Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Half- Baked Journalists on the Rampage!


Hello Folks,

It has been quite some time that i hadn't communicated with you all!

Well here I am and raring to correspond with you all.

Today i would like trow a topic in front of you which is an issue with the urban and so-called polished contemporary society.

The topic is a discourse on trends certain media persons show and also the bunch of wannabe journalists who emulate them!

The world of Globalization has brought along with a never-ending boom on dissemination of information and current affairs on Social-Political-Economic-Historical-Cultural and aspirational levels.

The responsibility of taking forward these messages lie on media which in some individuals perspective is the ultimate institution.

With lots of Private News channels vying in a cut-throat competition for "exclusives" and "sound-bytes" the urban citizen has nothing else to do but bear with them!

There are Journalists like Vir Sanghvi who had started out his journey in this business with the star network of the "Media-Baron" Rupert Murdoch, with self-glorifying shows as "Star-Talk" in the English version and "Vir Ke Teer" on the hindi channel of the corporation.

As a common man of the type shown in R.K. Laxman's iconic cartoons, I would like to ask that why is he so rigid and confused in his views. This was evident on his "views" on the Muslim-Community in his piece, "The Antulay Conspiracy!" appearing in Hindustan Times, Sunday issue.

There is also another piece i read in one of his disillusioned fan's blog and who according to him had the courage to stand out and condemn Narendra Modi's failure to stop the 2002 Gujarat-genocide.

In his writeup, he states that "he likes the references Modi gives to his Chest-size" and etc..etc..and somewhat tries to justify his views that he would accept all these but for one and that is these came from a ''mass-butcherer" like Modi!

His article has a Chauvinistic thread running through it. By stating his "foolish" statements of Gujarati Superiority over the pre-independent mindset or attitude over them by the then Maharashtrians itself smells of creating unhealthy cleavages in this nation once firmly held by our first powerful emperor, Asoka, followed by Chandra Gupta Maurya and the Mughal, Jalal-Uddin-Mohammad-Akbar.

In contemporary times, our scholar, visionary and statesman like, Primeminister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and his Iron-willed, "Tigress of a daughter" carried their mantle forward.

The great Scholar-Reformer Saint that India was blessed with to be a champion of its rich-heritage, Swami Vivekananda had deep reverence for these two empire-builders often cliched with inseparable "great" with their names i.e. Asoka and Akbar.

There some aspiring Journos who regard him as their idol and every word of theirs as a divine injunction!

I would like to question with no offence meant to their success-credentials that yes, you are a media-person associated with the industry for quite some time but who has given you the right to be judgemental on issues very delicate and with the potent force of taking this nation thousand and thousand years back!

The very package that Journos should give their views on issues and developments is a misnomer and a confused practice. Instead of their collums which are brand names for them they should be interviewed and then asked to comment. They should also be asked to hold conferences and seminars to disseminate the complex issues with their proper socio-historic-politic-economic context.

There are some persons who by fluke had landed upon this profession and waver away from the crux and trust of this discipline by following each and every word of the "Self-proclaimed" intelligent journalists.

No body is found out to be comprising of the vices and virtues, in totality which a certain race, institution, "Caste" is levelled with.

This brings to my mind a visionary statement of the only Monarchical resistance of 18th century India, Tipu Sultan.

When approached by one of his courtiers on the issue of treachery by his Prime Minister, Pandit Purnaiyaa (a Brahmin) with the added emotional statement "the whole of the Brahmin clan is not to be trusted", this gem of a ruler replied that "for the deeds of a single individual, the whole community should not be singled out for condemnation."

Media stands for correct representation of facts, including fairplay, balance, objectivity.All these devoid of arrogance, ignorance, biasness and irrational prejudice.

We are surely being untrue to icons of our history who have tried their level best to gel this society of diverse elements.Their far-sightedness makes us appear puny.

Media is the third eye of the society, the third estate of a Democracy should be embedded in the minds of communicators . This is the very essence of this institution, its very existence.

Keep thinking,

Be responsible,

Read a lot, Knowledge is never ending.

Peace,

Keep blogging and God Bless.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

60 Super Years!



Hello Bloggers,

Hope this finds you all in the best of health!

Comics are a wonderful pastime. 

They fall in the genre of "light-literature" and keep on adding to the interest and delight of millions and millions of fans the world over.

Humans are peculiar creations for they possess the power of imagination. They can create their own make believe world with the help of it.

In India they have a lot of fantasy-stories ranging from the ancient to the medieval ages.

Europe has had their share in fairy-tales of Hans Anderson,Grimms etc

While Greece have had the legacy of the Aesop's fables.

These fantasies developed during different eras based on the social, political, cultural, economic, historical, religious changes.

Comic-Book culture was incorporated by United States mainly. When the Second World War was going on they published comic books with exxagerated and fictionalised accounts of the areas globally where the war took place.

There are many fans of the War-comic-book series with the "Commando" pocket-sized comics creating a big craze the world over!

A personal favourite of mine is a comic- book character of this War-backdrop. He is the experimental "Super- soldier" project of the Allied powers, Captain America. (publisher, Marvel Comics) I will discuss his story with you all some other time.

Comic book literature at its peak of bussiness had many Superheroes,Heroines, Meta-Humans,Supernatural and weird figures to its long list of publications.

The two big houses which published them were Marvel and D.C. comic book houses.

The first costumed crime-fighter was the Phantom by Lee-Falk.This vigilante and perhaps, the first super-hero resides in the skull-cave of the imaginary Bengalla-Jungle in the African continent with an eternal vow to finish off evil in its many forms i.e. Smugglers, Bandits, Pirates, con-men, boot- leggers etc.

He is and will remain an eternal favourite.

With no offence meant to his creation, one name which stands bright after him is the blue-eyed, muscularly-built and with lots of super-human capacities inside him, who is none other than Superman!

Generations the world over has grown up with this character.

He is the first comic-book character to possess the power of flight, for he defies earth's gravitational pull!

Only Angels in Islamic and Christian literature are said to have the power of flight.

He was created by two teenage boys, Jerry-Siegel and Joe Shuster. They were both 17 years of age that time.The place was the United States.

It developed down the ages. He has a colourful costume to his credit. He wears what are called "long-johns", tight spandex-like material for an attire, it is a deliberate ploy to show off his muscles.

He has a red cape that adds fullness to his outfit.He has special long, just below the knee red-coloured boots.

Unlike other comic book protagonists, he doesn't wear a mask to conceal his identity.As is the case with most of his contemporaries.

Even the Phantom wears a mask but that is to do with his concept-creation.It is the case in most super-hero storylines that they conceal their identities for fear of harm being meted out to persons close to them, who are powerless.

It is interesting to note how Superman fulfills this aspect! It was in his time that the concept of "Alter-Ego" fully embedded itself in comic book characterisations.

Superman is not from the earth.

He belongs to the civilisation of the planet "Krypton." It is depicted as much advanced in its infrastructures and daily process of life compared to Earth.

His father Jor-el was an enlightened citizen. He appealed to the council of elders( who are like administrators of a nation) that their planet will be devastated as the Krypton red-sun is inching closer towards them. It will awaken seismic gases by its tremendous heat and energy and tear the planet into bits and pieces. He was well-versed in Science,hence the observation.

But they did not listen to him and as that fateful day approached, he set off his son, Kal- El in a mini-rocket orbitted to earth.he packed crystal "drives" inside it which would help him to answer his queries regarding his origin, culture,history etc..

His vehicle lands in an open field in the famous Kansas village of California state, to be found by a childless-couple of a farmer and his wife.His wife sympathises with the boy and adopts him.His vehicle is hidden in their store house! They were Mr. Jonathan and Mrs. Martha Kent of Smallville county in Kansas. 

Growing up from his childhood to the teenage phase, he slowly started to realise that he was "different" from other boys his age.

While a baby it is shown in the older comics, syringes would bend while being pierced for any baby-stage vaccines his earthly mother wanted him to be injected with! Hence the sobriquet, "Man of Steel !"

But how come he harnessed such incredible strength? In comics, his strength proprtions are measured by these lines: "Faster than a speeding bullet, stronger than a locomotive, able leap buildings in a single bound!"

He gets familiar with his origins when he travels to icy and chillingly-gold destination of South-pole.Finding no answers to his incredible capacities, he flungs one of the crystals given to him by his biologicall father while he was a baby!

