Friday, April 5, 2013

Research, Bolpur, Santiniketan And More


It’s now about three weeks that I am back from Santiniketan in Bolpur and no wonder that I am not feeling good about it. Staying there weeklong has been a sweet experience, a rare sweet experience amidst all the not so sweet experiences of late. I landed up in Bolpur to survey a set of respondents for my research. Earlier I have been to the place once, guided by a real bright talent of Visvabharati University (not belonging to the mass communication fraternity). Things were more hectic last time with the scorching heat of the summer months and a pilot study which was to be completed in tight schedule. A final study was due and I went there with a week in hand to complete the work. The student of Visvabharati University could not make it this time as his period of study has ended few months back and he was back home. However, I was lucky to get two new contacts. These two new contacts eased up my initial anxiety as the local population gradually cooperated with me. People in Bolpur are different and I could sense that I am in august company. The rickshaw puller who took me to the hotel on Bhubhandanga sounded quite knowledgeable. Bolpur is not the epitome of materialistic accomplishment; it is the embodiment of simple inner happiness. One of my local contacts, a busy and jovial journalist, made a prior booking of the hotel. I paid the advance and got the key to my room. I cleaned myself, had my lunch and talked to the journalist over phone. He was in between an unfolding news story and promised to turn up in the evening. I got time to chalk out my action plan-where to go first, how to approach people etc. I went through my questionnaire and tried to correct typing errors if any. It was a matter of about hundred respondents, representing a cross section of the population. Daylight waned over the streets of Bolpur and the fading light ushered in a mystic evening. The Journalist turned up at the hotel with a smile. He was talking over phone to someone regarding my issue, looking for prospective respondents I thought. We went out without wasting any more time and were soon asking people to spare some of their valuable time to give tick marks beside a set of options. Some complied with our request while some were not so forthcoming. Bolpur though, true to its spirit, was mostly cooperative.



The next day I turned up at Padma Bhavana at Visvabharathi University. A famed professor of Geography department was my second contact person. I have met him once earlier in one of his book launch ceremonies in Kolkata. A man who was not fond of wasting his time over “fixing issues” and lazy gossip, this professor was a lot different from the general yardstick. He was among a few researchers in India who could undertake innovative means to pursue his area of interest. His energy was infectious on those who were around him. Truly international in spirit and resembling Paulo Coelho in looks, I was more than glad to meet him with my research idea and a set of questionnaires. He found interest in my area of study and introduced me to some of the students. He briefed them about their role and the students gladly agreed to help me in my research. I myself being a part of a University can say it with conviction that students of Visvabharati take academic issues in proper light and are highly cooperative. They are keen to participate and learn and don’t give the “I know things better than you” stare. Boys and girls were overenthusiastic to shoulder the responsibility of meeting members of different households in their locality. Number of filled up questionnaires swelled in a jiffy. Two rickshaw pullers in front of my hotel also helped me reach prospective respondents. The five days of my survey in Bolpur turned out to be highly productive.


The journalist continued to back up with his resources wherever he could. Working in the wee hours of night on a story, he was never disturbed when I called. While during the day I was busy completing my objective in the night I went out for a walk to feel the pulse of Shantiniketan and adjoining areas. The serene roads, devoid of busy traffic and blaring horns, were very different from the cacophony of Kolkata. As I strolled past the Upasana Griha in Santiniketan I could not but praise the endeavour of Rabindranath Tagore in conceiving the idea of Visvabharathi. This educational institute was started by a man who did not have formal learning and schooling and whose philosophy about teaching was –“Knock at the doors of the mind. If any boy is asked to give an account of what is awakened in him by such knocking, he will probably say something silly. For what happens within is much bigger than what comes out in words. Those who pin their faith on university examinations as the test of education take no account of this.1 Skeptics might argue that this educational spirit of Rabindranath has now been diluted but they cannot point fingers at the upkeep of Visvabharathi University which is truly world class. One evening I took a rickshaw to the Gitanjali cinema hall. They were showing the movie The Attacks of 26/11. A balcony ticket came really cheap and I went in to see this latest Ram Gopal Verma thriller. As expected Ram Gopal dished out something which was not really appreciable. Coming out from the hall I sauntered towards the restaurant which caught my attention while entering the complex for buying tickets. Ghare Baire, a restaurant which offers authentic Bengali cuisine was adjacent to the cinema hall. The men who were taking orders at the restaurant wore traditional Bengali dress. I settled for some light snacks and a big cup of tea which was served in a beautiful earthen pot or “Bhar”. The interiors of the restaurant were highly influenced by creative exploits of Rabindranath Tagore. Lines from his poem decorated the ceiling. Different shades of his painting was also lighting up the atmosphere. Earlier when I came to Bolpur I had a pleasant experience of Alcha Boutique and Restaurant. This time Ghare Baire proved to be really interesting.



