Overheard … #2

Our ministers are watching too much TV!

First that ban on AXN. Then the recent ban on FTV (Fashion Television). And now, its CNBC Awaaz (quote from ToI):

The channel had, according to the notice, screened advertisements featuring ‘Martiac Whisky’ and ‘Satu Petrus Wine’. The decision on the ban was taken after the inter-ministerial committee took cognizance of the matter.

Inter-ministerial committee, hmm! Must be a nice gathering, right – everybody get together for some serious channel surfing!

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The real list?

Followed the ‘excitement‘ around India supplying 36 names to Forbes billionaires list? I caught some of that, and then I also read the recent hawala racket they claim to have busted. Enforcement directorate claims to have uncovered billions worth of assets attached to one Mr Hassan Ali:

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The Budget buzz

I notice the pandemonium before and after the budget. The noise is definitely more deafening these days what with economy being the buzzword everywhere. Come February and media starts building the hype. Come D-day and our FM becomes a hero (or the villain, depends). And then, the big story everywhere, budget budget budget.

I witness the drama every year and wonder about three things.

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Who killed the prof? – the movie plays on

The dramatic scenes are back in the Professor Sabharwal murder case. The same poor guy who sounded so emotional and confident about his abilities to stand by his “bade achhay aadmi thhay” (was a very good man) professor, has changed his lines. See IBNLive link – witnesses turn hostile.

May be the witnesses feel threatened. May be they get bought over. Whatever, this witness-turning-hostile drama and trial-by-media thing is getting monotonous and boring now. To me, this case is more important than Jessical Lall and all. Because, we are talking about plain old goonda-giri here. Don’t like someone, go beat him. Don’t like a government order or court’s verdict, go torch a bus – I bet the same type of guys do these mob-y things. A harsh verdict here could set a precedent, a message that mobs can’t get away.

But how do the courts move forward from here? Some out of the box ideas:

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Dignity is for women

Wont take much of your time. One chhota sa post with two simple questions.

So Ash is going to marry Abhishek. However hard you try, you cant escape all the banter about whether Miss Rai should now quit films or not. I even saw a poll proclaim loudly that 41 percent of respondents felt Ash should ‘maintain’ the ‘dignity’ benchmarks established by Mrs Big B.

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Singur and SEZ stuff

So, have you been following the action around hundreds of SEZs sprouting up around the nation? I bet most hadn’t taken a second look till the mess at Singur hit headlines few weeks in a row.

Singur story has all the media worthy masala. Though the double-faced politics being played there (BJP and Mamta preaching communism to CPI-M, wow! Politics is really the art of impossible) is very tempting, I wont give you the regular news channel brainwash here.

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The caste arithmetic

Come election time, and you will see our newspapers educate everyone on the classic caste arithmetics. If you have been following the hyped up coverage around Chamundeshwari by-poll, you may have read the numbers all major newspapers served last week (ToI and Deccan Herald certainly did, I read both of them). So now I know Chamundeshwari’s composition (quoting nicely rounded off numbers from DH, ToI’s numbers looked lot more precise that these!):

 Lingayats : 70,000
 Vokkaligas : 60,000
 Dalits : 70,000
 Brahmins : 20,000
 Kurubas : 50,000
 Nayakas : 40,000
 Minorities : 26,000
 BCs : 30,000

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Lip service?

[UPDATE, Dec 1: As expected, ToI apologized this morning saying this agency photo was a result of bad camera angle. And that they didn’t want to hurt anyone’s sentiments by publishing it. Well, we knew that, it had to be a bad angle or a moment of confusion. But ToI shouldn’t have published it in the first place.]

Spotted this picture in yesterday’s papers*. See if you too find it a bit odd. The CM of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje Scindia is shown greeting Bangalore’s bio-queen Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. Did the photographer catch an odd moment of confusion, an illusionary angle, or is this how powerful women greet each other!?

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In the name of religion alone

After Chacko pointed out on Mutiny, I read around to find more about the P C Thomas case. Along with other things, Kerala High Court may have passed a judgment that Mr Thomas asked for votes in the name of religion. That point alone – mixing politics and religion – makes me raise a question.

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Bye bye cable, going Tatasky

I have been sitting on the fence regarding ditching cable for DTH. But just last week, I came to know of this multiroom scheme Tatasky has. That just assures me that these guys understand multi-TV homes. Moreover, the picture quality is really good.

Now, DishTV doesn’t seem to have any multi-room offer. Their subscription schemes are confusing and expensive for multilingual homes like mine. And it seems Tatasky has much better customer service compared to DishTV. (Disclaimer – Internet hearsay and based on what what few friends tell me). Some folks say Tatasky picture quality is better than DishTV, but I don’t trust that.

Anyways. So, I have taken the plunge. Just placed an order for 2 Tatasky boxes, and I hope to have them installed this weekend. Can’t wait for this upgrade to DVD quality video and CD quality sound. And no blackouts during bandhs and through the power-cuts. Hope it will all be as they promise!

One interesting thing. I asked the Tatasky rep if they provide DVR (think Tivo types) set-top boxes as well. DishTV offers DVR box, why would Tatasky not do it? The rep told me that their boxes are DVR ready, and they will be launching a service (via a software upgrade) sometime soon. DVR ready, what does that mean!? Do these boxes (digicomps) have hard-drives inside them? I don’t buy that, but will inspect the boxes when they arrive.