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[29 Mar 2011 | No Comment | 10,492 views]

The written word becomes a compulsory condition for any political system. It is accepted that law exists, but what it is, clearly is more dangerous to feel. The law is something of a strong weapon used by the system to induce psychological fear. The ruling class can declare that everything that it pronounces is law. Though our country has a written constitution and a democratic parliamentary system, still the legislative and the judiciary enjoy privilege over others, which is nothing but misuse of power.
I will substantiate my stand with instances. …

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[29 Mar 2011 | No Comment | 10,228 views]

Despite her frail frame, Dr E Rati Rao is a tough old lady. Tough enough to maintain her sanity and spirit in the wake of false charges such as sedition (which carries death penalty) and other draconian sections imposed upon her by the vindictive government of a political party whose leaders had once suffered and fought against the same draconian acts and false implications. But power not only corrupts, it also makes dishonest representatives contemptuous of democratic principles.
Dr Rao is no unprincipled political dealmaker, nor is she an environmental burglar …

Special Web Issue »

[29 Mar 2011 | No Comment | 8,557 views]

Thank you for giving me an opportunity to speak at this platform. I very sincerely believe that even if you are unable to protect at least protest. Here all the speakers I heard or the vibes I got makes me feel that they have been troubled by the judiciary, as if the judiciary is the villain and the media is God! It’s not like that. Both are hands in glove. You would have heard the famous stanza of Kishore Kumar “Jab majhi hi naao dubaye tab use kaun bachaye?”
Friends I …

Special Web Issue »

[29 Mar 2011 | No Comment | 10,840 views]

In a recent article by the editor of The Indian Express, he makes a frank confession, which is very rare for editors – especially those in the league of newspapers like Express, one of the most right-wing papers in the country today. He begins by saying that there are two groups of people who can figure out the changing public opinion very accurately. One is Bollywood, the commercial film industry, and the other is the political fraternity. The editor goes on to talk of films which exposed the media, showing …

Special Web Issue »

[29 Mar 2011 | No Comment | 17,756 views]

Recent debates on paid news have uncovered an important dimension, and discomforting consequence, of the commercialisation of news organisations. The process of commercialisation, and subsequent corporatisation of news unfolded most rapidly with the de-regulation of broadcast news in the late 90s, which led to a large number of regional, national and trans-national entities entering this territory. Looking back at the last decade, it is important to examine how truly de-regulated the broadcast news sphere has been; it is more important to examine under what conditions this domain was opened up, …

Special Web Issue »

[29 Mar 2011 | No Comment | 2,737 views]

The subject of police violence and the media assumes special importance in the context of the 2005 notorious fake encounter killings by the Gujarat police of Sohrabuddin and others, which has now become a hot issue. The media have played a commendable role in uncovering the details of the incidents in this case and the unquestionable involvement of the Andhra and Rajasthan police too in these fake encounters. The Gujarat police leadership and subordinates, as well as the top political leadership of the state, were fully involved in these fake …

Special Web Issue »

[29 Mar 2011 | No Comment | 2,876 views]

I hail from one of the most backward blocks of Orissa, the Mohana block in the Gajapati district. This block has 32 gram panchayats and is predominantly a tribal area with an overwhelming Christian community. The block is equally infested with Maoists who have a parallel administration in almost 16 gram panchayats.
I started my career in the year 2000 as a paper hawker for Sambad, the leading local daily in Orissa. Taking note of my reporting skills and inputs, which I provided to the newspaper, the editor asked me to …

Special Web Issue »

[29 Mar 2011 | No Comment | 2,674 views]

Karavali Ale, which was started 18 years ago in Mangalore, is literally the voice of the coastal people of Karnataka. Its role in striving for transparency in coastal Karnataka’s public life has been at various times recognised, the latest one being the special recognition by the Transparency International. Karavali Ale has inspired public agitations by fishermen, farmers, dalits, tribals and commuters, exposing in the process the SEZ lobby, private transporters’ lobby and builders’ lobby, and not the least, fake godmen, to name a few. It has tooth and nail opposed …

Special Web Issue »

[29 Mar 2011 | No Comment | 2,922 views]

I would like to share my own experiences about a certain story and the manner in which that story developed and I had my own small brush with the Lok Sabha. But, I do not consider myself a victim at all, in spite of having a dozen cases slapped against me by authorities of all kinds. Journalists as such who come in friction with the State more likely become “shoot the messenger” club. We are all messengers who are being shot.
In December 2005, Cobrapost.com carried out Operation Duryodhana, which captured …

Special Web Issue »

[29 Mar 2011 | No Comment | 3,017 views]

Manipur, my home state, is a place where the government agencies such as the police and security forces operate with impunity created by the prolonged imposition of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
The AFSPA, 1958 has been enforced in the whole of Manipur since 1980. Under this Act, a mere suspicion by a non-commissioned officer of the armed forces is enough to call for the arrest without warrant, torture and killing of any person, or destruction of any property.