidst all of this interesting drama is the routine stereotyping of youngsters as violent, loud, obnoxious, and unethical individuals! A completely misleading portrayal of Indian youth, don’t you think? It’s not common to see every other youngster slapping others, shouting lewd abuses, engaging in physical scuffles and doing things that are (ahem) not worthy to be written of! If you think we are exaggerating, you have not watched “popular” TV shows like Emotional Aatyachar, Roadies, Dadagiri,  Dare 2 Date, Splits Villa, Love Net, Supestud and Love Kiya Toh Darna Kya!

Soon, you begin to wonder if it’s all part of a larger campaign to malign the image of Indian youth! We seem to live in a world of twisted realties. Judges, hosts, and participants all get together to put up the grand reality ‘Drama’ (remember we Indians are known for it :p )! Industry insiders and participants say that every program, and every single action of each participant is planned or adjusted for riveting footage. What’s more, it is then carefully edited to create the “best entertainment” value for us. A slap on our face and we have accepted it with a big cheerful smile!

What’s alarming is that the huge commercial success of these shows is attributed to the money earned from viewer votes (thanks to mobile network collaborations) than to the advertising moolah!!

Now think of where all this is leading to – a generation that is self-obsessed with appearance, fame, and money! It is undisputed that the actions of most reality shows influence the views, actions, and desires of viewers. Studies show that as more children watch violence, they become less sensitive and thus create insecurities for themselves.

Why then do youngsters queue up in large numbers to audition for reality TV?  Most end up taking part only to ‘experience’ thrill and excitement. Instant fame and money are an added bonus (The fact that they fizzle out after the show is a sad irony in itself)!!

Ever wondered why we don’t have a regulatory body for television like the Censor Board for films? You see, TV reaches a much larger audience and has a greater impact than any other entertainment medium! The government will NOT take action until a controversial ‘reality show scam’ maligns Indian television.

Isn’t Rahul Gandhi now free (rather jobless) after the debacle at UP polls? Why not approach the ‘Youth Icon’ and give him a chance to take up the cause of bad youth portrayal on Indian television? What say folks?

(courtesy: Binfikr)

Misogyny in narratives of rape in Indian media

SONAL MAKHIJA

A newspaper report on the recent Gurgaon rape case concludes with the correspondent informing the readers that the victim was hired to “engage with male customers”. How is this piece of information relevant to the public at large? What does it really tell us about the crime? What it does, vaguely though, is describe the victim’s job. Is that relevant to the crime? Not really.

The reporting on the rape cases of the last few weeks has once again highlighted the Indian media’s failure to take into account some critical precautions while covering cases of sexual assault against women. Most crime reporters use the police as sources of information. The police often share a comfortable rapport with journalists who periodically seek them out for news. In private conversations, they possibly divulge more information than necessary. In an interview that I conducted last year with a few senior crime reporters, one senior law correspondent of an English daily admitted, that a good journalist always has more information than a copy needs. It is up to journalists to exercise their discretion, and leave out details that won’t necessarily benefit the story, the reporter added. Sure, the police should not be sharing intimate details of victims. Nevertheless, the media is obligated while reporting cases of sexual assault, to shield the identity of rape victims.

Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 prohibits the disclosure, not only of the victim’s name, but also of facts that could lead to the identification of the victim, such as the place of residence, identifying or naming the victim’s family or friends, university, or work details.

The Press Council of India’s Norms of Journalistic Conduct (“the PCI norms”) warn journalists not to give excessive publicity to victims, witnesses, suspects, and accused. The paramount concern in addition to the protection of victims is that, in publishing intimate details of their lives, the media exposes them to unwarranted public scrutiny. This safeguard protects the accused as well. Much of that information fails to add any value, unless it serves a genuine overriding public interest. Such information often obliquely encourages questions about the victim’s character and panders to unhealthy public curiosity. In the T.I.S.S. rape case for instance, the media published details from the victim’s written statement to the police. That information did not serve any public interest.