I have been to four other places for my research but there was something special about Bolpur. No wonder that tourists pour in from all corners of the globe during Poush Mela and Basanta Utsav in Santiniketan. There is life in this place. It liberates the soul and brings in lot of fresh air. Amidst all the dullness of modern life Bolpur holds a promise of “good times”.





1. Source: Wikipedia.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Blogging Your Way To The Future

When we blog we are using a new media platform. "New Media" is attracting a lot of attention these days because of the possibilities which are on offer. Starting from the days of static web pages we are already a part of an interactive web environment thanks to web 2.0. Now we are in the midst of a social media revolution where creativity is finding a shared environment to thrive. Facebook, Myspace, twitter and other networking sites are allowing an alternative media space for different voices to be heard. It's really interesting to upload images, ideas and observations over these platforms, tag friends and seek their response. However, critics have opined that this open creative space is getting diluted by over usage of self advertorial material and cynical way of looking at things. That is an area of study which we will approach in a subsequent paragraph. Now to ponder on this issue closely, research and in depth study on new media is somewhat complex. There are already "self styled new media experts" who are claiming to have decoded this new phenomenon threadbare. I will not criticize these "intellectual thinkers" but will like to add that to be expert on new media, which is a vague term in itself, active practical usage of the medium is a must. We can be academically rooted to this media and don the hat of an expert but that is total disservice to its very essence. 
pic source: www.interactiveinsightsgroup.com


When I blog or discuss about 'new media' I accept that I am a humble learner. I will discuss things from the perspective of a learner, not an expert because being an expert on new media is risky given its constantly changing nature. Blogs bring in a whiff of fresh air because there is space to think differently and talk one's own mind. Mainstream media like television, newspaper and radio is top heavy with little space to be dispassionate and objective on issues. Paid news is a problem that needs to be given proper attention. It is an alarming development and has all the ingredients to subvert democracy. When ideas are twisted from the top to serve various interests little is left to honest assessment.According to Press Council of India’s draft report of enquiry titled “Paid News: How corruption in the Indian Media Undermines Indian Democracy” deception happens at three levels:

a) The reader or the viewer is made to believe an advertisement as independently produced news content.

b)  Candidates contesting elections do not disclose the true expenditure incurred on campaigning, thereby violating the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961.

c) The newspapers and television channels concerned usually receive funds for ‘paid news’ in cash and do not disclose such earnings in their company balance sheets or official statements of accounts. Thereby the media company or its representatives violate the provision of the Companies Act, 1956 as well as the Income Tax Act, 1961 among other laws. [1]

These are some dangerous observations coming from the office of the Press Council of India. This is where blogs and other social media platforms come into relevance. The recent blasts in Hyderabad led to innumerable posts from netizens on facebook and twitter. It was enlivening to see various individuals sharing emergency numbers to help those who are in distress. The care for fellow human beings might have taken a digital turn but these developments are always heartening in times when cut throat competition and strive for more and more personal gains are wiping out finer qualities. 

As discussed earlier, there is a growing concern over tendency to be self obsessed and cynical in social media. Criticism is always good when it is constructive but equally damaging when done just for the sake of it. Looking with skeptical  eyes on each and every development stems from cynicism. This trend has to be curbed for a vibrant virtual space. The growing authority of alternative ideas which is forcing different governments to step back under pressure and use highly questionable means to control, gets undermined when used for cynical jibes and sharing pages which always profess "doom". Social media cannot just be used to state whether one has brushed his teeth in the morning or not. It can be used for effective means. While it is true that facebook, myspace and twitter have ignited the imagination of young minds, blogs are yet to have the same impact. Blogs can be used to engage communities who are serious about knowing all sides of a developing story, engage over meaningful discussion on social issues and exchange ideas for progress and change. Though academic communities in western countries are using blogs to interact with students and also throw valuable insight to research, this trend is yet to catch up with academicians in eastern countries specially India. When the world is looking for new methods of teaching it is time to come out of the shackles of polemics and try something worthwhile. Teachers and students are all running after theoretical knowledge and their expertise is getting judged by marks. However, education is about using the acquired knowledge for greater good and not about being smart with marks and short of ideas. Dynamism, the key word in this changed global system, is in delivering new ideas. New media is ushering in a new education environment where application and ingenuity are in more demand than mockery of marks. Serious news can be catered over blogs if the intent is serious. Though tough at times, credibility of news blogs can be established by maintaining objective standards. Why not think of a time when a good investigative story gets published in a blog? Why not think of a day when journalists jostle for serious blogging? Lets hope for a time when a political commentary in a blog has thousands of followers, each expressing their point of view with utmost freedom!  

