Breaking News:Indian electronic media needs to introspect

Aasif Shah

The biggest misfortune today in India is not hunger, poverty, unemployment or lack of development but it is when problems like such remain unaddressed. While on the one hand a gigantic percentage of poor people live on the streets and in pathetic conditions, the media industry in India is busy in promoting only cricket and Bollywood celebrities.
News like “Amitabh Bachan is suffering from severe fever, Shilpa’s has dandruff, Ashwariya has given birth to a baby girl and Sachin is back” is ‘breaking news’ for the Indian media particularly broadcast media, thereby leaving aside all socio-economic issues of the country.

"electronic media are behaving like Hitler and think whatever they report is true"

"electronic media are behaving like Hitler and think whatever they report is true"

Instead of being the watch dog of the society, media has turned out to be a mouthpiece of few chosen people (less than 1% of total population). The way it performs its services is enough to prove that this particular industry is simply there to make money.

If Shahrukh Khan cuts the cake, it will be shown as the breaking news but if a poor man dies of hunger, it will not be even condemned. If Katrina is not present for Salman khan’s birthday bash, it will become top priority for most media houses. And when a poor, debt ridden farmer commits suicide, it will not even be castigated. If Sehwag makes a mistake during a game, it will be broadcast for days together but if a politician or any bureaucrat is involved in a scandal, it will given the least of coverage.
What irritates me most is when needless information is broadcast again and again. Although media is often considered as a mirror of the society with an aim to update, educate and amuse people but unfortunately it seldom performs that duty. It sends out a very disturbing message of media having no social responsibility at all. The Indian media, by way of its obsession with only celebrities, has clearly exemplified its role which has nothing to do with socio-economic problems of the society.
According to the latest report by Global Hunger Index (GHI) published in 2011, India holds 45th rank among countries with hunger crisis. Besides, a study by the Oxford  Poverty and Human Development Initiative, it was found that there were 650 million people (53.8% of population) who live below poverty line in India, of which 340 million people (28.7% of the population) live in severe condition.  In addition, the UNICEF report of 2011 shows that, one in three malnourished children globally are in India.
However, I firmly believe that India as a country is not poor. It might be an exaggeration for many but it is a fact. The recent scams involving, top businessmen, bureaucrats support this fact. The 2G scam involved a staggering amount of Rs. 176,000 crores, common wealth scam (Rs. 36,000 crores), Satyam scam (Rs. 14000 crores), Investment scam in Kerala (Rs.1000 crores), Education scam in Maharashtra (Rs. 1000 crores). In short, scams in India have gained massive proportions with one after the other and there are chances that even a mathematician could commit a mistake to convert these huge amounts into billion figures.
Now, imagine if such scandals would not have happened, and if such money would have been allocated into priority sectors, the story of India would have been different. The country would not have been topping the list of having the highest number of child labourers in the world. Besides there would have not been a growing rate of unemployment in the country causing frustration to the youth. It is reported that more than 40 million people in India are still unemployed.
On the one hand, crime rate is increasing steadily and on the other hand inflation has become the worst nightmare for a common consumer. The poor are dying on the streets due to starvation and due to severe chill of winters and the burning heat of summers. A considerable population of rural India is still living without basic necessities of life such as electricity, water supply and sanitation facilities. Farmers continue to commit suicides and the so called menace of ‘un-touchable’ is still prevalent in India.
Moreover the human rights violation and custodial deaths have become the order of the day. The ‘Human Rights Watch global report’ released in the last month of January demonstrated that human right excesses committed by security forces continues, particularly in J&K, the northeast, and areas facing Maoist rebellion. The report highlights that India is yet to revoke the draconian laws thereby allowing abuse of human rights.
The main tragedy is that all these problems are untouched and unaddressed. The media is making hue and cry for no reasons. They highlight such issues which are of no significance and value. It looks like as if the Indian media is misusing its right of freedom of speech. I wonder why Salman Rushdie’s visit to India turned out to be a biggest issue for them. Though on one hand the reaction of Indian Muslims to Rushdie’s visit was quite appreciable but I failed to understand the intention of media, the way they highlighted the case.
The responsibility of any media outlet is to make administration responsive to the requirements of citizens and to help the nation to grow. However, time is not too late. The Indian media can still make a difference by separatin its core responsibilities from business and politics. Although earning money is important but earning money should not be the legitimate goal. The media industry must stand as a responsible pillar in the community and it must learn to respect the needs of the society as a whole.  Both Indian media as well as Indian bureaucrats should now wake up from a deep slumber to change the fate and fortune of their nation.

