Tributes poured in from across the world for scholar and reformist Asghar Ali Engineer, who passed away on Tuesday, May 14. But no leading news channel thought fit to do a tribute to him. He changed the way people think about Islam; his contribution to the Bohra Reform movement posed such a threat to the high priest of the community, that he was attacked six times, twice almost fatally, his house was ransacked… His feminist interpretation of Islam, his campaign against the overturning of the Shah Bano judgment , his efforts to codify Muslim personal law – all these were newsworthy as well as controversial events in his life which impacted the country. The strange thing Is that two of our leading TV personalities, Rajdeep Sardesai and Sreenivasan Jain, tweeted their tributes to him. Rajdeep described him as a “dear friend and one of the bravest men I met”, while Jain said he “took on religious dogma, even at risk of violence by his own community”. Why then didn’t they spare him some news time?
(This is a personal memoir of the pioneering broadcaster who began her career in Indian television in 1961. As of 11/05/2013 Jai Chandiram inhabits another world)
On the morning of April 30th, 2013, I tiptoed into the bedroom of an apartment in East of Kailash, New Dilli, to confront the image of Jai lying sleeping in her bed. Continue reading
The day after the global One Billion Rising (OBR) event, a full page feature on crimes against women on the city page of Deccan Chronicle (Bangalore edition, p. 2) – under the general title, “Bengaluru: No Woman’s Land” – suggested that there are no women in Bengaluru land. The three reports making up the feature quoted six men (including a police officer and two psychiatrists) and just 1 woman (a counsellor and trainer).
The Times of India has issued a quarter page ad asking people to cast their votes in response to the following multiple choice question: Continue reading
Last week saw the death of a superstar. Rajesh Khanna perhaps took up as much newsprint and on air time in his death as he did in the prime of his acting career. Most reports and features were tributes to his great performances as an actor, and many took the liberty of gently admonishing today’s filmmakers by extolling the values of the 1970s era (romance and charm versus the ruthless violence shown in movies today). Continue reading
At the end of a good debate one should have arrived at a fairly objective idea of the theme, learnt some new facts, shed some wrong ones, heard the pros and cons of the proposition and gathered enough ammunition to make up one’s own mind. In exceptionally well-argued debates, it is possible too that listeners [and even participants] change or modify their views. Continue reading
By urging experts to help reduce animal deaths due to floods in Kaziranga national park, Assam, the state’s Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain seems to be washing his hands off the responsibility. What is more tragic is that the Minister has quoted facts of several past instances of animal deaths due to floods in the national park, as if this is a normal phenomena that doesn’t merit any cause for large scale rescue operations by the Forest Department officials. Continue reading
A tweet by Sports Minister Ajay Maken yesterday morning on sending two Tennis teams to Olympics seemed like an attempt to pour water on fire. Only, it ended up working like oil.
AITA picked Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes to play for the London Olympics (to be held in July), assuming they would be a team. However, Bhupathi has reiterated his position of not wanting to play with Paes. Continue reading
Mehdi Hassan (July 18, 1927 – June 13, 2012)
Is the death of the greatest male ghazal singer of the last 50 years not as important as the contest for presidentship? I waited in vain for prime time news to pay more than their usual two-minute tribute to Mehdi Hassan. Nothing, even a day after his death; just endless discussions on Mamata’s motives, UPA’s options… Continue reading
Tehelka Photojournalist Tarun Sehrawat (01 January 1989- 15 June 2012)
Young Tarun Sehrawat’s death from multiple diseases contracted on assignment in Abujmarh, an area deep in the heart of tribal Chhattisgarh believed to be a “Maoist stronghold,” is truly tragic. The grief of his family can only be imagined. Both they and his colleagues in Tehelka will no doubt take a long time to recover from the trauma of watching the evidently beloved, bright and talented young man battle for survival andlosing him so early in his promising career as an enthusiastic and intrepid news photographer. Continue reading
Posted in Media Business, Media Ethics, Media Watch
Tagged dead, journalist, malaria, photojournalist, safety, sehrawat, sick, tarun, tehelka