Thursday, December 27, 2012

OF Livewire LIVEMINT and Indian Mothers in law!

Reading the article from Livemint above, sends a chill up my spine and is capable of leading a nation into a state of despair.
Accepting the argument provided by those who select content which runs on all television channels in India would spell doom.
Lets not forget that those who believe Indian Television is not ready for progressive programming are taking a growing television market for granted and depending on viewership which they will accumulate irrespective of whether the content they provide is of good quality and forward thinking, or not.

Lets also not forget that if content in Indian Films is becoming more and more ahead of time, it is because writers of depth are acceptable in the industry of films unlike that in the industry of television, not just acceptable but respected as well.

There is a fear of good writers in the television industry.
Good writers are more informed and therefore more assertive. Good writers trust their instincts, draw from the well of their vast experiences and research.
Good writers make the fore tellers of change, redundant, in this case those executives who give precedence to collections above all else, even above the damage they cause to a psyche of a country as a whole.

The pundits who believe they know the viewers' needs because of skewed numbers that arrive at their desks every week are not just pulling wool over eyes of the larger public but also doing harm to a society struggling to understand the complexities of its times.
If the article above is true and all that those who are quoted say is right then what a contradiction it is then that Ballika Vaddhu is the topmost rated program in India, and it is a series that hits hard at the worst social malaise in India, which is child marriage?
It is a series that cuts across all audiences in India, not just appealing to slum dwellers and villagers, because it is a series well made, well written and with top quality performances.

None of the youth is watching storytelling on Indian Television and it comprises of more than 60% of the Indian Population.
None of their problems are addressed through storytelling, none of their real issues resolved.
That is why they are on the streets today, protesting against evil, demanding answers.
That is why the son of the President of India has the audacity to call those women agitating on the streets in the capital city of India, dented and painted, women who go to discotheques in the night, and walk the streets by day!
There is a complete apathetic attitude of the spin doctors who care for the results in cash, more than in behavioral or attitudinal change. Have no clue what to do when the need of the hour is to give impulse to a revolution in the hearts of a whole society.

Whoever talks about content being generated on Indian Television at present is for aspiring viewers, is completely out of sync with the aspirations of an average Indian and if they think it is the archaic sets and costumes of serials that people of India aspire to ape, they are sadly mistaken.
There is nothing worse than dishing out mythology upon mythology to an average Indian viewer who laps it up daily, the viewer who cannot discern between mythology and religion.

I have said time and again, and often made myself unpopular with my trade, that there is a responsibility, we as a creative industry, carry upon our shoulders.
We cannot afford to mete out what we believe that Indian audiences want, from the analysis derived out of a dismal sample, just to prove our point right which we so easily can because of the positions we hold, the chair we occupy, the huge funds we can release.
Like the Government of India, we too collect sycophants around us, yes men, who make us believe that we are right all the time, who revel when we delude ourselves.

We need to go into those places where our television reaches and observe what is missing.
Not just depend on what we think is there.
Because what is missing out there is a lot about what we have and they don't.
Other than uninterrupted water supply and electricity that we have and is missing in those lives, there is a culture standing still out there, which fortunately is evolving in our societies and because of which we can sit out here in privileged domain and pontificate about what we think we know.
Those people who consume our television also desire that their lives should move forward, their cultures should evolve, their futures should blend with ours.

Let's not be shortsighted and imagine that what is too far in the horizon is blurred therefore we can get away with anything that we want.
We have turned our passions into our business and now we cannot afford to exploit it by keeping the business rolling at the cost of a generation of young aspirants lost, mindsets led astray.

We have to blame ourselves for a confused youth today.
It is the result of the last 15 years of programming on our television which has slipped into the lives of young impressionable minds whom we have fooled into believing that what we show is how we are, how we think and how we live, whereas we ourselves look down upon what we create and consume programming from the west which provides us with the impetus to design our own evolving cultures.

The attitude of disdain towards our own audiences is the outcome of our feudal backgrounds which compel us to believe that what we like, should be different from what people we consider to be lesser beings, like.
Let us not make no mistake that programming from the west may be cheaper to run on English Channels, but is not the answer to qualify our substandard output.
There is no alternative to home grown quality work, and it can only emerge from sensitivity of executive functioning in a creative industry, a genuine concern towards its creative resources.
Money will be made either way.
Hierarchy has to shift from the carpetbaggers to the bard.


Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

As I start to write this letter to you, the brave 23 year old who was a victim of the most heinous crime in our capital city is being moved away from Safdarjung Hospital to a hospital in Singapore.

While the whole country prays for her, the Government that you are the head of is doing everything it can to ensure that she gets the best treatment and returns to a healthy life, not because you care, even if you would like to believe you do, but because you are damn afraid of what will happen on the streets of the capital city of India if anything goes wrong with her, and God forbid, if she loses her life.