The author is a Ph.D Research Fellow in Department of Commerce (SOM), Pondicherry Central University and can be mailed at

courtesy: Rising Kashmir

Dalit Litterateur Devanoor Mahadeva as Guest Editor of Prajavani (Kannada)

Brilliant edition by the Kannada daily Prajavani on Ambedkar Jayanti. A whole issue dedicated to the ideals of Dr Ambedkar with Dalit litterateur Devanoor Mahadeva as guest editor..

Many Indian newspapers now invite a “Guest Editor” to create some buzz.

Usually the guest is a boldfaced name: a cricketer (Yuvraj Singh), a godman (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar),  a businessman (N.R. Narayana Murthy), a news maker (Amartya Sen) or a celebrity.

Take a bow, Praja Vani.

On the birth anniversary of the father of the Indian ConstitutionDrB.R. Ambedkar, the Kannada newspaper from the Bangalore-basedDeccan Herald group has brought out a special issue, guest-edited by the Dalit writer and social activist, Devanur Mahadeva.

Eight broadsheet pages of the 16-page main edition—plus seven out of eight pages in two four-page broadsheet supplements—have pieces commissioned by the guest editor.

In all, there are 37 pieces of text, led by an introduction from the paper’s editor, K.N. Shanth Kumar.

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Each of the pages carrying the pieces has a common panel that reads “Swatantra, Samanathe, Sodarathe” (freedom, equality, fraternity) and each article carrying the piece has an icon of Ambedkar.

Among the articles, a business page report on India’s first Dalit bank; a metro section story on why Bollywood ignores Ambedkar; and an edit page piece on the need for social police.

Robin Jeffrey, whose lament on the lack of diversity in Indian (read English) newsrooms, prompted the experiment would be pleasantly surprised at the spunk of a leading regional-language newspaper.

Image: courtesy Praja Vani & Churumuri

Mukesh Ambani’s Wankhede lift felled as demolition goes ahead

Back down to Earth with a bang: BMC worker is demilishing Ambani's Lift at Wankhad in mumbai on  12th  April ,2012.

Back down to Earth with a bang: BMC worker is demilishing Ambani's Lift at Wankhad in mumbai on 12th April ,2012.

There’s no way Mukesh Ambani, one of India‘s richest and most powerful people, could have seen this coming.

The Brihan Mumbai Corporation (BMC) on Thursday began demolition work on an elevator especially commissioned by the industrialist at the Wankhede Stadium. BMC officials said the elevator was being brought down because Ambani had failed to get the required sanction from the civic agency.

The demolition exercise follows a March 31 ‘stop work’ order issued by the BMC to the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), which manages the stadium. However, although with the MCA’s consent, the elevator was being built at Ambani’s own expense. The Reliance honcho has been a regular at Wankhede ever since he purchased the Indian Premier League‘s Mumbai Indians franchise. Courtesy of the ongoing IPL season, Ambani floated the idea of the elevator to ease his passage to the stadium’s corporate boxes – the luxury air-conditioned sections above every level of the pavilion.

Despite its exclusivity, the boxes have to be accessed by the common stairs, which Ambani was reportedly averse to climbing. Following this, MCA officials forwarded the appeal to its committee for the final word. The committee granted the sanction, albeit on the condition that Ambani would foot the whole bill.

