Saturday, December 19, 2009

Why is media silent about its own corruption?

I remember there were voices of dissent and disapproval from other news channels when Aaj Tak first introduced ads in its news scroll. Very soon everyone else followed. This was not the first instance when a market leader in media started what was a debatable trend.

In 2003 Times Of India group started the trend of selling editorial space for 'paid' news through its marketing division named Medianet. There was a lot of hue and cry when the news first broke out. TOI was ridiculed and criticized for bringing the profession to disrepute.

But after the dust settled, media bosses understood the business sense and nobody wanted to be left behind in this race. (Couple of examples : DNA, Deccan Herald) So recently when The Hindu pointed that Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan got reams of press coverage whose expenses were not declared in the election expenses that he submitted to Election Commission, there was hardly a murmur from either politicians or in the media. The media houses accused in this report feigned ignorance and their rivals didn't even try to claim moral high ground because of obvious reasons. Outlook's December 21 issue had a more in-depth coverage of this malaise and shocking revelations of how serious and deeply rooted this paid news phenomenon has become, specially in the times of elections.

But what is truly shocking is the complete silence in the media about this issue. No discussions or debates on a practice what has threatened the reputation of entire profession. No attempt to censure the culprits or make any rules to stop this practice. Why? Imagine if medical profession accepted that the practice of organ theft or judges thought accepting bribes to give a favorable verdict was OK.

No words can describe the impact if news media started being stooges of corrupt politicians whose only qualification was being able to pay for favorable coverage. If our only source of getting credible information for choosing our elected representatives was proven to be corrupt, what do we rely on?

As they say, who watches the watchmen?

Friday, December 11, 2009

I demand my own state (comprises 2 localities in Hyderabad)

I am writing this post just to inform you guys that I am going to sit on a hunger strike after lunch today and won't eat anything till my demands are not met (or atleast till dinner time).

And before you start dubbing me (rightfully) publicity hungry (or some such adjective) let me tell you that my demands are perfectly valid. I am demanding for a new state on the same basis as all other new states are being demanded.

I want a new state for the areas of Kondapur and Madhapur in Hyderabad. (See map if you are not aware of the geography.) We call it 'Makonchal' . You will appreciate that this name follows the naming convention of North Indian states like Purvanchal, Mithilanchal, Uttaranchal. (MAdhapur+ KOndapur+Anchal see how ingenious!)

Below are the reasons why my demands must be met:

1) Since there are so many North Indians in this area, culture and language of this area is different from rest of Hyderabad and even from rest of AP/Telangana/Rayalseema/North Coastal AP/South Coastal AP/other 432517 divisions of AP. And how dare you suggest that we can live in harmony with rest of people who don't share these extremely critical properties of Humanity! If Garos and Khasis living in Meghalaya can demand for separate states why can't we. (Umm I guess number of Northies in Hyderabad would roughly be same as total population of Meghalaya..)

2) These areas are mostly occupied by upper and upper middle class people, so state gets more revenue from these areas which is 'diverted' to other areas of city and not utilized in 'development' of these areas. (Ignore the fact that most of the people here don't vote during elections!) No, I won't accept that analogy that Mumbai supports rest of Maharashtra. Call us selfish but our money is JUST our money. (You see the money from these areas is going in pockets of netas of other areas. What is this? Our money should go in the pockets of netas of our own area na!)

Now you see my point? Aren't my demands perfectly valid?

Umm, did I mention that I am ready to bear the responsibility of being the CM as well!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Pictures worth thousand words and more!

Who ever said a picture is worth a thousand words was a lazy writer who went on a nice journey and shot hundreds of pics. He/She came back and then sat down to write the memoirs but was unable to do so and hence decided to just share the pics.

So without much ado, here is the reason and result of my 10 day trip: Kolkata-New Jalpaiguri-Darjeeling-Maney Bhanjayang-Dhotrey-Tunglu-Tumling -Kali Pokhari-Sandakphu-Gurdum-Rimbik-Darjeeling-Kolkata!

Journey on the Toy Train: Train leaves from New Jalpaiguri and reaches Darjeeling in about 7 hours! But trust me you won't mind.


The Trek:


Simple! Wasn't it :)