May 012012

If a boat capsizes in the North East (Assam to be precise) and no one hears of it, are there still casualties ?

Hopes dimmed on Tuesday of finding more survivors after an overcrowded ferry split in two and sank in northeast India, leaving more than 100 dead and around 100 missing.

Police said 105 bodies, including women and children, had been recovered so far from the fast-flowing waters of the Brahmaputra river, where the ferry sank in a sudden storm late Monday afternoon.

Despite an operating capacity of 225, some 350 people were believed to be on the two deck boat when it broke up mid-river in torrential, pre-monsoon rains.

had talked about this earlier, here

What is evident is that there are media centres – Mumbai and Delhi, and media peripheries. There are people and events that matter, and there are people and events that don’t.

Private sector media will be driven by self interest and that is profit. Frankly the private TV channel watching audience is either too caught up its own lives , or too unaware of the magnitude and diversity that is India, or too uncaring about people not in its own vicinity, for TV channels to focus on this issue. One excuse is there is regional media to cover this. But, if 500 people die in an overloaded boating mishap then why is it not a national issue. ?

This is the reason why we need a stronger, more independent DD. The last few times that DD tried to exert independence – by trying to do stuff that earned it money –  private channels scuppered it. But, maybe it is time we thought of a Public Service Broadcaster, one who represents the interests of India in all her diversity. Where calamities go beyond a super star putting on weight post pregnancy, and debate beyond 4 has beens in a TV studio.


spoke to a friend in Gawahati – people jump into boats with everything that they have, no bridges, no following of rules – this is how disasters happen. Easier to pay money to the victims than fix the system.. :(

Nov 182010

Open – The Magazine has transcripts & audio files – conversations, allegedly between Barkha Dutt and Niira Radia – the reason I am putting it up here is that the Open Magazine servers have crashed ….

This is also being put up as is without comment .if you are NDTV’s legal team, please insert the word “alleged” where ever you want :)

To those at Open Mag – if you feel that I am violating your copyright, drop me a line – will take down this post :)

The audio files can be found at the bottom of this post …

As talks between the DMK and Congress (‘them’) broke down over joining the Government in May 2009, Radia was actively involved in opening channels between the two parties through, among others, television journalist Barkha Dutt

“Oh God. So now what? What should I tell them? Tell me what should I tell them?” —BARKHA DUTT

DATE 22 May 2009 TIME 09:48:51

RADIA: Hi, did I wake you up?

BARKHA: No, no, no. I’ve been up, ya, most of the night. The stalemate continues, yaa.

RADIA: Yeah. Listen, the thing is that they need to talk to him directly. That is what the problem is.

BARKHA: Haan so, apparently PM’s really pissed off that they went public.

RADIA: But that’s Baalu’s doing, naa… he was not instructed by Karunanidhi to do that.

BARKHA: Oh, he wasn’t?

RADIA: This is not. He was told to come away and tell Congress that.

BARKHA: And he went public

RADIA: Well, the media… media, the media was standing outside.

BARKHA: Oh God. So now what? What should I tell them? Tell me what should I tell them?

RADIA: I’ll tell you what it is—the problem and I have had a long chat with both his wife and with the daughter right

BARKHA: Haan, haan.

RADIA: The problem is if the Congress has a problem with Baalu, if they have no problem with anyone. They need and go talk to Karunanidhi. They have very good relationship with Karunanidhi directly.

BARKHA: Correct, haan.

RADIA: Because you see, in front of Baalu, in front of Maran, they can’t talk.


RADIA: So they have to tell him directly, there [are] enough Congress leaders in Tamil Nadu. They need to go in and tell him exactly—the biggest problem is that the following of Alagiri is saying that you cannot give [inaudible] a cabinet [inaudible] and keep Alagiri in the MoS state.

BARKHA: That’s right. But will Karuna drop Baalu?

RADIA: He… look, if you tell him that Baalu is the only problem. I would imagine, he will drop him.

BARKHA: But you see the problem right now is also over the choice of portfolios, naa…

RADIA: No. They’ve not said anything. The portfolios have not even got discussed.

BARKHA: Congress claims, for whatever it’s worth, that the DMK wanted surface transport, power, IT, telecom, railways and health.

RADIA: You see, you see my honest advice…


RADIA: that you tell them that they need to tell him directly that we are happy because Kani’s [Kanimozhi, DMK Chief Karunanidhi’s daughter] got no issue being about independent. But Alagiri is now telling her that you cannot take an independent charge if Maran remains cabinet minister.

BARKHA: I see.

RADIA: And Congress is sending messages through media and through various sources, saying that. And Maran is telling everyone that he is the only acceptable person.