The committee also made it clear that the use of the lift would not be restricted to Ambani and his brood and be open for everyone who reserves any of the stadium’s 18 corporate boxes as well as MCA officials. Even as the BMC tore down the elevator, the cricket body claimed that the committee’s approval was subject to Ambani securing a go-ahead from the civic agency apart from the other authorities involved.

courtesy: MailOlineIndia & Krishna Kumar

Professional model-turned-air-hostess; high-profile socialite Jagi Panda’s No.1 OTV

Jagi Panda, who runs Odisha’s No 1 TV business, talks about battling a small town mentality and people’s aversion to risk with Subroto Bagchi is co-founder & chairman, MindTree and a best-selling author. 

Jagi Mangat Panda
Profile: Founder MD of Ortel Communications and director at OTV
She Says:

• The moment something creates conflict, people simply give up and move on. An entrepreneur cannot do that

• Budget for frustration; once you do that, it does not overwhelm you

• Work the small guy. Sometimes a junior engineer has the magic where chief engineers can’t solve your problem

Until a decade ago, Odisha was the poorest state in the country. It made news mostly for the wrong reasons: Agitations against mining companies, extremist encounters, starvation deaths and super-cyclones. All in all, it was seen as a backward state. In backward regions anywhere in the world, there are predictable outcomes: Two among them are lack of the entrepreneurial drive and almost certainly, the absence of women in business. It is against this backdrop here is Jagi Mangat Panda, founder managing director of Ortel Communications and director at OTV, the state’s No 1 television business with three channels covering everything from news to entertainment. Between the two companies, Jagi oversees revenue of Rs 210 crore. Ortel, with venture capital from New Silk Route, is cash positive and OTV, wholly owned, is profitable. Together, they employ 1,900 people.

She speaks slowly, thoughtfully and tells me four things.

“Firstly, you must budget for frustration; once you do that, it does not overwhelm you. Two, for every eight guys who will give you a hard time, there are two who would go out of their way for no apparent reason. Moral of the story? Expand the supply side! Three: Work the small guy. Sometimes a junior engineer has the magic where chief engineers can’t solve your problem. Finally, work to build long-term relationships. Make it a point to go meet people even when you do not need to get something out of them.”

People who have any prior knowledge of Jagi would describe her in many different ways: Professional model-turned-air-hostess; high-profile socialite; spouse of industrialist-turned-politician Baijayant (Jay) Panda. Jagi is the poster child of women-entrepreneurship from Odisha. She flits through many personas as must any woman in this country, but in the midst of it all, there is Jagi. Just herself and an entrepreneur in her own right.
Born and brought up in Hyderabad to a Punjabi Sikh family, she studied science. The family wanted her to be a doctor. She qualified to study medicine and then realised it was not her calling. Instead, she wanted to be a model and shifted base to Mumbai where she found her feet in the highly demanding, ruthless world of glamour. She found work and more, she found fame. But modelling is a business with its own peaks and troughs. To keep herself busy, she decided to join Air India as an air-hostess. Along the way, she met her future husband, quit her job at Air India and left behind a modelling career to eventually come to the sleepy state capital of Odisha.

Though Jay’s family owned Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys, husband and wife decided that the best course would be to get Jagi started on an altogether new line of business. But before she turned entrepreneur, she decided to take a six-month course at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Upon her return, the options were real estate, aquaculture and communications. Jagi admits that she did not know much about the last one but somehow “it sounded easy”.

(courtesy: Forbes India & Subroto Bagchi & photo courtesy: Rajnarayan Choudhary) read full interviews : Read more:

Employment enewspaper – Another success with Gandhism

People will buy the Employment News Paper weekly but no one will think that why does not Government put it on their website? Government’s motto is also not to make profit but still why the hell I am wasting 72 pages (and hence cutting so many trees weekly)? People keep saying that you just can’t change the way this public administration is working.


Now, Employment news online, thanks to RTI Anonymous !!

Now, Employment news online, thanks to RTI Anonymous !!