It creates great turbulence in the ice there and automatically a structure similar to that of his Planet, krypton emerges from the bowels of the region.

Right there at the centre of this huge structure he finds to his surprise, a console where he would insert the crystals with him in the empty slots and lo! Apparitions or pre-stored data in visual format spoken either by his father or any eminent Kryptonian would appear in front of him and his questions answered.

Superman named the structure, "Fortress of Solititude". In the future he would store different rock-samoles,elements from various planets there which would be collected by him in his space travels.

Our sun's rays are the source of his poweres. The logic given is each planet has a different Sun to serve its purpose and he would have been powerless, had he been still in Krypton!

He has heat- vision generated from his eyes harnessed from the Sun's fiery tendency. Among his many powers, he has X-ray vision, helping him to probe anything concealed, with the metal Lead-being an obstruction!

Despite all these, He becomes powerless when exposed to the pieces of Krypton, which were scattered in space when his planet exploded. It does not help him if someone has it near him, malfunctioning his entire constitution and even proving lethal to his life if exosed to it for long.

Among the supporting characters in his storyline, he has Lois-Lane a high flying reporter in the American daily, Daily planet. Jimmy Olsen, the photographer working in the paper. Last but not the least, his Editor-in-chief, Mr.Perry White.

He has another secret, did i say the term, Alter-Ego!

He has employed himself with his swift typing abilities as a reporter in the daily. He disguises himself underneath a pair of studious-looking spectactles, with a faked and meek voice, clumsy and bumbling, geeky- behaviour and body-language and with his hair tightly combed!

He has another secret, he loves Lois-Lane!He was carried away by her charm and dynamic element prevalent in her professionalism.But the problem is that he fears to confess her!

This is because of her strong attraction towards the personality of the man of Steel whom she has managed to interview for quite some time.

Clark Kent, Superman's alter ego fears that his adversaries would take advantage of this situation as he has to divulge the truth that Clark himself is the Man of Steel!

His adversaries are many. Among the most famoust nemesises of his Lex-Luthor stands tall. He is a cunning Bussinessman.He measures lif in terms of money. Has schemes of buying the entire world.Has links with the Mafia, is a womaniser. But most disturbing of all , capitalises on Superman's powerlessness against Kryptonite which he finds in the desert of Adiss-Ababa and splurges a considerable monetary amount to procure.

Lex Luthor often goes out of the way to eliminate Superman.

Supereman made his television debut in the George Reeves starred series. I remember coming across one of the episodes in a comic book. It was titled, "Superman and the haunted Lighthouse!"

Superman made his big-screen in the film, Superman-the movie. It was made under the Warner brothers banner and a lot of creative producers threw their weight behind it. It was directed by Richard Donner.It was released in 1978. The screenplay was by Mario Puzo of Godfather fame.

It had an interesting starcast. 

To start with the debutante, Christopher Reeves in the title role. Margot Kidder as Lois Lane. Marlon Brando as Jor-El and Gene Hackman as the super hero's nemesis, Lex-Luthor.

Christopher Reeves, an Englishmen by origin and unknown when cast, was selected among 200 aspirants for the role. He was described by a film magazine has having a square jaw-line like the super hero and  razor-sharp chisseled facial features!

The movie was a smash hit and still continues to be a favourite with generations who were familiar or even unfamiliar with the concept. 

Christopher Reeves recieved rave reviews for his portrayal of the bumbling Journalist, Clark Kent and the suave, Man of Steel. This was an obvious achievement of the movie along with convincing special-effects.

The latest production was "Superman Returns", directed by Bryan-Singer of the X-Men franchise. It starred newcomer, Brandon Routh in the title role and Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane.

All said and done, this is a comic-book hero entertaining the masses by fighting for Truth and Justice. People see a hope in his creation. Though such capacities are not real.Yet a deep moral lies in his creation that of a new beginning in this world, a world full of radiance, positivity, goodness, peace.

One man asserting himself against all odds for protecting the interest of the world is indeed a noble and selfless thought and inspires each of us to be a Superman in his/hers own right.

The Saints of the world, the prophets of Christianity, Islam and Zionism are living examples of selfless individuals which makes them undoubtedly, " Super ."

Last year Superman's creation turned 60 years. It is symbolic. It represents positive people. People who can stand for Truth, justice  and Liberty.

Let us applaud and salute the 60 years of Superman.

Up, Up and Away!

Thank you all,

Peace.

 

A Trip with Fr.Dejus!



Hello and a good day to everybody,

How has the weekend been?

For me it has been mixed with me having to last minute textbook scanning for our 3 hours exam that will run for 5 days!

Today, I thought why not share wit my folks a little travel experience. This is a little note which depicts the trip we had with Father Dejus, Niscort's system analyst.

One lazy Sunday afternoon as me and Father Raj of Audio Visual Communications, Anand from broadcast journalism and Brother Gervasius from the same course as Annand's sat in the parlour of our hostel block, Father dejus threw in front of us the proposal of a trip to Gurgaon.

We happily obliged!

Let me elaborate a little about Fr. Dejus. He is a Tamil. He has obtained degree in electrnic communications from London. Literally said, he ca be considered to be a person of living life on the fast lane. He loves fusion music with predominating bass strains.Loves A.R. Rahman's compositions. Listens to the unbeatable classics BonnyM for instance.Is very energetic, punctual and humourously sarcastic in his conversations.

In my view, he has a certain aura like shahrukh Khan who wants to be second to none!

He always is positive, laughing his heart out in his conversations, especially with his tongue in cheek humour.

So much for introductions.

All of us rushed to our rooms to dress up. But, alas Anand was left behind as he tried to take a bath in that tight time-frame!

Father Dejus had an appointment with a dentist based in Gurgaon. We took the flyover leading to this area of M.N.C's and Multiplexes. Fr. hit the accelerator hard and was soon zapping past the other vehicles. Our's was a Hyundai Santro. Whenever, Fr. saw another santro going at avery slow pace, he would refer to that driver as 'monkey'! This was so for, according to him it was a confused state of driving as far as handling a Santro is concerned. This vehicle is small but tough and has acceleration features installed.

On the way, he showed us the Mughal relic, Purana Qila(Old-Fort). He added that it was here the blockbuster, Veer Zaara's scene depictng the last meeting of the star - crossed lovers was shot. He also stated that it was convincingly presented as a place in Pakistan.

He also pointed to us the point where our late Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi was shot. He also showed us the point where Gandhiji's memorial is there and also P.M. Manmohan Singh's residence which was heavily fortified according to modern standards with thick steel and iron running all around the structure.

Therafter he showed all the bureaucrats.Govt. officials houses in Chanakyapuri,Known for the many embassies it houses.

All said and done, we finally reached Gurgaon. It is a place termed as "Posh" in modern parlance!

It houses Malls accomodating expensive cosmopolised brands. These Supermarkets are lined one after the another with roads behind or besides it having the M.N.C.'s.

This area is industrialised in its format and infrastructure. Soon, We were at the clinic of the father Dejsus' dentist.We entered inside. We were made to sit in the parlour adjoining the clinic.

After 5 mins. a young girl came and told father Dejus that it was his turn now.He went inside. We were awe-struck. There was a plasma television for the visitors. From outside, we observed the interiors. We saw through the transparent glass outside, dental chairs were lined one after the other on which the patients were operated upon. There was a red velvet carpet strewn across the floor which covered the full - length of the room .

After waiting for nearly 2hours, i felt a little hungry. It was 12:20 a.m. then.

With no sign of Fr. Dejus around we went out looking for some eatables.

Adding to our woes, we found only Rice serving tavern like restaurants. We compromised and cooled ourselves with a considerably big glass of Pomegrenate and Moushambhi mixed beverage with the courtesy of Father Raj.

After 10 mins. we entered the clinic. Father came out after 10 mins. later. After asking us that did we take anything food-wise while he was on the chair with his jaw-wide open! he took us to our return journey back to the institute. As it was Sunday, lunch was meant to be served at 1'o clock.

With less time in hand father dove recklessly, ala James Bond style, with the "monkey"(fickle-minded persons!) referrals to all those driving in a confused and unpredictable manner which caused confusion to the vehicles behind.

Lo! we were inside the institute in a jiffy. It was 1:10mins then.

