Sunday, December 28, 2008

Media-upper middle class?

Television is a great medium. They investigate, prosecute and even pass judgement in any given case. I am talking about news channels.

And as Justice B Sudarshan Reddy of Supreme court criticised upper middle class (media consists of upper middle class)* for reacting only when a tragedy was affecting them and keeping mum when the same was badly hitting the poor and the masses of the nation.
In the words of Justice Reddy’: "Where were these protestors when the rivers were polluted by the effluents, when the rural poor children were dying even before reaching the age of five, when the criminal justice system systematically failed the poor?' He also said, ‘the recent reaction to the Mumbai terror attack was highly urban-centric, he wondered why these protests were not seen when similar terror strikes had hit places like Gokul Chat, Lumbini park, Mecca masjid and in Mumbai trains which were frequented by the lower middle class and the poor’.
My answer is: Media, Justice Reddy, did not show interest.

Most of these protesters are media created through their wonderful system of SMS polls.
By the way SMS polls also give the media money. Some one should come out with facts and figures about SMS polls and the money earned by the media.


Aziz Mirza was only peeping into the future of television when he made his film ‘ phir bhi dil hai Hindustani’. Understandably the film was just rated average by the media. I must say he was prophetic.
Media manufacture public opinion through their SMS polls. Great!
Their talk shows are really grrreat! Take Barkha Dutt. She wants to talk more, though there are guests who are experts. She takes her own time framing a question. Even before the guest completes his or her sentence she inturrupts and starts giving her version of the guest’s non-completed answer. Then she switches to another guest and repeats what she did with the first. Then she goes on. Often she becomes hysterical. She often says ‘paucity of time’ which does not apply in her case. After saying that she goes on to speak for at least a minute before the commercial break. I think she need not ask guests any questions, instead have a monologue giving the views of guests and occasionally turning to guests to get their nod. Afterall, as it appears, guests merely want to be seen on TV.

It was sad watching Barkha Dutt yelling hysterically and some other journalist lying on the floor and reporting on Mumbai terror attack.

Reference: Report in the Times of India of 28.12. 2008 ‘Growing apathy to woes of the poor, notes SC judge’

* mine.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Just?

This is further to my blog 'Justice' dated December 8, 2008. Today's head line in the Times of India 'HC declares second judgement null & void' is much more disturbing. It says'The division bench of Justice D S R Verma and Justice K C Bhanu, which had delivered the second judgment acquitting Hymad of murder, on Monday ordered the registrar general to conduct an enquiry into the entire episode and report the findings to a disciplinary committee'. This is passing the buck. If Sivraj Patil and Deshmukh can resign on moral grounds, why not the judges?
Another question that crops up is: which of the two bench reviews was correct?
May be the recalled judgement is correct!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Justice

HC jails and frees man at same time

7 Dec 2008, 0254 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD: In an unprecedented incident, the case of an Adilabad man charged with harassment for dowry and murder of his wife was heard by two

division Benches of the A P High Court almost concurrently. And while one of the Benches pronounced him guilty on both the counts, the second one acquitted him on the charge of murder and ordered that he be set free immediately.

The bizarre saga began when one Abdul Raheem went to the Bhainsa police station in Adilabad district on April 13, 2003, and lodged a complaint against his son-in-law, Hymad Pasha, accusing him of killing his daughter Rayeesa Begum. "I gave him my daughter, Rs 15,000 cash as dowry, some gold ornaments and household articles and performed the marriage on April 17, 2000," the father said in his complaint. But 15 days into the marriage, Hymad started harassing his wife to bring in more dowry. Two more demands of Rs 3,000 were met while the third one for Rs 10,000 could not be.

On April 13, 2003, the father said he received a call from the house of Hymad that Rayeesa was dead. After the inquest was over, a post mortem was conducted and Hymad was charged with dowry harassment and murder of his wife.

The trial court in Adilabad, after examination of the evidence on record, both oral and documentary, held Hymad responsible for the death of his wife and in 2006, sentenced him to life imprisonment for murder along with Rs 1,000 as fine and imposed another three years imprisonment plus Rs 500 fine for harassing his wife for additional dowry.

The accused has been serving prison term since then. Meanwhile, the relatives of Hymad approached S Surendar Reddy, a lawyer in Hyderabad and through him, got a criminal appeal filed in 2006 in the AP High Court against the judgment of the trial court. Around the same time, Hymad too wrote a letter to the authorities of the high court seeking their help in engaging the services of an advocate for preferring an appeal over the trial court verdict. The high court, through its legal aid wing, allotted lady advocate Shanti Neelam to argue his case.

The criminal appeal by Hymad's relatives went to a two-member division bench comprising Justice A Gopal Reddy and Justice B Seshasayana Reddy while Hymad's own appeal went to another two two-member bench comprising Justice D S R Verma and Justice K C Bhanu. The judgment on the appeal by relatives holding the accused guilty on both counts was delivered on March 7, 2008, while the verdict on Hymad's appeal acquitting him on the charge of murder was given on September 29, 2008.