I choose to write to you because I believe that you as a leader, the chief executive of our country, have failed us.
You may take responsibility for this victim because she is making the top headlines of these times, but where you have let us down, is in your response to the questions that this incident raises.
What about the number of rapes, indignities upon women, ignored by enforcers of law, in all parts of the country as we speak? Upon 2 and 4 years old, on young girls?
What about this unforgivable crime being committed upon innocents every day, hour and minute, in some part of the country or the other?

What we expect from you is ACTION!
But what we have got from you in return is a half hearted speech giving assurances of the same kind which you have been giving to us every time something boils over, be it the molestation of a teenager in Guwahati, Assam, or be it the terrorists attack of 26/11 in Mumbai.

I still clearly remember you and your colleagues using the same words at the time when Mumbai protested and reached the gates of your office to ask for answers.
And I hope you know that as I sit today to write to you, none of those steps were taken, none of those promises kept.

How do we believe you?
How do we accept that you will do anything about the safety of not just women, but all citizens of the country, when you have failed in securing the capital city and the financial capital of the nation?
When we know that all you are waiting for is for this uprising to exhaust and tire itself out, to die down so you can go on with life in the same vein until the next incident takes place?
What must be the plight of other metropolises, cities, towns and villages, if these are the conditions that prevail in the two most so called empowered cities of India?

The blatancy with which your spokespersons defend the indefensible is the biggest giveaway that the party you represent is incapable of handling the system and driving it towards modern times, that it sure knows how to come into power and stay there but is absolutely inept at managing its administration, and above all else, you must know that nobody trusts you anymore.

Mr. Prime Minister, lets cut the crap!
Let's stop playing those games of the past which a generation hurt and wounded post partition forgave you for because it was simply grateful for having survived the worst bloodshed during the most painful separation it was forced to endure.
This generation and the ones following this one are unforgiving.
They are informed and they are aware.
They can see through your devious devices and petty politics and they can understand what you are up to when you make attempts to muzzle their voice and pull a fast one on them by creating a chaos around the systemic problems under which you bury real issues. E:g: Sheila Dixit at loggerheads with Commissioner of Police, New Delhi.

Face it Mr. Prime Minister, the youth today means business and will not settle for anything less.
They are not impressed with any of you in power, and they cannot tolerate you patting each others backs for having caught the culprits behind the rape within 24 hours of the crime.
If you are listening, which I doubt, you will hear that you cannot be in power if you don't do your jobs right, and doing your jobs right is not about nabbing offenders, but ensuring that the offenders dare not commit an offence.

I hope you can see that the future of politics is not going to be about secularism and non secularism.
The next generations do not believe that their religion defines them.
The next generations are searching for their identity in their achievements and they will find it, even if it means that it will be at the cost of losing you.

Please understand that they understand consumerism Mr. Prime Minister, and know that they should get value for the price they pay for a product and since you are a renowned economist, let me speak in your language.
You, your government and your administration, are products which the citizens of this country, the educated, the uneducated, the privileged and those not, your consumers, pay for with their hard earned money and you must know that they are not at all satisfied with the adulterated form of management they get back in return for it.

Mr. Prime Minister, I beg you to see the writing on the wall.
The theater in parliament is unacceptable.
The adjournments and the waste of public money to uphold the drama, your pageant, even more so.
You have been elected and appointed, paid and given privileges, to work for us, not for battling your opposition, and day by day, week after week, session upon session. and every year, you are letting us down and wasting our money.

Now you please listen to us:
Get to work and call for a special session of Parliament.
Make up for all the precious time you have wasted and assure us that you will deliver the goods.
Pass all those laws pending which will secure Indians.
Amend those which are archaic.
There should be 33% representation of women in Parliament and it should be mandatory for every party to have necessary number of women contesting elections in 2014.
You have to depoliticize the police force and set in reforms in its institutions with immediate effect.
Let heads of those who don't perform roll.
We don't want even one candidate of any political party who has a criminal track record in past or present to get a ticket and to be able to contest elections in 2014.
We want you to see to it that each and every candidate who stands for election in 2014 has a minimum qualification, that of being a graduate.

Mr. Prime Minister, the people of this country are much more powerful than what you, the media and your propagandists think, far more reliable and popular.
They are gentle and sensitive.
Don't arouse the worst in them and don't impose your will upon them because if it explodes, there will be an awakening, but one that will blind you and your tribe forever.
Don't push it Mr. Prime Minister.
We beg of you!!!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Lets face it.
We're a banana republic, a puppet democracy.
We're spineless, we're hopeless.
We want popularity at any cost, even if it means when compromised with murder, brutality, regression and anarchy.
We want power at the price of abdicating responsibility.
We want money if it means we create distressing scenarios' for the rest of those who belong to this world, those other than our community and families.
We want to let the poor remain poor, and we want to grow the middle classes but ensure that along the way their upward trot, they remain muzzled and silent fearing loss of what they have so painstakingly earned in their lifetimes.

Lets get it right, we have lost our morality, our values and we stink.
We stand by Khap Panchayats for vote banks, we support crime for coalesce.
As a polity we are failed and will remain so for many generations to come because we are nepotists and we don't give a damn about how people who think, perceive us because they don't count and their voices will never be heard.
We control the media, we control fiction, we control reality with policy and our money and we have a hand in every pie cooking and will see to it that it be garnished with what works best for us, whether anybody likes it or not.
We stand united when we wish, and oppose each other as and when we need to pull wool over peoples eyes, so that things ignited get doused when we want and things quiet, erupt as and when we believe they should.