Now see the way we people at Getup4change changed it..

We started taking pictures of the paper and uploading it every week on our website ( ). Simultaneously we kept bombarding the various officers, political leaders and ministers with our humble calls and mails. Things went the same way for almost 3 months but we did not give up. But one day they have do it, and they finally agreed to upload an E-copy of employment newspaper on their website and we were able to save thousands of trees per week and also made the information of employment opportunities more reachable.That was indeed Gandhism in true spirit.

Yes, we understand that this won’t make that much difference but what if everyone start working on these principles and adding or improving what ever he can in this corrupt system. Yes, things will change and our system will.

India’s Worst Journalists – 2012 by Media Crooks Ravinar !!!

  Me, Myself & I….Barkha Dutt

For the second time in a row Barkha retains her position as India’s worst journalist in the poll, by a whopping margin.


Arnab Goswami
  302 (32%)
Ashutosh (IBN7)
  181 (19%)
Barkha Dutt
  705 (75%)
Karan Thapar
  350 (37%)
Kumar Ketkar
  268 (28%)
  247 (26%)
Nikhil Wagle
  237 (25%)
  163 (17%)
  436 (46%)
  540 (57%)
  419 (44%)
Shiv Aroor
  142 (15%)
Sonia Singh
  195 (20%)
Vinod Sharma
  414 (44%)
Vir Sanghvi
  333 (35%)
The previous edition of India’s Worst Journalist in 2010 on this site (Media Crooks)  still remains one of the most popular posts and also a very widely reproduced one. Over the last decade or so our journalists have come to be held in the same contempt that is usually reserved for politicians. Many of them have simply forgotten the art and science of the profession and this is a serious tragedy for aspiring journalists. How they came to such a pass is a long story. The most prominent ones are not even journalists anymore; they are ‘Editorialists’ whose main job is to swing public opinion one way or another. Add to this the epidemic of ‘paidnews’ and some of our news channels and newspapers would be nothing more than Bollywood or Commercials. After all, didn’t the late Christopher Hitchens say: “I became a journalist because one didn’t have to specialise”.

Some prominent faces from the 2010 roll of honour have dropped out. Vinod Mehta has retired from active journalism and remains Chairman of Outlook. We wish him well. Suzy Roy has moved from part-time lie-mongering to full-time Maoist-Hurriyat sympathiser. ‘Pastiwalas’ are over-joyed at the ever growing size and weight of her 50+ page essays – they’re the only ones handling them now.Prannoy Roy was also dropped. He is now more into barbeque chats than any serious attempts at journalism. Even elections don’t arouse him. But there are some new faces with the old ones. Polling for IWJ ended today and thanks to all those who voted. So here are the winners from the poll, the list of India’s Worst Journalists-2012 from the poll results. Their 2010 ranking is indicated after their name:
10. Large & Larger..Nidhi Razdan, NDTV (New entry): She has come to prominence more for many reasons other than journalistic skills. ‘Left, right, centre’ is her signature programme and happens to be one of those mindless debates on every topic under the sun. She is proof that you can be an expert on everything with specialisation in nothing. The best part of Nidhi? Now, don’t get me wrong, she likes everything large. Whenever confounded by a brilliant argument or point by a panellist she quickly jumps to her favourite line “let’s look at the LARGER picture”. One would have thought that debates are meant to look at the finer small details. No, not with Nidhi, the larger picture is a convenient exit. Training from NDTV helps. My prediction for this debutant is that she is likely to go higher up in the list in the future.

9. Friendly five member…Kumar Ketkar (New entry): Somewhere a brief bio about Ketkar says “He started his life as an active communist worker of the Lal Nishan Paksh (Red flag party)”. Now why is that not so surprising? And that also explains Ketkar somewhat. He is also reported to be a former speech writer during elections for Congress members. Isn’t that an accomplishment any journalist would be proud of? He has been mostly a Marathi journalist and last heard he is editor of Divya Marathi. A respected veteran, he was one of the privileged Five invited to a private press meet of PM Manmohan Singh around June 2011. Ever since, it has been downhill. He achieved his right to be on this list through his performances as a panellist. What can I say? I hope being a veteran he doesn’t appear here in the future.