Click on the image to enlarge.

I presume High Court only reviews any judgement of a lower court when an appeal is filed. If I am correct in my thinking, here same judgement of lower court was reviewed by two different benches in the same High Court. I cannot say anything further lest I am charged with contempt of courts.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

USA and our media

Our media gets extatic when USA makes any favourable comments about us. It happens every time. The latest is Rice’s statement. Following is her statement as reported in the times of India of 4th Dec. 2008.


click to enlarge

Then she made a u turn while in Pakistan. Times of India of 5th Dec., 2008.


click to enlarge.

President Clinton took credit for Kargil 'withdrwal'.

click to enlarge.
Our forces gallantly fought and pushed back the occupiers.
USA has its own interets to serve.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tackling Terrorism

TV channels today were telecasting huge crowds lighting candles in Delhi and Mumbai. Thanks to Rangde Basanti! Most of them spoke about ‘corrupt’ politicians, NSG for the protection of VIPs and for military attack on Pakistan. That was very genuine emotional outburst. What percentage of this candle lighting, English-speaking citizens actually take the trouble of exercising their franchise? I am sure many of them are not among 40 to 50% turn out in voting booths. They are good at criticising but not offering solutions. But what they are saying is true.

It is true that we spend huge amounts of money for ‘ protection of VIPs. Many of them do not really need protection. For many of the ‘VIPs’ it is just a display of their status.

Taking over Pakistan is not difficult for our Forces. But what is happening in Afghanistan and Iraq will also happen in Pakistan. Gorilla attacks will be the order of the day. Then we will have to have budget double the amount of funds for defence of what is being budgeted. If I am not wrong it is over 100000 crores at present. Can we afford it?

M J Akbar in his column writes:“Hidden under grime and neglect, perhaps there is a little Somalia within Mumbai, wait ing to burst out and infect the body politic. This sinewy, seamless nether world is nourished by the “black economy”, and has contempt for au thority since it feeds, twice a day, the grubby hand of a policeman. Organized crime requires both sophisticated management and corrupt law enforcement agencies. The underworld does not live in isolation smuggling is a multinational enterprise. Once it was gold; today it is drugs. Only the na├»ve are aghast at the thought that ships from Karachi are landing in Mumbai. Each day ships are being loaded in Sindh with street-ready drugs from Afghanistan for the lucrative markets of rising India. Do the stars of Bollywood, the money shifters of Dalal Street, the dolled up celebrities of Mumbai’s many hills - indeed, from the wealth bracket of many of the guests at Taj on Wednesday night - never ask how their hallucinatory puff has reached them? ”

My purpose of quoting MJ is that Government is lacking in its duty. At the same time corruption is not just rampant but triumphant even among the people who criticise corruption in high places. How else so many weapons landed in Taj and trident?

Government has good neethi (policy) but what is lacking is nyaya (justice or implementation). Policy alone is not a solution. Here people play an important role. Least they can do is not to be lured by corruption where security is involved.

NDTV reported on Oct. 27, 2007 under headline, Employment bias mars private sector – Study, “The private sectors' refrain that affirmative action is good enough may not stand now. Fresh studies have proved that there is discrimination in employment.

It was subject of much dispute - many had been saying it, others contesting it. On Friday, a study was released by the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies in collaboration with Princeton University.

The study was conducted against 548 job advertisements with 4808 applicants over 66 weeks, across five metros.

It reveals that in fact a person's caste and religion could be a hindrance in getting a job, despite equal qualification.

Inequality in private sector

The study says that a dalit had 60 per cent less chances of being called for an interview, and a Muslim had 30 per cent less, as against their higher caste peers.”

In private sector there is neither neethi nor nyaya as regards social justice. Social injustice is cause of naxal terrorism.

To conclude we can fight rerrorism with firm hand if we (every citizen) ensure that we are not corrupt, VIP security for status symbol is eliminated, NSG is stationed in all major cities and above all social nyaya is ensured.

References:
1) Employment bias mars private sector – Study (NDTV) adhana Sharma
Saturday, October 27, 2007 (New Delhi)
2) Toothless leaders turn tough nation into soft state30 Nov 2008, 0741 hrs IST, M J Akbar (Times of India)
3) Concept of neethi and Nyaya—from a lecture delivered by Prof. Amratya Sen

