Monday, July 27, 2009

Television reporters and anchors habitually adopt a breathless manner

TOP ARTICLE Lure Of The Small Screen-Editorial-Opinion-The Times of India By Andre Beteille, Thursday, February 19, 2009

Not all the information provided on television is of significant value. Much of it is trivial and ephemeral. The analysis provided is sometimes acute and incisive, but often it is empty and vacuous. There is a strain towards the presentation of information in a striking and dramatic form. Much of what takes place in our public life is ordinary and humdrum, but with some effort even the most banal happenings can be given a portentous air. Television reporters and anchors habitually adopt a breathless manner, which even the most seasoned newspaper columnist or radio broadcaster cannot easily simulate.

Like the other media, television provides both information and entertainment, but it combines the two in its own distinctive way. When Doordarshan held the field by itself, there was very little entertainment, and the information was bland and stereotyped. This has changed with the entry of private television channels into the field. Even Doordarshan is now less dull and stodgy than it used to be. Our newsreaders do not have to be grim faced as in China or Russia, and the women among them do not have to cover their heads as in Iran and Pakistan. It is good to see greater variety in dress and deportment although, personally, one regrets the passing of the sari.

While the media in general combine information with entertainment, private television channels make a special effort to present information and analysis in an entertaining way. The line between entertainment and information is in any case never clear and, where there is acute competition to hold the viewer's attention, it is easily crossed... What is worrying about private television is the cut-throat competition between rival channels. The competition affects the manner in which news is presented and, in the end, also its substance. The writer is professor emeritus of sociology, University of Delhi.

In constant pursuit of physical beauty-City City Bang Bang-Santosh Desai Times of India, 29 September 2008

The idea of a perfect body is culturally constructed and makes millions go through enormous amount of effort to try and achieve it. This is true, but no more true than notions of success, for instance, which are equally artificial and create benchmarks that are often impossible to live up to.

In the world we live in today, it is not in the nature of things to be happy with what we have. What we call progress is nothing but a relentless and driving impatience with the existing. We want more, we want better and we want it now. In the value system we have constructed, we have created a set of hierarchies in terms of what is legitimate and what is not. There is no natural reason why beauty will not be pursued as vigorously as the training of the mind is. Beauty like money and education, is on its way to being democratized. More and more people are likely to see it as a personal achievement rather than an inherited legacy.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Surendra Pratap Singh worked out a simple yet crisp Hindi for television

When Hindi became telegenic
Indianexpress.Wednesday 27 June '07 Hindi news TV would not have been where it is today, but for Surendra Pratap Singh or ‘SP’, who died ten years ago. But he would not have recognised what passes for Hindi TV news today.

If we can credit one person with this shift, it must be Surendra Pratap Singh. ‘SP’ launched Aaj Tak, initially as a half an hour news bulletin on Doordarshan, and took it to its iconic status. Today everyone knows that the viewership of all the English news channels put together is but a small proportion of the Hindi viewership. For every big media house, their Hindi channel is the real money spinner. It appears quite logical, if you compare the number of English and Hindi speakers. But only ten years ago it was not so obvious. Hindi media was a distant and very poor cousin to the all-powerful English media.

SP set out to change this by adopting a fresh and bold approach. He broke ranks with the many devotees, servants and fanatics of Hindi. Instead of worshipping Hindi, he worked with it. He worked out a simple yet crisp Hindi for television, distinct from the stuffy language of the print media, without giving in to the pressures of Hinglish. He recognised that Hindi was not an endangered species waiting to be rescued by the faithful. Unlike his contemporaries who had a contempt for or fear of the market, SP built on the huge market potential of Hindi — his confident Hindi did not need to be fanatic. He was perhaps the only Hindi journalist whose column was translated into English and carried by The Economic Times.

SP instilled professionalism in Hindi journalism... Yet his professionalism was not apolitical. A man of deep political convictions and a political animal to the core, SP held his own against the communal wave that threatened to drown the Hindi media. Unabashedly pro-Mandal, he translated his conviction by recruiting and training a large number of non-upper caste Hindu journalists. YADAV The writer is a political scientist at CSDS, New Delhi

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rajat Dutta is a dream unfulfilled; a journey unfinished

[Most readers are probably wondering what all this has to do with Michael Jackson. Well, it all comes back to the hero. Sri Aurobindo tells us of the Aryan hero, the traveler of the Year (the Vedic Sacrifice) who ‘becomes one with all beings and all inanimate objects in a single self-awareness, love, delight, all-embracing energy’. He is telling us of our destiny. In an era that has long forgotten the true hero and the true hero’s journey, what we celebrate, venerate, worship, adore, and treat ‘like a god’ is anything but the Aryan hero as described in the Vedas and subsequent Indian sacred literature. Will the Real Aryan Please Stand Up?
from Circumsolatious by Lori Tompkins]

[Jackson’s self-remaking can only be understood as a kind of Afrofuturist nightmare, a violent (to himself) leap into the posthuman. As Annalee Newitz puts it, Jackson “turned his body into a kind of science fiction story. He became an enhanced human, using plastic surgery and pharmaceuticals to change his face and seemingly his race as well. He became whiter than most white people, and his pale bandaged skin became his trademark.” Michael Jackson from The Pinocchio Theory by Steven Shaviro 1:48 PM]

Leaving the scene midway, Rajat Dutta is a dream unfulfilled; a journey unfinished. His exit, however, is a poser to all of us whether our aspirations are really on course or astray. Rajat’s immense zeal and heroic enthusiasm, I presume, met a blind alley. He strove to accomplish a social harmony and a personal concordance within the existing imperfections of the world, which, clearly, proved a barrier. And there was no point in wasting time. With all of you in condolence. [TNM]


from Subroto date15 July 2009 12:16 subject CONDOLENCE: Dear All, With a heavy heart we wish to inform you about the sad and untimely demise of Shri Rajat Dutta on 5th July 2009.

Mr. Dutta was a guiding light for many and his ebullient nature made him a darling of all. Within the limited time destiny had written for him he reached great professional heights in his career uncompromising for the values for which he always stood. After reaching great heights in the corporate world he was a family man and his capability to reach out warmly to each and everybody was unparalleled. The warmth and energy he infused wherever he went made him the most loveable and adored.

A Condolence meeting and Shanti Path is being organized to pay tribute and pray for salvation of his holy soul, details as follows; Date; 18th July 2009 (Saturday) Time; 6pm – 8pm Venue; SRA Parking, Shipra Riviera, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad (Entry from Gate No.4). Rsvp > SRDP&SM & members; Bereaved family: Rusha, Rumi, Renee and Mrs. Gitali Dutta