8. Your Banal…Arnab Goswami, TimesNow (2010 #3): There can be no denying that Arnab is one of the rare patriots among journalists. Almost every one wishes our judiciary could be as quick and decisive as Arnab is. Which is the reason I conferred him the title ‘Justice Arnab’. His performance on TimesNow has definitely battered ratings of NDTV and CNN-IBN. Pick up any scam, any scandal Arnab can throw the documents at you. IB, RAW, GOI have no escape – all documents and papers have to pass through Arnab. Sometime back I remarked: Most of us wake up in the morning and want Coffee or Tea! Not Arnab, he just wants ‘answers’. Such are the never-ending questions he has. Much before Arnab became a journalist the rock band U2 wrote a song for him – “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”. They were the only ones to anticipate all the unanswered questions he’d come up with. Undeniable fact is that Arnab has dropped from #3 in 2010 to #8 in 2012 on this list. That is proof of his ever-growing popularity. He can out-shout anyone in this world. Anyone, except Meenakshi Lekhi and Smriti Irani.

7. Fine WhINES…Vir Sanghvi
 (2010 #9): I honestly don’t have any idea whatsoever what Sanghvi currently does. I don’t even see him on any Cookery or Foodie show. He must be doing something to merit an appearance on this list again, at a higher position even. Radiagate has damaged him far more than any other journalist, which is unfortunate. He managed to surface sometime back on his home channel NDTV claiming the Radia tapes were doctored and weren’t authentic and were tested by reliable foreign forensic labs. Nobody bought that though. Sometimes, a wayward journalist, at his peak, forgets simple decency. Sanghvi will forever be haunted with two things: Radiagate and the fact that he called Narendra Modi a ‘mass-murderer’. He will regret both episodes. Had it not been for Modi ignoring his stupid outburst Vir Sanghvi would have been in prison writing a cookery book or his autobiography titled “Fine Whines!”.

6. No facts, please….Karan Thapar (2010 #4): Readers must remember that every journo looks tall in the studio but not in actual life. KT is not blessed with stature and the same goes for his journalism. One can say he has improved a bit but still retains the unwanted scowl and growl when interviewing people. Madhu Trehan in her NewsLaundryinterview showed up KT for the little puppy he was. Like the ones who just need a hug and a cuddle once in a while. And if you thought you knew nothing about KT, never mind. All you have to do is hear his signature line on his promo for his show on CNN-IBN: “I don’t want to go into the facts, the facts are disputed”. LOL! Facts are disputed? You have to undo a lot of learning to understand that facts aren’t factsand can be disputed. The worst job KT did in 2011 was massaging Kapil Sibal’s brazen attempt at pre-screening content on the internet. As if that wasn’t enough he pulled out Brajesh Mishra, former NSA, out of nowhere to call serving army chief, Gen. VKSingh, the worst ever chief of army in history. My prediction: As long as he is in the business, KT will be on this list.

5. Wheres the smirk?….Vinod Sharma (New entry): For those who don’t know, Vinod Sharma is the political editor of Hindustan Times. That’s right, ‘Political’ is the key word – less of an editor and more of a politician. It’s not very hard to recognise VS on a friendly channel. He has made the ‘smirk’ more popular than child-molester DGP Rathore on television. Sharma has also been acknowledged by many political spokespersons and viewers as the most loyal spokesperson of the Congress party. No matter what the scam or what the scandal you can expect him to staunchly defend even the worst misdeeds of the Congress by blaming it on the opposition or anyone else he can lay his hands on. The one chance to get him off TV for longer periods was a Rajya Sabha ticket, when Shobana Bhartiya, his boss at HT exited, but that unfortunately didn’t happen. So we’re going to be stuck with VS for quite a while. His best moment in recent times was during the debate over Gen. VK Singh and the Tatra trucks scam. He was angry that the debate was going one way (in favour of Gen. Singh) so had to somehow twist it against the tide. In his business time VS writes a blog titled ‘Separated at birth’. I guess that refers to some Pakistani connection or maybe his journalistic independence was separated at birth. Someday we’ll find out.