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

INDIANOIL-CHENNAI REGIONAL OFFICE

I was in madras from 1982 to 85. During those three years I had three different reporting managers. The first manager was rather cautious in his work, as he was uneasy with some officers, who were close to DGM. The people close to him were in the same grade as I was. DGM was in PR at HO for a long time. He was very close to Vijaya Vahini, film producers in Madras. It was common knowledge that the closeness was because Indian Oil calenders were prited at Chandamama press owned by them. He also tried for a film career for his daughter. She acted in a couple of Tamil films but for lack of talent faded away. But a good father that he was, he did try. In 83 both DGM and the manager changed. We had an apparantly docile and pan chewing DGM and a man, who thought he was the best as our manager. He was considered a terror and a very intelligent man. One thing about Tamilians, they like their bosses to be tough. Toughness is synonimous with efficiency. A few weeks after he took over, one morning when I reached office he asked me to go to Hyderabad by afternoon train. I went home, packed up and reached Madras central. There was no vacancy in AC 2 tier. I went to office from the station and reported to him. He was furious and told me that never before in his life had any one had courage to do what I did and said I could have taken unreserved compartment, which would have pleased him. I very politely told him, “ Could he think of sending me by flight instead of saying I could have gone by unreserved compartment”. He was speechless. May be nobody had dared tell him the way I did. Thereafter we got along well. May be he had no choice. He was separated from his wife and the process of legal separation was on. He had two children and both were under his custody. The court had permitted his wife to see her daughter in school. He requested me to go to school and bring his daughter to office before his wife could reach the school. This was against the law. I consulted DGM HR. I had known him for long and he was my well- wisher. He advised me to tell him with a straight face that I would not do it and I did exactly that. He was very puset and that was the end of our good relations. There are people who cultivate relationships with a motive under the guise of freindship or wellwishers. Then came third manager. He was very fond of sycophancy and love for long words, long sentences and cliches. In Madras, at least in Indian Oil, one who wrote 19th century English was considered great. They admired managers, who used maximum number of punctuations. Probably an intelligent man had to be not understood easily. Any one using short sentences with mono or bi syllabic words was not thought of much. Some times the sentences ran into paragraphs. However messed up the sentences, it was not uncommon to hear their subordinates read their letters in awe. They would even consult each other to know if they understood it correctly. He was very particular to use multisyllabic words. It was a virtue to be pedantic. His favourite columnist was G K Reddy, who contributed regularly to The Hindu. He made conscious efforts to use a new word he came across in his commercial correspondence. He wanted someone who could help his wife driving her down to places of her interest. He gave me several hints but I refused to take. He did not like me. He wanted his man, in my place. He managed my transfer to chengalpet as Sr Sales Officer. There were two channels of promotion. Sales officers promoted on seniority were designated sr sales officers while those promoted on merit were called Assisstant Managers. I was promoted as an Assisstant manager in 82. I protested. I approached the association. That year in 84 most of the promotions went to Palghat Iyers and our DGM was a Palghat Iyer. It was hard to believe it was a coincidence. My transfer order was not cancelled. I walked into DGM’s room and told him, “ I know you will not help me. You will help only Brahmins and that too from Palghat. You could have possibly considered if I were at least a Hindu. You are a sectarian minded person”. I walked out. I was summoned by GM. There were association members present. GM told me, “ I am cancelling your transfer order now but remember I will punish you by transfering you to operations next year.” I said, “ I have worked in operations and I do not consider posting to operations as punishment”. He did not like it.

Karkare

The Expressindia story, “Karkare’s response to a death threat: A ‘smiley’ by Y P Rajesh Posted on Nov 27, 2008 at 1637 hrs IST, is very disturbing.

The concluding part of the story is even more disturbing. I reoroduce that part:
“His last visuals as seen on TV showed him working with his men near the VT station, the target of one of the attacks, although it is perplexing at this point in time why such a senior officer ended up getting exposed to a brazen terrorist attack. Initially, he was shown wearing a shoddy helmet normally seen used by constables during riots. A little later, a policeman lowers a flimsy bulletproof vest over his shoulders, one that was obviously of little protection when those fatal shots were fired at him.
The previous evening, hours after our meeting, TV channels had ‘breaking news’ that he had received a fresh death threat from some unidentified caller, apparently in connection with the Malegaon probe. An Indian Express reporter SMSed him asking him if this was true or if he had anything to say. His reply: just a smiley.”
I think the authorities concerned need to interrogate that policeman, who “lowers a flimsy bulletproof vest over his shoulders, one that was obviously of little protection when those fatal shots were fired at him.”

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Advocate speaks the Truth




Sr Advocate Anoop Chaudhary submitted before the CJI on May 1, 2008, “We do not render any service to the litigant-----it would be harsh to make lawyers pay for alleged deficiency in service under the consumer law”. He was appearing for the petitioner advocate V B Joshi challenging a recent verdict of NCDRC.

The verdict of NCDRC was not concerned with winning or losing the case.The Bench tried to reason, “ if an advocate does not pursue the case of a client properly or does not file the documents on time for which the latter suffers, should not be made liable?”

After all Mr Chaudhary was speaking the truth and nothing but the truth.
I wish the Bench had included matters such as taking adjournment on flimsy grounds.

I am posting this and also scanned report of The Times of India of 2nd Dec.2008, just in case it has missed your attention.