Akshaya Tritiya: Auspicious for performing child marriage in India!

Akshaya Tritiya, also known as Akha Teej is a Hindu and Jain holy day, that falls on the third Tithi (Lunar day) of Bright Half(Shukla Paksha) of the pan-Indian month of Vaishakha. Auspicious for performing child marriage in India!

This DAY is considered AUSPICIOUS and is the most Famous / Chosen day for PERFORMING Child Marriages…CHILD MARRIAGES is a common custom in Indian Villages and some cities, Its a custom, a tradition of sorts, and even the cops are Helpless against it

UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children 2012 report says that more than 40 per cent of the world’s child marriages happen in India.

So why is this day SO CHOSEN … Why is it considered for conducting CHILD MARRIAGES ? .. .it’s not that child marriages are not carried out on other DATES … Then why did I choose TODAY ???

"Akha Teej is considered an auspicious day, when one does not have to
 consult any astrologer. This is the best time for marriages ...
 Even our epics mention about child marriages. 
There is no harm in performing it, as the children do not live together 
and stay together only after attaining adulthood."
- Priest in Rajasthan


“In many communities where child marriage is practiced, girls are not valued as much as boys – they are seen as a burden,” Laura Dickinson, communications officer for Girls Not Brides said.

Read full article: http://therealmack.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/india-hotbed-of-child-marriages/

There is a political agenda always at play in ‘Media’

Arun Tambimuttu, Presidential coordinator for the Batticaloa district, Batticaloa Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Organizer and a member of the Sri Lankan delegation to UNHRC sessions in Geneva,  in an interview with the Daily News says:

In the mass media there is a political agenda always at play. The media portrays everything in a very political manner. Reporting is always sensationalized. Bad or negative news always gets priority. Good news is never given priority or published/broadcast/telecast quickly/on time. It is understandable because there is a saying that bad news travels faster than good news. The media still propagate either Tamil or Sinhala nationalism. First of all, local media institutions should go for reconciliation and shed petty differences such as state media, private media, Sinhala newspapers, Tamil newspapers etc. Truth should be reported without being sensationalized.

The younger generation has less communal feelings and they are moving away from biases and biased entities. It may take time but we have to reach reconciliation and the media can speed up this process. The ordinary people get all the information either from the media or politicians. Therefore, they believe that everything that comes to them through those channels is biased.

Read the full interview : http://www.dailynews.lk/2012/04/25/fea01.asp

Tamilians are most superstitious people in India

Press Council of India Chairman Justice Markandey Katju  has done it again. Comes this gem after many controversial quotes,

Tamilians are some of the finest and most intelligent among Indians…Yet Tamilians are some of the most superstitious people in India.”

Just a few days back Mr. Katju tried to explain comments he made in an editorial in the Indian Express saying  that 90 percent of Indians are fools. Then he explained how he arrived at that figure by saying,

“…what I meant was that an overwhelming number of Indians were fools. Therefore the figure might be 85 per cent, on the other hand it could be 95 per cent.

Indian (Bofors) investigators planted the Bachchan angle

“I knew what I was doing when I leaked the documents to you. I could not count on my government or Bofors or the government of India to get to the bottom of this.” 

STEN LINDSTROM explains why he chose to turn whistleblower to CHITRA SUBRAMANIAM-DUELLA  in The Hoot (http://www.thehoot.org).Sten Lindstrom is the former head of Swedish police who led the investigations into the Bofors-India gun deal.

Q– What was your experience with the Indian investigators?
 
– The only team I met in early 1990 damaged the seriousness of my work and the media investigation. I met them on a courtesy call. They were in the process of filing a letter-rogatory (LR) in Switzerland. Without an official request from Switzerland, Sweden could not intervene. They gave me a list of names to pursue including the name of Amitabh Bachchan. They also told me they did not trust you entirely because you had refused to link the Bachchans to the kickbacks. During that trip to Sweden, the Indian investigators planted the Bachchan angle on DN. The Bachchan’s took them to court in the UK and won. DN had to apologise and they said the story had come from Indian investigators. I was disappointed with the role of many senior journalists and politicians during that period. They muddied the waters.
Q – Any final thoughts?
 
