Tag Archives: Indian Media

An Unrecorded Festival – Pictures from Parliament Street: Siddhi Bhandari

April 14 was Ambedkar’s birth anniversary. There is no single pan-India political icon, certainly not Gandhi, whose birth and death anniversaries are celebrated as public festivals, by the public, in the way the Ambedkar’s is. Some newspapers on 15 April typically had photos of the top leaders of the country paying homage to Ambedkar but that’s about all. When historians turn these pages they will not find, in the first drafts of history, any reports about how people celebrated Ambedkar’s birthday like a festival. They will not find a record of the singing and dancing, of drums and plays, of Dalit housing socities and employees’ unions holding celebrations bang under the nose of the Indian Parliament at Parliament Street as much as in Dalit bastis is villages across India. Such is the public ignorance of this celebration at Parliament Street in Delhi that most Delhites enjoying a free holiday don’t even know about it. Parliament street is where SIDDHI BHANDARI took these photos in 2010.

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Mass media and the Indian national project: Raza Rumi

Guest post by RAZA RUMI

Indian Mass Media and the Politics of Change; Edited by Somnath Batabyal, Angad Chowdhry, Meenu Gaur and Matti Pohjoen; Routledge, UK; 230pp. £65

It has taken me some time to finish reading the assemblage book entitled Indian Mass Media and the Politics of Change. An overly long reading list has been haunting me for the past few months, but I was slow and self-indulgent as I read and re-read many sections of this insightful book which is path breaking in many ways. First, it is a unique collection which emanated from intense thinking and collaborative action; and second, given the fairly recent rise of Indian mass media (also applicable to South Asia in general) this is quite a seminal work of its kind. Continue reading Mass media and the Indian national project: Raza Rumi

My Abu Talha Moment: Sanjay Kak

Guest post by SANJAY KAK

Last week was my Abu Talha moment. That’s when dubious honours rain on you, unsolicited, undeserved. There I was, charged with wrecking a literary festival in Kashmir; links to the Parliament attack case; racism against Kashmiri pandits; scuttling a film screening in a women’s college in Delhi… And if that doesn’t create a frisson, I was also said to be on the radar of Mumbai’s Anti Terrorist Squad.

Unable to make the Abu Talha connection? Many in Kashmir know the name as a talisman, the kind that security forces brandish when they periodically feel its time to square their books. It doesn’t take much; they just have to produce a fresh corpse before a pliant media, although one with long hair and a beard, fatigues and an AK47, does make things easier. As Abu Talha, this all-purpose corpse can then be held responsible for fidayeen attacks, the murder of innocent civilians, the assassination of political workers, massacres, and explosions, whatever. Crucially, even as Abu Talha is lowered into the ground, all further investigations into those events can be safely laid to rest.

End of story: tamam shudh? Well, only sort of. Because Abu Talha will be called upon to perform again, dusted up and presented afresh to the world. Again. He’s not alone, for with so much happening in Kashmir, Abu Talha is part of a frequent fighters club: Abu Hamza, Abu Shakir, Abu Waqas, Ghazi Baba… The other day a friend from Kashmir invented one to cheer me up: Abu Tamam, he offered, Father of it All.

Continue reading My Abu Talha Moment: Sanjay Kak

News TV – Caught Between an Anna and a Hard Place: Abhishek Upadhyay

Guest post by ABHISHEK UPADHYAY

Taken in August 2011 at around 2 am one morning at Ramlila Maidan, this photo shows a news TV cameraperson taking sleeping on his chair.

Anna Hazare has returned with his protests and fasting. Should the media, particularly news TV, be more circumspect this time?

Is it time for the media to learn from the Ramlila Maidan experience in August, or should news channels stick to their earlier editorial line of broadcasting the Anna movement in great detail? Back in August, news TV broadcasted Anna’s “satyagrah” allegedly at the expense of the government. The stage is set again, the jury is out. Continue reading News TV – Caught Between an Anna and a Hard Place: Abhishek Upadhyay

From Dehli to New Delhi, it wasn’t 1911

Amidst the cacophony of celebrating 100 years of Delhi, several details seem to have escaped the attention of our ever vigilant media, both print and electronic. This post is to draw your attention to a few of these ‘details’ in an attempt to place the celebrations in what appears to this author to be the correct perspective.

The 12th of December, 2011, can not by any stretch of imagination be described the centenary of Delhi, because there were at least 7 Dehlis before New Delhi came up, in fact 9 Dehlis if one were to add Kilokhri and Kotla Mubarakpurpur, Dehlis in their own right, to the generally accepted list of Qila Rai Pithora, Siri, Tughlaqabad, Jahan Panah, Firozeshah Kotla, Din Panah or Sher Garh or Purana Qila and Shahjahanabad. All of these came up at different times from the  11th century to the 17th century and all of these were more than a 100 years ago.

All that the 12th of December 2011 can claim to be the centenary of, therefore, is New Delhi. Let us look at even that claim a little more closely. What exactly transpired on the 12th of December 1911 that is causing so much excitement a 100 years later? Continue reading From Dehli to New Delhi, it wasn’t 1911

An open letter to Tarun Tejpal: Hartman de Souza

On 27 October the Hindustan Times published an article by Hartman de Souza and on 30 October a response to it by Tarun Tejpal, editor of Tehelka newsmagazine. This guest post by HARTMAN DE SOUZA is his rejoinder

There are some of us in Goa who will know in about 20 days or so, thanks to two RTIs filed, whether Tarun Tejpal did in fact get all the necessary permissions and clearances needed to add to the lovely property he now owns in the village of Moira… or, as he more pointedly said of the village when he called me up in the Pune, “I mean, look at Moira man, it’s a dying Goan village” …emphasis on ‘dying’, and the implication being one suspects, that the Tejpals of the world can and will breathe life into it. I wonder if he remembers and can parse what I said to him in reply. Continue reading An open letter to Tarun Tejpal: Hartman de Souza

‘This is like a editorial kind of things no, I can’t mention on the paper you know’

Goa-based journalist MAYABHUSHAN NAGVENKAR posed as a politician planning to contest the Goa assembly elections 2012, and called up a marketing executive of the Goa newspaper, Herald, asking for an interview to be published in the newspaper, for a price, as editorial content rather than advertisement. He has posted online four conversations he had with the executive, one of which you can hear below.

See the full story: Goa’s Paid Piper – Paid political interview in Goa’s Herald newspaper for Rs 86,400

And the newspaper’s response.