[1] Source: Emerging trends in the Indian Media Landscape-Malaise of Paid-Content and the Need for Greater Accountability. Pitabas Pradhan in Media Watch Journal, Volume 3, Number 1, January-June 2012. 
 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Evening Handbags and How to Get Hold of the Best Ones

There are many different events and occasions that we women attend or grace to all year long, some are annual events like birthday celebrations while some are once in a lifetime moments that we simply cannot forgo. It could be a dinner engagement, a big client meeting wherein you need to seal the deal, and a whole lot more. And during these important and precious moments, you need to look as special as the event by dressing up well and carrying the necessary fashion items and accessories. And when it comes to accessories, all women should be carrying those elegant fashion purses with them. So here are some important thoughts and reminders when picking those ladies handbags and purses that will accentuate your outfit and help you leave a lasting impression.

Sizing, Colors, and Textures Count

First off, you need to consider a number of aspects before paying for any evening bag or fashion purse that catches your attention whether in the stores, boutiques or most especially online. And one of them is the size of the bags or purses that will match and compliment you and the clothes that you wear. Generally, speaking, bags during special evening affairs like dates and intimate meetings should not be able to cause you stress and hassle as far as having to carry them is concerned, so opt for something that is smaller than the average bag but make sure that is offers enough space to carry all your valuables that you need to bring for the night like your wallet, keys, and maybe some makeup.
pic source: 
Next are the colors of the ladies handbags or fashion purses and getting them right. To save you from headaches in choosing the right colors, stick to the safe and neutral ones like black, silver and gold which are quite versatile to mix and match with almost all sorts of outfit colors, particularly the solid-colored ones.

And lastly, choosing the right textures and patterns of the fashion purses. As a rule of thumb, go for something that sort of contrasts your outfit. If you are wearing something that is plain-colored and is streamlined, then go for ladies handbags that are textured such as leather, especially the exotic ones. Just try to mix them in order to create more character.
Never Forget Price And Quality

And of course, you should always be mindful of the price range that you can afford and the quality that you expect to get from the ladies handbags and fashion purses that you will be buying. Set a budget and stick to it so that you will be able to trim down your choices. You really need not spend a lot of money to enjoy something that is stylish especially if you will be purchasing online. But do make sure of the quality that you will be getting. If you are buying in the stores, examine the quality of the bags carefully. Check the stitching, the lining and the materials that were used. If you will be buying online, do some research on the reputation of the websites you will be buying from.


About the Author-

Patricia May has been writing about general fashion and chic handbags which she truly loves to death.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Film Review: The Magic of Barfi

I am an ardent film lover, a movie buff, whose definition of an ideal weekend is definitely a trip to the multiplex!!!
Source: UTV Motion Pictures

Barifi came as a whiff of fresh air, when I went to watch it this Friday!!!

Set in the 1970’s West Bengal with its beautiful retro looks and pastel shaded surroundings, Barfi’ is the story of a deaf –and-mute person named Murphy who is popular by the name Barfi (Ranbir Kapoor). In spite of his physical challenges, Barfi is brimming with energy, magic and music! The film portrays his relationships with two women (Ileana D’Cruz & Priyanka Chopra) in his life and how it goes through a roller coaster ride of love, friendship, heartbreak , pain and union over a period of six years. Barfi is filmed in Darjeeling where the mist, tea gardens, and the settings of the famous coffee joint, Keventers will bring back memories buried deep within. In the second half you get to see Barfi set in the alleys of North Kolkata, with the Howrah Bridge in the back drop.

The Story is simple and yet refreshingly different, reminding you of classics of Raj Kapoor style and of films like Sadma. Screenplay is awesomely done, and it is particularly commendable the way the writer weaves a tale of love which seems so close to real life. The story is about Barfi’s journey of love with Shruti and Jhilmil . Shruti -- a beautiful girl, soon finds herself falling for Barfi’s magic touch in spite of acknowledging the differences they had socially and she being engaged to Ranjit ( Jishu Sengupta) already. The romance blooms between the two as Barfi charms her with his innocence, his happy ways, his smiles, and his energy. The two share bicycle rides through pine forests, horse-saddles and their very tender midnight kiss for the first time. As the film progresses pathos sets in over concerns involving engagement rings to the kidnapping of an autistic young woman called Jhilmil (which is the central plot.) Things change and gear faster than Barfi would understand.

