India’s Bribe Analysis: Rs. 1766595 Bribe paid in 15 days

 Janaagraha , a not-for-profit organisation works towards improving the quality of life in urban India. Ipaidabribe.com is its anti-corruption initiative. It aims to harness the collective energy of citizens by crowdsourcing reports of bribery. Using these reports it advocates with the government to reduce the scope of corruption in their systems. Below is the fortnightly (June 14-June 27) Bribe Analysis Report  released by Janagraha: 

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Two Film Censor boards in India; CBFC & Udipi ‘Muth’ !!!

KVSS muddle continues!

State of Karnataka, now has two Censor Boards – CBFC & Muth, the Pontiff Board. The Swamijis who are far away from films and pleasures of this world volunteered  to watch a commercial Kannada movie ‘Katari Veera Sura Sundarangi’(KVSS)  that has got U/A certificate.

Sri Santosh Guruji : This time the senior pontiffs like Sri Vishveswara Thirtha of Pejawar Mut, Sri Balagangadharanatha Swamiji of Adhi Chunchanagiri and Sri Siddaganga Mut Sri Shivakumar Swamiji have asked the juniors to stop at it from this film KVSS.

“For the first time, heads of various mutts have raised voice against a film that depicts Hindu religion and Gods in poor light. Many films that have objectionable dialogues were made in the past. We are warning producers not to make such films in future. Dalits are also Hindus . We cannot overlook the Court order. Yet we have set an alarm bell. Here afterwards any film, film music, bhajans, plays etc should not defame the Hindu gods and goddesses. This time the senior pontiffs like Sri Vishveswara Thirtha of Pejawar Mut, Sri Balagangadharanatha Swamiji of Adhi Chunchanagiri and Sri Siddaganga Mut Sri Shivakumar Swamiji have asked the juniors to stop at it from this film KVSS.”

: said Sri Santosh Guruji as the collective opinion of various religious leaders  &  bodies called “Math” in Karnataka after suggesting more cuts in KVSS in contrary to the court’s order. On the city Civil Court stay order he had nothing to say. We have to obey the court. Court is above the Swamijis he replied. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other organisations had raised objections over some controversial dialogues and scenes in film.

A meeting organised on Thursday evening to amicably solve the controversy surrounding the forthcoming film KVSS ended in an anti-climax. The producer had agreed to remove objectionable scenes, but a court order against its removal was brought to their notice. K Nagaraj, Regional Officer, Central Board for Film Certification, has said that no one can interfere or disturb the screening of a film once it was okayed by the Censor Board. Whether to agree to Swamijis or to Court order is his piquant situation of the producer Munirathna Naidu and distributor Rockline Venkatesh.

On Thursday evening Sri Lakshmivara Thirtha of Shiroor Muth, Sri Bharathi Swamiji of Adhichunchanagiri, Sri Sureshananda Swamiji, Sri Santosh Guruji and other Hindu Association leaders watched the film at Renukamba Digital theatre suggested two cuts and brought some respite for the producer Munirathna Naidu of kVSS the legal hassle has put the producer in the scissors again. While appreciating the producer for effecting six cuts that show Hindu religion and Gods in poor light, Santosh has advised him to remove two more scenes – one criticising Rama and Krishna and the other one where hero kicks Gods.

Producer of Rs.15 crores first high quality 3D film KVSS  Munirathna Naidu despite of high tension he is facing for the film has decided to make another 3D film after all problems get over.

The Dalit Rakshana Vedike has brought a stay order for the film screening without any cuts from the existing censor cuts suggested. That is very clear that Dalit association has not liked the suggestions made by Hindu Swamijis.

On the appeal made by Sri Pejawar Muth Swamiji, Sri Balagangadharanatha Swamiji and Sri Siddaganga Sri Shivakumara Swamiji we have seen the film . Till that time we found two more cuts not made and Munirathna Naidu has agreed to it stated Santosh Guruji.

While the Swamijis watching three fourth of the film KVSS suggested for two more cuts for the film and then release the film on Thursday night the piquant situation for producer Munirathna Naidu and distributor of the film Rockline Venkatesh was the City civil court stay order for showing the film KVSS according to the first censor version. The stay order was brought by Dalit Rakshana Samithi. The fact remains that in some parts of Karnataka ‘KVSS’ is screening the first censor version as it is without cuts. Producer Munirathna Naidu agreed to the call of the Swamijis and making necessary changes consulting the Regional Censor Board. Meanwhile he has to rush to the City Civil Court to Dalit Rakshana Sangha filing a case.

Why so many former pinups in the Indian parliament?

Jason Overdorf writes in his column On India in the globalpost:

Doordarshan, kept showing Jaya Bachchan’s face during the induction of fellow former Bollywood starlet Rekha. Rekha was always rumored to have a thing going with Jaya’s husband Amitabh back when they were all stars.

India has the world’s worst famous people. They want all the adulation (and perks like unmerited posts in the government), but none of the “baseless” rumors, malicious gossip and catty remarks. But this has been a particularly good spring for schadenfreude.  

First, there was a long-running bit of journalistic comedy (yes!) after the Indian Express devoted the entire front page to a non-existent coup.  (I know, I know: “We never used the C word!”… tell it to your lawyer).  

Then everybody piled on to attack a rather clever, 60-year-old political cartoon in a stunning show of solidarity with India’s otherwise-mostly-still-despised erstwhile untouchables, the Dalits. (It shows B.R. Ambedkar, the Dalit politician who wrote India’s constitution, riding on a snail labeled “Constitution” while then-Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru urges the beast onward with a whip.  The trouble is now it’s in the school textbooks, and people have decided it looks like Nehru is whipping Ambedkar, even though the Dalit leader is also holding a whip).

And, finally, today Bollywood queen bee and member of parliament Jaya Bachchan (wife of Amitabh Bachchan, mother of Abhishek Bachchan, mother-in-law of Aishwarya Rai, and an actress in her own right) reportedly blew a gasket because the state-run television channel, Doordarshan, kept showing her face during the induction of fellow former Bollywood starlet Rekha into the Rajya Sabha as well.  (The honorable members of India’s version of the House of Lords later denied that Jaya made a fuss).

….The subtext here was that Rekha was always rumored to have a thing going with Jaya’s husband back when they were all stars. In all likelihood there was nothing to it, since Bollywood’s idea of PR is to leak rumors of such “link-ups” between the stars of upcoming releases.  

Tell it to Shekhar Gupta, the once respected editor-in-chief of the Indian Express, who also seems determined to trash his own reputation. … For awhile some folks tried valiantly ….. But in the end it all turned into a big joke, which long-time Outlook magazine editor Vinod Mehta described as “the mother of all mistakes”…

Are Indians oversensitive? Was Nehru really that skinny? Why are there so many former pinups in the Indian parliament? Why are Bollywood rumors always “baseless”? ..And, of course, should newspaper editors really be fighting against free speech?

Read the full column in globalpost: Oversensitive Indians: From Jaya Bachchan to Shekhar Gupta, everybody is aggrieved

Praja Vani’s (kannada daily) ‘dalit’ initiative appreciated globally !!

Praja Vani‘s committed readers from all walks of the life appreciated the newspaper initiative of inviting a Dalit litterateur as the Guest Editor received widespread acclamation and the newspaper reciprocated it by publishing more than a half page of reader comment. Some readers have described this initiative as a “landmark”.

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