A – There cannot be final thoughts on something like this. False closures of corruption bleed the system. Every day has to matter. When something like the scale and violence of Bofors happens, you begin to question your own faith as a professional and a human being. When you start losing faith, you begin to lose hope. When hope is lost, everything is lost. We cannot afford to let that happen. Maybe we will get nowhere, but silence cannot be the answer.

‘Sandesh’ Go Green Campaign

To commemorate Earth Day, Sandesh, a leading gujarati newspaper, initiated a ‘GO-Green Campaign’ from April 22 to June 22.

The objective of this campaign is to explain the importance of green and healthier environment to the people of Gujarat. Over the next two months it will be Sandesh’s endeavour to educate and encourage active participation in this movement to nurture, preserve and protect the planet Earth. A multi-pronged, multimedia campaign is being launched in an effort to provoke thinking and create awareness and also offer convenient means to join in the positive action.

Some of the mediums being used for this ambitious campaign include: print, web, OOH, special contents in newspapers. The first step is the ‘Plant a Tree’ activity. This is being organized over a week- from 25th of Apr to 1st of May. For this, Individuals, Corporates, educational institutions, societies and NGO’s have come together to give an overwhelming response with more than 200,000 saplings expected to be planted across Gujarat.

Parthiv Patel, Managing Director of Sandesh Group, says

“At Sandesh we have always believed in empowering our readers with cutting edge news along with a wealth of entertainment, information and indepth analysis. Our Go Green Campaign is a part of this- giving our readers and people of Gujarat the power to make a difference to our environment”.

‘National’ govt & media sinks into obsolescence

This sentence has no meaning: “Tea to be declared Indian national drink.”

But that was the headline this week in several newspapers that reported on a proposal of the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission of India, a government body that plans things. What will happen after tea is declared the national drink? Nothing much, of course. But once word got out, an influential cooperative society of milk producers said that milk, and not tea, should be declared the Indian national drink.

Manu Joseph, Editor of  Open and author of the novel “Serious Men” writes in The New York Times: 

‘National’ Loses Power as an Idea in India

It is odd that this fuss has arrived at a time when the very idea of “national” is becoming irrelevant in India, especially in matters far more serious than tribute to tea. The political supremacy of New Delhi and the central government is being challenged by state governments and other regional forces.

..It is not just in politics that the power of the national has diminished. The news media are increasingly forced to become regional. Most of India’s English-language newspapers consider themselves national publications. But they are not so in spirit. They have multiple editions, and on most days local reports overshadow national news…

..Accustomed to decades of concentration of power, Delhi’s elite is a well-run confederation of cozy cartels containing politicians, bureaucrats, merchants, middlemen, journalists, novelists and people whose day jobs cannot be easily described. They take care of their own. That is how they guard their mediocrity…

..As the idea of “national” sinks into obsolescence, it will one day liberate the rest of India from the hold of Delhi. In a way, that has already begun to happen…

(Read full column : http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/26/world/asia/26iht-letter26.html?_r=1

Nevanta for urban & NRI women

Nevanta.com will focus on fashion, celebrities and entertainment for Indian women, captured in brief two-minute videos.

Nevanta Media Technologies has launched www.nevanta.com, a video web-magazine targeted at women. The website will host high definition videos on fashion, celebrities and entertainment, offering women fashion trends, heads up on stores and designers in brief two-minute video format.

The content is targeted at urban and NRI women in the age group of 18-34 years.

According to the company, the idea of the website came from what was found to be little available information online for young Indian women on fashion, shopping and trends.

Nevanta.com looks to bridge the gap between designers, celebrities and their audiences.

“Nevanta offers a carefully screened collection from today’s top and also the emerging Indian designers, showcasing their very individual and distinctive styles. It’s never been easier to discover your favourite local designers, latest trends, your favourite celebrities and their personal style statements, all on one platform,” says Sunija Rishi, founder, Nevanta Media.

“We aim to be the online destination for the modern Indian woman to discover her very own style statement,” she adds.

