Friday, August 31, 2007

for later use


Thursday, August 30, 2007


Dragged the paper out of his bag. Unrolled it, and showed the headline to his friend. Friend had a glance at it and said "this keeps going on."
"What do you think. What's wrong with the whole picture here really?"
"Picture quality"
"I refuse to make sense of things like that"
The newspaper was folded carefully. It was put within the bag. A Cd case right next to it was taken out. When the CD came out, it caught a mid afternoon photon shower, which promptly became a brief spectrum, lost in four blinking eyelids.
"How much time do we have?"
"Never enough"
"Its irritating."
This remark altered the flow of the conversation. It was personal. It reflected on the type of responses given. The emotions kicked in. A need was felt to defend the necessity of such kind of speech.
"What am I to say if I know my replies are unsatisfactory?"
"Don't say anything"
The attack, was however not really intended anymore at the replies, but their nature. It called for a truce between two bodies. A change of the subject was imminent...
"Mind or body?"
On the other side, suspicions were being formulated, the mind had floated, for a second, into consideration, into preperation, for a plan of action, when the question had cut across to a choice. The lips of the speaker had been drawn into the mouth, when a number of responses were generated in anticipation of any question that might be asked. Retorting, questioning the basis, cross examining the premises were the possible courses of action, the one chosen was to take a side and not be a fence sitter. This was false bravery, as it meant a lie.
"what do you mean"
"My identity is independant of the existence of my mind or body"
"The question is not addressed to your identity"
"What is it addressed to then?"
Thoughts spiralled through pathways in the brain. They darted between a thousand different things. A defense was necessary.
"You must be clever enough to know what I want to ask."
Defense mechanisms can be powerful. A long span of eyelock was broken. The reaction had to be equal and opposite to the action.
"Identity, has always been at a crisis, but it can be as easily encapsulated into the mind or into the body"
"You are going in circles. I was asking you in particular."
"I knew that, I was being defensive"
"Defensive of what?"
A long silence ensued.

Another passing spectrum was caught. As always, it was a distraction. The calm was broken by a passing thought that was caught again. "Why did you give me the CD?"
The body had relaxed enough in the short span of silence. It had become slightly mischievious. The sunlight was purposefully deflected towards eyes that escaped after a millisecond of glare.
"Don't do that!"
"Ok, why did you give it to me?"
"The shit you asked for man"
"Go on."
"Why do you like to listen to this kind of stuff?"
"Ah... I appreciate the parts of the industry that takes the seriousness of the medium to its heart."
"Sweet man, thanks a lot, I think I will like it to."
"Never over the din"
"What din?"

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


The traveller had no time to reflect, he knew he walked. The fish, they swam. The reptiles slithered. The birds flew. The Animals walked. The traveller was one of them. He asked to himself why he was different. He understood that man stood apart because he walked... erect.
Below his feet, the road was a little more made.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Indian Regional Journalism

Vernacular Press 1800-1901
Vernacular Press 1901-2007
The Bengali Press
The Hindi Press
The Marathi Press
The Malyalam Press
The Telegu Press
The Urdu Press
The turning point


It is impossible to ascertain many things about the regional language newspapers in India. For example, is the newspaper Industry young or old? There is no way to say... the history of Indian Newspapers reaches far back into the past, to the time of Moghuls before the Company came to Indian shores, who introduced news carriers to India. However, even today, new ideas and editorial policies continue to show up, ensuring that the industry is very much blooming even after many newspapers have been around for over a hundred and fifty years. Is the industry thriving or on the way out? People are undoubtedly reading smaller and smaller fractions of newspapers, and yet, newspapers are printing and distributing increasing amounts of matter. It is vital to get a sense of why the Indian press is different from those in other countries.

Unique features of the Indian press

# Newspapers compete only with newspapers of the same language, there are many newspapers in many Indian languages, that all started in the pre-independance era. An industry with such a diversity in its beggenings will have a rapid growth. Newspapers in India are overproduced.