So, how do the personal details of a victim’s marital status, like in the Gurgaon or Calcutta rape cases, add value to the story? How is it relevant to the crime? The Supreme Court in State of Karnataka v. Puttaraja, warned against the disclosure of the rape victim’s identity even in the printing or publication of judgments issued by the High Courts or the Supreme Court. The Court observed that, “social victimization or ostracism of the victim of a sexual offence for which Section 228-A has been enacted, it would be appropriate that in the judgments, be it of this Court, High Court or lower Court, the name of the victim should not be indicated.” Further, the PCI norms prohibit the visual representation or photograph of not just the victim, but also her family or relatives to avoid identification.

Beyond the question of naming victims, the recent media rape narratives also follow a familiar trajectory. The key terms, “married woman”, “unaccompanied in a pub”, and “late at night” come together to the conclusion, “raped”. What does the media narrative of married women alone in pubs at night insinuate? It suggests that the woman was reckless or foolish to be out on her own that late. There is a chauvinist undercurrent in that detail. It invites the response — what was a married woman doing in a bar alone at night? Why was she there?

It offers little insight into the reasons for the crime. Such rape coverage in the media promotes curiosity and interest in the victim’s life. It does not add to our understanding of rape or why it takes place. Instead, it feeds the propagation of the dominant misogynist view, that women of a “certain type” deserved to be raped.

***

This article was previously published at mylaw.net.

The Indian Express (army coup rumor) trial is still on….

 

 

 

Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi , a former Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS) and former Founder Director of the Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) writes in DNA:

One flew over the coup-coup’s nest

Ever since the Chief raised the issue of his wrongly recorded date of birth, some Ministry of Defence (MoD) bureaucrats have become the conduits of perverse and hair-brained leaks that are being fed to the media. The plan is to first put down the Chief and the army, and then through a denial of those leaks, to show how good they, the bureaucrats, really are. This is warped thinking at its worst. Recently, one of the national newspapers reached the height of absurdity and published a so-called scoop with a banner headline, giving a perverse twist to a routine event, news which practically all newspapers and TV news channels had carried in January this year when the event had actually occurred. A simple training exercise for testing the ability of a few army units to move in the fog of north Indian winters has now taken sinister tones in their view. The newspaper has virtually accused the army, and hence the Chief, of plotting the overthrow of the government. I always thought that it was the likes of John le Carréacute; and other fiction writers who wrote mystery plots, but now we have these journalists and mediapersons beating writers of fiction at their own game.

Read more: http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/column_one-flew-over-the-coup-coups-nest_1673038

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judicial inquiry sought into ‘army movement’ reports

Nutan Thakur, convener National RTI Forum, Lucknow has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Lucknow Bench of theAllahabad High Court, seeking directions for the prime minister office to form a high level judicial inquiry commission to probe veracity of the reports published in newspapers regarding movement of two army units towards Delhi. Thakur in her PIL has said that

news presented the army movement as if it was an coup attempt. High Court may order to keep inquiry report a secret as the matter is related to national security. And, in case it is found that the news was false, strict legal action should be taken against the newspapers. The news about senior union minister planting false news to get the army chief removed is another serious matter, which needs a thorough probe and action if found to be true. But in case, the news on minister is found incorrect, legal action should be taken against this newspaper.

 

Media means accuracy: Getting the news and getting it perfectly well

DR. FAROOQ AHMAD PEER writes in his column Media-watch, about the army coup episode, though not directly firing at Indian Express:

It is discerned that among the same media there are some who resort to yellow journalism while presenting information, rectification and coverage whenever they feel disfavoured. The news may be simple but is presented in such a manner that it seems really something extraordinary and astonishing which misleads the public. What has not actually happened is presented in an exciting manner and what has not been uttered by somebody or conveyed is printed for the sake of making news without waiting for the logical conclusion. There is a great deal of misinformation floating and here the accuracy of the profession of media is lost. ….The delinquency and misdemeanour carried in media can be overawed if covering of exactitude of facts is explored so that it relishes the craze of a better quality control. It has a supreme responsibility to transcend bias, selfishness and favours in reporting and discoursing problems of the society in a sensible fashion.

