Showing posts from January, 2015

DD official sent to kaalapaani for airing jashodaben news

Doordarshan has transferred one of its assistant directors from Ahmedabad to Andamans after the national broadcaster's Gujarati channel aired a news item on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's estranged wife Jashodaben.  VM Vanol, 58, who has just over a year to retire, was transferred in January second week while the less-than-two minute item was aired by DD Girnar on January 1. The item talked about Jashodaben filing an RTI petition with Gujarat Police seeking details of her entitlements ..  A questionnaire sent to I&B ministry by ET seeking clarity on Vanol's transfer went unanswered. Top ministry officials said the transfer was an editorial and administrative decision and was not because of any particular incident. They requested not to be named for this story.  Vanol confirmed he had been transferred to the Port Blair station in Andamans but refused to go into details of what led to his transfer. Doordarshan officials in Ahmedabad and New Delhi said the day after the 

The women who died defending Kobani against Isis

This week Kurdish forces took full control of Kobani, a Syrian town near the Turkish border, after months of bombardment by Islamic State.  Mona Mahmood speaks to four Kurdish families about the female fighters who died helping to wrest control of the town from Isis Shireen Taher Mustafa Taher, 30, a lawyer and Kurdish language teacher, on his sister A few months after the revolution in Syria broke out, the Syrian regime permitted predominantly Kurdish towns in Syria to teach the Kurdish language in their schools. This included my home town, Kobani. My sister Shireen, then 19, was supposed to study English literature at Damascus University in autumn 2012, but it became inconceivable to travel between Kobani and the capital given the increase in violence throughout  Syria . Shireen instead studied the Kurdish language in Kobani while waiting for the chance to join the university. Of my 11 brothers and sisters, I was closest to Shireen. We were more like friends than sister and

Pakistan and India to share exhibit at Venice Biennale

Where the politicians and diplomats have failed, the artists hope to succeed. Pakistan and India are to be united at the  Venice Biennale  this year when a top contemporary artist from each nation will share an exhibit, in an unprecedented initiative aimed at bringing the two neighbours closer together. The show, entitled My East is Your West, has been funded by a Indian private philanthropic organisation. The respective governments, which have been exchanging intermittent artillery fire and verbal barbs for months, are not involved. “We just thought, let’s stop complaining about what others should be doing, let’s just do our best and say that from a common past and a divided present, we would like a peaceful future,” said Feroze Gujral, cofounder of the Gujral Foundation. The two participating artists are both stars of the burgeoning contemporary art scenes in their respective countries. Mumbai-based  Shilpa Gupta  has exhibited at the Tate Modern, the Serpentine Gallery and th

हरिशंकर परसाई - महात्मा गाँधी को चिट्ठी पहुँचे (1977)

यह चिट्ठी महात्मा मोहनदास करमचंद गाँधी को पहुंचे. महात्माजी, मैं न संसद-सदस्य हूँ, न विधायक, न मंत्री, न नेता. इनमें से कोई कलंक मेरे ऊपर नहीं है. मुझमें कोई ऐसा राजनीतिक ऐब नहीं है कि आपकी जय बोलूं. मुझे कोई भी पद नहीं चाहिये कि राजघाट जाऊँ. मैंने आपकी समाधि पर शपथ भी नहीं ली. आपका भी अब भरोसा नहीं रहा. पिछले मार्च में आपकी समाधि मोरारजी भाई ने भी शपथ ली थी और जगजीवन राम ने भी. मगर बाबू जी रह गए और मोरारजी प्रधानमंत्री हो गए. आख़िर गुजराती ने गुजराती का साथ दिया. जिन्होंने आपकी समाधि पर शपथ ली थी उनका दस महीने में ही ‘जिंदाबाद’ से ‘मुर्दाबाद’ हो गया. वे जनता से बचने के लिए बाथरूम में ही बिस्तर डलवाने लगे हैं. मुझे अपनी दुर्गति नहीं करानी. मैं कभी आपकी समाधि पर शपथ नहीं लूँगा. उसमें भी आप टाँग खींच सकते हैं. आपके नाम पर सड़कें हैं- महात्मा गाँधी मार्ग, गाँधी पथ. इनपर हमारे नेता चलते हैं. कौन कह सकता है कि इन्होंने आपका मार्ग छोड़ दिया है. वे तो रोज़ महात्मा गाँधी रोड पर चलते हैं. इधर आपको और तरह से अमर बनाने की कोशिश हो रही है. पिछली दिवाली पर दिल्ली के जनसंघी शासन ने सस्ती मो

Vrinda Gopinath - Six hilarious ways Modi tried to match Obama’s cool quotient (but failed miserably) // Exemplary Patriotism of our Vastrapurush

1 .   Let’s face it, Narendra Modi’s exuberant bear hugs, vigorous handshakes, lingering hand-clutching and uncontrollable waving with US President Barack Obama as a desi version of  “Gimme Five” was ludicrously over the top.  The bear hug and hand shaking on the tarmac at Delhi airport where Modi broke protocol to personally receive Obama to more handshakes and waves at Rashtrapati Bhavan, to another bear hug and more vigorous handshakes and clutches before and after the press meet at Hyderabad House, then at the Indo-US CEO forum, Republic Day Parade etc etc, must have left Obama thanking the Lord that the bump and grind hadn’t reached 7 Race Course Road yet. Now, we know the touchy-feely M.O.D.I Luvin' was for telly marketing and photo ops for millions across the country, but could Modi have been so effusive with Asian, Latin-American or Anglo-Saxon world leaders? Apart from the standard, vigorous handshake (and a bit of backslapping with Australian prime minister), Modi was

The Abolition of truth

Ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca // samanyam etat pasubhir naranam dharmo hi tesam adhiko viseso // dharmena hinah pasubhih samanah (Hunger, sleep, fear and sex are common to men and animals What distinguishes men from animals is the knowledge of right and wrong) ( Bhagwadgita ; Tr S. Radhakrishnan, 1948, 1971, p 79) For the Hindi version of this essay click here:  सत्य   की   हत्या Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan:   He was the only ray of light to help us through these darkest days. Ho Chi Minh:  “I and others may be revolutionaries but we are disciples of Mahatma Gandhi, directly or indirectly, nothing more nothing less.” Louis Fischer:   Just an old man in a loin cloth in distant  India . yet when he died, humanity wept. General Douglas MacArthur:  Nothing more revolting has occurred in the history of the modern world than the senseless assassination of this venerable man... Gandhiji, however, was one of those prophets who lived far ahead of the times. Sarojini Naid