In the turn of events Barfi falls for Jhilmil later, understands her ways, sets her free, nurtures her like a knight in shining armour and finds a new definition of love with her.

We see the characters of Barfi, Shruti and Jhuilmil meet in the cross roads of life. Shruti breaks free from her love less marriage to come back to Barfi, and Barfi madly chases Jhilmil.

The music is stupendous and Pritam brilliantly make us croon the songs long long even after hearing them. ‘Main Kya Karon’ romantically tells us the magic one feels after falling in love, ‘Ala Barfi is a superb character description of Barfi himself. A beautiful gazal in the second half shares the pain and helplessness of meeting ones lost love suddenly after long!

The cinematography is flawless and Anurag Basu’s direction is powerful too. We see ace Bengali actors like Ashish Vidyarthi, Jishu Sengupta and Rupa Ganguly in Barfi. Use of Chaplinistic comedies and Raj Kapoor styled dressing and romance has ornamented the films with many jewels. This film is a must watch in all respects.

Barfi teaches you that love has its own language, own music, own expressions which alone makes life worth living, you have to be in love and relish the gains, pains and sweet nothings that comes your way….

Please go and watch this beautiful film!

About the Author-

Srirupa Ganguly lives in Hyderabad and is in perennial love with writing. Having a distinct style of her own and wide experience in writing for quite a period of time, she is known for her insightful view on events.

Special Guest Article: Journalism and Literature


Though journalism is junior to literature in terms of age they move hand in hand. They depend on each other in terms of format as well as a little bit of content. Such dependence can be compared to neighbourhood living when neighbours living together owe a lot to mutual exchange.

Journalism deals mainly with information which is supposed to be factual in nature. The legendary proverb says "facts are sacred, opinion is free". It justifies the importance of information which we expect to get from the practice of journalism. On the contrary, literature goes for elaboration of the human lives entangled with subtle niceties which are deliberately transformed into art form. When journalism paves the foundation of history with factual information, literature delves into the depth of human relationships.

When journalism tries to capture a time or a situation on the basis of factual information, literature goes to explore the factors as well as sensibilities leading to the levels of perceptions and understandings. For understanding Mahatma Gandhi, newspapers can be of immense help so far as information details are concerned. But understanding Gandhi in literary format must have to be different. Literature accommodates imagination while journalism puts no entry to the artifice to it at the expense of factual information. But ironically this contrast has failed to go against the good impact of live-in condition of journalism and literature. Today's print journalism stands greatly on the story telling techniques of literature. Print journalism has been tablodized conveying multi colours. 

About the Author-

Dr. Baidyanath Bhattacharyya is teaching journalism for about three decades. Author of five books in journalism, mass communication and guest editor of a reputed online media journal, Dr. Bhattacharyya is considered one of the experts in journalism education.

Kumartuli: The Puja Flavour & Some Images

Goddess Durga Getting Decked Up With Other Family Members
Lord Ganesha Getting A Dash Of Colour
Biswakarma Idols Being Ferried In A Tempo




Goddess Durga Awaiting The Final Touch
The Beauty Of Lord Ganesha
Kumartuli Artisans At Work

Almighty Goddess Durga
Goddess Durga Fighting It Out With Evil
Durga Coming in Plenty

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Indian Women: Fighting with Physical Abuse

Women were regarded as central part of the society from time immemorial though society continued to be patriarchal. Women were worshipped as goddess; adored as mother, wife and sister. But some incidents of recent times show that they are nothing more than objects of flesh and blood to satiate carnal pleasure through force. Every day when people flip through newspapers in search of good news like development in the country, economic progression etc they are confronted with just the opposite story. Women are been assaulted, molested and tortured both physically and mentally by men who can best be equated with beasts.
 
Leaving aside the Vedic age when women commanded a lot of respect they have always been looked down upon as a commodity which is for pleasure and enjoyment. It is depressing to digest debates across the country which partly blames the tempting dressing of women leading to their rape. But these discussions cannot be accepted when globalisation is in full swing and when the global transfer of culture and ideas has reached a sizable proportion. In western societies women are much liberal in deciding what to wear which may raise eye brows in Indian standards but still the crime rate is lower compared to us. Primitive thinking of parda system is still in the mind of people who think dressing sense of women is all to blame. However, dress hardly matters to the perverts. We read in newspaper or see in television that a girl wearing salwar suit gets raped and furthermore women who are wearing sarees are also not spared. A woman who wears provocative dresses (according to Indian sensibilities) attracts a lot of lustful onlookers. 
 
