Hot Vidya Balan from on-screen ‘dirty’ to off-screen ‘clean’!

Looks like, the mania of ‘Dirty Picture’ has caught the Indian Government as Ministry of Rural Development has decided to rope in sexy starlet vidya balan to feature in their ” Clean Picture”, i.e.: educational campaigns of Sanitation ‘Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan.. She will work for two years as the Brand Ambassador for this Ministry offering her support and services in development of Drinking Water and Sanitation in rural areas. That’s a good fortune for Vidya to reach more into public with a Clean Picture.


‘This will be a clean picture. What could be a matter of more pride than doing a dirty picture on screen and a clean picture off it? This is the real me. This duty will work a lot because this is a National Movement. I take this as an opportunity to do a Clean Picture off the screen after doing Dirty Picture on the screen.’

said vidya balan gracing 59th National Film Awards 2011 function in New Delhi recently. Minister Jairam Ramesh informed that Vidya will appear in promotion of construction and use of Toilets in rural areas and will be involved into restructuring of Total Sanitation through ‘Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan.’

What went Dirty in the telecast of the ‘A’ Picture on Sony?

Does a National Award take away the fact that ‘The Dirty Picture’ was rated ‘A’? Or did the government simply over-react despite a U/A certificate to the film after 59 cuts?

Despite a green signal from Bombay HC, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has put its foot down to restrain Sony Entertainment Channel from telecasting ‘The Dirty Picture’ during daytime hours. In a notice sent to the channel on Saturday evening, the ministry said that if Sony wanted to telecast the film, it should do so after 11 PM.

The channel was supposed to show the movie on Sunday, April 22, 2012 at 12.00 PM and 8.00 PM. The channel undertook an extensive promotion lasting over a month. The irony is that the I&B ministry notice came just a day earlier, on Saturday night, making it impossible for the channel to find a legal way out.

Just before the start of the movie, Sneha Rajani, Senior EVP and Business Head, Sony Entertainment Television, tweeted:

“I profusely apologise for what is going to happen very soon. Our hands were tied. But “IT” will come soon… with a bang.”

Then the ticker on the channel announced:

“For unavoidable reasons we regret to inform that the film The Dirty Picture will not be telecast today. Any inconvenience caused is deeply regretted.”

On April 19, a lawyer had filed a plea with the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court seeking a restraining order on a TV channel from airing the movie. The court issued notices to the channel, I&B Ministry and the Central Board of Film Certification to file a reply by April 20. The court on Saturday allowed Sony to go ahead with the scheduled telecast after the respondents informed the court that the Central Board of Film Certification had cleared the film after 56 cuts, 36 of which were cut by the film producer himself, and 22 others as suggested by the Board.

The channel of course suffered a huge loss but who should be held responsible? The Chief Marketing Officer of LG India, LK Gupta, told in a twitter reply, “Onus would always lie on the channel to plan and take all possible clearances. They’re not kids and should have known it would be controversial.”

But was it right for the government to bar the telecast of the film that won a National Award along with several other accolades? Weren’t the High Court’s clearance and CBFC’s U/A certificate enough reasons for I&B Ministry to let the movie go on air? As Director-Producer Karan Johar tweeted: “A national award winning film cannot have a national telecast??? This is not an irony but plain and simple hypocrisy!!!!”

LG’s Gupta is of the opinion that it was not just a matter of number of cuts – “the theme is adult anyway”. He said that “I think someone made a mistake allowing a day telecast in the first place.” Gupta went on to say, “The fact that it won awards does not take away the fact that The Dirty Picture was made for adult audiences, hence kids should not watch.”


‘cotton for my shroud’ film says, govt.,mncs & media responsible for farmer’s suicide

Nandan Saxena and Kavita Bahl’s Cotton For My Shroud is an honest and heart-wrenching account of the hapless condition of Vidarbha‘s farmers

The husband-wife duo Nandan Saxena and Kavita Bahl, armed with a camera and “an iron soul”, set forth to Vidarbha to film the stories of farmer families who had lost their sons, brothers and husbands to suicides due to mounting debts, to render visible the issues of the marginalised small farmer and bring back into focus the forgotten stories of Vidarbha’s farmer suicides.

 “Since 1995, a quarter of a million Indian farmers have committed suicide, most of whom were cotton farmers from Vidarbha in Maharashtra,”

inform the filmmakers.