We thanked him for the trip we had. And it was the gush of adrenaline charged, wind blowing past our faces inside the speeding car being the only soveniur left with us!

Thank you!

You folks are great!

Keep blogging!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Indian Cinema and Terrorism!


MEDIA AND TERRORISM:–PORTRAYAL OF TERRORISM IN INDIAN CINEMA.
Terror through the lenses of Bollywood:(a still from Khaled Mohammad's Fiza, 2000)


“THERE ARE GOOD FILMS, BAD FILMS AND THEN THERE ARE INDIAN FILMS”. - Actor John Abraham during the press- release of Deepa Mehta’s “Water.”
   
In the era of globalization and its allied forces, there comes to the fore varied issues and developments. These are studied by Bureaucrats, Policy Makers, Surveyors, N.G.O.’s,media concerns etc.One such issue that keeps showing itself in the present scenario is Terrorism. At present labeled as global terrorism, after the 9/11 attack on the Twin towers as well as the Pentagon. It is usually identified with bombings, suicide bombers, hijackings, kidnapping, Arsonry, Riotting, weapons of mass- destruction.

 Our paper analyses one of the aspects of media and terrorism and that aspect is Terrorism as shown in Indian cinema .From the films shown at Niscort, I would take the initiative to analyze them one after the other.

Media is a catalyst which can range anything from conversation between two persons,newspapers,periodicals, journals,Periodicals,journals,Magazines, Pamphlets, Brochures, Leaflets, Satellite TV, Radio, Cinema-Parallel & Non-Parallel, Documentaries,Drama,theatre- mobile & street , skits, Tamasha, puppetry, Internet or “New-media” to carry the message across effectively. Our paper shall see that light is thrown on different facets of terrorism as shown in Indian cinema. Ethically speaking, media should not take any stance inst ead it should try to present undistorted facts and present it to public to generate constructive public opinion. At least, that should be the standard of Indian media often hailed as the fourth pillar of our democracy.
Of the first such films screened at Niscort, I will take up the case of Parzania, a film by Rahul Dholakia the backdrop of the film is the Gujarat riots, an aftermath of the Godhra carnage. The director has deliberately portrayed a Parsi family which goes through a lot of trauma as their son goes missing in the ensuing riots. The film questions the social integrity of our country. The sub title says it all (heaven & hell on earth). The message conveyed by the film is that Indian society would not accept cannibalistic violence lying down. The film uses a lot of symbols. As fr. Jude observed the film starts with a punch. The narration treatment is different here, for conclusions come in the beginning, the settings are the actions. The film deals with the following ingredient s- (A) Human -Interest i.e. family and (B) issues i.e. Politics, Communalism rooting from unhealthy attachment to religion. Our Director, Fr. Jude observed it as a parallel of the film “Jesus Montréal”. The second movie, “RANG DE BASANTIservesa statement in the affirmative it is interesting to compare both the movies as both of them uses violence as the backdrop. It exposes the structures of India’s socio-political-religio fabric. The film dwelves to the core of issues as political ignorance, struggle of the values that makes India (a country the size of a continent) a nation, Red – Tapism, Colonial or Corporate outlook towards citizens by the administrative –setup, cover-up of issues, a democratic setup which “uses an iron hand in a velvet glove”, indifference towards the selfless sacrifices of our armed revolutionaries(which is again a symbolic gesture executed by the director Rakyesh Om Prakash Mehra.) .The film consciously targets the youth as its audience. I once read an article on the movie in the cinema supplement of The Telegraph. It said the film approaches the concept of patriotism indirectly it added that the same year another patriotic movie “Mangal Pandey”(said to be based on the life and times of the rebel sepoy of bhalia district of U.P., India belonging to the 34th Bengal regiment of Barrackpore,west Bengal.)Bombed at the box – office. This can also be an interesting case study. The message of R.D.B. is on the face that the root of all evil in society is “corruption”. It is also interesting to note how the director carries forward the tale, by using poetry written by poet Allama Iqbal.The film uses parallel scenes from the armed rebellion phase of the Indian Freedom Movement and present society of youth indifferent towards the social and political issues of India. Communal harmony comes in the form of the friendship shown between the revolutionaries Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaqullah khan which also has a layered significance pertaining to the region they belong to i.e. U.P. where centuries ago the revered saint Kabir Das united Muslims and Hindus by the doctrine of Ram –Rahim in the city of Benares.The cinematography is also significant as it uses the shade yellow complementing the film’s title in the parallel scenes. This colour also signifies the mustard seeds of Punjab to which the intellectual revolutionary Bhagat Singh belonged and which in turn denotes the coming of spring, symbolic to a new progressive era. The techniques of the film are powerful music, parallel scenes, and focuss on youth. It appears that the film says, “Violence is the solution of problems in the society”.
There is also a double message as the hero outplays his opponent. As Fr. Jude observes this matter also came in a debate format in NDTV and the director counter suggested that youth can bring about change for good by joining I.A.S,Judicioal services,etc.the third film “black and White” is by seasoned filmmaker Subhash Ghai.The film handles terrorism in a different manner. The film focuses on a terrorist and he has subtext / sub questions as to who is a terrorist? Why is he a terrorist? Does he too have feelings? The film uses symbols effectively. For instance, overstressing on Anubhav Sinha’s face.Pre- conceived notions that people are judged either by shades of Black & White. It is interesting to note that, at the end of the film, a paper is shown to be torn apart from the middle, which removes prejudices and pre-conceived notions. The film’s bottom line can be summed up as “destroy the terrorist by changing the terrorist”.

  The fourth film “Kayataran” is by shashi Kumar and it is more transcendental in its approach. The film’s backdrop is the ‘84 Sikh riots immediately after Indira Gandhi’s assassination. A journalist goes to the convent he and his mother was given refuge during the riots to cover a story on “conversions”. The screenplay is deliberately kept slow and steady. The story can be said to be the self realization of an individual, acceptance of who he really is? The film uses symbols at will. The very first image of the stained glass image of Jesus Christ being broken sets the tone for a somber narration.  Finally, it can be said that such films enables one to think. The tenets of an equal society “Liberty”, “Equality”, “Fraternity” can be achieved by thinking individuals only. 

It remains on us to decide as to which ideology we should chose? A perverted one or a liberal one?  
   
 


India's Secular spirit.


On India’s Secularism:  

   
“Mazhab nahin sikhata aapas mein bair rakhna.”
  - (An excerpt from the national song, “Sare Jahaan se aacha” by Aalama Iqbal.)

We the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic.- ( opening lines of the Preamble to the Constitution of India.)

  Secularism, which is one of the aims and objectives of the Preamble to the Constitution of India is an idea which if traced as regards its roots of origin in India will come to the natural conclusion that it is not borrowed from the West (It is another case, if they credit themselves to be the pioneer of this concept.).Historically, it was Emperor Akbar who convincingly implemented this idea in the formation of a new faith known as “Deen-e-Ilahi”(an amalgamation of the virtuous principles of all Faiths.) such an order of governance could also be seen in the reign of Tipu Sultan of Mysore, whom his adversaries comprising of Lieutenants and Captains of the East India Company had deliberately branded a “bigot” and a “Fanatic” in historical accounts so as to distort the happenings of the period as well as spread their propaganda. This distortion was rectified by Mahatma Gandhi during his stint as the guest Editor of the daily “Young India”. He stated in its editorial that, “All allegations against the Sultan are baseless, instead he was at that time of turbulence,(18th century India) a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity as he listened with equal attention and respect the Aazan (Call for prayer) from the Masjid-e-Ala as well as the ringing of the bells from Sri-Ranganath Mutt in his capital, Srirangapatanam.”

  In Independent India after the dawn of Independence, our charismatic Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who was deeply wedded to the principle of Secularism drew strength from the Persian term, “Sulekhul” denoting the same.

  The unity and fraternity of the people of India, professing numerous faiths, has been sought to be achieved by enshrining the Ideal of a Secular State which means that the state protects all religions equally and does not itself uphold any religion as the state religion. The question of Secularism is not one of sentiments but one of Law. The Secular objective of the state has been specifically expressed by inserting the word, “Secular” in the Preamble to the Constitution of India (42nd amendment) Act of 1976. Secularism is a part of the basic structure of the Constitution. There is no provision in the constitution making any religion the “established Church” as some other constitutions do.