Now we can come to a conclusion that cultural backwardness of Indian society is the main factor for lack of respect to women. We hear or read that our country has undergone a revolution or it is developing day by day but the actual scenario is bleak. Society is thinking over ways which enable women to get more opportunities so that they can be placed on an equal footing with men through legislations and enactments. Today we find women as ministers, chief minister, prime minster, president, top executives, sports-person etc but the fundamental question regarding respect to women still comes secondary. At present women irrespective of their age are searching for "security”. Now question is- who will ensure their security? 


About the Author

Nilika Banerjee is student of Journalism & Mass Communication at Rani Birla Girl's College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and they do not reflect in any way those of the Dispassionate Observer.

 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Are We Independent? I Think ‘No.’ What Do You Think?


Another 15th August, another Independence Day. The nation is all decked up in the try color to celebrate the most remarkable day in the history of India. TV channels are too busy scheduling the top 10 patriotic films (like Border, The Legend of Bhagat Singh, Rang De Basanti etc), FM stations cannot think of anything else but playing “Bharat Humko Jaan Se Pyara Hai”, “Bande Mataram” (Rehman’s version), “Sandeshe Aatein Hain” etc throughout the day. You can see families sitting in front of the TV set, watching the spectacular march past by Indian army and paramilitary forces. But amidst all these festivities where is the Independence? Can you see it? Can you feel it? Can you touch it? Can you decipher it?

Independence means “Freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.” On 15 August, 1945, India, as a country, acquired freedom from the control of British rulers. We all knew how the brave-hearts broke the shackle of dominance and snatched away the liberty from the firm clench of those Britons. So I’m not going to repeat that tale once again here. But the question is, after 66 years of independence, can I call myself independent? Can you call yourself so? Can I freely express my thoughts about anything and everything? Can you ask the government to show you how they utilize the taxes you pay or how you are being benefited from that? Can you stand up and spit out your anger against the social and political injustice? Above all, what about your collective individual independence?

pic source: Munna Kumar Photos(picasa)

When a country becomes independent that does not only mean that the country is free from any foreign oppression or injustice; that also signifies the fact that the common citizenry of that country is also free from any injustice, oppression, hardship etc.

India, the largest democratic sovereign country, ensures justice, liberty, equality and fraternity to her every citizen.

But –

  • Can those little boys and girls working as labors free themselves and ask for equality?
  • Can those millions of common people demand an answer from the government using their Right to Information?
  • Can you or I stop paying the taxes until the government gives us a detailed account of those each and every paisa we have paid from our own pockets?
  • Can an adult person of this country choose ‘No Vote’ during election? After all, if we are independent then we should have the power to choose no one as our candidate to the upper or lower house of the Parliament.
  • When a court violates the laws it has set for itself, a victim is left with a no other choice than to accept it as his or her own misfortune.
  • From presidential election to Rajya Sabha election, we are just puppets in the hands of the politicians or better say, our representatives. What a sarcasm it is!

And regarding India’s independence as a country - it still cannot decide its own nuclear deals, it cannot prohibit the intruders from crossing the LOC and it cannot make its own choice when it comes to purchasing arms & ammunitions from a foreign trader. And the list goes on…

Still we hoist the national flag; still the school children sing patriotic songs with folded hands; still all the TV reality shows bring their exclusive themed programs on air; and still we proudly call ourselves Independent. 

About the Author

Durba Sengupta is a Content Writer by profession. A student of Journalism and Mass Communication, she is a complete bookworm and a movie buff. Being an optimist, she dreams of a day when a few words like poverty and corruption will no longer be in use.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and they do not reflect in any way those of the Dispassionate Observer.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Olympic Dream