The couple began filming “Cotton For My Shroud” in 2006 when Vidarbha had recorded the highest number of suicides. They were supported in their endeavour by Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, an NGO actively involved in advocacy on farmers’ issues.

The couple hold the government, multinational corporations and even certain sections of the media responsible for the condition of the cotton farmers in Vidarbha.

“The farmers felt betrayed by the government extension agencies that are supposed to guide the farmers, they feel violated by the multinational corporations that are poisoning their land with chemicals, and genetically modified cotton seeds that do not live up to the tall claims made by Monsanto. They have lost respect for the media too for they feel that most of the media has been bought over by powerful politicians and multinationals.”

Nandan Saxena and Kavita Bahl

"Cotton For My Shroud"'s filmmakers Nandan Saxena and Kavita Bahl

The suicide of a farmer wasn’t just another statistic for them, but a precious life lost due to faulty government paradigms. It took them almost five-and-a-half years to put the film together. “It was difficult to bury the ghosts and sweep the film under the carpet, as if nothing had ever goaded us to visit Vidarbha. We owed a lot to the people who had opened their hearts and hearths to two outsiders in their moment of grief. We could not betray their trust. As we previewed and digitised the footage, we re-lived the horror that had unfolded before our eyes in 2006,” write the former journalists in an email interview.

In “Cotton…”, the line “If one farmer kills himself, we can call it a suicide. But when a quarter of a million kill themselves, how can the government call it suicide? It is genocide,” reveals that justice delayed is no less a crime. “Torn between aggressive marketing of supposedly ‘better varieties’ of transgenic crops by the State and his traditional wisdom of low-cost and eco-friendly agriculture, the farmer is forced to buy BT cotton, which results in an unending cycle of debt.”

“Cotton…” won the Rajat Kamal for the Best Investigative Film at the 59th National Film Awards. But the government-funded Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF), the couple inform, chose not to show it. They had even organised a special screening for parliamentarians at the Constitution Club, for which they had invited the parliamentary standing committees on agriculture and rural development.

“Only Basudev Acharya had attended the screening; the other MPs were too busy to watch it.” Nandan and Kavita faced many daunting challenges while filming “Cotton…”. “The shopkeepers and agents of Monsanto-Mahyco were hostile but could not do much to stop us. The police and the Guardian Minister of Yavatmaal district did their best to stop us from going to film the funeral of Dinesh Gugul at Village Mendoli. He was killed when the police opened fire at the farmers at the Cotton Mandi at Wani, on 6 December 2006. We argued with the police officers, but the seasoned, shrewd police-wallahs sent us to the Mandi where an angry mob of farmers charged at us and almost smashed our camera. We were asked to meet the Guardian Minister at the Circuit House. As soon as we entered the Circuit House, a curfew was clamped at Wani. We finally reached Mendoli, defying the curfew.”

The couple has contacted schools and colleges to screen the film and attempts are being made at translating “Cotton…” into other regional languages. “We are trying to raise some contributions for making the Marathi and Hindi versions of the film to take it to the villages where we filmed. There is a demand for Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Odiya versions as well.” (courtesy: SRAVASTI DATTA & The Hindu)

Now, Nehru Dynasty’s Television Awards for Journos !!!

Barkha Dutt, Group Editor, English News, New D...

The government is thinking of setting up annual National Awards for media, similar to the National Film Awards, to reward excellence in media and journalism, the ministry of information and broadcasting said in reply to a question in the Parliament.

“A National Media Awards scheme is being examined in the Ministry. Details will be provided as and when the same are finalized,” CM Jatua, junior minister for information and broadcasting told the Lok Sabha.

He was responding to a question about whether the government planned to “reward” journalists and other media persons showing “excellent performance” in their field.

The government already runs the National Film Awards — an annual event in which it awards films, film-makers, artists, technicians etc. based on the evaluations conducted by a panel appointed by the ministry.

The issue of awards and rewards to journalists, however, may be more controversial as the journalists also perform the duty of acting as checks and balances on the government.

The government already has a mechanism of conferring awards on journalists through a system of civilian awards. Among the journalists felicitated by the Padma awards are Rajdeep Sardesai, Vinod Dua and Barkha Dutt.

India currently has several awards for journalists, nearly all of which are handed out by associations or organizations within the industry.