Nevanta is an all-women‘s organisation; the content for Nevanta.com will be produced by young women taking on the role of producers and journalists, thereby better addressing the TG.

“We take great pride in being an all-women company and each woman on board embodies the perfect prototype of a ‘Nevanta woman’ – sharp, successful, confident and fabulously feminine,” quips Atasi Chatterjee, co-founder, Nevanta.

Identifying potential in online video, Nevanta sees high-speed mobile internet connectivity driving the convergence between mobile and internet platforms and also looks to leverage the opportunities offered by the growing mobile device market. With social media also growing as a platform for online video consumption, the short length videos on Nevanta.com will further help them to be shared extensively on social platforms.

On the revenue generation model, Nevanta.com will stay clear of traditional online advertisement formats. The company is looking at non-intrusive advertising, sponsorship and product placement. It is also in the process of developing an e-commerce plan based on Nevanta’s association with Indian designers and luxury brands.

The Hindu pokes The “Leader” again, this time on the chin!

Karuna Nundy from Cambridge Columbia writes on facebook page :
Kudos for taking it on the chin. If others were equally responsible it would give so much less ground to the restrictions on free speech being considered in Court 1.

The Hindu and Akshaya Tritiya

Siddharth Varadarajan, Editor of The Hindu writes in a box:

We carried a ‘jacket’ on Monday in our Tamil Nadu editions that featured a message — laid out in the form of an in-house advertisement — to readers on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya on behalf of “The Hindu”.

Neither I, as Editor of The Hindu, nor anyone from the editorial side, was involved in the drafting of this message. Nor did we know of, let alone approve, its contents.

For the record, it is not The Hindu’s editorial position that Akshaya Tritiya, an occasion that has risen to prominence only relatively recently, is one of “the most auspicious days in the Hindu religion.” Nor can we possibly endorse this statement — “The belief that buying gold on this day would make you prosperous throughout the year is shared by one and all” — or others contained in that message.

We have now taken internal steps to ensure that advertising messages put out in the name of The Hindu are consistent with its editorial policy and that our Code of Editorial Values, which says there is “a firm line between the business operations of the Company and editorial operations and content”, is strictly adhered to by all.

Indian police rape denial

How should a country respond when its police force is found wanting? That is the question Indian’s face after a sting-operation carried out by a leading magazine last week exposed widespread rape-denial among a senior stratum of India’s police force. If the media reaction is an index, all that this revelation could muster was a nationwide raised eyebrow. In the embattled history for social justice in India the police dismissal of rape victims and the failure to respond marks one of the lowest points.

Ram Mashru writes in his column titled India’s continued demonization of rape victims in The Independent : 

And yet, the most disheartening aspect of the exposé is the knowledge that these comments are the products of a much wider and much bleaker cultural attitude. In India, the suggestion that there is such a thing as marital rape is laughed at, and the high incidence of the rape of minors and the failure to report custodial rape all point to an institutional rape-denial complex. The immediate question is to ask, if this is the attitude of policemen in Delhi, a relatively progressive enclave, what is the experience of rape victims in India’s hinterland?

Kiran Bedi, India’s Judge Judy and a celebrity policewoman, has come out insisting that a lack of training is the problem. She proposes “brainwashing” the police into taking rape seriously.Other senior figures have offered less risible solutions: have female police officers lead rape investigations or introduce quotas to encourage women to join the force. There are also those that argue that the police must not only be just, but be seen to be just and so dismissals are what are required to rebuild trust.

But each of these proposals falls far short. Just how much training is needed to purge these men of their age-old personal and professional prejudice? Critics are right to complain that training offers nothing by way of a guarantee that these policemen will have changed. Equally, India has an almost catastrophically low police to population ratio. Expunging a senior layer of police officials would only perpetuate the legal void in which rapists already act. And to argue that diversification is needed is to kick the issue into the long grass. Not only does rape-denial need to be addressed immediately, but, there is no reason to hope that the presence of policewomen will change anything: the one female police officer interviewed during the investigation parroted the same misogynistic views.

Read the full column : http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2012/04/25/india%E2%80%99s-continued-demonization-of-rape-victims/