# The most important feature of the Indian newspaper industry is, simply put - unity in diversity. Indian regional language newspapers work together, focus on the same issues, and still maintain a sense of unity sixty years after they helped us gain our freedom.

# The Indian press has grown rapidly, but has not grown enough. Many areas remain backward, and in terms of say technology, or professionalism, the Indian Press still has a lot of scope for growth.

# Despite having the most circulated newspapers in the world, according to UNESCO figures, the circulation per head of population in India is among the lowest for any country in the world. Which means there is scope for tremendous growth.

# From the historical point of view, a lot of newspapers have seen the country to changes in the poilitical and economic systems, survived from the beggening to the end of the Independance struggle... this indicates the stability of the press, it is not possible for the Indian press not to grow.

# Most importantly, it is still relatively easy to start a newspaper. New newspapers continue to hit the stands at a steady rate. Most Indian newspapers are owned and run by Individuals. The next largest number by societies and associations.


"In the early portion of its career, the Indian press had been left to follow its own courses and no other check than that which the law of libel imposed. The character of the papers of early days sufficiently shows that the indulgence was abused, and that, while they were useless as vehicles of information of any value, they were filled with indecorous attacks upon private life and ignorant censures of public measures"
-James Mill

# Imagine, in the early nineteenth centure, the Indian Press was not even two decades old, the newspapers were shoddy and just plain bad, and yet, the exchange of news between Calcutta and Bombay was something that scared the company. The Governor General himself had to step in during the second Mahratha war asking newspapers like the India Gazette and the Bengal Harakuru asking them not to publish naval info or ongoings in the government. Soon, however, the government would have to depend upon the newspapers because they brought together the news better than any government agency.

# Adam's Press ordinance, held the press responsible for much the same things as the letter from the Governer general. It basically allowed for "intelligence solely of a commercial nature." The commercialisation of news is considered to be a big problem now a days, but back then, it was very important to unify the country economically. The poverty, the illetracy and the standard of living was outright inhuman. Trade was promoted through advertising in these early newspapers, and this, as a whole, lead to economic unification of India, something vital for the Independance struggle.

# This was India before freedom, before even home rule was an idea. Raja Ram Mohun Roy's Mirat-ul-Akhbar tried to "communicate to the rulers a knowledge of the real situation of their subjects ad make the subjects acquainted with the established laws and customs of their rulers; that the rulers may more readily find an opportunity of granting relief to the people, and the people may be put in posession of the means of obtaining protection and redress of their rulers". This clearly shows that back then, the British rule paled as a problem in front of all the other social atrocities.

# The freedom of the Press itself, had to be achieved before freedom for the country could be achieved. Whether or not the press should be given freedom was discussed at length in the British Parliament. They were afraid that anti-Raj sentiments would spread across the country if newspapers were allowed to run amock. However, the newspapers of those times were concenterating on other, more pressing issues. Issues like widow re-marriage, girl child education, the practice of sati, nad the supression of thuggee, a practice of ritual murder by dacoits.

# For a short span of time, the British government and the Indian press worked together to heavily reform the Indian society. The foundations for the reforms were laid by the publications of Raja Ram Mohun Roy, where social issues were discussed at length. Lord Bentinck, saw the scope for social reform through the agency of newspapers, and relaxed regulations on the press. Lord Bentinck took the step of abolishing Sati, and openly acknowledged Raja Ram Mohun Roy's contribution.

# Lord Bentinck's liberal regime spawned many new newspapers. In 1820, sixteen Indian language newspapers were published.

Dailies: Prabhakar, Chandroday, Mahajan Darpan
Tri-weekly: Bhaskar
Bi-Weekly: Chandrika, Rasaraj
Weekly: Gyanddarpan, Bangdut, Sadhurajan, Gyan Sancharini, Rasasaguev, Rangpur Bartabahu, Rashmudgar
Monthly: Tatwa Bodhini

# In 1832, Bombay darpan, an Anglo-Marathi weekly asked the government for subscriptions and support. This showed a certain amount of trust in the government, and Sir Charles Metcalfe, who had an illustrious career, introduced heavy social reforms. He was against the unnecessary censure of the press, despite the growing dissatisfaction with the regime. He can be said to have freed the press of India, however he made English the official language. He said "I take it as universally granted that the press ought to be free, subject, of course to the laws, provided it be not dangerous to the stability of out Indian Empire"

# Some papers, like the Chandrika, were damaging to India in the liberal phase of the early press, by supporting acts such as Sati. Between 1800 and 1850, the press experienced a state of steady growth, helped by the liberal administration, that saw more good than harm coming out of the press.

