21 political cartoons will be deleted from Indian school text books, new cartoons to be ‘tested’ first on students

Most cartoons used in political science textbooks now have been borrowed from R K Laxman and Shankar’s work in newspapers.

The Thorat committee that reviewed NCERT textbooks has not only recommended the deletion of 21 cartoons but also laid out criteria for what kind of cartoons the textbooks should have. It has suggested among various things that the cartoons should largely stick to conveying a positive message to students, focus on themes rather than personalities, and be first “tested” on students for their reactions to ensure they are not insensitive.

The committee has said that instead of borrowing cartoons from newspapers and other secondary sources, original ones must be created strictly for educational purposes. Most cartoons used in political science textbooks now have been borrowed from R K Laxman and Shankar’s work in newspapers.

Anubhuti Vishnoi  writes in a special story in The Indian Express:

Stressing the need for a positive message, the panel has recommended that if a cartoon with a negative implication has to be necessarily used, it must be balanced with a positive-message cartoon on the same subject.

The recommendation against focus on personalities follows the offence taken by MPs at cartoons on Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and a range of other political leaders from A B Vajpayee to Lal Bahadur Shastri and B R Ambedkar. The committee has recommended that the cartoons instead look at broad themes and issues.

Sources in the NCERT said the report suggests cartoons in textbooks must first be “tested” on students and their reactions assessed to ensure that there are no “unintended consequences”. Sensitivities must especially be kept in mind as responses to cartoons may differ depending on a student’s profile, his background, religion, class, caste and habitation, it has said. The committee has also advised against “overuse” of cartoons.

Read the full report in Indian Express : ‘Unfit’ cartoons out, here’s what is ‘fit’

No Kollywood superstars on Kerala channels

Movies of Mohanlal and Mammootty make TV channels poorer by 3.5 crore per movie while Dileep and Prithviraj films ranges from Rs 2.75 to 3 crore.

Come Onam, Malayalis may have to do without the standard filmi fare on television and go back to playing traditional games like Thalappanthukali or Thumbithullal!

For long, it has become a practice, especially in the cities and towns, to sit before the idiot box and spend the festive holidays watching relatively new blockbuster movies of superstars.

However, with the Kerala Television Federation (KTF) announcing its decision not to buy any superstar movies henceforth, citing the enormous amounts charged for satellite rights, this is bound to change.

But if you think the television industry is going to be in tatters without cinema, not all agree with that prognosis.

“Almost 80-90% of the entertainment content in television comes from the film industry and the huge dependence of television on the film industry is pretty evident.

But if KTF doesn’t budge from its decision not to buy superstar movies, it will be the film industry that will suffer,” explains noted actress Praveena, who has straddled both big and small screens.

Speaking about how television keeps the film industry afloat, she points out how it is the previews and trailers of the new releases on TV that help draw the crowds to the theatres.

She says, “Films reach television in the guise of mimicry, comedy skits, and music videos or even in the form of artistes.

Similarly, production, distribution and exhibition of feature films are supported by the television industry. Together, both the media have established their co-existence and financial interdependence over the years. Today, TV helps keep the film industry going.”

The Kerala Television Federation secretary Baby Mathew argues, “Television and film industry should go hand in hand as both heavily depend on each other.

Charging exorbitant rates for the superstar movies has put us in a very difficult situation, that is why we have now decided to stop buying movies that come for anything more than Rs 3 crore.

” As per the KTF, movies of Mohanlal and Mammootty make them poorer by 3.5 crore per movie while Dileep and Prithviraj films ranges from Rs 2.75 to 3 crore.

With the KTF announcing after their recent meeting that the television industry can’t pay the price for the escalating budgets in the film industry, Milan Jaleel, the President of Kerala Film Producers Association, retorts that it is not the film industry but the television industry which actually brought on this crisis.

He says, “With the advent of too many channels in Malayalam, the competition among these channels to secure the satellite rights for superstar movies increased and the satellite right rates suddenly rose from Rs 50 lakh to about Rs 3.5 crore.

” Describing films an indispensable entity for the television industry, Milan says the few television channels who have raised the banner of revolt cannot afford to ignore superstar movies, irrespective of the cost.