  On the other hand, The Liberty of “belief”, “faith”, and “worship” promised in the Preamble is implemented by incorporating the fundamental rights of all citizens relating to “Freedom of Religion” in Articles, 25-29, which guarantee to each individual freedom to profess, practice and propagate their own religion, assure strict impartiality on the part of the state and its institutions towards all religions.

  This Constitutional injunction itself is one of the glowing achievements of the Indian Democracy when her neighbors such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri-Lanka and Burma, uphold particular religions as state-religions.

  To put it this way, the reason as to why India is not a Theocratic nation is that it is a multilingual (including various dialects), multicultural, multi-racial as well as a society of pluralistic views (Paradoxes exist in almost every sphere).

  India’s Secularism can also be attributed to the very creation of Pakistan which was on theocratic lines. The veteran leaders of the I.N.C. saw the threat such a proposal faced to India’s social fabric. India’s secularism can be summed up in the prayer chant of Gandhiji which has a synthesis of terminology used to address the same Almighty God, the excerpt where such a blending takes place, runs as-
   
  “ Ishwar, Allah, tero naam sabko sanmati de Bhagwan. ”  


Aziz Mirza's Niche.


FEATURE: Satire in Aziz Mirza’s movies.
Hello Folks, let me take you all to the magical cinematic world of Satirist movie maker,Mr. Aziz Mirza.

“Acche Logon ke saath hamesha aacha hi hota hain.”
- (An excerpt of a dialogue spoken in the movie, ‘Yes Boss’.)

Aziz Mirza, seasoned filmmaker, has created a niche for himself in Bollywood.
He made his foray in the entertainment world when he along with his brother, Saeed Mirza and veteran Kundan Shah tried to set up a production company “Iskra” in 1985. His movies appeal to people of all age groups.
His Movies always depict a ‘Working class hero’ who is an underdog out to conquer a ‘big city of dreams.’ The most important element in his movies is the development of the tale from a surreal one to a real situation. He very economically uses satire and irony to serve a social statement. What has carried him so far is how he manages to tell the problems of Indian city life from political, social, economic, cultural, psychological perspectives unassumingly. These kinds of techniques in filmmaking was adopted by Kundan Shah (Jane Bhi do yaro, Kabhi haa Kabhi naa…. fame.)in the early 80’s and early 90’s.

Also during the glorious days of Doordarshan, when the serial “Circus”(1989) was on air which is co- directed by Mr..Mirza’s brother, Saeed Mirza, and himself, these trends were seen.
The treatment given to his movies is such, one can co- relate to it. Movies like Yes Boss, (1997), “Raju ban Gaya Gentleman” (1992) has stood the test of time and still click with cinegoers.
His movies centre around simple human aspirations to be better in his/hers fields. One would especially be enthralled by his production , “ Phir Bhi Dil Hain Hindustani.” (2000) The story revolves round the urban and corporate world of Electronic Media which takes into consideration the careers of two high flying media persons Ajay Bakhshi (Shahrukh Khan) and Ria Banerjee (Juhi chawla), representing rival channels and at professional war with each other. The movie very unassumingly speaks of the political incorrectness, Red -tapism, highhandedness and other negative attributes of the administration. Shahrukh’s character is shown from the beginning to have a firm belief on the incentives he receives from his concern and while his father (a man of Gandhian values.) is worried as to how his son is climbing the ladder of success so fast. He justifies himself and his concern firstly by stating that these incentives were given to him due to his hard work and also by saying that this age thrives on news and adds that, “Father, in your age, when a dog bit a man it became news, nowadays when a man bites a dog it becomes news or we (media) make it appear so.” This very statement brings out trends of expediency and sensationalism prevalent in the present scenario of media.
On an apparent level, Patriotism is the theme of the production, Yet it delivers hidden layers of present Political, Social, Economic, Cultural, and Religious scenario in our country. He pokes fun at politicians and politics of today.

He uses Comic relief in it in the form of the character of a failed gangster (Johnny Lever).
The last scenes are pathetic conditions of today’s Judiciary which has to function at the whims and fancies of the head of influential Political parties. It so happens that a person who shot dead the secretary of an M.L.A. in a political meeting (avenging the death of his teenage daughter at the secretary’s hands due to sexual assault, who had gone to him for a job interview promised to her Father.) and who evolves as the link in the story and is branded a ‘terrorist’ having foreign connections and subsequently bringing out orders to hang him initiated by the Chief Minister as well as the candidate in the run up to the Chief Ministerial elections. This is done apparently to rake up an election issue and kindling the sentiments of the public. The director questions the role of media in such issues which is often interested in ‘sound bytes’ and ‘expedient reporting’, the ‘public’ – which, counter questions us as- ‘Are we Indians spineless Individuals’ ? ‘Don’t we have a voice of our own’? His films are such which approaches the complexities of life in a light manner and simultaneously showcases the idiocy of the elements which drive them.

To sum up, his productions are the right dose of humour designed in such a well-crafted manner that stirs the thinking individual in an Indian’s heart. We still become nostalgic when we go down memory lane and recollect memories of Shahrukh’s dead father, passing away due to a stroke while sitting on a chair and overseeing the arrangements of his Circus troupe in the series “Circus” with Shahrukh sitting besides him reflecting over his father’s suggestion to take over the management of the troupe someday while, his father’s voice rings in the background stressing that “the show must go on.”

The magic of audio visual media is overwhelming and it is the overall ‘feel good quotient’ which will drive Mr. Mirza’s movies and strike a chord with the audiences.

Thank you all.
Be positive and keep posting.
Peace!






My institute Niscort


  NISCORT-AVENUES GALORE 
   
 
 
   
  Media, the word we come across in contemporary times means different concepts to different people. Broadly speaking, it encompasses the larger society we live. There consists of certain elements or components in everyday human life which acts as a catalyst in conveying the right message across. These may be personal communication or interpersonal communication. Media should not be corporate instead it should be all-embracing. it can mean anything from mores, folkways, newspapers, journals, periodicals, magazines, newsletters, pamphlets, brochures, literature-short stories & novels, dramas-one act plays & skits, street theatre, tamasha, puppetry, diploma or documentary films, parallel cinema etc.

 I was wedded to the field of media from the phase of life when I was pursuing my 12th standard course. Then destiny brought Niscort’s doorway in my life. It was all very dramatic; FR. John Edapilly came to the peace centre at Guwahati, interviewed me and admitted me in the institute. Delhi besides being the capital of India is a hub for journalistic avenues. I landed at Delhi on the 10th of august at 1:30 in the afternoon, had my lunch at my aunty’s place at Sarojini nagar and came with my cousin to the institute. As soon as I entered the campus I saw our Dean of studies, our Director, System Analyst standing on the driveway as if welcoming me. The Dean of studies informed me that my mother had rang up just a short while ago as to whether I had reached our institute or not. 

