Window Seat | Mrinal Chatterjee 16.12.18

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Why muzzling of Media is dangerous for democracy?

Truth does not need a follower. Untruth does.

In a parliamentary democracy, people chose leaders who frame policies and get them implemented.  A political leader needs people to rally around him/her to get elected. This he/she tries to do by anywhich means. Therefore it is important for the people to be informed and truth-focused, people who can see through the rhetoric and cob-webs of half-truth and untruth that political leaders often spin to win votes.

A responsible media helps people to get informed by providing credible information with its context, background and analysis. That is why media is important for democracy, especially in countries which are pluralistic and multi-cultural like India, where media literacy is low and therefore rumour and fake news travel faster.

Muzzling credible media is slow-killing democracy and stifling freedom. Media may have flaws and warts. Despite those lacuna, free media is our only insurance against tyranny.

Where are Films on Hockey?

As we witnessed two inauguration ceremonies of Men’s Hockey  World cup in Bhubaneswar and its twin city Cuttack, Odisha  in two consecutive days with Bollywood biggies crooning and dancing- I was curious to know how many films have been made on Hockey players and/or Hockey as the central theme in India.

A google search showed about seven: Chak de India, Gold, Soorma, Prithipal Singh (all in Hindi), Harjeeta, Khido Kundi (Punjabi), Akki (Tamil). None in Bengali, Marathi and Malyalam, the three languages which produce most number of off-beat films and in Odia.

Odisha has become a Hockey powerhouse for the last couple of decades. Several players from Odisha have risen to great heights from very humble backgrounds.
But, no feature film in Odisha has been made on any of them. In fact there is hardly any Odia film with sports as its central theme. By the way, the first Odia film was released in 1931. Presently over two dozens of Odia feature films are made annually. What we have in contemporary Odia films is overdose of ‘pyar’ and poor remake of mushy Telugu/Tamil films.
Why is it so? Why our film makers shy away from making films on sports persons, scientists, litterateurs?
It seems our film-makers hearts do not beat for hockey.

Air Quality Life Index

In an attempt to measure the impact of toxic air quality on people, the University of Chicago has launched a new tool named Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) which quantifies air quality data as the numbers of years lost to air pollution. The compiled by the weather experts revealed that exposure to the unclean air of India’s capital will cost its residents 10.2 years of their lives.
According to this data, Indians will lose an average of 4.3 years of their life due to air pollution. Residents of Lucknow will lose 9.4 years, 7.7 years for Patna, 9.3 for Mathura, 8.7 for Gurgaon, 5.9 for Ludhiana and 6.1 years for Gwalior. The data is more hopeful for southern cities. Mumbai is at 2.9, Bengaluru at 1.7, and Chennai residents stand at losing 1.9 years.

It seems it is better to stay put in small towns or remote villages instead of moving to big towns and cities.

Online Cartoon Museum

Cartoon Watch, the only monthly cartoon magazine of India has done something remarkable on its 23rd birthday on 5 December 2018. It has started an online Cartoon Museum. The museum has works of legendary cartoonists like Shankar Pillai, Mario Miranda, R.K.Laxman and also veterans like Narendra, Sushil Kalra and contemporary masters.

The museum is the brain child of my friend Triambak Sharma, Editor of Raipur based Cartoon Watch. He has been working on this project for decades.  He got number of old magazines featuring cartoons from senior cartoonists B.L.Wahi (Raipur), S.R.Tailang (Raipur) and Vinay Kull (Varanasi) for this purpose. Several issues of Shankar’s Weekly, Dharmyug, Saptahik Hindustan, The Illustrated Weekly of India, Film Fare, Caravan, which regularly featured cartoons were collected, scanned and kept in the museum. In this Gallery one can find cartoons from 1962 to1972 from Shankar’s Weekly and Dharmyug. More cartoons will be uploaded with time, says Mr. Sharma.

The objective of the museum is to preserve the cartoons for posterity and to provide common masses easy access to the cartoons.

Want to visit the Museum?

Surf here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=O1Q7aH4BkL0&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0qAvoIQkfbpfyrx0XICPRLhAEY3dkkz3i0lxtX2xVO3oDKDRkw35zEr1M.

Tailpiece: Exam Time Gyan

Maut aur Mohabbat to bas naam se hi badnaam hai.

Warna Takleef toh padhai hi sabse zyada deti  hai.

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Mrinal Chatterjee, a journalist turned media academician presently lives in Dhenkanal, Odisha. He also writes fiction.  [email protected]

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