BARKHA: Person, yeah, yeah, yeah. That I know.

RADIA: But that’s not correct, naa?

BARKHA: No, I know. We’ve taken that off. We’ve taken that off.

BARKHA: Also, but, but the Congress needs to tell Karunanidhi that we have not said anything about Maran.

BARKHA: Okay. Let me talk to them again.

RADIA: Yeah? The choice of candidate we will leave to you. We have some reservation about Baalu. And let them tell the reservation. And we have not said anything about Maran. We are not talking


In another telecon, Barkha Dutt offers Niira Radia the assurance that she is on the job as a reliable go-between

“That’s not a problem, I’ll talk to Azad. I’ll talk to Azad right after I get out of RCR” —BARKHA DUTT

DATE 22 May 2009 TIME 10:47:33

BARKHA: Haan, Niira?

RADIA: Barkha, what I’m told is that the Congress yesterday, apparently, God knows who they are talking to in the DMK.

BARKHA: Haan, well must be Maran…

RADIA: Relayed—no, they relayed that the infrastructure portfolio should not be given to Maran or Baalu.

BARKHA: No, that’s because they want to keep it for themselves.

RADIA: No, they wanted to; they didn’t want any infrastructure, that’s what Prime Minister said, so he said that’s why they give him labour, fertiliser, chemical—and telecom, IT, they said for Raja. So what has happened is, is that message not relayed to Karunanidhi?

BARKHA: Oh I see!

RADIA: They might have told some minion down the line or told Maran who is not relaying the truth.

BARKHA: I think they have told Maran.

RADIA: Yeah, now what they need to do is, they need to speak to Kani so she can set up the discussion with her father, because even the Prime Minister’s discussion was … she was the one who’s translating, and it was a very brief discussion for two minutes.


RADIA: That we’ll try and work it out, and the let’s not you know take it a hasty easy decision. That’s the type of conversation that happened.

BARKHA: No, I’ll set it up as soon as they get out of RCR.

RADIA: What she saying is that, you know, that someone senior like Ghulam [Nabi Azad, senior Congress leader]—because he is the one who is authorised to speak. ….

BARKHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

RADIA: Right? Was to speak to her then she can tell her father that I have got this message from the Congress.

BARKHA: Theek hai, not a problem. That’s not a problem, I’ll talk to Azad—I’ll talk to Azad right after I get out of RCR [Race Course Road, presumably, the PM’s residence].

RADIA: Yeah, and then she said when father lands, I can speak to him.



The two conversationalists touch base again

“I’ve had a long chat, I had a long chat, and they promised me that Azad will speak to her” —BARKHA DUTT

DATE 22 May 2009 TIME 15:31:29

RADIA: They will speak to her?


RADIA: Who? Ghulam?

BARKHA: Ghulam. Yeah.

RADIA: You know, the problem is she’s catching a flight at five haan, going back. Dayanidhi Maran is attending the swearing in when only Raja has been authorised to attend, so he’s gone and told his leader that Ahmed Patel has told me especially to attend the swearing in.

BARKHA: Ahmed says this is rubbish …

RADIA: But I am telling you but this. Karunanidhi’s very confused.

BARKHA: No, but why can’t Kani stay also and attend it?

RADIA: She doesn’t want to attend no because her father told her to come back. She has to follow what she’s father says, no. Call Ghulam then.

BARKHA: Let me call him.

RADIA: She’s leaving at five. She’s catching a flight at five.


Niira Radia and Barkha Dutt discuss cabinet composition possibilities—with Raja’s inclusion or non-inclusion the big question

“I am telling you, nahin hai. Trust me. Nahin hai” —NIIRA RADIA

DATE 22 May 2009 TIME time 18:09:06

BARKHA: No, you see Congress’s condition is Baalu should not get surface transport. Not Baalu, DMK should not get surface transport, beyond individuals right?

RADIA: Correct, correct, and they are not individuals. Let me tell you one thing’s for sure, 3 plus 4 was yesterday; because of Maran, they wanted to make it 4 plus 3.


RADIA: So, now it is back to 3 plus 4 that was already worked on the table?

BARKHA: No, so why does this formula not sound right then?

RADIA: Because of Alagiri naa, if you make Alagiri… not cabinet. No, he’s not got cabinet.

BARKHA: Oh, Alagiri got what, according to these things?

RADIA: You see, according to her, he’s got Health, but he can’t be cabinet. Either Maran is not cabinet, either Raja is not cabinet or Baalu’s not.

BARKHA: Alagiri’s got Health and that’s a big compromise by Congress because they said we won’t give them Health. So that’s their face saver. No, but Alagiri, Health can be cabinet?

