Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Indian News channels are a security hazard?

Instead of questioning the narrative, news television and some print outlets have instead blatantly beaten the drums of confrontation, hyping even relatively calm statements by the army chief into belligerent displays of national machismo. Coming at a time when the government is attempting to move forward on dialogue with Pakistan that is very much in the national interest, the question should be asked: are some of India’s news channels, and their pursuit of eyeballs, turning into a national security hazard?

A handful of bellicose television supremos cannot be allowed to dictate a foreign policy that hurts the interest of India’s citizens.
Editorial in Business Standard. Here

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind to produce films and TV serials

The Kerala unit of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind is getting into production of commercial films and serials, which will be telecast on its new venture, Mediaone TV. The Malayalam-language news and entertainment satellite channel is to go on air next month.

This is the first time a state unit of the Jamaat-e-Islami is venturing into visual media. Incidentally, Jamaat mouthpiece Madhayamam itself does not publish film advertisements, a policy it has followed since its launch 25 years ago.

The channel would be floated by the Kozhikode-based Madhyamam Broadcasting Corporation. A tie-up has already been worked out with Al Jazeera.

Jamaat’s ‘assistant amir (Kerala)’ Sheikh Mohammed Karakunnu, an Islamic scholar, said Mediaone would follow the same principles practised by Madhyamam. “Like the daily, the TV channel will give due space to issues of minorities, Dalits and the marginalised. The TV channel will also have regulations on accepting advertisements, (and on) content of the programmes,” he said.

Karakunnu confirmed that Mediaone would also produce its own films apart from sourcing films from outside. “Work on a film has begun,” he said.

Mediaone group editor O Abdurahiman said their aim was to give voice to the voiceless. “We want to develop an alternative media culture as our daily has done. Mediaone TV has entered into a tie-up with Arab broadcaster Al Jazeera, mainly for sharing content on world affairs. The channel would be hived into news and entertainment after six months.”

Noting that the bar on film advertisement in Madhyamam had no link with Mediaone airing films, Abdurahiman pointed out that the Jamaat mouthpiece didn’t skirt film news either. “Our daily gives film reviews and covers film festivals exhaustively,” he said.

Among the film proposals the channel is considering, Abdurahiman said, was one based on the life of Kunhali Marakkar, a local king’s naval chief who had fought against Portuguese invaders after Vasco da Gama’s arrival on the Malabar Coast in the 15th century. The story falls neatly in line with Jamaat’s pet campaign: anti-imperialism.

Writer and social critic Prof N M Karassery said that as it strives for more space in the mainstream, it was but natural for the Jamaat-e-Islami to turn to new media. Films, which could be used for ideological campaigning, were an obvious choice. “The Jamaat is not a mere religious outfit, but a political one in disguise,” he noted.

Karassery, however, added that the move could also backfire on the Jamaat. “I do not think that the channel would make that organisation more liberal, but may expose their anti-women approach and their capitalistic intentions,’’ he said.

Prof Hameed Chendamangaloor, who studies Muslim organisations, too isn’t surprised by the Jamaat’s foray into TV media as it wants to wield more political clout and foster Islamic politics. “No Muslim organisation can stick on to the days when watching TV or enjoying music was taboo. Even if the ideology is for conservatism, political motives would spur the Jamaat and other organisations to embrace changes, he said.
A report by Shaju Philip in Indian Express Here.

My Kafeel has my passport : Travails of Indians in the Gulf

One evening, I walked into a small Internet café near my hotel. Two young Indian men managed the café. After I had answered my e-mails, I bought a coffee and we chatted. They were from Faizabad, a small town in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Sohail, the younger, a wiry man who served coffee and tea and cleaned the place, had been working there for a year. When I told him that I had been to his town several times as a reporter, his eyes brimmed with tears. “I worked in a garage as a mechanic, but I didn’t make enough. I got married and had a child. So I came here. I thought I am going to Mecca. I will get to perform the Hajj and earn a lot more than I ever would,” he said. “I didn’t know people here would treat us like dirt.” He pointed to a chubby Saudi boy, who was a regular at the café and called himself “Funky Monkey” (his video-game username). “Every time he feels like, he would slap me. It is the same with other local customers. You are a little late complying an order and they bark at you, slap you.” He added, “Here you can’t appeal to anyone. My passport is with my kafeel and I can only go home when he allows me to.” Imran, the older counterman, consoled him. “You are here now! Get used to it. Do I cry? I haven’t been able to return home in three years,” Imran said.

“Why not?” I asked Imran.

“My kafeel has my passport. He keeps making excuses, delaying it. He doesn’t want to lose business if I go away. And he has to pay all my money that is with him and buy me the return ticket home.”

And yet, Imran said, “We still have it easy. Working here is much worse for the maids.”

There are about one-and-a-half million female domestic workers in Saudi Arabia.
Basharat Peer in The New Yorker. Here

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Eat that Frog!

"Procrastination is attitude's natural assassin. There is nothing so fatiguing as an uncompleted task."

William James, one of the founders of modern psychology, spoke those words. And how true they are!

A few years ago, I heard a tip about procrastination that I never forgot. For me, it truly was an "a-ha moment!"

Well, here it is...with a warning: Once you see this 2-minute movie, it'll be hard to forget!
Watch This movie Here

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Jamaat leader discusses with Sagarika Ghose on evils of co-education

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind's proposals to JS Verma Committee

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind welcomes the government decision to set up committees to review the present anti-rape law and find out measures to make the society safe for the women. Jamaat expresses hope the committees will reach the root of the disease and find out the cure.
Following are the suggestions for kind consideration of the committee headed by Justice J.S. Verma regarding ensuring safety and security to woman:-
1. Only proper marriage contracted by free will of man and woman should be recognised as legally permitted form of legal sexual intimacy. All sex outside marriage including live-in-relationship should be declared illegal and punishable.
2. There should be provision for capital punishment for heinous crimes such as rape. These punishments should be given in public and there should be opportunity for people to witness the same so that it might act as deterrent to such heinous crimes.
3. Co-Education should be abolished and proper education facilities meant for only women only should be available at all level of education.
4. Educational institutions should prescribe sober and dignified dress for girls.
5. Services of religious institutions and religious leaders should be sought to reform society, inculcate moral values and awareness against crimes especially in the new generation.
6. Proper transport facilities for woman with proper safety measures be made available particularly in the town and cities.
7. Marriage should be made easy and it should be encouraged to have timely marriage, all forms of dowry be abolished and all unnecessary expenditures be curbed and made punishable.
8. The electronic and print media, TV programmes, Films and advertisements should avoid improper exposure of woman and it should be made punishable.
9. The alcohol is in the root of all evils and crimes particularly against women it should be completely banned in the whole country.
10. The criminal laws in this regard should be made more stringent, the judicial procedure be simplified and made faster.
11. The police reforms should be implemented soon and especially the complaints of not lodging FIRs or delaying of FIRs are made punishable offence.
More Here

Abolish Co-education says Jamaat Chief

Ameer-e-Jamaat Moulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari speaks about the recommendations submitted to JS Verma committee. Here


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