He even tips off, “With many channels getting ready to launch, I am sure the rates for the channel rights are going to increase further.” (courtesy: Keerthy Ramachandran & Deccan Chronicle)

‘chiyeazhs’ – Indian ‘In’glish’, a far cry from Queen’s English !!!

LEKSHMY PREETI MONEY wri(d)tesa fantabulous and a jocular piece English and its many avatars  about the pronun(z)ciation of the Queen’s language in different parts of the world and in particular in northern & southern India. Interestingly along with her piece, the readers comments are more interesting in how Indians have their own version of ‘In’glish and they are happy about it, too !!!:

The Malayali goes to the bank to get a housing ‘lawn’… and calls nurse ‘nezhs’

….Malayalis would be taught not to say ‘seiro’ for ‘zero,’ and ‘zimbly’ for ‘simply.’ They also have a penchant for substituting the sound ‘aw’ for ‘o’ and vice-versa. For instance, a popular Malayalam film star expresses the negative with a loud “gnaw” (for “No”). The Malayali also goes to the bank to get a housing “lawn” and mows his “loan.” The Malayalam letter ‘zh,’ found in the Malayalam words ‘pazham'(banana) and ‘mazha'(rain), are unique to the language. Malayalis often tend to exhibit their pride in this fact by liberally substituting it for ‘r’ in English words such as —‘nezhs’ (for ‘nurse’), ‘couzhs’ (‘course’) and finally: the quintessential Malayali toast before a round of aperitifs —‘chiyeazhs’ (cheers).

….Bengalis who are said to resemble Malayalis in physical appearance, fondness for fish and rice and political affiliations. They substitute an ‘o’ for ‘a’ and are not vhery o-polegetic o-boutthe same.

….those in Hindi belt of U.P.-Bihar, put a ‘j’ for ‘z’ (and vice-versa) and an ‘is’ before words starting with ‘s’. So a Hindi-bhai must have done dojens of prozects in his is-School.

…..The ebullient Punjabi considers it improper to pronounce the ‘sh’ sound when it occurs in the middle of certain words like ‘pressure’ and ‘treasure,’ and substitutes it with the more decent sounding ‘ya.’ Hence when he tells you that his player (pleasure) knows no mayor (measure), you must deduce what he actually means to convey. Punjabis also have the tendency to deduct syllables from certain places in a word. So when he is giving ‘sport’ to his old parents, he means “support.” This deduction is compensated for with the addition of an extra syllable where it is actually not required. Therefore cricket is a very popular “support” (sport) in Punjab. In Tamil Nadu, “Yem Wo Yet Yenether Wo Yen” just spells moon.

Readers Comments:

Peayen Mani: Waste of time energy trying to point out such funny pronunciations; it is fault of English language itself;
there is no clear logical mode e.g. C is used as soft S and also as K (cell/call)- U gives the sound of “ah” as well “oo”!(cut/put)- can go on ! why blame others; If Malayali calls college as KOLAGE, you laugh; but you accept Collate with “KO” Ha Ha!! Local lingua will sure affect a little; nothing wrong; communication achieved
is OK – Many Names in English are that of animals – Mr Fox,Tiger Woods etc ! Like it ?? Stop such comparison
Enjoy humor in your way but do not insult other languages.

Cricket is a very popular “support” (sport) in Punjab.

Ronny: a Punjabi professor of mine in college pronouncing  measure as “mayor” or rather something close to “maiyar”.

Devraj Sambasivan: I’m yet to hear a ‘thoroughbred’ Malayali comfortable with ‘z’ so as to sound ‘zzzz. . .’! I don’t think ‘that’ Malayali can go beyond a simple ‘sa’ or ‘si’ or ‘soo’!! No ‘zimbly’, that is – just ‘simbbbly’, followed by a frothy shower of saliva on the listener’s face!

Jaishri: Tamil news readers can be hilarious when they use words which they have ‘effectively’translated into Tamil..e.g Cricketing terms..and do you know what a “RACKET” is…?? Its ROCKET..

Kollengode S Venkataraman: More annoying to me is the Indian upper crust’s pretentious English, particularly when they pronounce Indian words with a pretentious English accent. Examples: Cauvery for Kaaveri, Ganges for Ganga, ADivasi for Aadivaasis, Deccan plateau for Dakshin Plateau…I can also nitpick on the way she spells her (authors’) name as “Lekshmy” and “Money,” and not “Lakshmi” and “Mani.”