I am overwhelmed by the facilities the concerned authorities had to offer. This comprised of internet (morning 8:30 – evening 7:30),a reasonable collection of library books concerning our fields as well as subfields, Reference materials viz; weekly journals, monthly magazines as well as the regular supply of national newspapers. With these tools, complementing one’s “food for thought”, what more can one possibly ask for. From what I have seen so far Our director, Fr. Jude Bothelo has the knowledge of “nuances” in the interest fields of media. He also has the power of “connectivity”. The campus has a certain calmness pervading it and let me add here that it was the same calmness which William Wordsworth experienced while standing on the Westminister Bridge with the Thames flowing beneath it in the wee hours of the morning. The next morning was the inaugural session of the first year batch and all were raring to go .The thing that struck me that day was guest Alok varma’s speech (ex. Executive producer of Aaj -Tak). The lines he spoke were thought-provoking and insightful. I will remember his perspective that being a media person, one should identify his/hers purpose and it is up to that individual to waver away or stick to that purpose. He also addressed the reality that all the media concerns are promoting “yellow journalism” as well as trends of “sensationalism”. He came in terms with the fact that media persons should take up the initiative and be enterprising enough to open their own concerns which will serve as a counterstatement to such disturbing trends which are unfortunately taking place in an institution often clichéd as the “fourth pillar” of Indian Democracy. After a week, our batch was shown the movies, Mr. Chaplin’s “the kid”, which was a comment on the hypocrisy of society. These formed our Film Appreciation sensibilities. The following four days we were shown Rahul Dholakia’s Parzania, Rakyesh Mehra’s, Rang De Basanti, Sub hash ghai’s, Black& White & last but not the least, the transcendental ‘Kayataran’ (conversions), which was Shashi Kumar’s debut project , who coincidentally happens to be the director of ASIAN COLLEGE OF JOURNALISM(CHENNAI).So the serious treatment of the subject of the ’84 Sikh riots with elements of philosophy, Christian symbolism was expected naturally from him. My institute has the right balance of value education, intellectuality, reasonable concepts and etiquettes which go long way much later when our near and dear ones are no more with us. We also happen to have here Fathers, Sisters pursuing the courses on communication from different parts of the nation, which completes the cliché peculiar of India, Kashmir se Kanyakumari tak.(indicating diversity).We have a somewhat fusion of cultures here, with Fathers and Sisters showing curiosity, keenness in each others cultures. This helps to break stereotypes. Personally, I consider Missionary Education to be an elite one as my mother herself was a convent product and I can boast that till now, I had no difficulty in English language as I had studied under her till my graduation. Celebrities have a somewhat perverted knowledge about things with most of their earnings shelled out on glamour and their prime investment being their personal care. Even then, we can give the illustration of Bollywood’s reigning superstar, Shahrukh Khan, who is also from Delhi. It is seen he can carry any event single-handedly with his good expressions in English , conversational-style stage anchoring coupled with his witty one liners and it is interesting to note that he is a product of St. Columbia’s, New Delhi ,run by the Irish brotherhood. During his studies there, he was also awarded with The Sword of Honour Award. Strange enough, but this is a discipline which covers literally, almost everything under the sky. Sociology, political science and history being its base it has concepts, derivations from subfields of studies as Statistics, Science, Economics, Geography, Anthropology, literature. 

Everything falling in the right place at Niscort, I will have the opportunity of going places. The ambience in the institute is a right mix of nature and studies to beat the monotony. 


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A trip with my Chacha!


Good morning folks!

I hope this finds you all in the prime of whatever you all do.

It was the 14th of December and we (me and my freinds) were studying for the viva-voce exams of 100 marks scheduled to be n the next day i.e. 15th.

My chacha, Syed Sajjad Ali arrived that day.

He was recieved by my freind Joseph Rai from Darjeeling. I had gone out with two other freinds, Vivek Augustine from Ajmer and Anand Hembrom from Jharkhand for a walk to destress ourselves.

My freind Anand recieved a call fronm Joseph that he had just arrived (I had absent mindedly left my cell in the room) .It was 2:05 a.m. in the afternoon then. I recieved him and welcomed him to the parlour meant for the guests of the students studying in Niscort.

We met our System Analyst, Fr. Dejus on the stairs leading to the entrance.I introduced him to Father Dejus, on which my chacha gave him his visiting card. My chacha works as a correspondent for the Hindustan Times. He is based in Tripura.

After these formal introductions, i introduced him to my freinds and also Gregor(pursuing the 3months audio-visual course) who also happens to be from Tripura.

He took me to the historic old Delhi vicinity. I was taken to the Jama Masjid and the Meena Bazaar. I was treated there with Seekh Kebabs, Tandoori-roti, assorted with the traditional Pudina-Chutney and complementary onions! To top it up, I was also given Mutton-Stew(a cuisine of Mughalai meets west). All these but courtesy, Karim's , one of the most famous eateries in Delhi, specialist in Mughalai delicacies ( which i guess has a outlet near Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya's Shrine too!) . We washed it down with a glass of coke each!

So much for these cuisines ( i hope i am not appearing a glutton!)

My chacha led me around the streets surrounding the majestic masjid. He told me that by hanging out here i can get a vague sense of the barter-economy as well as the format of the market places during the golden Mughal-era. These i observed from the hawkers selling commodities on both the sides.

The only difference is that in the olden days they used to sell silk,cotton textiles and other dress materials compared to today's finished products.

My chacha purchased one shopping bag of local produce and two Santa-Claus caps in the Traffic signal at Madhuvihar,Ghaziabad while coming to this part of the capital.These were meant for his five year old son and my cousin and the other one for someone in his in-laws.

We entered the Mosque one of the significant socio-historical-religious landmrks of the capital. The stairs leading to the entrance of the monument were very wide and reminded me of my trip with my mother to the grand Fateh-pur-Sikri which houses the shrine of a famous sufi saint, revered by emperor Akbar, Hazrat Salim Chisti.

We were literally teleported to the Mughal-Era at its prime and i remember i had come to this place with my mother 6 years back. The courtyard of the mosque had pigeons flying and gathering all over the place. There Were Foreign tourists from all over the globe. They captured the magnificence of this place in their sophisticated cameras.

There is this considerably big tank meant for Wazu (abulition before the Salaat) with a fountain in the middle which is now defunct.

Inside the praying chamber i saw that the ceilings had become a little flaky and their was the occurence of fungal and damp spots. These should be looked after by the A.S.I. or the WAKF board looking after it.

Also the solid marbles surrounding the inner walls of the mosque were blackened and had lost its original sheen. These are certainly gifts as far as contribution of the "invaders" are concerned.

While coming i observed a crtain episode which will go on to make a experience in my life.

Just at the entrance, i saw a local there talking with a Spanish couple in a pretentious accent. He asked them that do they need accomodation as he would be able to provide them at a cheaper rate, to which both of them humbly refused. I observed that earlier tourists used to be taken for a ride. But, in the wake of the recent incidents against them, they have become aware.

Thus the Government's , tourism department's motto, "Attiti Devo Bhava" was saved.

After these we went to the Rabindra Bhavan auditorium in central Delhi. We watched a Swiss troupe perform their indegenious music along with vocals with an Indian lady reciting couplets in between in Hindi. There was also the Sahitya Akademi's annual book function going on in the same complex.

After this cultural and literary feat, we went to our own destinations. I boarded a bus at the stoppage opposite the Mandi-House. My chacha retired to Tripura-Bhawan at Chitaranjan Park road.

I hope you all were not bored by my narration.

So much for now,

Have a nice day bloggers!

Regards.

   

My friend Bipasha - a Saira Banu clone!


Good morning everybody,

Rise and shine, slumber not in your quilts!

Hi! Today I thought to share with you all a few experiences of my classmate.

I hope you won't get bored!

The college i graduated from was full of life and colour.

I had many freinds there, from every community.

The one impression that stayed with me there was to meet Bipasha Saikia from Lakhimpur district, Assam .She was in the same year but she pursued the Degree course without any honours subject.

I would like to share with you all her description. She was slender. She had a peach complexion. Of which i often joke with my room mate and freind Abhishek, the face blessed with the complexion of "Doodh mein sindoor ka Mishran" (milk mixed with vermillion!).

She had an aquiline nose which was razor sharp! and strange enough whenever she placed her duppata over her head like a scarf to ward away the sun she appeared the mirror image of the yesteryears evergreen beauty, Saira Banu! Salwaar- Kameez which was the uniform for the girl students in our college suited her the most.

She was also pursuing the course of Airhostess training from Frankfinn institute in Ganeshguri, a prime commercial centre of Guwahati.

During my second year exams, She had sat beside me and had also asked me the answers of the papers that were common to both of us. Also, earlier I had the opportunity to be with her in the environmental Science field trip along with all our batchmates to a village a few kilometres from Beltola (location of our college). Seeing her makes me sing the evergreen number picturised on Rishi Kapoor: " Main Shaayar toh Nahin! "

She had all the makings of classic beauty.The ones which great romantic poets like William Wordsworth and John Keats had ruminated upon in their immortal works. After these meetings and with the course left in midway she returned to her native place never to be seen again!

Attitude wise she remained very down to earth with a strange mix of modernity and classic histrionics.

To add to my woes , my another freind and also a close freind of hers is not giving me her contact number( Female jealousy i suppose!)

I hope wherever she is , God bless her with boons galore that makes her the happiest person in the world. I also hope wherever she is, is reading my post !

As I don't have a picture of hers (maybe it will be with some of my freinds), I have posted the ethereal beauty, Saira Banu's photo with the note.

So much for now,

Signing off but only for today,

Peace. 