Curtains have fallen on the Olympic Games in London, 2012. A spectacular Ending ceremony was the crowning glory of the greatest sporting event on Earth. Indian contingent fought, ended up getting six medals (two silver and four bronze medals) and showed promise of getting few more medals in the near future. The country went the Hero way, "Hero Go, India Go". Like many others I also eagerly followed the developments and posted in facebook when one of our athletes won a medal. Suddenly we were finding wrestling interesting and badminton enjoyable.
However, this euphoria is short lived. India loves its cricketers. They are our national heroes and all corporate support is for them. A good show in national and international circuit ensures a number of advertisements across television channels ranging from fairness creams to motorbikes. Sushil Kumar, Vijay Kumar or a Yogeshwar Dutt, getting a lot of cash reward after their achievement in Olympics, will go into oblivion after sometime. We as a nation love to listent to pulsating music during the cricket matches in IPL and enjoy the game! We like to watch all the antics of film stars like Shahrukh Khan and cheer wildly for cricketers like Saurav Ganguly (whether performing or non performing), Sachin Tendulkar (no more what he used to be), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (all smiles and all luck) and a number of other stars. Media in the country love to report over days on the Harvajan-Sreesanth slap-gate.

As Nirmal Shekar opines in The Hindu, "Let’s look forward to another wild parade through the streets of Mumbai with the boys peacocking from an open-top bus. Let’s unabashedly hail their heroics, throw fresh flowers and encomiums at them even as my fellow professionals try to pull out every adjective in their vocabulary to celebrate the great achievement.

Meanwhile, Mary Kom would probably be running from pillar to post to find a cooking gas cylinder in Manipur, Yogeshwar Dutt would be walking to the nearest tea stall in his hometown, unmolested, his stellar achievement long forgotten.

The peerless Viswanathan Anand’s fifth world chess title would be a distant memory and he would be preparing for yet another tournament that nobody cares about even as Jeev Milka Singh tees off somewhere that nobody has heard of. Birdie and eagles…well, we haven’t been to a bird sanctuary in a while; should make it a point to visit one."1

The sad reality of our country is that we concentrate too much on cricket as other sports get neglected. I was listening to one anchor in a regional news channel as she expressed her displeasure on the small number of medals for a country with such a big population. She was arguing that poor infrastructure on the part of the government is the main roadblock. Agreeing with the fact that politics have ruined the prospects of the country and infrastructure has been poor there is also one big concern. The Indian mindset has to change. How can we expect great results from our athletes when we just brush them aside as non entities? Only during Olympics we find a lot of national spirit and feel disappointed when Abhinav Bindra fails to qualify. While Virat Kohli finds a problem of plenty to choose from advertisements, Mary Kom knows she cannot expect the same.

It is easy to point fingers at politicians and lament at the present conditions or results. Politicians are part of the society and it is the reflection of the society itself on their deeds. What do we do to cheer our athletes all the year round? We choose to avoid national hockey matches when they are telecast on television for the excitement of cricket. If a badminton match of Saina Nehwal can generate TRP's to the level of a cricket match then gradually corporates will pour in money because they understand business. Now where from will the TRP come if we choose to ignore her matches most of the time?

The governmental fund outlay has improved over what it used to be in the past and the results are showing in the increasing medal tally. However, for a nation to compete with giants like U.S.A and China there needs to be strong public backing behind national athletes. Media can serve a better purpose if they give these athletes good coverage throughout the year. Media also have to look into infrastructural deficiencies and form public opinion for their fast overhaul. They need to report about new talents and raise voice for more and more corporate involvement. Cricket is a beautiful game and the power structure revolves round it, however, it is time that we stop getting disappointed finding ourselves in 55th spot in the final medal tally and look within ourselves to feel whether we are doing justice to other sports apart from cricket in the country. Playing hockey is not encouraged in schools; badminton, table tennis, chess, wrestling or other sports are always considered secondary to academics. Talents are lost when parents pursue a promising badminton player to leave the game for better prospects in engineering. Cricket, though, is in a different league because mothers flock with their would be Sachin's, Sourav's, Dravid's, Dhoni's to cricket coaching centres. They are adamant to see their children making a century at Lords and soon become the sought after advertising model. We cannot expect the good when we ourselves deliver the worst. It is commendable that in spite of being pushed aside these athletes spring up from nowhere and produce good results. They are aware that all their valiant deeds for the nation will be forgotten when Shahrukh Khan will dance to the tunes of a popular Hindi film number with his Knights, post an IPL match.