# This progress was halted by the rebellion of 1857. Although the contribution of the press to bringing about the rebellion itself was very little, the press was blamed heavily for it. Things changed after that, the Persian and Urdu press were outspoken in their support for the rebellion, the English newspapers spoke strongly against it, there were many Indians in high places all in for the Raj, and the newspapers in the north west provinces maintained a moderate tone.

# The British government reacted strongly. They thought the press had "sown sedition" in "the natives" and therefore promulgated what is known as the "gagging act" of Lord Canning. Many cases were filed against the press for incitement of the rebellion. In retrospect, it is impossible to imagine the feelings of those behind the newspapers who actually believed that they were cause for the revolution without knowing it!

# "A free press and the domination of strangers are things which are quite incompatible and which cannot long exist together" -Sir Thomas Monroe

# The Gagging Act was imposed mostly in Bengal. Many Urdu Newspapers died out. Bombay newspapers defended India from the attacks of the English press. All this, must be seen as normal everyday competition we see in the papers today... in terms of news angles and approaches. It is sudden and immideate only in retrospect, in the time period, the going was really slow.

# The Amrita Bazaar Patrika, at this time, focused on uplifting the masses from slave-like existance. "They are more dead than alive, and need to be roused from their slumber. Our language has, therefore, to be loud and penetrating."

# By 1870, the press was growing rapidly.
Indian language newspapers in Bombay: 62
North West privinces, Oudh and Central Provinces: 60
Benga: 28
Madras: 19

# The sudden growth of the Indian Press scared the British because there was so much in it that they could not understand. Condensing their feelings in a few words is difficult, but imagine ruling a country where your subjects speak in twenty different native languages and circulate newspapers in these languages, and exchange ideas and opinions in these languages, and all you know is English, and many of the said natives do not know your language. It is understandable that the Indian press had a reputation for passing about motifs and symbols right under the noses of the Raj. It is surprising that the Raj survived for such a long time under such circumstances, they wouldn't have, if it were not for the extensive restrictions they placed on the press.

# 1879 Sir Ashley Eden, passed the Vernacular Press act, at a conference attended by one Indian Maharaja, Jotindra Mohan Tagore, who supported it. The act treated English Newspapers differently from regional language papers, and allowed for excessive censorship and control over the papers. It was recieved with heavy criticism by the Press. Somehow, this act seems to be very important, because it changed forever the tone of the regional press, and was the turning point in the history of India.

# One year later, by 1880, Buckland, who was the Press Comissioner under the Vernacular Press act wrote "although some improvement had taken place in the style and language of Vernacular papers since the introduction of the Vernacular press act, their general tone was one of opposition to Government and government measures.

# During this period, newspapers spread to all regions, and newspapers were published in many languages, including Persian and Oriya. This information is vital, because newspapers all across the country would in the coming decades focus on the growing sense of nationalism brought out forst regionally, and then on a larger scale. Socially, politically, morally, and economically, India took a large growth spurt in the following fifty years, through the agency of the press.

# Vishnu Krishna chiplonkar started the Kesari and this was later taken over by Bal Ganghadhar Tilak. Newspapers at this time were compared to nightwatchmen, the government was in constant fear of the public opinion, and the newspapers were nurturing the public opinion.

# The focus, was not on the backwardness of the Indian society itself, but on various laws and procedures of the British administration. The ryotwari system of land tenure, the destriction of municipal and judicial institutions, the grinding taxation, the costly machinary of the government, the extripation of the local industry, and of native aristocracy, these were the issues tackled by the press.

