Sunday, April 29, 2007

Advertisements and Cricket telecast

If you had been one of those who were annoyed by advertisements, while watching cricket world cup matches, even during an over when captain was setting the field or bowler was viewing and concentrating, you have a friend in Steve Waugh.

Steve Waugh has recently said,

"...However, the custodians of the game in India must protect it against the over-commercialisation taking place on television. It is annoying, ridiculous and an insult to the game to see an advertisement being squeezed in just because the bowler has not reached the top of his run-up. The telecast in India is unwatchable, and since I was watching the game at a bar with a few others, I could see that I was not the only one put off by the advertisements. Youngsters are missing out on vital commentary, since most comments are cut off the minute an over is called, or when a wicket falls. These are not good signs for Indian cricket, and some body needs to protect the game from becoming devalued in this manner. Everybody must remember that the advertisers are there to promote the game, the game cannot be reduced to a vehicle that promotes the advertisers..."

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Media Intrusion

About media intrusion during his son's wedding, Amitabh Bhachan says,

"...We kept it personal and private. By continuously writing about it, the media made it nauseatingly public. Not a single detail carried had any endorsement from either family. This is not media's wedding, it is my son's and it is my private affair. On the night of the wedding, Abhishek and Aishwarya wanted to seek my mother's blessings. They were chased and hounded and virtually made captive inside their car at the hospital premises (my mother is lying critically ill) and were unable to come out of it. They had to forego that moment and left without being able to take the blessings of my mother..."

The print and TV media normally discuss, in their columns and special programs, about every topics. Is there any serious discussion on the media-intrusion? Do they have any clarity on this issue of intrusion? Or is it only the scoop that takes the priority over everything else?

There is a nice cartoon here on media intrusion.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Chief Mentor apologizes

Reference: Previous post
Infosys Chief mentor Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy apologized.

Mr. Murthy said, “I apologize to those who may have been hurt by my comments on the instrumental version of the anthem played during President Kalam's visit.”

Further The Times of India reported,

The company said that the feeling was that foreigners would be more comfortable with the instrumental version, as they could then hum along as others sang the anthem.

But Deccan Herald reported,

… just as the “band” national anthem (played on keyboard) was played towards the end of the programme, President Kalam sang along with child-like enthusiasm while others barely moved their lips …

An apology, of typical political and diplomatic type, had come now. Is the matter over?

Any statement has two dimensions. One is the truthfulness of the statement and the other is its impact on others.

An apology would address the issue of the impact of a statement on others like hurting one’s sentiments, causing pain inadvertently, etc. It does not address the face value of it. It does not address the questions raised about attitudes behind the statement.

This blog would still like to believe Mr. Murthy would come out writing an article on this issue to initiate a discussion. Just think about the various themes of his articles.

At the same time, the political leaders of various parties would like to capitalize on this issue to settle old scores and vent their suppressed inabilities. I believe such things are detrimental to spirit of societal discussions. But if one uses power achieved in one domain to create leverage in other domains, one has to face the backlashes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Chief Mentor speaks

Deccan Herald wrote,

... In other words, the (national) anthem, which should command the utmost respect from all true-blue Indians, did not get its due, from whoever was responsible ... Which made many wonder: Among the 5000 employees, most of them Indians, wasn't there a decent group of singers who could sing the anthem of the country without discomfiting its first citizen - President A P J Abdul Kalam? ...

Infosys Chief Mentor Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy told media later, "Indeed, we had arranged for five people to sing the anthem. But then we cancelled it as we have foreigners onboard here. They should not be embarrassed while we sing the anthem."

From Deccan Herald report,

Was it too much to pay due attention to the revered symbols of the nation just so that a small percentage of foreign trainees don't get fidgety?"

We are not going to analyse the dimension of patriotism here. One can endlessly debate who is more patriotic - the one who sings the anthem or the one who does something to improve the conditions of the people or the one who creates wealth and jobs for oneself and for others. We are not presently interested in such debates. But what is more striking here is an attitude behind citing the embarassment to foreigners in not allowing the employees to sing the anthem. The attitude that is an outcome of globalization. The attitude that perceives the development of nation as raw material only to a particular industry.

Mr. Murthy is used to air his opinions on anything and everything as the media are too willing to publish them. He writes about education, industry, development, language, roads, infra-structure, schools, colleges, etc. He has recently written an article on the debacle of Indian cricket team too. The quality of ideas he articulates through his articles is mostly anything but visionary. One cannot complain there. The most important thing is the urge to communicate for whatever reasons.

I just hope Mr. Murthy will write an article on this anthem issue. We can understand if he does not have time. I would then request our friends in media to talk to him and publish his views as "as told to someone".