Self-regulation is no regulation: Markandey Katju

See on Scoop.itIndian Media
‘Self regulation’ as practised by the electronic media is a ‘ploy’ to escape accountability, Press Council of India (PCI) chairperson Markandey Katju today claimed. While a media council makes sense, the mere inclusion of representatives from broadcast media is not enough. There has to be a more thorough reformation of the PCI, its composition and mandate. For instance, why should a former judge be appointed PCI chief?
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My visits to Chamarajanagar have been rewarding: Shettar

See on Scoop.itPolitics: Karnataka

Chief Minister debunks superstition that a visit to the town heralds downfall

Subhash Rai‘s insight:

In a commendable act Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar visited Chamarajanagar, the apparently jinxed town for any ruling chief minister. It is quite likely that his days as chief minister are be numbered, which might only add fortify the unfortunate myth.

This is no radical act by a BJP chief minister. After all, he visited the town to "celebrate" the "1053rd Jayanti" of a lingayat mutt. In his wholesome praise to the mutts in Karnataka, Shettar conceded that the BJP dispensation in Karnataka has so far doled out Rs. 480 crore to "encourage" mutts "to work further to help the public".

His visit to Chamarajanagar is probably more to do with Shettar’s eagerness to please the Suttur math and ensure some votes for himself than to debunk any superstitution.   

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Tweets on 2012-10-10

  • Sweet! RT @NewIndianXpress: Court asks Sahara to return Rs.17,000 crore to investors #Sahara #
  • RT @E_P_W: Revisiting Communalism and Fundamentalism in India – comprehensive review of the literature on communalism #
  • RT @PTI_News: Industrial production growth rate dips to 0.1 per cent in July, as against 3.7 per cent in the same month last year. #
  • 20 Famous Writers on Death and Mortality | “The meaning of life is that it stops.” – Franz Kafka – fortunately! #
  • A welcome move in the US – Cops might finally need a warrant to read your Gmail: #
  • VHP files case over JNU beef festival "The concerned students, it said, should be barred from fighting elections"! 🙂 #
  • The majestic Milky Way: #
  • Not surprising at all: RT @PTI_News: SC slams Karnataka on Cauvery row. #
  • Consensus on 'distress' crucial RT @ndtv: PM is highest authority, obey orders, says SC to Krn #
  • Yeddy praises Gandhi family, ridicules Gadkari | He's not joining Cong methinks, if he, it increase existing mess #
  • Spectrum Fee Waived off for Community Radios | Detailed guidelines by 12th Oct #
  • Every third senior citizen in India abused, mainly by son: Study – And they still want sons! #
  • Huge loss! Am currently reading his book "How to Change the World…" RT @guardianculture: Eric Hobsbawm dies, aged 95 #
  • Eric Hobsbawm: an appreciation #
  • +1: TV Anchor Takes on Viewer Who Complains About Her Weight #
  • It will, but not as dramatically as it is made out: RT @churumuri: CHURUMURI POLL: Will Yedi exit harm BJP? #
  • Richards was more fearful batsman than Gayle: Richardson | without a doubt, and classy too! #
  • The Queen and Common Sense: Arvind Sivaramakrishnan’s article makes for interesting reading. It is useful in its… #

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TRPs fall for Satyamev Jayate, advertisers raise noise

For those who were fooled by the theatrics of Amir Khan this bit of new might disappoint. Satyamev Jayate is actually a “reality show”. It clearly does not stumble into the public service programming genre. 

The cruel fact is: “… Bharti Airtel coughed up a chunky Rs 17-20 crore for the presenting sponsor slot, associate sponsors like Axis Bank, Reckitt Benckiser, Skoda, Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson paid Rs 6-7 crore each for the 13-week show. Star has charged Rs 8-10 lakh per 10 seconds for spot rates for Satyamev Jayate while spot rates for KBC were Rs 3.5-4 lakh per 10 seconds.”

And now there are mumurs in the wings. The jingling of the till isn’t loud enough.

Apart from having steered the conscience of all and sundry, can Satyamev Jayate make a lasting impact? Can it make people aware that India sorely lacks public service broadcasting in the real sense of the term?

That way can get the goat of doctors, khaps and murders on a more consistent basis. 

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Ramanujan Affair: Why secular universities succumb to rightwing bullying

Via Scoop.itCommunalism in India

“The recent decision of Delhi University’s academic council to remove A K Ramanujan’s essay “Three Hundred Ramayanas” from its undergraduate syllabi has done violence to the university’s integrity and undermined the independence and autonomy of its academic life. Rather than stand by its own faculty, the university has pandered to right-wing violence. This is a dangerous precedent.” (EPW, 12 November 2011).

Endgame: Yeddyurappa and the scam on Karnataka

Yeddyurappa is not one to give up without a fight. The man nor his supports thought ‘Operation Lotus’ politically repugnant. His moral compass for long seems have have lost its bearings. Will the much-awaited Lokayukta report prove his undoing?

Finally, BJP decides to drop tainted Karnataka CM Yeddyurappa – The Times of India

BJP has decided to drop B S Yeddyurappa as chief minister of Karnataka as the price for stepped up campaign against Congress on the issue of corruption.
As is his wont Yeddyurappa’s stands strong:
Yeddyurappa Writes to Gadkari, Refuses to Step Down Outlook Wires
July 25, 2011

Grapevine has it that Shobha Karandlaje is Yeddyurappa’s preferred successor in the event his position becomes untenable, and that the Mauritius jaunt was ostensibly meant to convince his family to “allow” it.
But here’s another take on it: 

Mauritius is a Tax & Black Money haven. Guess Yeddyurappa & Sons Holiday at this crucial time was only a facade for “his” Serious Business!
July 25, 2011
Will be Chief Minister for 2 more years: Defiant Yeddyurappa (NDTV news)
July 25, 2011
Karnataka politics takes centre-stage nationally. I reckon it will be so for the rest of the week.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa has challenged state Lokayukta Santosh Hegde asking why he spoke about his report on illegal mining before actually making it public. The report indicts Mr Yeddyurappa for allowing illegal mining in the state during his term as Chief Minister.
Jaskaran Singh
July 24, 2011
‘Let Krishna-led panel probe phone-tapping’ | Yeddyurappa | Phone-tapping | The New Indian Express: via @AddThis
July 25, 2011
The final arbiters have to get into the act soon.