# The newspapers, themselves, were not at all careful in how they accumalated and presented matter, and the Mahratta was involved in a defamation suit. Tilak and Agarker were imprisoned for four months, but this only brought about public sympathy.

# The Deccan Education Society was started by Tilak, Namjoshi, Apte and Agarkar. Tilak moved away from the society, and focused on political freedom instead of social reform. Inspired by the Amrita Bazaar Patrika, he started a campaign against the age of consent bill.

# Within the press, for the first time ever, there were parallel and alternate views, sometimes even contradictory, Tilak and Gokhle, for example, went off in two seperate directions. The relations between the Congress and the Social Conference was sour. Things changed in the new century, after Ranade's death.


# The Kesari reflected Tilak's aggressive Nationalism. The Dnyan Prakash became a daily newspaper and was known for its constructive criticism of news and views. Gokhle edited the Sudharak, an Anglo-Marathi newspaper from Poona.

# Gokhle supported the freedom of the press, and in 1903, he opposed the amendment of the Official Secrets Act of 1889. Civil matters would be placed at par with military operations by the act, and this would affect heavily the governance reporting of the news papers. In 1907, Gokhle again opposed the seditious meeting bull. all these were proposed to curb the growing agitation.

# Tilak died on August 1, 1920, after giving many electrifying speeches on Home Rule, and one day later, Gandhi launched his non-cooperation movement.

# One English paper, must be mentioned here, the Young India, published by Gandhi... Mahatma Gandhi was a journalist, few people know of this act. He edited the greatest weeklies the world has ever known. He published no advertisements, and at the same time, did not allow the newspapers to run at a loss. No paper has till then, or since, been published like this. He published the Indian Opinion in Enlgihs, Tamil and Gujrathi, sometimes, manually running the printing press himself. In Young India of July 2, 1925, he wrote "I have taken up journalism not for its sake but merely as an aid to what I have concieved as my mission in life."

# It was a state of turmoil and agitation from then on. The regional newspapers survived two world wars, and internal resistance against eh government and many phases of the freedom movemet. Malhanlal Chaturvedi must be mentioned here as a forceful journalist amongst editors of Hindi newspapers in the central provinces. The Sandesh from Nagpur and from Bombay flourished under AB Kolhatkar's editorship. The Maharashtrian was started in Nagpur by GA Ogale. The Milap popped up in Lahore and later moved to Delhi. How much the press contributed to the freedom struggle is anybodies guess, but it was vital, because its very nature had changed. It called for such radical action, and the standards of journalism were stretched so much to meet the need for the hour, that the press took a detour for a span of thrity years, and was no longer the press, but isntead an agency to spread the struggle.

# The long and persistant prosecution of the press came to an end with the achievement of Independace. What came next was really the golden age of the Indian Press. It already had a long history, strong foundations, and the Nation was young, and the future, bright.

# The press had been growing, in spite of limitations (all the machinary was imported and costly, distribution channels not well established, readership shifting and unsteady). The growth was uneven. The rate of growth of the newspapers, however, corresponded to the growth of literacy, economy and communications technology.

# Major efforts were taken post Independance to help the press grow, the Press Commission (1952-54) published a report which recomended the developement of the Indian Press on the basis of diffused ownership, as this would in a sense serve the needs of the Indian democracy.

# The government did nothing to interfere with the freedom of the press, and it is like that till date.

# Post Independace, Neheru playerd a large part in Shaping all thinking about the press, as Gandhi had done before the Independance. He was opposed by powerful sections of the press, but he had mass appeal as he was a product of adult suffrage. He stood for tolerence, asked for an agressive, critical press, and expected the press to have dignity, knowledge and high standards.

# The hang-over of the Raj, a spirit of defiance and of constant railing of the authorities continues till date because of the Press.

# Many times, the authorities of Indpendant India have tried to underrate the importance of the freedom of the press, and to impose restraints in the name of law and order, but this has never been done to a great extent.

# The press in India continues to flourish as the most vibrant amongst all nations, and is the chief source of shaping of public opinion.