4. He’s no Egghead…Shekhar Gupta (2010 #10): When he appeared on the last list, a fan of Gupta wrote in stating he will email my post to SG for his response. I was wondering whether that fan objected to SG being at #10 and wanted him to be lower on the list. I guess that fan’s prayers are answered. SG has sunk further in the rankings and his Indian Express is almost on doles from the govt. His senseless programme ‘Walk the talk’ , the equivalent of ‘Koffee with Karan’ or ‘On the couch with Koel’, continues on NDTV but what sunk SG the most is his misadventure with an article on Army troop movements. In his quest to please SG’s UPA, this SG splashed a headline in IE that nearly implied the army, led by Gen.VK Singh, may have dreamt of a coup. Worse, there have been reports that the troop movement story was stale and SG’s version was actually a plant by a union minister. SG laid an egg alright but ended up with more on his face. He will forever be credited with reducing a fiercely independent newspaper like IE to a mouthpiece of a political party. His permanent place on this list is forever assured.

3. I washed my hands in the Hammam…..Rajdeep Sardesai (2010 #6): Hmmm! The guy is making progress alright. I have always maintained there are two Rajdeeps – One on TV and one off it. Whenever he is off TV his conscience strikes and one can hear a sane person, sometimes profound, sometimes emotional. But his character loses focus in front of the camera. Recently, he lamented on Twitter about being abused as a’Muslim whore and a Motherf$#!#*’. Bad, but the kind of abuse of journalistic ethics that Rajdeep has frequently allowed under his watch is far more serious. He has even given the media the right to ‘conduct hearings’ against personalities. While he wonders about ‘image makeovers’ for others, there is no way he can ever get past the Cash4Votes bungling or the terribly biased reporting on Gujarat riots. His 2007 conduct of an HT Summit which featured a key speaker reflects a character of pathetically low moral values and journalistic ethics. And to top that he defended the tainted Radiagate journalists and was rightly ‘slapped’ by his own community. Death of decent journalism owes a small debt to him. He has rightly earned the nick name ‘Hammamboy’!

2. If it’s Friday, it must be…Sagarika Ghose (2010 #2): Ms. Cacofonixstays where she was: at No.2. You can’t fault Sagarika for not trying hard enough to be India’s worst journalist. She has made every effort in the recent past to get to #1. Journalism gives her a bad name. For her truly pathetic and fraudulent ‘live’ show with SriSri she would have been sacked from any TV channel in the world. That in itself is a reflection of the ethics and morals practiced at CNN-IBN by her and her boss Rajdeep Sardesai. You can imagine the skulduggery behind all other programmes and debates. And if that wasn’t enough she misses no chance to prove she is a ‘journalistic bimbo’ by mindless tweets on the social network. Be it about ‘ugly Indian males’, or Orange being a colour in our national flag or sending out a Good Friday greeting and withdrawing it she is truly the court-jester of Indian journalism. What can I say? Better luck next time!

