Category Archives: India

Indian Media Industry: Challenges

The recent face-off between Congress MP and business man Naveen Jindal and Zee News is more like the pot saying go away to the kettle. In India, hush-hush and nod-nod are the ways of doing business with corruption endemic to the system. Sadly, journalism succumbed to the lures way too early.
The Indian media industry is forecast to achieve a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 85% in 2011-2012, and the growth would largely be driven by print media. Though, the challenges facing the Indian print media industry are quite diverse from their global counterparts. The world media houses are currently grappling with issues of digitization, economy, cost, etc., on the other hand Indian media houses are busy minting money through deals with stakeholders. The news here is owned by politicians and paid for by those who can afford and gain from it. Newspapers today are more about affiliations than about journalism.
A hundred crore seems a small amount to pay for saving a murky bit of information. Today, corruption is as intrinsic to the media industry as it is to politics of India.
The likes of Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep Sardesai are not crusaders taking on key issues, they are some celebrities themselves taking interviews of celebrities against lavish backgrounds of five star hotels or inviting stakeholders to debate their own issues in the studios duly served with snacks. Young India, flushed with resources finds journalism a cool career opportunity. Needless to say, journalism schools are mushrooming by dime a dozen to teach them how to read and create news. These celebrity journalists are a mere shadow of their counterparts from freedom struggle who were jailed for writing a piece of news. Can these studio-bred journalists be role models enough to guide the strength and purity of gigantic democracy like India?
In this digital fast-paced scenario, as the industry is moving towards increased investments to cope the pressures of digitization, the key challenge for India remains the crusade against issues.


The Role of Media vis-a-vis the Commonwealth Games

The world witnessed an incredible India with the XIX Commonwealth Games—a country of incredible extremes.  The country that has charmed the world with its rich cultural and heritage treasures stunned the world by goofing up the preparations for the XIX Commonwealth Games currently being hosted in Delhi. It is a huge honor and privilege to be able to win the bid for the hosting of this game but a lot of things went wrong down the seven years given for preparation. Media all over the world went berserk with criticism and slur. Indian media too was not far behind. This is what brings us to the strangeness of the situation, the position of media and its role in perspective of our Commonwealth Games.
Indian media surfaced with its stories of horrid corruption and lousy preparation just a couple of months to the Games. The point here is what were they following since the day Delhi was awarded the Games’ hosting?  Today we have more than a dozen channels fore bearing the news front but sadly they seem to follow the wrong news more often. It’s not the authorities that have woken up late for the preparation but the media itself was sleeping over it. Neither did the media pose questions to the newly formed government over the Commonwealth Games when they came into power, nor did it book Delhi Prime Minister Sheila Dikshit, OC Chairman Suresh Kalmadi or Sports Minister MS Gill well in time. True, the perpetrators were busy hauling gold rather than creating infrastructure but media is equally to be blamed for missing it altogether until India as a country was neck deep in trouble. What came out as flashing news and to the dismay and heartbreak of Indians just a couple of months before the Games did help  to salvage the situation but that was about it—it did nothing better than “salvaging”. Had the seven years gone into the preparation within the hawk eye of media of course, India would have prevented the muck that was thrown into its face  internationally.
Media indeed played the big daddy through out the Commonwealth controversy bullying the authorities for their shortfalls and corruption, but somewhere they went too far with it. With just a week left to the Commonwealth Games, media was all over the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium pulling out pictures of live reptiles habituating the host stadium. It went overboard with these stories and forgot its responsibility as an Indian media. What was needed at this hour was stories that encouraged the world of Indian capabilities rather of its eminent struggle to pull up an act.  The over proportionate stories of Indian handicap resulted in leading athletes of the world pulling out of the Games sighting security as concern. Countries like Australia threatened to boycott the Games completely. Unfortunately Indian media never realized that responsible reporting is the hour of the need rather bullying and bashing their own country’s pride.
Today, as we are past through a “spectacular” opening ceremony and into the second week of the Games with more than forty medals in Indian kitty including twenty four gold and several silver, media is yet again going overboard with the way we as an India have managed to place ourselves back into the good books of the sporting arena. I believe, caution should be the need of the hour, and reporting keeping in mind the fact that any bridge, any  pedestal can collapse anytime, coz at the end of the day XIX Commonwealth Games is a pulled up act rather a well planned event. Sigh!

and the Oscar goes to…

Seems consumed by the golden statuette — the media and AR Rahman.

Slumdog Millionaire is a British Production and the whole Indian media is in frenzy over it winning 8 Oscars. WTF!
AR Rahman was happy receiving a worldwide recognition for his contribution to music. And I was happy that it was awarded for a song like “Jai Ho” rather than something on i wanna #@$* you…
But seems out of sight is out of mind for Indian media and AR Rahman too…
Gulzar chose not to attend the ceremony and all but forgot that Rahman co-received the Oscar for Best Original Score along with lyricist Gulzar.
Well, media chose to mention Resul Pookuty mildly and forget Gulzar altogether.
Even Rahman seemed too awed by the situation to remember to thank Gulzar for his contribution of lyrics that make “Jai Ho” so hummable.
Coming back to Gulzar not choosing to attend, well is this his finest piece of work. I don’t think so and so does he, I believe.
His quest is far beyond the golden glimmer…

kataraa kataraa milatee hai
kataraa kataraa jeene do
jindagee hai, bahane do
pyaasee hoo main, pyaasee rahane do…

Hail the Pink Chaddis !