 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Positivity and Negativity?


Hello folks,

Salaam and namaste to you all!

This is a small note onthe civic behaviour of individuals around us. I would like to hear all of your valuable comments on what your opinion is regarding this issue.

Human beings are the most complex beings in this world. This fact comes out even though, psychologists through their extensive studies try to categorise human behaviour.

Some people think themselves to be the most intelligent. Some consider themselves to be physically strong. Some pretend to be grounded and very down to earth. Some possess streaks of unhealthy competition. Some are confused and show contradictory behaviour when taking simple decisions. Some think themselves to be very cunning and their mental quotient is revealed when they fall into the hands of genuinely intelligent individuals (denoting those persons who do not bask in the glory of bookish knowledge which every Tom, Dick and Harry can amalgate!)

People who are persons of action do not go about beating drums of their accomplishments. Nor do they consider their peers and contemporaries as inferior. Everyone has a role to play in this world. 

The great thinker, Rousseau had once commented: A little learning is a dangerous thing!

These are visionary lines by visionary people. My freind Abhishek Pandey says people criticise something which is fully laden. This is a reference to a proverb which says people throw stones on that tree which has ripe fruits. Same is the case vice versa. That person is genuiely humble who knows matters and concepts in their socio-historical-cultural-political-economic and religious aspects and try to view things objectively in their practical fields of interests.

I think that depends on the values, ethics and heritage endowed upon us by our elders.

The North-South divide in India are all a product of little learning.If somebody from South India says that people in that part of the country are intelligent, civic and ethical, then they are without any doubt being biased and prejudiced as far as the thrust of their opinions are concerned.

If South Indian people state that "this" part of the country has the most rowdy individuals.This too, obviously is a chauvinistic view.This is so for the individuals they are commenting on are the lower sections of the society and if they try to argue that even "elite" people act in that manner, my proposition would be that these section have got hold of wealth and position in the society by the stroke of luck and were ignorant people a few generations back.

I can say that they (North Indians) possess a rare gregarious attitude which helps them in adjusting in any part of the globe which I am sorry to say even the South Indian people do not possess. This is not taking any stance, but this "blame game" requires elimination.

This itself is National interest. India is a composite society with individuals contributing from the Vedic-ages to the contemporary age.

Similarly, a person being politically correct is a result of the values he/she is bestowed from their homes. I remember theU.S. singer Hillary Duff's statement in the Friday supllement "Etc" with the Indian daily, The Telegraph in this regard. She says that even the way one talks over the cell-phone is an indication of that individual's manners and civility.

The South Indian people are talented in their own right. They are in the civil services as well as the NASA of the U.S.

Generalisations brings arrogance and stubborness and deprive the human mind from functioning logically. A steady mind is all-embracing and presents the facts with objectivity, fairplay and balance.

Keep Thinking Folks!

Be positive and keep posting.

Thank you all of my bloggers.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Quantum Of Solace:Thrills and kills!

Salaam and Namaste to all Bloggers,

How is life?

Today I would like to keep in front of you all the 2008 installation of one of the longest running franchises of the world as far as Television series or Movies are concerned.

The concept is none other than British slueth created by Ian-Fleming, James Bond !

This character has enthralled audiences in the form of novels, magazines and newspaper feature strips several television sitcoms, movies etc.

One thing is for sure ,  the character has gone from good to better in all these years.

Our movie in focus is Quantum of Solace starring Daniel Craig as the spy. 

 

A Trip Through Sarojini's !


Hello Bloggers,

How are you all doing? May this find you all in the zenith of whatever you all do!

''This note is dedicated to our senior, Julita Ekka pursuing Print Journalism in Niscort who loves coming to Sarojini Market every now and then''!

I know you all are not too interested in what i and my company of friends are doing. Anyways, i thought  that I should share some of my ruminating moments with you.

Last Sunday, myself, my friends Joseph and John went to the Sarojini Nagar Market famous for the variety of fare they have to offer. The market is named after one of the important women freedom fighters of India, Shrimati Sarojini Naidu. She was a revered poet. Her name brings to my memory a poem based on the oldest bazaars of Hyderabad city.I had read it along with my mother when i was in the 5th standard.

We in our institute have only the sunday left to ourselves with other days being hectic. My other friend Anand(from Jharkhand) chose to sleep in the hostel room that day.

We boarded the Safdarjung route Government transportation bus 534 from Anand Vihar bus terminal for our escapade of sorts!

It was going through a bullock-cart like pace with passengers from behind yelling at the bus driver for his obvious sluggishness! Thereafter, it gathered pace as we passed through lajpat nagar (which I remember my uncle telling me that it is famous for womens dress-materials) after which we passed South Extension, a galore of branded outlets gleeing at everybody through their glossily packaged stores. A few stoppages later we passed the famous AAIMS(All India Institute of Medical Sciences), a hospital which had once nursed our late Prime Minister, Shrimati Indira Gandhi.

Crossing these landmarks in its own rights, our bus descended the famous Safdarjung flyover from which the unique steel mushroom installations can be seen. These are below the flyover in circular turfs of land. I remember i once read the comments about this contemporary artwork from personalities as Raghu Rai (the renowned photographer) in a paper's supplement.

After these sights, we reached Dilli Haat bus stoppage, where my cousin sister lives in the government quarters. A few paces forward on the road besides the haat leads to the market.We reached there at 11'o clock after starting from our institute at 9:15 a. m.

It was a bustle of shopkeepers and customers.My friend John took some cash from the ATM there.( sorry, I don't remember the bank's name)

Just outside the ATM, there were two sellers dealing in track-pants, priced at Rs.150 each,of which John bought one (it was not a bad deal). I bought two fruit baskets for my mother at Guwahati, Assam. After venturing I bought three picture-frames for Rs.100, which was indeed very cheap! After that i bought ten good quality steel hangers with black coloured plastic coated over it for Rs.100.

After the buying, we searched for a hotel which has my childhood memories linked to it.It is "Khattaa-Meetha"(Sour and Sweet!)

Upon entering the eatery i remembered that the owner has changed the look inside which included the furnishing. On going through the menu, I ordered the good-old Chole-Bhatture which was served with assortments as mango pickle, Pudina-chutney,onions etc.We washed down this lip-smacking and filling snack with a cup of hot coffee to boost ourselves for the rest of the travel!

My friend, Joseph bought a three pairs of Tee-shirts at quite an affordable price as Christmas gifts for his Cousins in Darjeeling. It was a different experience for all of us though I regret on not taking one of the tracks that John had purchased! 

After our miniscule shopping, we began to head for the institute.It was 2:15 in the afternoon then.We boarded a bus to the terminus back home and getting down there went to the Mac-Donald's outlet in Big-Bazar,Kaushambi,Ghaziabad(for we were half starved till then)

Our gracious and generous friend Joseph treated us with a Veg.burger each! After devouring them we headed for our hostel in the institute campus to find our friend, Anand having a nice time napping. After waking him up we shared the day's experiences with him.

Last but not the least we went back to our dry and monotonous textbooks!

So much for now, do keep posting folks!

God bless you all. 

 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Jihad-Often Misunderstood!


Hello Folks, Hope this finds you all in the peak of health!

Let us share our opinions and views with the hotly debated Islamic concept of Jihad.Your queries,views, opinions are welcome for, comunication is never a one-way traffic!

Let me quote a saying of the Holy Prophet of Islam, It runs as:

"The ink of a scholar is superior to the blood of the martyr".

This very question puts another question on this faith which is if the founder of this faith had uttered this historically recorded statement, then how come such a faith would promote violence and bloodshed? Welcome to the era of  globalisation, where no concept or idea remains compartmentalized.

Of late, there has been quite a hullabaloo regarding the Islamic concept of Jihad. Its constant debate runs in the global as well as Indian media. Post 9/11, it has been used interchangeably with sucide bombings, hijackings and all forms of perverted acts of which the world has had enough.

We get to see that the executer of such acts are alleged to be Muslims, hell bent on destroying the world!

This is simply unjustified arrogance, for that individual is neither an authority nor a representative of this Global religion. As we go deeper in this faith, which has caused Islamophobia ( a term used by American author, Karen Armstrong in her book, "Muhammad") in the west and which further has  created curiosity by misinterpretation in the east, we come in terms with the fact that the central literature of Muslims worldover is the holy Quran which was revealed to the Prophet in Mount Hira of Saudi Arabia by the Angel designated for Prophets, Gibrail (Gabrielle in Christianity) , sent by almighty Allah (God).

