Immunization on death bed!

What would you say if someone started vaccination programs for 50 year olds, or an immunization program for those on the death bed? Wasted effort, too late, non sense? Pick your reaction. Now, I may sound like over-dramatizing the talk around reservations in IITs and IIMs. But media and politicos beating so much drum around reservations in higher education institutions does make me react.

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The news: Jodha Akbar, Bus Permit etc

They spotted Bhajji eating bananas, and thus started the latest round of monkey gesture allegations. From now on, a program director from Animal Planet channel will accompany media-men as they keep watch on Bhajji, his habits and gestures. Bihar will boycott all movies made in Bollywood, and Raj Thackrey, in turn, will force Mumbai-wallahs to make only Marathi movies. Whatever.

In the middle of all the news in papers over last month, here are 2 smallish items I have hand-picked for you. One of them said that Supreme Court has prevented UP state government from stopping screening of Jodha-Akbar in that state. UP banned Jodha Akbar for the most un-democratic of reasons – “to maintain law and order”. Wonder whose job it is to maintain law and order, and the right to freedom of expression? SC judges agreed, though March 14 is when we will hear more on this interesting petition.

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Movie crazy nation?

“Around 13000: the number of movie screens in India, compared to 65000 and 36000 in China and the US respectively”

Picked up above stats from a magazine recently. I thought we had a bigger movie industry compared to China. And I thought we were more movie crazy than US. What explains the numbers then? Piracy? Preference to watch older Movies on TV? Bigger Cinema halls here? Or the count doesn’t include tons of video parlors in smaller towns?

May be I should go pickup some shares of PVR and Shringar Cinema today.

Who is it – city government or us?

[Cross posted on Praja-Bangalore]

How interesting to see different media houses use varying headlines to describe one same PriceWaterhouseCooper (PWC) survey on Bangalore city and governance.

Here are some interesting notings from this PWC survey:

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Rediff – Media site or group blog?

Would I be wrong if I called Rediff the biggest group blog with Indian content?

Are interactive-format websites really responsible for any irresponsible unmoderated content their readers contribute for free? A good answer isn’t out yet and is being discussed around the world right now, in many case inside court rooms as well. Can’t dwell on legal aspects of this question in India, but I do have a point to make.

When you run websites like Orkut, Myspace or even a personal blog, it is clear that you are betting on content generated by random readers or users. However, if your primary act is mainstream media with original and paid content, expectations are different.

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Flyovers – Thank God the ‘truth’ is out!

Ah, was I glad to see major newspapers talk negative about flyovers last week!! The irony is that these same guys were hyping up the ‘f’ word as recently as last year. Anyways, good. They finally realize these things are not the panacea. Yeah they aren’t, I cribbed over an year ago – here, here and here again.

By the way, its not just the mainstream media, Union urban development ministry too has the right language now. Did you read this last week?

The Centre has directed states and cities to draw up comprehensive mobility plans giving priority to pedestrians, non-motorised and public transport as rising travel demands have resulted in a disproportionate increase in private vehicle use … Officials … explained that the comprehensive moblity plan … is required to focus on the mobility of people instead of vehicles.

Not to say that things like flyovers or elevated expressways are not needed. But if their net result is going to be increased incentives for using private vehicles, then they are not good for our crowded cities. Sorry, and period.

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Hype and more of it

ringroadsLook at Intermediate Ring Road (IRR) project. T R Balu said yesterday that he (as in NHAI) will look at funding it. Thousand decibels of hoopla had surrounded the news of STRR and IRR projects when they were announce back in May 2006. Most newspaper did not bother to provide any updates on these projects for close to an year. And now, a mere announcement of support by NHAI gets front page coverage.

Did you notice that in most of these ‘exciting’ articles, media-men don’t bother to ask (NHAI or who-ever-is-responsible for execution CM, BMRDA, KRDCL) as much on dates? As for this particular news on IRR, did you read the fine prints?

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Fostering national integration?

Oh wow! What a great starter package you got there Tatasky – Marathi, Oriya, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Bangla and more. God! I didn’t even know my country had such a broad linguistic spectrum. I was told late Mr P V Narasimha Rao was the last scholar to know all Indian languages. Now I am sure that information isn’t right. Looking at your thoughtfully structured starter package, I am guessing your marketing folks figured there are tons of of viewers who want to enjoy all our languages at once.

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The three job sites

An observation on the three job sites that are spending a lot of advertising rupees to gain your attention. Each of them claims to be number 1 !

  • Monster India’s TV ad shows cricketers washing clothes with their bats and Classical dancers guiding airplanes on a taxiway. The message is about skills and matching jobs – a bit ‘mature’ one.
  •’s classic where an employee spells out the name his boss – H as an Hitler A … R … I as in idoit – is about you not liking your manager, or perhaps your job environment.
  • Whereas, Timesjobs shoots it ‘straight’: If your salary is making you feel too small, look for a change.

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One Mr ‘Unpopular’ Singh from Assam

I didn’t know Dr Singh resided in Assam. And I thought Prime Ministers were supposed to be ‘popular’, popular as in elected directly by the people of at least one constituency. But Dr Singh continues to insist he is a resident of Assam. And he prefers gaining an ‘unpopular’ entry into the Parliament.

Not that there is anything wrong here, its all perfectly ‘legal’. But personally, I don’t like the upright CEO of our country ‘proving’ his residency in a convenient state of his choice (a legitimate ‘token’ proof must have been presented to the EC along with his nomination papers) only to gain a back-door entry to the house of wise citizens.

A quick look around in the mainstream media, and only the Telegraph seems to think alike. I agree there, knowing Dr Singh from his words and actions so far, he should set better precedents.