Uma Bharati to marry Shobhan Saxena

Since Shobhan Saxena concludes that blogging is ‘organized gossip’, I thought of indulging in some myself. Though I bet it took you less than a second to figure that cheap and sensational headline I ‘used’ to get your attention is a hoax.

But Shobhan Saxena insists that people like me can publish anything and make you believe. What he doesn’t know is that if I write stupid stuff like that, only the very stupid will return to read the next post. What he doesn’t know is that in this hugely interlinked mesh of information, it is a lot tougher to lie and mislead. Because the same tool that you used to find my blog, you can use to figure that Uma Bharati has nothing to do with Shobhan Saxena.

Mr. Saxena goes on to say that “a reporter walks for miles in an area ravaged by a tsunami to get one quote from the man hanging on to a tree for a week“. What he doesn’t know is that the days of pigeons supplying news post to newspapers are close to getting over. When the next tsunami strikes, and while I’d wait to be rescued, I would be blogging the waves in real time using my satellite linked phone. And, folks will be reading that as well as Times of India (you better hope!) to get real accounts of the disaster.

This giant interlinked mesh of information as we call it, is not just for leaches to suck ‘information’. It is ours to feed as well. Mr Saxena does it in his own way, and we do it in our own.

Anyway. So Mr Saxena, did you read your Times of India today (Bangalore edition, Sunday October 8th) ? While our BPO industry is fighting real serious allegations over data security, your editor has been letting stories like these pass for Sunday front-page headline – “Sex and BPO: Crackdown on“. Do your editors care only about punctuations and grammar and not bother about content and context at all?

Get real Shobhan. Whether you like it or not, blogs are here to stay. Bloggers aren’t selling themselves for eyeballs, they are just being natural socialites, because to speak, to express and to want to be heard is only social. To manipulate people into buying pictures of half naked women, and stories of sex and drugs in office spaces is business, your business.

PS: Few things Shobhan tried to say do make sense – wannabe journalists, potential for misrepresenting facts etc etc. But his tone (extremist-styled to sell, Rediff’s Varsha Bhosle types) just lost those messages. Perhaps a journalist born and bred at Tehelka and Indian Express is expected to write like that.


9 Responses

  1. What I find strange is that he finds nothing positive in the blogosphere which obviously smacks of dubious motives. I don’t know how a prestigious publication like the Times of India allowed this. Till now, I had only heard about the quality of content in the Times going down vis-a-vis their commercial aspirations but this is the first proof of it.

    By the way, I have read about the Times of India and Hindustan Times coming together for some venture and mind you, this is unlike the saxena- Bharti match that you have mentioned.If something like that is in the offing, it will benefit the Times content.

  2. “TOI – prestigious???”

    It is one of the sleaziest, sensation hungry publications. Its Front Page is the unworthiest part of the newspaper – proven again by its cover story of ‘Sex and BPO…’

    Believe, TOI just went ahead and recruited jokers passing out of myriad Long Distance Mass Communications and Journalism courses.

    The content on supplement pages is not worth even a single look.

  3. Well I beg to differ on one single point made by AkD- the content on the supplement pages are worth more than one look- actually a hundred lust filled, ogles- . Its just that there isnt any stuff worth reading.I cant think of any newspaper in the world other than The Sun ( and we know what that is) which gives so much bare flesh for us to gaze on with our morning coffee. They are just the people to pontificate on blogs- they should when their existence is threatened now wont they? :)

  4. Hotgal / AkD, ever wondered that if ToI really thinks their supplement (Bangalore Times, Bombay times and what have you) helps ‘sell’ the main newspaper, why don’t they sell those colorful supplements separately?

    Hiren – thanks for dropping by even though you have written a long one on the subject yourself.

  5. Strange, I always considered the TOI to be an organized gossip magazine, but the day came when I got really bored of my current paper, the HT and decided to switch. I really have not regretted my action since the HT is a very boring paper.