The Holy quran contains the recorded events, from the creation of the first man, Adam, who is  the first Prophet in Islam to the last among them i.e. the Prophet of Islam.The total number of Prophets sent by God to the earth amounts to 1,24,000 (one lakh twenty four thousand approximately.)

Asghar Ali Engineer, an authority on Islam based in Mumbai, states in his article, Speaking Freely, "Making a Mockery of Jihad": jihad does not mean war in the holy Quran, as there are other words for it like Qital and Harb. Jihad has been used in the quran in its root meaning, i.e to strive for betterment of society, to spread Maruf (goodness) and to contain Munkar (Evil).

Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of jihad, which are: Jihad-E-Akbar(The Greater jihad) and Jihad-E-Asgar (The Lesser Jihad) . It is the first Jihad that Allah as well as his messenger, The Prophet laid stress on. The first one pertains to the curbing of one's extravagant desires as well as vices and be an exemplary individual. The second denotes struggle against tyranny. It also includes defence of self as well as territory.

Historically, the events circling around the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussein and Hazrat Imam Hassan, the grandsons of the Prophet as well as Sher-e-Khuda (lion of God) Hazrat Ali, the son in-law of  the prophet and many other defenders of the faith in the Battle of Qarbala, waged by the authoritarian Governor of Arabia, Yazid, is a stark example of the second Jihad.

It is interesting to note streaks of Jihad in 18th century India, Mysore, the Tiger Of Mysore, Tipu Sultan, after his ascension to the throne following his father's (Haidar Ali) death authored a book, "Fateh-Al-Mjahideen" (Victory of the Freedom Fighter) where one comes across relevant chapters on Namaaz, Jihad, use of oriental medicine etc.( see Tipu Sultan and His Age, Asiatic Society).

The Quran advises Muslims: " and cast not yourselves to destruction with your own hands and do good to others. Surely Allah loves the doers of good".

This advice of the Quran not to throw oneself to destruction with one's own hands is relevant even today. What did the September 11, 2001 attack result in ? Did Al-Qaeda not invite great disaster to the entire Islamic world, especially Afghanistan and Iraq.

Dr. Zakir Naik ( a renowned Muslim scholar) , once spoke in a conference telecasted on Quran T.V. (a collaboration of India and Pakistan). He stated that "every  Indian should know Sanskrit, as ancient Hindu texts and scriptures are in that medium". This thought of Mr. Naik is worth pondering upon for everybody knows the external manifestation of a faith, not what its core literature contains!  

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Is Media the Sheet Anchor in Nation Building?

A good day to everybody, Hope this is read by my folks!

Today I would like to share with you all an issue among various contemporary issues.

This Debatable issue is, Is Media contributing towards Nation building ?

We in Our institute, Niscort have a programme called "World Around". It is held every Friday, 2:30 p.m.

Sometimes experts on various spheres of media come to enlighten us. while sometimes, students, pursuing the different communication courses engage in presentation either in Print or Broadcast 

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fashion-Tip of the iceberg!


Hello once again, Here I am at your dispsal!

The Metros have some interesting  weekouts visiting a pub, a bar, discotechque , Luxurious hotels which at times are evident among  the rising middle class of the country.

I chose cinema as my mode of relaxation. This time around I watched Madhur Bhandarkar's latest product, Fashion with Priyanka Chopra in the lead. It also has a dozen film old, Kangana Ranaut (identifiable with her distinct curly hair!)  as well as newcomer model- turned actress, Mughda Godse.

On the first glance it can be passed off as a movie holding firm to issues of women's identity in any society of the world. 

The film tells the tale of Priyanka , a small town girl who too like her competitors is swayed  to the enigmatic and shining veneer of fashion.

Then starts her journey into this world often despised by the lower middle class of the country while the poor do not have an idea of its happenings. She is shown to make moral, ethical, personal compromises with her very entity. Also a slight justification is shown behind Priyanka's acceptance of all these, the reason being she is a woman and the subconcious thought reminded to a woman without a "godfather" that her body is her only asset. It is her boon as well as bane in such an industry.

While Kangana's character is an already established Model who in this industry's parlance is considered a "Showstopper". (You all might know, but for being technically correct it is the model being given the most exiquiste of outfits and literally made the highlight of the show.)

The clear, cut irony and unreliability is highlighted when Kangana is shown the door and Priyanka replaces her as the new face of the modelling agency.(the excuse given by the concern is that her attitude was being over the top, coupled with her excess intake of drugs, alchohol)

Mughda Godse being acquainted with the industry portrays her character of a struggling model with finesse. She gets her big break when she accepts the proposal for marriage from her schooltime pal, a gay designer in the industry, played with equal ease by Samir Soni.

Bhandarkar makes use of his actors well. It is for this reason Harsh Chaaya(otherwise seen in serious roles) is convincing in the role of a gay designer.

Kangana Ranaut stands out as the showstopper in the scenes when she is shown full lenght.The pride and arrogance is evident in her eyes while she flaunts her gorgeous outfits. 

The movie brings alive the common man's assumptions about this lucrative industry. To make this statement authentic, Bhandarkar states his inputs while interviewing models who relate to him about the prevalence of drugs, booze, bitching about their contemporaries etc. I came across these post-production revelations while going across Asian Age's supplement "The Age, Delhi" which carried a feature on the film.

It was interesting to hear Madhur Bhandarkar's statement which came in the form of the headline for another feature of The Asian Age's Sunday supplement, The Age on Sunday.

It ran as: "Fashion industry need not fear my film!"

Artificial rage and overtly competitive attitude of the models has been shown in the production.

Fr.Gerry, my movie buff partner from Chennai as usual accompanied me and related his understanding of the treatment to the storyline. He says  that it has been emotively dealt with. Issues of ethics and morality has been dealt with fairplay and balance. 

This industry if generalised can be termed as a deepening morass which sucks anybody and everybody who is associated with it.

The last scene is somewhat emotional when it is known that Kangana's lifeless body has been found near the roadside when police contacts Priyanka as she is her guardian.The reason being drug overdose.The irony of the moment is that it is Priyanka's comeback to the circuit after a year long hiatus and still, she doesn't have the privacy to cry over her death. She walks the ramp with a blank look, while the spectators comprising of socialites, designers, photojournalists, former models applaud her!

These certainly makes one think but in the words of Bhandarkar himself, he has just shown the tip of the iceberg!

The cast also has some supporting scenes with supermodels as Diandra Soares and Nayanika Chaterjee.

Last but not the least the title track "Fashion Ka Hain Yeh Jalwa..." by the mesmerising Sukhwinder Singh is dealt with loud strains in the background which is symbolic, considering the industry's gloss, extravagance, over the top parties for launching a creation as well as celebrating its success. Also a word should be said about the Arab lyrics in the track "Marr Jawaa.." which are ecstatic.

I would suggest bloggers to  evaluate Madhur's school of thought by watching this film.

Happy viewing!

Friday, November 28, 2008

"Old wine in New Bottle"!


Hello and a Good Morning to all Bloggers!

I thought why not entertain you with a few humble offerings on contemporary cinema after some serious issues.

The last movie I had seen was "Showman" Subhash Ghai's latest offering  "Yuvvraaj" with leading actors of the industry in it. His productions are generally known for the extravagant styles in them.

His last product though, was a take on Terrorism and myths around it which came last year(Black & White).

This movie though has streaks of his Extravagant Storytelling,yet has a dreamlike element in its treatment.We in Niscort are taught film appreciation with some movies screened at the institute.

This was not a part of that exercise for me and my  movie-buff partner, Father Jerry from Chennai who is pursuing Broadcast Media here. I am in the Print course. So I would be able to inform you about the storyline with valuable inputs from Father jerry, who happens to own a audio-visual studio in Chennai.

The movie if told in a nutshell tells the story of a family in Europe where a Father creates a huge wealth for his three sons but ends up his life observing that they have lost family values and declare themselves as "partners" than brothers and play dangerous mind games with each other in need and greed of money. 