Make no mistake that we're the usual suspects you see on television and yes, we have all appointed spokespersons who will speak to you on our behalf because we want to remain nameless and faceless and we know that you can say or do nothing about it.
The Minister of Law will speak to you even if the issue is pertinent to the department of sports and the Home Minister will appear if we so deem fit, when we are talking about the development of women and children.
It is all subject to their availability and therefore it is our prerogative because we really don't care about what you in your cosy little apartments and homes, cuddled on your couches, think about us.

A dialogue from the recent film, written by Reema Katgi and Zoya Akhtar, Produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani and Directed by Reema Katgi, a film called Talaash haunts me, when Kareena Kapoor, playing the part of a prostitute tells Aamir Khan, the cop, that how can we disappear when in reality we don't count, how can those who don't exist, not be ever found.

That is the state of the nation.
We are all whores and prostitutes because we have sold ourselves to this politics for a livelihood, for shelter and for the food that we feed our children.
Only those who appear on television every other day, who are seen regularly in futile arguments and debates in newsrooms every night, count, and that also because they shield the real culprits who hide behind them and make merry while the rest of the country goes to seed.

From traffic to education, health services to shelter, the list is endless and everything has gone to seed.
And therefore law and order.

What the hell is going on?
Why are we allowing ourselves to be treated this way?
How dare they do this to us?

Who are these men who had the audacity to pick up a young girl and boy in a privately run vehicle and commit such a heinous crime, a dastardly act that has left the young girl battling for life and to remain scarred forever if she survives it, and her young escort beaten to pulp?
Why was that bus plying the roads at a time when public transport should have been available to every citizen in the city in full force?
Why is public transport not available in this country to match the size of its population?
Who is responsible for that?
Is policy deliberately tampered with to allow private players into the fray for them to make hay while the sun shines?
Is that why every city in India is infested with auto rickshaws, tempos and two wheelers which follow no rules and which get licensed in the same corrupt manner in which they find existence.
Did the corporates manufacturing those bumblebees not know that they could have supported the Government to push its public transport agenda instead of finding opportunity in there and quietly slipping its own agenda in, to make a fast buck.
There is no social consciousness, no sense of responsibility anyone in position of power in this country has, because all are tied in with each other in one way or another.

Why is the media not going out there and bringing on the real people who are responsible for the crime which was committed two days ago?
Why are the Commissioner of Police, the State Transport Department, the local players who should be made to face the viewers, missing in action on screen?
Why are the spokespersons of the two national parties, the ruling and the opposition doing the needful?
Why are celebrities talking?
Why are all those people doing the talking, in the newsrooms, in the discussions, who should be talking a few days later, if at all?
What is it that the media, politicians are scared of today?
That their complicity will be exposed?
That if the enforcers on the ground, the ones who actually implement the law will reveal the truth that they are unable to do their jobs with authority because they are afraid of being transferred or of being penalized for executing their powers?
Will they be forced to stay silent like the rest of us, because they don't count as much as we don't?

Time has come to end the rhetoric!
We will not, and should not take things lying down anymore!
Let's understand, that if we do not raise our voice now, we will be slut ting it out forever!
If we do not insist, yes absolutely insist that every single candidate, standing for elections in 2014 is qualified to a minimum degree of requirement, if we do not make mandatory, that a man or woman with a criminal track record in present or in past, cannot contest, what kind of a world will we be creating for our children, our next generations?

Let every single candidate be on national television in the lead up to the elections starting now, and face the people of India, answer legitimate questions and present to the country why they think they deserve to be elected.
Let there be follow up after the elections to see if those who promised lived up to their words or not.
Let those who did not live up to their words, be shamed.
That is the role for media to play.

Modi wins or Congress, let that be information provided on tickers at the bottom of television screens. Let cricket belong the sports channels and not become prime time debate just because it is the anchors' passion!
Let cinema belong to its pages and its screen space.
End these painstakingly boring discussions on everything other than the real issues.
Why are children dying of malnutrition, hunger and disease?
Why is there so much filth on our streets?
Why do we have to live with substandard facilities in every walk of life?
Why are women not safe in this country?

Get down to business newsrooms and bring on each and every member of parliament one by one, and let him or her expose themselves, for their good or their peril.
Let not a single television series come on air which erodes values and perpetuates nonsensical dramas in which women remain the worst enemies of women.
Let no film, in humor or in all seriousness, reach the screens which idolizes men who chase women in the most uncouth fashion and objectify them.
Let not those item songs prevail, which titillate the frontbenchers who are neither educated, not socially conditioned to understand what to do with their dicks when they rise.
India cannot afford this for some years to come!
India has to repair itself, heal and recondition itself with inclusive agenda's by forming strong communities which make its people belong.
India has to reconcile with itself!