Read more: http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/2012/Apr/7/media-means-accuracy-7.asp

Humongous scoop or a chota story?
How big a story can be made to sound depends on the angle you give it.  If the ed in chief ‘s byline leads  three others  it makes the story sound suitably important. Then a whole page devoted to it, with a three line banner.  Then the angle: govt spooked by army exercise, with hints of the exercise being undertaken on a night when there was a significant development regarding the embattled army chief. Then dark hints about the story being kept under wraps for 11 full weeks. My goodness. On March 13 however Rediff.com had reported the same developments minus the drama—as the story of an army exercise which showed up chinks in the Para Brigade’s capabilities in the event of heavy fog.  May be they need to learn from the Indian Express.

Indian Media News Round-Up: Media Laundry @Dhobitalao

Govt.’s media plan, Rahul’s Chintan, bans & censorships, content immaturity in coup, muslim lifestyle magazine ‘muallim’ & readers outburst on ‘army coup rumor’ !!!

Akbar-Birbal tale of the yokel who chose to look for his lost ring at a place where there was light rather than the spot where it had actually fallen.

“Looking at Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi‘s ‘review’ of the party’s debacle in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, one is reminded of the Akbar-Birbal tale of the yokel who chose to look for his lost ring at a place where there was light rather than the spot where it had actually fallen. Much like the fool in the parable, the Congress seems to have ignored the fact that the primary cause of it’s defeat were its senior leaders from the state – Beni Prasad Verma, Sriprakash Jaiswal, Salman Khurshid and Rita Bahuguna Joshi to name a few. It is best not to expect any strict action from Mr Gandhi because if any of these leaders is held accountable the blame will sooner or later land at his own doorstep, or at least that of his mentor Digvijaya Singh, who had an equally important say in matters like candidate selectio.”

Delhi Premier League: Babus v/s Ex-servicemen

Civil servants posted in various Delhi government departments and civic agencies are up in arms against retired defence service personnel angling for plum postings. The Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS) officers don’t want any exservicemen to bag high-profile positions in the DDA, MCD and the Delhi government. A senior official of the Delhi secretariat said.

We already have limited opportunities to work, we keep shifting between the Union Territories and if even here such new, untrained personnel are brought in – our career, promotion aspects will suffer the most. We are at a loss to understand if these retired defence personnel are so competent why did they leave the services before retirement or superannuation.

Officers are contemplating going on a ‘protest strike for a day’.

Read more on: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/index.html

Govt. plans for strengthening reach of media units & administration

The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is contemplating to introduce structural improvements for strengthening the performance and reach of different media units . Uday Kumar Varma, Secretary to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry said:

all media units need to bring transparency and encourage work culture to flourish, for improving the information dissemination mechanism. This would help in reaching out to the common masses with the information about policies, programmes, achievements and initiatives of the central government, in a better way.

read more: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/i-and-b-ministry-plans-for-strengthening-reach-of-media-units/933503/

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India has witnessed a number of instances of ban on books, films, plays and ideologies in the last two decade. From Salman Rushdie‘s The Satanic Verses to MF Husain’s nude paintings of Hindu godessess, from Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal’s adaptation of American play Vagina Monologues to Vijay Tendulkar’s Marathi masterpiece Me Nathuram Godse Boltoy and from NRI filmmaker Deepa Mehta to Bollywood director Anurag Kashyap, India has seen a series of bans, censorships, court cases, allegations, threats and violence.

Are we a nation of bans and censorships? Is India not ready to accomodate voice of dissent? Do we really get ‘hurt’ by an induvidual’s opinion on religion, morality and social conduct? Or is it merely a matter of whim of an individual or a group? Hindustantimes.com asked the readers and here’s their response.

In our survey, 59 % people agreed that Indians are incapable of dissent and criticism while 38 % thought otherwise. Three per cent respondents had no opinion.