The tale as I have told earlier is related in a treatment similar to fantasy.Here Songs are an integral part. Hollywood musicals to name one of the most popular happens to be "My  Fair Lady". This type of literature and other works of art meets motion art  in contemporary Hindi cinema can be said to be Amol Palekar's "Paheli" and the recent "Saawariya".

The Tagline "the Musical Extravaganza" proves right.The first song "Aaja Main Hawaon mein..." itself is an escape to fairyland and carefree life which is led by Salman Khan who hates his  father for disowning him. He has a sympathiser in Katrina Kaif's character,who in Father Jerry's opinion is just a "doll" in the sense she is made to look opposite of her glam-image in all the movies she has acted in. She does not carry the oomph-factor along with her but is shown as a simple elite society girl from Prague. Father further adds,

"Her face is given more importance, than her body as exclusive closeups of her face suggests,in short she is made to look feminine and dignified."

As far as the acting is concerned, Salman Khan looks good in scenes, especially ones which show his show his Con-like capacities to convincingly tell a lie.His confidence to take risks in order to mould situations in his favour are worth applauding.Zayed Khan playing Salman's younger brother looks handsome and acting wise excels in the emotional scenes, especially ones with the outbursts, coupled with vocal strains.(but that is as all of you would know is his forte which he displayed in Main Hoon Na..) . Anil kapoor playing an  autistically challenged big brother is worth mentioning and  is the linking chain between his other two brothers. One of the symbolisms in the movie are the diverse manequins kept in the green-room of Kapoor when he is grooming himself for the orchestral-nite. In my opinion they seem to denote the different and complex characters of individuals. 

The look of the film are the extravagance showed in Zayed Khan's over the top lifestyle contrasted with the simple and innocent world of Anil Kapoor with music and Bala,the child of one of the servants in the mansion.

The story can be summarised as "old wine in a new bottle", with the tried and tested storyline for audiences. The clash of joint family values is shown as being in odds with the So-What Attitude of West in the garb of independent-living.

A last thing about the movie is that it takes its viewers to an elite, affluent society. Simple family values are shown in a costly manner. The positivity or that silver lining is shown with the triumph of paternal-love which can be contrasted with the cold dialogue of the story,

"We are not brothers but partners"!, uttered by Zayed Khan in their ploy to pocket his late   father's wealth.

This is not taking any stance but Mr.Ghai could have made something on some other issues but he chose to say a story differently and that is courage enough! 

 

 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fashion or something else?


Good morning , followers of this Blog, I am at your service again!

The Fashion industry is one  of the most lucrative markets in the world among many other markets.

The overseas brands are Roberto Cavalli, Versace, Gucci, Prada and so on.In India too it is not a miniscule affair.The circuit here has Ritu Kumar, Rohit Bal,  Ritu Beri, Sabhyasachi Mukherjee and so on. The common man's perspective on this industry is somewhat negative. They view it to be comprised of glossy models ,  gay designers, extravagant parties , opportunism and lifestyle which is high on packaging, but not content!

There should not be any generalisations but I fully symphatise with the common man.

I suggest my followers to watch Madhur Bhandarkar's ''Fashion" to gain an outline of"that world" which is unknown to us. India is not represented by  Glossy Corporate cabins,  Gossips  of lifestyles  of  the so called Rich and Famous, Parties thrown by the misnomer, "Socialite".

It is represented by the huge middle class,the working labour force toiling day and night and still surviving hand to mouth.This is why filmakers like Satyajit Ray, Bimal Roy communicated with the urban population with films either on rural themes or backdrop.

Leaving these propositions aside let us dwelve into some ground reality.

As i had said earlier on this blog that i reside in Vaishali, Ghaziabad.I along with some of my seniors had gone to a place called Kaushambhi.It has the mall  "Big Bazaar" located there. We were given a treat in the MacDonald's there by one among my seniors. Entering there I was literally taken aback when I saw there was an empty space inside the building where many women as well as men were seated on chairs and a makeshift stage was in front of them on which children, comprising boys and girls 5 to 6 years as well as girls 13 to 14 years of age shashaying to  item numbers of bollywood ( which again I can state in the affirmative,Do not represent the real cultural quotient of India.) 

There was a fashion show too with one of the young girls wearing a short skirt and another a vest like garment. How come 5-10 years back this was not the state of affairs. The word   "modernity"has been mocked at by these acts and over the top trends. It is obvious that in its place thinking should be modern, by being positive, kind, generous, humble, courageous.Boldness does not ooze out of the clothes one wears but by the courage to stick to one's convictions and rationality.

What was most appaling to see was the reaction of the parents with proud expressions on their faces, busy enquiring about their child's status in the so-called competition with its peculiar and glossy comperes, anchors etc.

Aren't we turning our innocent and fragile future generations grow too fast? What kind of rat race are we living in? With whom is our competition ? Can't we see beyond consumerism? Are ethics and issues to be 'politically correct' only to be kept in various forms of literature?

Is this Modernity, Multiculturalism, Fashion or something else?

Good old Days.!


Good morning,

This is my second communication to all my followers.

Colour Television started in the year 1979 during the ASIAD games held in Delhi that time.Prior to that Black and White sets existed.

The national channel of India was Doordarshan with government control over the content to be broadcasted.This was a golden era for Television history in India.The midas touch happened to Doordarshan in the airing of the televised version of the mythological epics, Mahabharat and Ramayana.Then onwards,there was no looking back.There was the best historical docu-dramas of all times Bharat..Ek..Khoj (based on Jawaharlal Nehru's work, Discovery of India) directed by Shyam Benegal.

To name a few mesmerising serials, viz: Buniyaad, Humlog (which went on to become the longest running T.V. series ever.) , Phir...Wohi Talaash, Farmaan, Kirdaar, Mitti Ke Rang, Fauji, Circus, Karamchand, Mungerilal ke haseen Sapne, Yeh Jo hai Zindagi, Neem Ka Ped(based on Munshi Prem Chand's stories),Nukkad, Byomkesh Bakshi etc. In the 1990's during P.V.Narasimha Rao's term alongwith the advent of Globalisation, Television Channels from oversas entered the scenario.

We also know that this was the time when highest  production costs were recorded on making of serials which exceeded filmaking.This was the time when We saw serials like The Sword Of Tipu Sultan ( based on Montreal writer,Bhagwan S. Gidwani's best selling historical fiction). It highlighted the sacrifice of 18th century India's most energetic and visionary rulers .

These shows have stood the test of time and will become models or yardsticks in  understanding the inticracies of human society from Historical, Sociological, Cultural, Religious, Political and Economic backgrounds.

We would all like to thank Doordarshan for making our mornings and Evenings memorable with the generations  having viewed these productions urging for repeat telecasts.

Let us ruminate the good old days!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Children's day?


Hello Brothers and sisters,

Salaam and Namaskar to all of you.

14th of Nov.2008 was Children's Day.It is the day which is singly dedicated to the future denizens of every nation . The icing on the cake is that it is also the Birthday of our statesman like Prime Minister,Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.I study in Niscort, a media training institute.I also felt elated on the ocassion because children are innocent in nature and they have their own peculiar role to play like the seasons of a year.It is our responsibility to give them their due in this world.  Letters to the Editor in dailies as the Asian Age and Hindustan Times had appeals to the present society and government to abolish Child-Labour.The media also has a potent role to play here. Take for instance Times of India's campaign, "Teach India".In the vicinity near our instiitute,we come across a higher secondary school which has a fete organised for the children studying there. There is nothing against issues of enjoyment, leisure, gregariousness of children.The one thing that I am not able to digest(Rather to put it bluntly!) is that they were allowing the students to dance around with raunchy Bollywood item numbers.These are what which are mocked at by contemporary media as "glossy cultural offerings".Let us not dwelve into other issues(there is enough time for them to be taken up specifically!) .What makes me surprised is that children have plastic-minds on which anything and everything can be impressed upon. As an counter to such trends, We can make them watch movies with Nationalistic themes. There are lot of children's movies being made by directors in India as well as abroad. We have evergreen classics like "Boot-Polish","Dosti" etc. I would like to suggest a personal favourite which is an Iranian production titled,"Children of Heaven".Worth mentioning is Satyajit Ray's "Goopi Gayen Baga Bayen" franchises. We the public of the world's greatest Democracy should do some soul searching and ask ourselves what legacy are we leaving for millions and millions of children to follow?