Bengali Press

# Driven by its commitment to preserve the highest standards in Bengali language and culture, Anandabazar Patrika devised a way to use the complete set of Bengali characters in the word processing software, a decade before Unicode.
# The Anandabazar Patrika, is rightly called the "Voice of Bengal."
# In 1954, the Press Commission report declared Anandabazar Patrika to be the largest circulated newspaper in the country, published from one location.
# Over the years, Anandabazar Patrika has achieved many milestones along the way — it was the first in the east and one of the first in the country to use offset printing.

# Filling up of Niche audiences is seen in new regional language newspapers. Ganashakti is the mouthpiece for the communist Party's Bengal state unit, but has the claim to the best science and technology reporting around.

# Seven years after its launch, figures show an impressive circulation of 2,58,117 copies, making Sangbad Pratidin the third largest Bengali Daily, after ABP and Bartaman. One primary reason for its growth in popularity could be attributed to its strictly unbiased news coverage. It is the only Bengali daily that has a supplement everyday of the week, providing variety and diversity as well as entertainment to its readers.

# Sangbad Pratidin is targetted at the young, upcoming Bengali, who are looking beyond tradition and heritage, in their quest to keep page with the changing times.
Constant efforts are made to improve the quality and content of the news coverage and articles, to provide the ultimate reading satisfaction and maintain contemporarity. The supplements of this paper are very vibrant and popular.

# The Aajkaal is a Bengali newspaper started in 1981, and currently edited by Mr. Ashok Dasgupta. It is a leftist newspaper, but is better known for its excellent standards of sport reporting.

# The Bartaman Patrika has the second largest circulation after ABP in Bengal, and is an anti-establishment paper. The Uttar Banga Sambad is another Bengali paper of importance that has a considerable hold over northern Bengal.

Hindi Press

# The Bhaskar group is the largest read newspaper group of India with a total readership of Rs 2.67 crores, as per NRS 2006.
# The Dainkik Bhaskar is as technically advanced as the Sakal. It uses state of the art machinary, and is published all across northern India. Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Raipur, Bilaspur, Ajmer, Bikaner, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Sekhawati, Udaipur, Hisar, Panipat, Amritsar, Jalandhar, and Chandigarh.
# Dainik Bhaskar is a part of the 3D syndication, which is a virtual feed from three leading newspapers in India. The other two papers are Divya Bhaskar and DNA.
# Sanmarg, is a Hindi newspaper published from Kolkatta.
# The hindi press as a whole has the largest readership. More newsprint exists today in Hindi than any other language in the world.
# The "Dainik Jagran" has 31 editions and the only daily to print over 200 sub-editions, each one customized in content to the needs of the readers in different geographical areas.
# According to NRS-2005 DAINIK JAGRAN,is the highest read National Daily across all languages (including English) in India with a phenomenal readership of 21.24 Million Readers .
# The 1st Indian publication to cross the 20 million readership mark, is the Dainik Jagran. An ABC certified Net paid Sales of over 2.4 million copies (Source : ABC Jan-Jun 05).
# Rajasthan Patrika is the initiator in the development of 'Journalism in Rajasthan'. It is committed to provide reliable, authentic, and apolitical news, to educate the masses and give voice to issues that concern their lives.

Marathi Press

# Samna tried to campaign socially for some causes now, but it does not garner much support now. It started the sons-of-the-soil campaign.

# Shivram Maharaj Atre, and Paranjpe, were principal marathi satirical writers. There have been no significant marathi satirist since them. Bal Thackeray was a satirical cartoonist, but not for a regional newspaper.

# Most Marathi newspapers are socially committed.

! While most newspapers have websites, the Sakal has a blog, and a very interesting one at that. The address is sakalblog.blogspot. The Sakal is in fact, much more tech savvy than even English Language newspapers. It embraces technology like Smartflow and SAP, which both enable to streamline business processes and network a lot of people together.