1. Nirmal Shekar's Column in The Hindu retrieved from: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/nirmal_shekar/article3758296.ece?textsize=small&test=2

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Anand at the top of the World

On 30th May India achieved a new feat in the world of chess. Viswanathan Anand, 42, secured his fifth World Championship title defeating Boris Gelfand of Israel in the ‘toughest’ title clash at the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. He made India proud by achieving this glory and challenge Russian monopoly in World Chess. It was high tension drama. Intensity of the battle made everyone forget that both the players had played 12- classical games over the past three weeks.

pic source: e Khabar (picasa)




In 1988 Anand became India's first grandmaster. He achieved the distinction of receiving the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 1991-92, India's highest sporting honour and the Padma Vibhushan in 2007, the country's second highest civilian award, making him the first sports person in India's history to receive the award. Anand's strong presence in the international arena started in 1995 with his attempt at the world championship crown where he lost to Russian Gary Kasparov 10.5-7.5 in the PCA world championship match.

This is fourth successive world championship victory for Anand. He is the only player in the history of chess to win the world championship in all the formats- knockout, round- robin tournament and individual matches.

Anand will be the world champion till his next title clash, which will make him the world champion for a cumulative nine years now (2000-2002 and 2007- 2014). He pocketed about USD 1.4 million- 55 percent of the total prize fund of USD 2.55 million- while Gelfand got the remaining amount. No doubt it was a great moment for India.

However, for Indians sports means only cricket. Others hardly find support. We forget that there are sports persons across disciplines who made Indian proud. The athletes had an impressive show in the Commonwealth Games. Proper infrastructure can do wonders for sports in the country. The focus must shift beyond cricket. Three weeks long match between Anand and Gelfand hardly got space and time in media because at that time people were glued to the IPL. Fortunately when Anand won the title IPL was just over so he got proper media attention.

It is a pity that achievers like Indian Kabaddi champions, boxers, weight lifters stayed in darkness and were treated badly by the authorities. They were deprived of the honour which they deserved. Hope things will change for good and India will soon be a super power in the sports arena.

About the Author-

Moon Jana is an announcer at All India Radio, Siliguri, West Bengal, India. She did her Masters in Journalism & Mass Communication from Visva-Bharati University.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and they do not reflect in any way those of the Dispassionate Observer.

On 30th May India achieved a new feat in the world of chess. Viswanathan Anand, 42, secured his fifth World Championship title defeating Boris Gelfand of Israel in the ‘toughest’ title clash at the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. He made India proud by achieving this glory and challenge Russian monopoly in World Chess. It was high tension drama. Intensity of the battle made everyone forget that both the players had played 12- classical games over the past three weeks.

In 1988 Anand became India's first grandmaster. He achieved the distinction of receiving the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 1991-92, India's highest sporting honour and the Padma Vibhushan in 2007, the country's second highest civilian award, making him the first sports person in India's history to receive the award. Anand's strong presence in the international arena started in 1995 with his attempt at the world championship crown where he lost to Russian Gary Kasparov 10.5-7.5 in the PCA world championship match.

This is fourth successive world championship victory for Anand. He is the only player in the history of chess to win the world championship in all the formats- knockout, round- robin tournament and individual matches.

Anand will be the world champion till his next title clash, which will make him the world champion for a cumulative nine years now (2000-2002 and 2007- 2014). He pocketed approximately USD 1.4 million- 55 percent of the total prize fund of USD 2.55 million- while Gelfand got the remaining amount. No doubt it was a great moment for India.

However, for Indians sports means only cricket. Others hardly find support. We forget that there are sports persons across disciplines who made Indian proud. The athletes had an impressive show in the Commonwealth Games. Proper infrastructure can do wonders for sports in the country. The focus must shift beyond cricket. Three weeks long match between Anand and Gelfand hardly got space and time in media because at that time people were glued to the IPL. Fortunately when Anand won the title IPL was just over so he got proper media attention.

It is a pity that achievers like Indian Kabaddi champions, boxers, weight lifters stayed in darkness and were treated badly by the authorities. They were deprived of the honour which they deserved. Hope things will change for good and India will soon be a super power in the sports arena.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Yet Another Beginning

Wish I could fly like Spiderman and scream with joy, "I am back, I am back!" I know posts in Dispassionate Observer are irregular. I can't help it..Trying to fix this for months though..alas not finding much success..Hope this time Dispassionate Observer will not disappoint. It is now a fact that this blog has been accepted by some readers and hence the page views have swelled. I am happy to see that Dispassionate Observer has gone past 10,000 page views.  I didn't expect this when I started the blog given the long absence of any posts. Thanks a lot to all those who considered it worthwhile to read the articles and thought pieces.

The problems for me compounded when I understood that I am experiencing a writer's block. My mind went blank, devoid of any ideas to work on. I turned to books, read a number of them but still the flow was not there.  Not only my blog, I promised to write for some other websites who really had beautiful plans. I know I have not done justice to them but somehow I was not feeling like writing anything.