In our survey, a whopping 76 % responded ‘Yes’ freedom of expression is under threat in India, while a meagre 20 % felt it was not the case. Four per cent of the people could not decide.

Though 41 % of our respondents believed and independent tribunal should look into objectionable content, 52% respondents said nobody should decide what to ban and nothing should be banned. Only 7 % respondents believed the government is the best agency to regulate objectionable content.

Read more : http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/Are-we-a-nation-of-bans-and-censorship/Article1-836679.aspx

GROUND BATTLE MAUNEVOURS OF INDIAN ARMY IS MISTAKEN BY MEDIA AS COUP D’ ETAT

Emergencies exercises from Hissar and Agra Army bases towards New Delhi were misunderstood by the media, as a Coup attempt to topple the democratically elected governement.

The major misguidence created by such news was linking the Ground Battle Maunevours to the disputed statements and legal battle of the Indian Army Chief’s against the Union Government, to make some sensation…. In a larger democracies like India, it is really unmature to think of coup attempts against government, as all the other two branches of Defense Forces viz, Air Force and Navy have got their individual Chiefs for whom there are no special disputes with the Union governement. Coup in big nations is unrealistic sans participation of three wings of the Defense Forces with a pre-motivated objective. So, the allegged coup attempt to overthrow the Indian government is a news that shows its content unmaturity.

By dchaitanya.

read more: http://www.groundreport.com/Politics/GROUND-BATTLE-MAUNEVOURS-OF-INDIAN-ARMY-IS-MISTAKE/2945285

“Muallim” Muslim Lifestyle magazine in May

Maxim Media Pvt. Ltd. a media house based in Mumbai has announced to launch Muallim, a Muslim Lifestyle magazine in English language in the Month of May 2012. The magazine, “Muallim,” will be the first of its kind to be published from Mumbai in an attractive 4 colour format, which will enrich the lifestyle of Muslim Families. Regular feature will be on Islamic theology and contemporary affairs in Muslim world. Editor-in-Chief of Muallim, Ubaidur Rahaman Qasmi, an Alim from Darul Uloom Deoband and a member of Islamic Investment and Finance Board of India, said,

taking a cue from the lecture of Hazrat Maulana Sayyed Abul Hasan Ali Nadawi (R) “We should quickly move to form an Islamic media, otherwise Europe will invade us and deform our ethics” delivered in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia -1976). We are introducing “Muallim, to enrich lives of Muslim who are well versed with English language.

Appreciating the concept, Hazrat Maulana Rabey Hasan Nadawi, President All Indian Muslim Personal Law board, said,

“The time is apt for Muallim to hit the market as there is dearth of such literature which focuses on Islamic upbringing and on contemporary issues.”

Read more: http://www.ummid.com/news/2012/April/06.04.2012/indian_magazine_launch.htm

Readers outburst on ‘Army Coup Rumor’

The editorial “Misplaced fears” (April 5) has rightly questioned the rationale behind the full-page coverage given by The Indian Express to the troop movement story with a sensational headline, after stating the word “C” implied ‘ curious’ and nothing else.

Ever since Army Chief General V.K. Singh’s age row came into the open, many television channels have been giving undue publicity to the controversy and sensationalising news pertaining to defence matters.

The media should exercise the utmost caution and avoid publishing reports that are alarmist. Such reports not only dampen the spirit of our proud and heroic Army but also strengthen the enemy.

C.A.C. MurugappanKothamangalam

The editorial and the cartoon (April 6) are a telling comment on speculative journalism. While television news channels are vying with one another to reap maximum benefit, irrespective of the implications of their observations for the morale of the Army, The Hindu needs to be complimented on tackling the controversy with a sense of responsibility.

But I do not understand the argument that The Indian Express is well within its rights to write about a sensitive matter like this. If a sensitive issue is “overblown” and the content is “alarmist,” why not condemn it unequivocally? Given the kind of sensationalism certain media houses are resorting to, it is important to send the message that the media must regulate themselves and exercise restraint.