Read the full piece and the readers comments  in The HinduEnglish and its many avatars

Trivendrum ‘Dosa fest’ evokes good response

The ongoing ‘Dosa Fest’ at the Keys Hotel, Thiruvanantpuram, Kerala has evoked good response.
The menu at Keys boasts a variety of dosas from the everyday ghee dosa to the exotic ‘chakkuli pitha’. The fete is on till the end of this month. Timings are from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The Methi dosa is priced at Rs. 45 while the Mysore masala dosa is priced at Rs. 65, exclusive of tax. All dosas are accompanied by unlimited sambar, coconut chutney and a special chutney of the day. A hot favourite with children is the cheese and egg dosa.

The Bird Man Of India Salim Ali, now in Comics too !!!

Amar Chitra Katha is launching a new title inspired by nation’s
foremost naturalist and ornithologist Salim Ali

As the nation has started noticing that one of our favourite backyard
bird, sparrow, is disappearing fast and are taking preventive steps –
another recognition for an avid bird-lover, noted naturalist and
ornithologist Salim Ali, has come very timely. Ali, who spent his
entire life working for birds in India, has inspired a comic series
published by Amar Chitra Katha (ACK).

“ACK Media is proud to associate with Bombay Natural History Society
in launching our new title, ‘Salim Ali’ – The Bird Man of India,”
expresses Reena Puri, Editor, Amar Chitra Katha, adding, “We had
stories from mythology, history and literature but there was a vacuum
as far as natural history is concerned. Wildlife and its conservation
are very important parts of contemporary thought. With Ali, and his
story, we make a beginning for the same and hope to write more about
people and movements associated with this subject.”

Ali received his first lesson in ornithology from WS Millard, then the
secretary of the Bombay Natural History Society. Millard helped him
identify a Yellow-throated sparrow. Over the years, Ali’s interest in
birds led to his close association with the society. And after
Independence, he wrote to the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal
Nehru, asking for financial assistance to support the work of the
institution. Dr Asad Rahmani, Director of BNHS said, “We are very
proud to launch the Amar Chitra Katha title on Salim Ali and thank ACK
Media for this initative.”

‘Salim Ali – The Bird Man of India’ will portray the noted
ornithologist as someone passionate about birds and nature and how he
never thought of money, fame, comfort or even safety while he went
about single-mindedly trying to learn as much about the birds of India
as he could. It took around eight months to complete this new title.
The scriptwriter Shalini Srinivasan says, “I referred to his
autobiography, ‘The fall of a sparrow’ and many other books like
‘Salim Ali for Schools’ by Zai Whittaker; ‘Salim Ali – India’s
Birdman’ by Reena Dutta Gupta. We also talked with his relatives and
referred to BNHS archival material to help more in the script.”

The series is out already and is expected to generate awareness about
environment and birds.

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik’s sculpture with a message “Flowers Bloom, Earth Smiles”

116th Ooty Flower Show festival, Ooty: Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik’s sculpture with a message “Flowers Bloom, Earth Smiles” at 116th Ooty Flower Show festival.

Sai Paranjpe: a leading women director of Indian cinema

Captured by ace lensman Jagdish Aurangabadkar, this picture shows how Sai was a hands-on filmmaker.

Saeed Jaffrey, the cigarette shop owner Lallan Miyan had a customer Siddharth aka Farooq Shaikh, who unluckily couldn’t smoke. And thus, on the sets of the 1981 comedy Chashme Buddoor, director Sai Paranjpe had to take it on herself to teach her hero how to puff his way into the scene.

Captured by ace lensman Jagdish Aurangabadkar, this picture shows how Sai was a hands-on filmmaker. In India, where women smokers are still looked down upon, Sai had no qualms teaching her male lead actor Farooq how to smoke. As the two actors stare at their director, Sai lights up with a coir rope hanging from the cigarette shop.
And those were the days when Coke had still not made its second entry into the subcontinent. So there was the celebrated replacement Cola – Campa! And there was Ship matches. And of course, there was the absence of designer wardrobe, director’s hats, and too many assistants. There was a saree-clad filmmaker who took the reins of her project and led it forward. And that, as we call it, makes history! (courtesy: Bangalore Mirror)