Dispassionate Observer will hopefully do justice this time. There will be regular posts from me and a number of other authors who have made this blog what it is today. In this month of London Olympics Dispassionate Observer wishes best of luck to the Indian contingent. Depressing news about events have been the order of the day, an event like Olympics will provide some fresh air and enjoyment worldwide.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Resilient KKR Brings Trophy Home

picture source: Sahil Deewana (picasa)
The wait is finally over. No more anxious moments to touch the beautiful IPL trophy and Shahrukh Khan can now stop wearing his lucky black tees and same jeans to make his team win.

After digesting a lot of controversies the wind finally turned in favour of Khan’s Riders. Already the evening shower brought a bit of relief to the city, but the sweet midnight storm was much more reliving.

Dhoni failed to make a hat trick of wins in the IPL . The way his team performed in last few matches it appeared they will be hard to beat in their own backyard. The credit goes to the Knights specially – Gautam, Bisla, Kallis, Manoj and Narine.

It no more remained just a game. For the emotional people of Kolkata it was like a dream come true. It was their belief that the team could win and finally their belief turned into reality.

Gautam (Gautam Gambhir) proved it was the team spirit that led them to success. King Khan who always believed in "Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo"( we will do it, fight and finally win) kept the flames alive and finally he was rewarded with a grand victory. 

Dada’s (Sourav Ganguly) sixth sense got it right and the night turned out to be lucky for the Knights. Co-owner Juhi’s (Juhi Chawla) promise to Mamtaji (The Chief Minister of West Bengal) to return to Bengal with the cup finally turned out to be true.

After going through all types of experiences in the past years Kolkata Knight Riders finally achieved their desired goal. People of West Bengal had a peaceful sleep as they basked in the glory of being the top team in India. 

‘Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo’ anthem worked out this season. Team spirit, hard work, belief and excellent execution helped them to lift the DLF IPL Cup 2012.

About the Author-

Anwesha Guha Thakurta  is student of Journalism & Mass Communication at Muralidhar Girls College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and they do not reflect in any way those of the Dispassionate Observer.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Why Are We So Wrong To Girl Child, India?

India envisages to become a developed nation. However, due to her so-called superstitious traditional culture she is unable to cope with modern world. Some beliefs and practices are acting as hurdle to her progress. In this country women are not getting the respect which they should get. According to Indian Constitution everyone should get equal opportunity to progress.
picture source: Savio Sebastian (picasa)

India is a land where female gods are worshipped, however, in practice the society is patriarchal. Mother is an important factor but if she gives birth to a female child then she is abused by the family. Through scientific methods it can be detected whether the baby is a boy or a girl when it is inside the womb. So called cultured people irrespective of education are taking the advantage of advanced technologies illegally and are wasting no time in destroying the baby if it turns out to be a girl. Most are happy with male child. According to them their future will be protected by their sons and they will earn lots of money. Even they will also help maintain their lineage and heredity. At times the mother is held responsible for the birth of a female child but those who are aware of medical science know it better that the male chromosome Y can only be given by the male partner. In spite of knowing all this many women are tortured, killed and even compelled to commit suicide. During pregnancy women are subject to brutal torture to kill the female baby which even lead to death of the mother. In India steps were taken against female infanticide which lead to reduced instances of such cases. Now the disturbing trend has again surfaced.

Almost every day if we open any newspaper or news channel we hear or read news about female infanticide. Government has enactments in place against such killings but it is not enough. Before elections all ministers shout they will do for the society but once they are elected they are of no use. In India the president is a woman, there are female ministers and number of entrepreneurs are women. My question to them is what are they are doing? Aren’t they reading newspapers? Why can't they do anything despite being in seats of power? Who will reply to all these questions? Now it’s high time for common women to raise their voice against female infanticide. If this system persists then a situation will arise when female population of India will decline which is alarming for the days to come.

We can not move towards modernisation with our illogical, illegal, unethical, inhuman, immoral and unjustified Hippocratic culture. Detection of sex before birth is illegal and punishable crime but in every part of the country it is happening. Harsh punishments should be imposed on the criminals who indulge in this act. The notion that male child is more likely to ensure well protected future for parents is proving to be useless in modern society. Research has shown that female children are actually taking care of their parents even after their marriage while the male ones are failing to keep their word.

About the Author

Nilika Banerjee is student of Journalism & Mass Communication at Rani Birla Girl's College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and they do not reflect in any way those of the Dispassionate Observer.