Y.L. SrinivasHyderabad

It is extremely distressing to see accusations and counter accusations flying thick and fast in the media, particularly the 24×7 television channels, on the discord between the government and the Army.

The Army is one of the most respected institutions and should be allowed to remain so. Television news channels, especially some of their anchors, should be banned from airing atrocious comments which not only demean the government and the defence forces but also bring disrepute to the nation.

Raj SabapathyChennai

The entire truth about the alleged troop movement is yet to unfold. Several questions remain unanswered, leading to wild speculation. The Prime Minister should come out with an open statement on whether all procedures were observed before the exercise and the civil administration was taken into confidence. The government should tighten its hold on the armed forces while giving them full operational freedom in day-to-day matters. Let us look around at our neighbours to avoid any cataclysm, anticipated, apprehended or imagined.

S.V. VenkatakrishnanBangalore

Gen. Singh’s remark that the report on troop movement was “absolutely stupid” is unacceptable. There was a movement of troops near Delhi. It is also true that the Army Chief was aggrieved over his DoB issue. Since the troop movement was a severe case showcasing the mistrust between the Army and the government, all things must be addressed to protect our democracy.

Sameer Abbas ZaidiBareilly

RTI Anonymous: “One Stop Solution” to Fight Corruption in India !!!

RTI Anonymous is an online service, through which, any Indian citizen can File Right to Information (RTI) Applications Anonymously. They DO NOT HAVE TO REVEAL THEIR IDENTITY. The RTI Anonymous Community will file those RTI Applications in their name and upload the documents obtained as a reply on this website. The original requester will get an email when this happens. The original requester just has to draft the RTI Application as much as he/she can and the RTI Anonymous community will take care of the rest.

A lot of people, wonder — How does RTI Anonymous really work ? How can an Anonymous RTI work?  Is it even legal ?
So this page explains in detail, on how it really works ..

RTI Anonymous in its true sense, is NOT Anonymous  !!! Its real people filing real RTI.
RTI Anonymous is not based anywhere, but based everywhere, there is a wi-fi/internet connection.

See below – How RTI Anonymous Works:

How Does RTI Anonymous Work

STEP 1: So person A, who is based in say, Kanpur has a problem with a particular road in his locality and needs to file an RTI Request. He submits a request to RTI Anonymous, with details ofthe Public Information officer and his set of questions.

STEP 2: An expert in drafting RTI (in our case, for example, an Ex PIO and retired Registrar from Bangalore or a RTI Activist in Pune ) will draft the RTI. Few other experts in drafting  RTI’s, based either in different parts of India or Concerned NRI’s from different parts of the world, review and draft the RTI.The RTI Request is now moved to the Drafted RTI Request Category. If the Experts decide that the request is frivolous or does not need anonymity or just to vague and needs more information, then its moved  to its appropriate category (Non RTINon-Anonymous RTI orUnclear RTI Category).

Step 3:  Once drafted, a concerned citizen from say, Chennai takes printout of this drafted RTI and puts in the IPO for the required amount and speed posts it.He then updates the website with the speed post number.

The RTI Request is now moved to the Filed RTI’s Category.

STEP 4: Once the Chennai guy receives the reply, he just takes a picture of the documents received with his cell phone or digital camera. Uploads it to his computer and then uploads it to the website. At times, he just does a normal post to one of the RTI Anonymous’s Core Team Member and they would then upload these documents to the website.

STEP 5:  Once uploaded, the original requestor (from Kanpur or wherever) gets an automated email and he can then download the documents that he had recieved.

Also any Public Interest Litigation (PIL) lawyers or Journalist/Reporters can also download these documents from this website.

Remember —

  • The RTI is filed by a guy from say, Chennai.
  • Drafted in say,  Pune  or London
  • Reviewed in USA/Sweden/Hisar-Haryana  etc. 
  • And the original request is to some govt. office in say Kanpur 
  • And the govt. documents are uploaded to a website by either the guy who filed or RTI-A  team member

– All done by REAL PEOPLE with REAL ADDRESSES

Infact, even the founders  of RTI Anonymous, have not met each other personally, yet !! 