For those who want to dig deeper, here are two recent articles in EPW:

The Trouble with Yeddyurappa

James Manor ( [email protected] ) is with the School of Advanced Study, University of London, London, UK. In late 1994, I interviewed two committed young Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists in Bangalore. The party had greatly increased its popular vote in the state election earlier that year and appeared poised to become a major force in Karnataka’s politics.
The Micro-Politics of Vote Banks in Karnataka

EPW announces the launch of a new biannual review, the Review of Urban Affairs (RUA).The RUA will be published twice a year, in the last week of July and the last week of November. The first issue of the RUA will be published on 30 July.

Let us dance to protest

Omar Abdullah might be a bit biased here. What probably is more important though is what the Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers added: “Glad [that] dance now [is an] acceptable [form of] protest.”

Sushma Swaraj’s dance becoming worthy of news and online banter betrays how middle-class mores dictate Indian mainstream sensibilities.
Gandhiji, having lived in South Africa for years, in fact, might not have found it disrespectful at all. Why cross continents when we ourselves have a rich tradition of revelling in music and dance as part of rituals, including funerals.
Dance and music have been an intrinsic part of protest in the long years of the battle against apartheid in South Africa. South Africa, indeed, the whole of the African continent has given us such brilliant protest music.
In India too protest has a history filled with music, dance and theatre too. The most famous being the Indian Peoples Theatre Association (IPTA). There are groups like the Jana Natya Manch which keep the fire burning even in this age of standardisation. It is time mainstream culture acknowledges and indulges in a bit of “fun” too.
Let us emulate the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha — only about her dancing protest, let me quickly add.

‘There are no jobs, food is very expensive’

Teaandchocolate has this to say in response to Nick Clegg’s lament to Jemima Khan:
Nick Clegg.
I think maybe I should offer you some advice.
You may think things are tough for you, but let me inform you, out here, it’s a lot more freaking tougher than you could even imagine.
People are losing their jobs, schools are being taken over by mad middle-class dames, the hospitals are about to be sold to the devil, there are no jobs, the economy is being run by a crank, there are no jobs, food is very expensive, and did I mention there weren’t any jobs ?

— End Quote —

divus before that felt:
I wonder what Gordon Brown’s kids felt like when Clegg constantly ridiculed and insulted him?

— End Quote —

Come Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown, and even our own venerable PM Manmohan Singh, there’s isn’t much difference in policy, and that’s what matters ultimately. Nick’s is just one man’s self-inflicted problem, but teaandchocolate’s is the real and widespread problem — transcending border even.

So, after all, it looks like it is not only Arabs who are in need to peaceful revolutions.

Tehelka’s Talwars

There’s one part of Tehelka that’s all investigative journalism and a potpourri of nice articles. Lately there’s another part that’s sound more like the PR arm of about Aarushi Talwar’s parents. At least it seems like that even for a sympathetic reader like me.

Last week we were given the rundown on what the magazine thought of the
case. We had some very touching pictures accompanying it too. The article did have snatches of good journalism and made some forceful points in favour of the distraught parents of the victim. (Let’s not bother about the other victim, if you don’t mind!) But faltered so often to sound like a PR piece for the Talwar couple.
It is actually was a disservice to the couple. That’s assuming Tehelka’s
intent is declare the parents innocent.

The magazine’s crusade sounded even more suspect when it’s managing editor came on national television and called the Talwars advocate by her “pet name” (Becky) and then spews fire and brimstone at a panelist for having a remotely contrarian view than her’s. The lady even confessed to have seen the parent in parties/social gathering and wondered how they where so composed. That’s probably okay. Tehelka shouldn’t be accused of being objective. They’ve preferred to be refreshingly brave.

But I’ve just got the latest issue of the magazine. There are quite a few
pages devoted to the Aarushi case again. While I have enormous sympathy
for Tehelka’s concerns, I wish they didn’t make a fetish out this one.

Not quite the debate on the ills of parliament

When the former cabinet secretary, T S R Subramanian, asks: Has Parliament lost all its significance? One does realise that things have gone awry. Not just in parliament, but also in the elite’s unabashed penchant for stating “nothing” rather profoundly.
While he notes that the past 30 years as being particularly bad, Subramanian doesn’t contrast the fall in esteem of parliament lately with that of the “honourable” conduct of parliamentarians just after the stroke of the midnight hour. Instead he mentions Benjamin Franklin and Disraeli! Satyamurti comes up at the rear end of of the list. But Piloo Mody of course gets special mention.
Subramanian has missed out on the Indian parliament’s glorious history. His ideological myopia dissuades him from naming the likes of Hiren Mukherjee, who has otherwise won wholesome praise from even rabid reactionaries. Subramanian wouldn’t of course be expected to name the likes of Nehru or Ambedkar!
The former cabinet secretary has post-retirement found a vocation as a columnist, but he could do a lot better if he didn’t inflict readers with incomplete analyses, even if biased. It would have really helped enhance the debate on a genuine disquiet facing India.