  6. The present Indian media has no journalistic ethics. There are hardly any print or TV news agencies who follow values of journalism. They have forgotten journalism and have made news as mere entertainment & gossip writing only personal views with a hidden agenda.

  7. Shobhan Saxena and cost of Indian life

    You know what’s the cost of an Indian life for an American MNC? 40 cents. That’s it. And, guess what, the government of India agrees with this value. All Indians – all 1.1 billion of us – are worth 40 cents. So, if you vaporize into thin air in a Chernobyl-like nuclear accident, that’s what your family (if they survive, that is) would be paid. If you think I am talking through my hat or making all this up, here are a few facts. A few scary facts.

    The government of this country is in the process of tabling a bill in the parliament which will give a guarantee to all the MNCs willing to invest money and technology in India’s nuclear reactors that in case of an accident, they don’t have to pay more that $450 million in compensation. That’s the limit. The compensation has been capped at $450 million. Divide 450 million by 1.1 billion and you get 40 cents. That’s what the companies bringing their nuclear reactors will pay if there is an accident at a nuclear reactor (Of course, no nuclear mishap can affect all the 1.1 billion people of this country, but a nuclear calamity can inflict a huge social, economic and environmental damage to generations of Indians. And keeping our track record in mind – Bhopal 25 years ago; Kaiga three weeks back — the chances of an accident can’t be ruled out.)

    A couple of weeks back, the Union cabinet okayed the draft of the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill, fixing the civil liability at Rs 2,500 crore ($450 million). It was a strong message to the business lobby in Washington, which have been eyeing the Rs 60,000-crore plus market in India in the next 5-10 years. That’s a huge amount of money. There’s no cap on profit these MNCs can make in this poor country, but there’s a cap on compensation they have to pay in case of a mishap.

    And what about the criminal liability? The bill is silent on it. We have been the victims of the worst ever industrial accident ever. Twenty five years ago this month – on the night of December 3-4 – the Union Carbide (an American MNC) factory in Bhopal began spewing a poisonous gas that killed and maimed thousands. Those people are still suffering. They are still camping at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, waiting for compensation and justice. In Bhopal, frail and weak women are still giving birth to children with congenital heart condition. The people of the city are still drinking contaminated, poisoned water. And the criminal in chief behind this atrocity, Warren Anderson, is living life kingsize in a plush New Jersey mansion. We can’t touch him.

    And, now, with this new bill, the Indian government is giving an assurance to the Americans: go to India, set up your nuclear plants, mint money; if there is an accident we guarantee you that you won’t be touched; and you can pay 40 cents for every life lost. In short, they have been guaranteed that they will get away with murder.

    But, people, particularly civil society groups, are already speaking up against the bill. A brilliant report by Greenpeace India has not only exposed the major flaws in the bill, it has actually proved that this bill is “anti-people” and against the “Constitution of India.” The Greenpeace report says that “the responsibility for paying this compensation will rest on the operator (likely to be the Nuclear Power Corporation) and not the supplier or foreign companies building and installing reactors in India… In a nutshell, this means the supplier-foreign companies like France’s Areva SA, Russia’s Rosatom Corp and US giants GE and Westinghouse — will reap huge profits by setting up nuclear reactors and selling their technologies, but will not be required to pay compensation in case of a nuclear accident at their plants.”

    The Greenpeace sent its report to Soli Sorabjee for an Opinion. Sorabjee is not only one of the best constitutional experts we have in this country, he is also India’s former attorney-general. This is what Sorabjee said in his Opinion: “There is no warrant or justification for capping nuclear liability, as is sought to be done. Any such move will be in defiance of the Supreme Court judgments and will be contrary to the interest of people of India and their fundamental rights under Article 21 of the Constitution.”

    Violation of people’s rights. Violation of Supreme Court verdicts. Violation of safety norms. For what? 40 cents. And you will get it, when you are dead.

  8. Shobhan Saxena and cost of Indian life

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