RADIA: Agreed, but then Raja is MoS.

BARKHA: Raja is MoS!

RADIA: Then is Baalu MoS?

BARKHA: Nahin ho sakta. Nahin, nahin, nahin, if Baalu gets the Heavy Industries and Alagiri is in the Fertiliser, according to …. Baalu gets Fertilizer; Alagiri gets this thing, Health.

RADIA: Maran gets Telecom and IT.

BARKHA: Maran gets Telecom and IT. Raja gets demoted.

RADIA: Who gets…?

BARKHA: Raja. Nahin hoga?

RADIA: I am telling you nahin hai (laughing). Trust me, nahin hai.

BARKHA: Achcha, theek hai.


In yet another telecon, Barkha Dutt explains her situation to Niira Radia

“Everybody I know in the Congress was at the swearing-in, so I haven’t been able to speak with the top guys, and now I just finished and I am going to make my set of calls” BARKHA DUTT

DATE 22 May 2009 TIME 19:23:57

BARKHA: You see, what happened was everybody I know in the Congress was at the swearing in, so I haven’t been able to speak with the top guys, and now I just finished and I am going to make my set of calls.

RADIA: Kani just landed in Chennai. Just now. I just spoke…

BARKHA: Where is Daya? Where is Maran?

RADIA: Daya didn’t turn up for the swearing in because he was called back, because he went and told Karunanidhi that I have been asked by Ahmed Patel to come for the swearing in. But the leader said then you join the Congress.

BARKHA: (laughs) So now?

RADIA: So Raja was the only one who’s authorised to attend which he’s done and Raja’s catching the 8:40 flight…



via News You Can’t Use – the audio recordings :

Recording 1 ; Recording 2; Recording 3; Recording 4; and Recording 5

via – the Secret Journal of Rakesh Jhunjhunwalla - the download link for the audio files here.

The Open Mag site, yesterday, went down before I could read or put up anymore of the links. It is back up today…. the remaining conversations that have been tapped and reproduced are here. They are, allegedly, between Radia and Vir Sanghvi, Ratan Tata, Raja & Kanimozhi


And you can find a copy of NDTV’s statement on this entire affair here

Vir Sanghvi’s statement is here.

And finally, for those of you who have time and energy – read this by Girish Nikam on his website – it provides alleged detailed documentation and conclusions of the IT department on this whole sorry affair.

Mar 242010

And, finally that day has arrived …. the day we were all waiting for with bated breath. The day entertainment and news jointly mutated to become a completely different entity … newtertainment, perhaps ? As the name suggest Newtertainment , a term i just coined out of sheer boredom, to describe the heady mix of sensationalist headlines, fluffy features, and celebrity mutterings that are shown on most 24 hour news channels – that ends to end up neutering the senses and possibly the brain !

Star News is conducting a national hunt for news anchors .

From their FB page

STAR Anchor Hunt is first ever talent hunt on news platform. Star News will choose best talent of the country to anchor news shows on STAR channels through STAR Anchor Hunt

The eminent judges are:

Deepak Chaurasia – from Star News :

“one of the smartest political minds in Indian television who would often offer the most provocative take on the day’s news from the campaign trail and beyond.”

Tisca Chopra.

Kushwant Singh’s niece, is an actress who has worked in theater, television and movies.Tisca Chopra topped Hindu College, University of Delhi in English Literature.

Chetan Bhagat

the author of four blockbuster novels, Five Point Someone (2004), One Night @ the Call Center (2005), The 3 Mistakes of life (2008) and 2 states-the story of my marriage (2009).

(all the descriptors are from the Star Site )

I guess if the world’s largest selling English Language daily can have a car shaped hole through its masthead, a news channel can hunt for anchors !

I am hoping that April 1st has come early, but i fear that it is not the case !

Apr 182008

…. are always fun (except for the newspaper concerned), but they take a life of their own when the newspaper masks the fact that it has been made an idiot, by taking the moral high ground….. 

What am I talking about…. well, it is about the famous [tag]Maliaka Arora[/tag] and [tag]Arbaaz Khan[/tag] break up reported in all its glory in the [tag]Mumbai Mirror[/tag] yesterday.

One of the sultriest women in India is said to be single again. Arbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora's 10-year-old marriage has gone kaput. Buzz is Arbaaz has found a new love. The disintegration of one of the strongest marriages in Bollywood has sent shock waves through the industry.  ……Our well-placed source in the entertainment industry also tells us that Arbaaz will not remain single for long. He has already decided to remarry and even has a girl in mind, who is, incidentally, not from the entertainment industry. When contacted, Malaika refused to comment.

