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Archive for November, 2009


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Sunday morning, walking from Bangalore’s Garuda Mall to LifeStyle Mall, we pass by The Bangalore Football stadium. A game going on inside, tickets priced at Rs.20, no takers for it. I am tempted to think — In this nation of cricket worshippers, for all we know they could make the entry here free and yet there would be no takers for a local game of football. Everything the usual here but for one announcement that has been printed on A4 sized papers and pasted all over the gates —

“Parking not allowed here. If you still park here the Tiger will take away your vehicle.”

All the previous thoughts notwithstanding, I stop and stare. Read it again and stare more. The Tiger taking away the vehicle. Hey, I want to try that. Or maybe not.

And as I later found out, the source of the stadium’s authoritative stand, as I had suspected, has been mentioned here. Mind you, these Tigers are far from extinct.

Written by aditya kumar

November 30th, 2009 at 5:58 pm

Posted in Bangalore,Personal

A year after

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One year since the November 26 2008 carnage that happened in Mumbai and we have already found more important things to talk about.

We have, for example, witnessed a “furore in the House” (as promised) when one MLA chose to take his oath in another language but Marathi. We witnessed how a few elected to the office by the people can transform into goondas as and when convenient.

If only all the promises were kept and taken in the same vain by them who were making them, our country would have been a much better place to live in.

We have also witnessed a national hero proclaiming that He is proud to be a Maharashtrian but reinstated that Mumbai is of whole India. As always, he got his priorities right but then we also witnessed the grand old man, the self-proclaimed big daddy of the Marathi Manoos, telling the former that his comments had hurt, no prizes for guessing who, the Marathi Manoos.

Never has the “Proud to be an Indian” comment raised so much controversy.

Then, of course, we also know that calling the city “Bombay” (and not “Mumbai”) can get you thrown out of the city limits.

This is November 26, a year after. Of prime importance, these things.

Postscript: Coming in just now, the political party that owns the goondas who fulfilled the promise mentioned above has put up a hoarding in Mahim paying homage to the martyrs of 26/11. But only the Marathi Manoos among those heroes find a space there. Bangalore’s Major Unnikrishnan and Dehra Dun’s Hawaldar Bisht have been conveniently forgotten — their sins being that they were not the Marathi Manoos. Look at the picture here and you will notice, the political heroes who have put this hoarding up have their own faces enlarged on the poster — larger than the faces of the people they are supposedly paying homage to.

Written by aditya kumar

November 26th, 2009 at 9:48 am

Not like you and me

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Times of India’s website, carries a report on how the late Andhra CM, YSR Reddy met a sudden death on his Bell chopper. The report also carries a picture of the body of the CM, that was found by the search party after more than 24 hours of the chopper’s disappearance.

The picture is probably the most horrifying picture I have ever seen of the deceased, put on a leading newspaper’s website — charred remains of the body of a man beyond visual recognition. A link below the picture takes the reader to another two photos, one of them of the diseased pilot. Its gory enough to make the average human feel sick.

As I write this, the story has about 37 comments posted by people like you and me. Out of these 37, at least 26 people have condemned or requested (or both) the TOI editors to remove the picture of the corpse as it defies sensitivities and sensibilities. The comments section is moderated by someone at TOI, surely not someone like you and me — for moderation means that the comments are read. And since the picture is still there after about 48 hours of the story, it probably means that someone at TOI does not give a damn.

But yes, the story features in the “Most commented” section of the website.

I think responsible media organizations draw their own lines in reporting and journalism. Ideally, I think every single word and picture that goes into the website should pass through the same filtering that is applied to its counterpart in the print media. I raise up this point because the same article in print, in yesterday’s TOI’s copy does not carry this gory picture. Clearly, the filtering mechanism, if it ever existed for Times Of India’s website, failed here. And since the forum below the article at the website is moderated, it would be a safe assumption that the comments of the readers were read but those guys at the TOI chose to discard them. It is dangerous — a newspaper is supposed to be the people. Is this newspaper run by insensitive incompetents?

But among all things, it baffles me what TOI has achieved by letting this picture be a part of their online article. Does a degree of real life horror and vulgarity help them getting more hits? And more comments? Even if the comments are nothing but a collective condemnation of the report?

PS: Some people say that this is what people want. This horror sells, just like sex. But I am not buying that. I do not think that this is permissible. I think what TOI did was an exploitation of lack of the laws which could have censored those pictures. That is exactly what I meant when I said that media has to draw its own lines. One cannot keep ignoring this because TOI has always done “things like this” before. Well, I don’t think so — I don’t this has ever happened before, I think this was a new low. Do you think there will be people who will suddenly switch to TOI, the newspaper, after they see this picture on their website? How will it help TOI, I wonder, apart from getting those few more clicks?


A story that I think is needed to be told is at Dilip’s blog. I won’t give a summary of what lies there but let me ask you this — In a religious place and one of the country’s most beautiful monuments and a tourist attraction — a place that is frequented by millions, why is it considered OK to call the assassins of the Country’s Prime Minister, martyrs? Published in The Hindustan Times, the story, from Dilip’s blog here.

Written by aditya kumar

November 4th, 2009 at 12:08 am

Posted in Journalism