Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Medium over message

DNA ran a photo feature on the language issue that has generated a lot of debate. my quote is out of context and therefore this is an attempt to put it in the right perspective.
Language is important to communicate, socialize and disseminate culture. Nobody disputes the fact that the language one is comfortable in, allows one to be confident when it comes to communication.
the controversy with respect to Karnataka is to make Kannada the medium of instruction in unaided schools. the two are mutually exclusive. One should know kannada for obvious reasons. but how will making it a medium of instruction help? we need to acknowledge the reality. those who are from english medium background tend to do well in terms of job opportunities. Kannada is a compulsory language in schools but making it the medium of instruction will definitely limit the scope for those children. This is a retrograde step when the world is trying to cope with the onslought of globalization and increasing opportunities it is throwing up. Instead of helping our children to cope with the needs of fast changing society, we want to take a step back.
It is one thing to preserve languages and culture, but a totally different thing to shackle our kids in the process. People with ulterior motive are the supporters of this policy, which if implemented surely will put Karnataka on the backfoot.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Malik on sports

Malik spoke to the second year journalism students. he tried to sketch the field of sports reporting based on his one year at bangalore mirror. it is always a pleasure to see how different and easily the professionals who were students a few years back adapt themselves to teaching.
the other day anirban from the sociology department kept the first year ms com students captivated for an hour. he has the ability to connect with the students with simple language and immense knowledge of the subject.
there are a lot of teachers out there. some are gifted and others including yours truly have to work pretty hard at it. guest speakers like malik bring a fresh perspective and approach to teaching journalism. the practical experience is definitely helpful in communicating effectively with the students.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Well done

InPrint 09 is over. the day-long programme threw up its list of challenges. the most satisfying thing at the end of the day was the display of general bonhomie among the journalism students. the enthusiastic participation by all (forgetting the exceptions) was heartwarming. the first year students threw themselves in the arena and earned credit (contrast that with last year). the second year jelled as one to organize the event to the satisfaction of all. and surprise of surprises, the final jpe put their best foot forward and fought their way to the top. Congratulations to all.
the assuption that only through control and close supervision will the students do a good job is empirically proved wrong. i am glad. the students need a long rope. there will be a few surprises but in the final analysis it is 'by the students, for the students and of the students'. now where do we come in? one can give advice and encouragement but the event should be student driven. it certainly makes a lot of difference. InPrint has come a full circle, from the time it started off as an idea in the minds of students to the entire planning and execution being undertaken by them.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

joy of doing

this is in response to the edit (joy of giving) in today's (09/07/09) dna by n.raghuraman. mr. raghuraman (editor), what did you do beside feel sorry and angry about the plight of that child you saw from the shelter of your chauffer driven car? the piece paints the picture and moves on to bangalore international airport. there is no mention of the action only thoughts of despair. feeding sparrows bread crumbs is nice, like some feed street dogs and cats. but how will that allivate the plight of the children on the streets of our cities (as you have graphically described), who toil the entire day for handouts and crumbs.
it is in our culture to feel sorry and even show an attitude of caring for the not-so-well-off. it still is a long way from a behaviour change that provides a basis for action. we preach and then move on. the problem stays in the same place. it definitely is a moving piece and writers have a right to bring the images to life in various forms. what we also require is less preaching and more action as a society.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Final closure

Finally the Liberhan Report has been submitted- it took more than 13 years for the probe into the Babri Majid demolition to be completed. Initial reports suggest that the blame is squarely placed on BJP. Top leadership of the BJP have been named as having incited the mob to indulge in arson and destruction. It is, of course, not a surprise that the inquiry has indicted the well-know advocates of Hindutva for the crime. What is surprising is the delay is bringing out the obvious into the pubic domain. There is of course the political angle to the whole inquiry and the timing of the report. This should not divert our attention from the unprecedented, nay monumental, event that destroyed the political and social fabric of our nation. Unless our state acts fast and punishes those who have indulged in violence or destruction, sections of the society will feel let down and angry. The 1984 anti-Sikh riots, The 2003 Gujarat riots, and the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition are blots on our psyche and needs to be dealt with. Expecting time to heal the wounds is foolish. There has to be a closure to these wounds that keep infesting our secular fabric. Only when people perceive that justice has been done, the guilty adequately punished can we move on. Otherwise, we will be stuck in the past and not be able to expect a better, safe and all-encompassing future.