Window Seat | Mrinal Chatterjee | 12.8.18



Rainy season

Rainy season is the time when you can find various kinds of insects. As I live very close to the hill and forest- we encounter countless number of insects- some cute, some beautiful some look ugly. I keep looking at them crawling, flying, sitting on the wall near the light source and think about God’s creation. If God has created them- they must be serving some purpose.

As I was closely looking at a spider- patiently sitting at a corner of the wall, probably waiting for its prey or probably thinking about mysteries of life- my wife came and asked me, “What are you looking at”? I silently gestured at the spider. She looked at it, went in a flash came back with a chappal and spat! The spider died instantly.
I am seriously thinking of writing my next novel on the spider as an apology to the killed one.

Rainy season-2

Thanks to our brilliant planning and excellent civic sense and unadulterated avarice, many of our cities get submerged with a good shower of rain. Bhubaneswar, top smart city of the country is no exception. Bhubaneswar is also known as temple city, as it has several old temples, some dating back to 800-1000 ad. Many of those temples also get submerged regularly.

Look at the photograph of Baitaleswar Temple, Baitala Deula in Odia. It is a 8th century shrine in typical Khakra style. The presiding deity is Goddess Chamunda. It is locally known as Tini-mundia deula because of the three spires at the top. In any other country this would have been protected like a rare treasure.

Probably the smart city has other smart plans. Probably The tourism Department would announce a new venture: boat ride pradakhina (Moving around) of the temples of Bhubaneswar to attract tourists.
Photo: Ashok Panda

200 years of Language Journalism

The first newspaper in India Hickey’s Bengal Gazette was published in 1780 in Calcutta. Thirty-eight years later the first language newspaper was published from the same city. It was in Bengali, named Digdarshan. Two more newspapers in Bengali were published in quick succession in the same year. Gradually newspapers began to be published in other languages. Initially language newspapers were poor country cousins of English language newspapers in terms of content and print quality and financial health. Gradually it gained strength and momentum as people took to reading news and views in their own language.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak realized the power of language newspaper and the importance of talking in the language of the masses. So did Gandhiji. In fact he actively encouraged publication of newspapers in regional languages from different parts of the country. Language newspapers played an important role in freedom movement of the country.

The restructuring of states on linguistic basis pumped up the circulation of language newspapers. Liberalization, free market economy, growing literacy and developing economic condition at the hinterland further improved the economic condition of language journalism.  In the political level, growing clout of regional parties and their dependence on language media to forge connect with people of the concerned state was another important factor for the growth of language newspapers.

By 2018 language newspapers are far ahead of English newspapers in terms of circulation and probably impact and influence on the readers of the concerned language. Thanks to the development of technology, they have occupied a significant portion of digital ecosphere.

So far so good. But there are areas of concern. About that, next week.

NGO, Media and Politics

Brajesh Thakur, the man who ran the shelter home in Muzaffarpur, Bihar where 34 minor girls were drugged, tortured and raped- also owns three newspapers. His son Rahul is the editor of a vernacular daily, daughter edits an English daily. He also owns an Urdu newspaper. His father Radhamohan was the Chairman of the All India Small and Medium News Papers Society. Brajesh has had political ambition and hobnobbed with the high and mighty of Bihar politics.
NGO, Media and Politics- is a heady mixture. Brajesh was thick into this. So are many others in the country. Owning a media house and running a NGO have become shields for many unscrupulous characters like Brajesh.

Tailpiece 1: Mosquito

Aahana: Mumma, a mosquito bit me.
Me: Oh, please be careful. Monsoon brings a lot of diseases.
Aahana: But I am feeling bad for the mosquito. Its mother would scold it saying, ‘You again ate outside food!’

(Courtesy: Indrani Ganguly)

Tailpiece 1: Imran Khan

Imran and his wife don’t know where to live.

In PM’s residence prime ministers don’t last long.

In Imran’s residence wives don’t last long.


Mrinal Chatterjee, a journalist –turned media academician lives in Central Odisha town of Dhenkanal. Presently he is compiling and editing a monograph/book on ‘Gandhi as a Journalist and Editor’, which will be published by October 2018.

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