There is no head-office of RTI Anonymous !!

RTI-Anonymous does not depend on the government controlled traditional newspapers or news channels.

In this age of Facebook/Twitter, we do our own publicity !!

Every scanned RTI documents are eventually uploaded to Facebook/Twitter/Google+ and shared extensively: FACEBOOK ALBUM

We do not depend on donations. RTI Anonymous was originally conceptualised as a self funding initiative.

Any Donations are accepted with gratitude and as a mark of appreciation, for our effort. Every single paisa goes to the filing of the RTI’s.

Our entire accounts are completely transparent at RTI-Anonymous Accounts

UNTOUCHABLES: Three pillars of RTI Anonymous, Anand Sharma, Avnish Singh & Ritesh Singh !!!

UNTOUCHABLES: Three pillars of RTI Anonymous, Anand Sharma, Avnish Singh & Ritesh Singh !!!

RTI Anonymous success stories into 3 categories

Public Interest RTI A Success Stories

1)  Construction of Kharagpur Bridge  
Here is the details of the RTI applied – http://getup4change.org/rti/76/delay-in-construction-of-kharagpur-bridge/
To See the photoes of the Construction of Kharagpur Bridge after the RTI was applied
2) Fake Degrees provided by Janardan Rai Universtiy – Rajasthan 
The Entire details of the RTI and the reply from IGNOU, stating that the university is not eligible to issue those degrees…
The sad thing is the univeristy is still issuing these degrees and if you read thru the entire post — you would see how many students & people have been cheated here .
The photo-es can also be found at –
3) Corruption at Road Construction of Ghorakpur – Gopalgunj Section, LMNHP -9.

The documents .. that clearly shows major corruption at NH 28 
4) PWD Authorities admit the bad Road Conditions in Sagar MadhyaPradesh 
5) WiFi Scam in IIT Roorkee (This information has helped many students in all IIT’s ) 
The photoes are at –
6) Scholarship Scam in Chandrapur College 
Complete details can be found at -
Article written by Mrs Vinita Deshmukh about this issue in Money Life
7) RTO Offices all over Uttar Pradesh is coruption Free. 
Details can be found at –
A Lot of detailscan be found here https://sites.google.com/site/justice4sprahul/
8) Inspire  Scholarship Scam in IIT’s 
RTI A Success Story of Exposing Scams/Corruption 
1) 

 Irregularities in Expenditure of Members of Parliament in the Lok Sabha
The Original RTI with all the details are at – http://getup4change.org/rti/737/money-spent-by-mps-lok-sabha/
2) Madhya Pradesh High Court Judges given undue favours by Chief Minister’s Office

This was the original RTI applied by late Ms Shehla Masood. The entire documents obtained, with brief explanation of the scam can be found at - 
You can also find the same here (a bit better organized) –
3) Total Amount Spent By Dr. Manmohan Signh Government for Publishing Ads on Rajiv Gandhi’s Birthday, Death Anniversary since 2004 till 2010
A More organized and summarized  info with photoes at –
4) Robert Vadra exempted from Security Checks at Airports
5) Irregularities in the promotions in railways
RTI A Success Story for Individuals 

1) Provident Fund for a Senior Citizen 
The details with the letter claiming that PF has been released is at – http://getup4change.org/rti/847/not-getting-my-pf-settlement-amount/

2) Official Documents that will help employees of Engineers India Ltd. to claim their mobile bills 
3) Misuse of a Garden Plot ,  being used as godown and industrial/commercial Use
4) Unauthorized Construction in Chennai , with reply confirming that no such permission has been given for the construction
5) Passport for a citizen thru RTI Anonymous 
These are the useless/nonsense replies that we have received from the Government Officials. A lot of these haven’t been closely reviewed yet and we are slowly working towards it .. and see which of them is a success story …

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