Well, this one goes about pink chaddis as well. Everyone seems to be talking, writing and wondering about it, and I think that’s where the nail has been hit pretty hard (and smelly) too. Pink chaddis have surely brought the required attention to themselves.

Strange ways people deal with strange things. Love is universal and timeless indeed but do we need a bunch of Baanar Senas to breathe down our neck on how and when exactly do we express it? The whole campaign of defiance against Pramod Muthalik is a matter of awareness and assertiveness. However much the Sagarika Ghoses’ dismiss the pink chaddi campaign as undignified, I believe this is a new Indian sentiment (and action of course) – a form of uprising. A similar expression was seen during the recent 26/11 attack on Mumbai when we had uproar over the role and responsibilities of people chosen to lead and safeguard us.

The point is about freedom of choice, about our fundamental rights as an Indian citizen, a citizen of a democratic country.  Well I am not supporting the hulla balloo about St. Valentine’s Day or the Pub Bharo Andolan. Let that be left to individual choices and tastes. If you love someone you don’t need a holy saint’s decent reminding on one particular day, to express to your beloved. Love and expression is quite a personal prerogative to be brought down to such a public level. Anyways let that be a matter of discursion .

On the other front the likes of Pramod Muthalik should know that they have been elected for a lot better causes rather than going around women on a certain day with a certain excuse. Well then, hail the soiled pink chaddis on them !!

Mumbai ( formerly Bombay)

Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra and the financial capital of India. With an estimated population of 13 million, it is one of the most populated cities in the world. Along with the neighbouring suburbs of Navi Mumbai and Thane, it forms, at 19 million, the world’s fifth most populous metropolitan area. Mumbai lies on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour. Mumbai’s port handles over half of India’s maritime cargo.

Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment centre of India, generating 5% of India’s GDP and accounting for 25% of industrial output, 40% of maritime trade, and 70% of capital transactions to India’s economy. Mumbai is one of the world’s top ten centres of commerce by global financial flow, home to important financial institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India and the corporate headquarters of many Indian companies and numerous multinational corporations. The city also houses India’s hindi film and television industry, known as Bollywood. Mumbai’s business opportunities, as well as its high standard of living, attract migrants from all over India and, in turn, make the city a potpourri of many communities and cultures.

Taj Mahal Hotel

Taj Mahal Hotel

Coordinated terrorist attacks struck the heart of Mumbai, India’s commercial capital, on Wednesday night, killing hundreds in machine-gun and grenade assaults on at least two five-star hotels, the city’s largest train station, a Jewish center, a movie theater and a hospital.

Taj Mahal Hotel on 26/11/08

Taj Mahal Hotel on 26/11/08

Communal and militant forces have joined hands to tear apart Mumbai

Tears and blood satiates their heart…

Peace and harmony fire their ambition…

Its tough test for you ahead Mumbai…

Stand up to these evil forces, never let them reach their goal…

I as an Indian pledge you my support and implore other’s to do the same.

More of Kahani…

Ekta apparently hired legal giant Ram Jethmalani as her counsel in her case against Star TV. She wants to ensure Kyuonki… at the same spot as for the last eight years disregarding the viewer-fatigue that has set in. Nor does she care about the loss, if Star continues to air it.

For now, Bombay High Court has dismissed Ekta’s petition and accepted channel’s plea to take the draggy off.

It’s sad but Ekta has trouble accepting her fall from grace. I had expected her to move along with changing times, to understand the “pulse” of her viewers. To accept that fresh ideas needs to be infused to keep her audience glued to their TV sets. The success of “Balika Vadhu” from Colors needs to be taken note of.

Star has been quick to respond but Ekta I fear will take time…

Meanwhile, kudos to Colors ( a Viacom and Network18 joint venture) to have hit the bulls eye within three months of its launch. It is delivering varied range of programs dealing mixed emotions and certainly in a fresh avatar.

Kahani Star aur Ekta ki

So finally the saas bahu saga is coming to an end. Relief!!
It really made me feel happy to know that the split finally happened, not between some saas and bahu but between Balaji Telefilms and Star India Pvt Ltd. Star India had 25.99% stake in Balaji Telefilms with Balaji developing exclusive content for the channel. Thankfully the TRP’s are dropping and the channel has refused to renew the contract and has subsequently resold the equity to Balaji.

It’s time for Ekta auntie to cry hoarse over breach of contract. God finally listened to all those who saw creativity bleeding in all her rona-dhona. It was deregotary to portray Indian women as scheming individuals all in the name of emanicipation!!
Since Star scrapped the deal there has been a drastic fall in Balaji share prices. Star had earlier scrapped Kahani Ghar Ghar ki, Kasauti Zindagi ke and is now taking Kyunki saas bhi Kabhi Bahu thi off the air from Nov 10, 2008 after 1800 episodes and 8 years (phew and Thank God!)
Economics states that whatever goes up would come down, and seems its finally happening. Hope creativity so richly manifested in Hum Log, Buniyaad, Nukkad, Mungerilaal ke Hasin Sapne and Dekh Bhai Bekh but which sadly went spiraling down in Ekta’s daily late night riots would return. Ekta intends legal action against Rupert Murdoch owned group. I wonder who cares?