Arbaaz, however, said, "I don't want to comment on my personal life or on Malaika." When we asked him whether he's planning to remarry, he said, "Why is the press so impatient? They will know whether I'm remarrying or not in due time. I will probably talk about it soon. At this moment I don't want to say anything further

 However, this morning was the retraction masked in outrage… 'we have been made a fool…but how could they, we trusted them"

 Yesterday, on the front page of this newspaper we carried a story about Malaika Arora splitting up with her husband Arbaaz Khan. We were told by none other than Malaika herself that her husband was "remarrying".

There were many reasons why we thought the story deserved front-page treatment: Malaika Arora is a huge pin-up star and Arbaaz is a celebrity in his own right, and comes from one of film industry's most-respected families. In an environment where celebrity unions crumble faster than cookies the two, who have been married for 10 years and are parents of a five-year-old boy, offered a great example of a happy family unit in the face of relentless public scrutiny.

John Updike defined celebrity as a mask that eats into your face. Apparently it also chews up your integrity. It turns out that our story was false. Not for want of journalistic rigour on our part–the reporter did what any journalist sould do on receiving a tip-off– he called up both Malaika and Arbaaz for their versions. Both, through commission and omission, lied brazenly to the reporter

Why would anyone do something like that ? The answer is simple

Both husband and wife had been contracted by a cosmetics company to launch a skin-care product, and the campaign, unveiled on Thursday night, revolved around Arbaaz playing Adonis to his wife's Aphrodite. They used the myth to renew their vows on stage, thus the sham of remarriage.

I am not sure whether the outrage is because the journalist got played for a fool (as did the paper) or whether it is because Medianet got left out of the deal……

If you are going to publish publicity as news, then expect those who want publicity to use your paper to their own end…. 

If you are going to lie down with the dogs, expect to catch a few fleas…. 

 I haven't had such a good laugh in years….:)

Nov 022007

In the [tag]Economic Times[/tag], Entertainment and Media Section, on 1st Novemer. there is a story that had me scratching my head….

Cosmo Films to invest Rs 225 cr for capacity expansion

NEW DELHI: Cosmo Films, leading bi-axially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) and thermal lamination film maker, today announced an investment of Rs 225 crore for its capacity expansions as it expects its revenue to touch Rs 1,500 crore limit in the next two years.

"We will invest upto Rs 225 crore over the next two years for adding four new lines in our existing three plants," Cosmo Films Ltd Chairman Ashok Jaipuria said.

In all my 13 years of media work, I had never heard of this kind of film. So I Googled it, and this is what BOPP films is:

Bopp Films

Bopp is a bi-axially oriented polypropylene film designed for flexible packaging and label applications. OPP, oriented polypropylene, is a flexible material derived from melting and orienting a polymer called polypropylene. This raw material, an oil by-product, is inert and unaffected by most chemical agents occurring in daily life. Biaxially oriented means that the polypropylene film is stretched in both the machine direction and across machine direction.

The main feature of BOPP films are improved stiffness, high tensile strength, excellent optics and good water barrier properties. They range from 15 to 50 microns and are most commonly 15 to 30 microns. These films can be monolayer or coextuded structures, and transparent, opaque, or metallized. They also have the advantage of being non-toxic and fully recyclable.

BOPP films are printed out of new printing technology, Indigo Omnius. They provide excellent UV light protection, humidity, aroma and light barriers. They have superior strength at low gauges, flatness, clarity and excellent printability. They can be treated with acrylic and PVDC PVDC coatings for better sealability and barrier properties. The films use mainly homopolymer PP and random copolymer PP.

Applications: BOPP films and packaging
BOPP films are ideal for twist-wrap applications and in laminations for use on vertical and horizontal machines. They can also be used for decorative purposes. They are used in an a almost limitless array of flexible packaging applications, pressure sensitive tapes, labels, stationery, metallizing, consumer products and a wide variety of packaging uses.

They are widely used for gift and flower wrapping, paper lamination, textile packaging, release film for melamine plates and plate film packaging. Also used as the anti-counterfeit covering film on the packaging cases. Various packaging products like packaging pouches, packaging bags, electronic packaging, industrial packaging are produced by BOPP films. In fact aluminum foils and aluminum sheets have good combinations of BOPP films to produce efficient packaging materials.


And the we wonder why business journalism is so very pathetic in India… It has people of this level of ignorance, stupidity, illiteracy, inefficiency, working for them.

.Like me a whole bunch of people who read the ET media section may scratch their head – and wonder wtf BOPP film was – until google gives them the answer… maybe we should all send the editors at ET links to Google. since their research budget obviously been slashed