1. Me, Myself & I….Barkha Dutt (2010 #1): For the second time in a row Barkha retains her position as India’s worst journalist in the poll, by a whopping margin. The only road to redemption is apologising for past blunders. While she and another one have been vocal in demanding apologies and expressions of remorse from public figures the same standard doesn’t seem to apply to her. No matter what she does the taint of Radiagateand many other indiscretions are unlikely to disappear. The accusations of causing deaths in Kargil or in 26/11 are also going to linger.  She is probably the only news celeb on TV that has a ‘wardrobe sponsor’. All the image makeovers may not help much. Most of us have held Rahul Gandhi for the Congress’ UP election disaster but Barkha and NDTV must be credited with the disaster too. No one has singularly promoted RG and his cause and almost turned him into India’s saviour till the engine got derailed. Her penchant for Pakistani politics and politicians is another thing that disgusts many viewers. In the meantime her language keeps getting better and better. In a recent tweet she responded to sarcasm with: “… ‘Nazi Dogs’ .. if ever language betrayed desperation of loser, it is here…” Losers or not, with over 70% of the votes polled, Barkha is the absolute winner here. Cheers!
So there you are. Let’s also not forget that are many journalists who now increasingly seem to be anti-nationals. Their ties to Ghulam Nabi Fai aren’t even being investigated by the govt. Industry leaders usually raise the standards of performance of the industry as a whole. The opposite seems to be true in the media. Systematically, many of India’s journalists have brought the profession to rock bottom over the years. I continue to maintain, they are the greatest threat to our democracy.
(Courtesy: Ravinar at Media

 Parting Shot:

April 10 – The Day News Media Died

In ever loving memory of the conscience and careers of:

Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai, Teesta Setalvad, Shabnam Hashmi, Harsh Mandar, Mallika Sarabhai, Mukul Sinha, Sanjeev Bhatt, Nidhi Rasdan, Sagarika Ghose, Praful Bidwai, Javed Anand, Javed Akhtar, Manish Tewari, Prannoy Roy, Vir Sanghvi, Vinod Sharma, Cedric Prakash, Hosbet Suresh, Arnab Goswami, Dipak Parasher, Ashutosh, Nikhil Wagle, Kumar Ketkar, Rahul Sharma, Sreekumar, Karan Thapar, Shoma Chaudhary, Ashish Khetan, John Dayal.. And Many More Nameless Faces
Never has there been a prolonged campaign of calumny against a single individual as the one carried out by our media and certain sponsored activists. All of that came to an end on April 10. The report of the Special Investigation Team(SIT) finally established there was no evidence that Narendra Modi was involved in the Gujarat riots of 2002. The decade long campaign of evil finally died a gruesome death. Some of the most prominent names in the media also died a symbolic death. We remember those names and many more and pray that in the death of the news media there will be newer ones who will find their conscience.
(Courtesy: Ravinar at Media


If you are still not wearing such handcuffs in Bengal, Subha Nava Varsha and read on…

The Telegraph describes the present situation in West Bengal under Mamata Banerjee….

First, you can’t laugh in Bengal at the expense of those in power.

“This is very autocratic….
I earlier did not want to use the word `scary’ but I have to admit that this scares me,“

said economist Abhirup Sarkar, who has been a vocal supporter of the new government on several issues.

Second, even the everyday act of circulating something that you have found humorous could cause you bodily harm and invite police action.

Third, if you happen to be the secretary of your residential society and if someone uses the society’s mail to send jokes that the ruling party finds offensive, you are in trouble.

Fourth, the offence of attempting to outrage the modesty of a woman has been given a mystifying definition.
The Telegraph is publishing the cartoon (left) so that readers can make up their own mind if it outrages the modesty of anyone and if it is obscene as charged.

Sukanta Chaudhuri, professor emeritus, Jadavpur University,the renowned academic known for measured words, expressed incredulity.

“When the chief minister of the state is a woman, then should every criticism of the government now amount to insulting the honour of a woman? Then any speech becomes impossible!“

If you manage to escape or survive all the tribulations mentioned above, you still can be beaten up near your home and forced to sign a confessional statement -the fate that awaited Mahapatra, the chemistry professor, on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday .

CM Mamata says,

Mischief, If someone commits some mischief, what will police do? Won’t they arrest him? And if somebody is arrested, the CPM’s two channels and a handful of newspapers will start a slander campaign against us.They will show it through the day . I will feed you (CPM) well, dress you well, let you sleep in a cool room and ensure all comforts but you have to go to sleep for 10 years.“

The last sentence was a message to the CPM.