# The Events Division of the Sakaal Group organizes special events with mass appeal like exhibitions, conferences and seminars. And, to top it all, the Sakaal Group of Publications works for social causes through its instruments like the Sakaal Relief Fund, which is aimed at providing immediate aid to victims of natural disasters, and Madhurangan, which is an exclusive forum for women, to name just two.

# The Sakal was founded by Nanasaheb B Parulekar in 1932. Parulekar was a student who went to the United States, got a doctrate in sociology, married a foreigner, came back to Pune and indulged in social reform activities. He modelled the "Sakal" after leading newspapers in the US.

# Sakal's attitude was so different that it was an innovation in Marathi Press. The paper was taken over by the Sharad Pawar family. Changes were brought about in the layout and design of the paper, and seperate editions were launched in Solapur, Nasik and Mumbai. It is still considered the best Marathi paper.

# Every tier-2 city in Maharashtra has a favorite home newspaper, The Gomantak in Panaji, The Pudhari and Sanchar in Kolhapur, The Sarwamat in Shrirampur, The Tarun Bharat in Belgaum, the Lokmat and daily Deshdhooth in Jalgaon.

Malyalam Press

# The Malyalam Manorama has a National Identity similiar to that of the Anand Bazaar Patrika.

# Although Malyalam Manorama has been plagued with controversy, and has spurious relations with illegit firms, it has a solid foundation because of its social outreach programmes. The Manorama has sponsored villages where it had no subscribers. It organises cultural programs twice every year to reach out to its readers in Mumbai.

# The Chandrika is a Muslim League newspaper run from Khazaikode.

# The Deshabhimani describes itself like this : "It continues to champion the cause of the common folks - the factory worker, the office goer, the farm labourer, the small businessman, the self-employed. These are, in fact the people who constitute the largest chunk of the consumer market in the state. That's why it wields so much influence with large masses of Kerala's population. To them, Deshabhimani has become a unbreakable habit, a daily ritual, as much as the Malayalee's well-known penchant for a daily morning bath or brushing the teeth."
# The Deshabhimani is a paper known for its Marxists views
# Malabar, Cochin and Travelcore till date have a unique identity, although they were merged together to form the state of Kerla. Each area has its local newspapers, which is a unique feature in Malayalam journalism.
# The Mangalam, the Matrabhumi and the Kerla Kaumudi are other important Kerla Dailies.

Telegu Press

# The origin of Telegu Journalism is different from all other language groups.

# Till 1946, Telegu people had no home land, unlike other languages. The core of the telegu clan was Hyderabad, and it was ruled by a Nizam, whose court language was Urdu.

# Some border areas between Maharashtra and Karnataka spoke in Telegu.

# This was the picture till 1956, when the demand for a Telegu speaking state came about with great vigour, Potti Sriramalla started a fast unto death demanding a Telgu speaking state... and died. It was the congress that started dividing responsibilities across the countries by linguistically dividing its chapters. People had a linguistic "national" identity because of this, and wanted a linguistic state. Till that point of time, the government had more pressing problems, like agriculture and poverty. There was a general outcry in the Telegu speaking areas, and riots broke out.

# In the 1920s, the Andhra Prabha and the Andhra Patrika came about.

# The Andhra Prabha belonged to the Indian Express group. The Andhra Patrika was run by a small industrial group (which produced and sold the amrutanjan balm). The offices of both papers, were located in Madras, Chennai.

# When the state of Andhra Pradesh came into existence, Ramoji Rao (a young journalist stationed in Delhi representing the Andhra Prabha and met people deeply studying the working of newspapers) launched Eenadu in Telegu. This is because it came into existance on the newly formed homeland of Andhra Pradesh after the linguistic re-organisation of states. In many ways, the press continued the freedom struggle after India won its Independance.

# The Eenadu had an initial print order of 4000 copies. There was a drive to increase its circulation in the eighteen districts of Andhra Pradesh. Each district headquaters had a correspondant who filed an extensive report.

# Within the first five years, the Eenadu had covered all the Talukas with local tabloid inserts.

# MR. Ramamoorthy Rao appointed 2500 ad solicitors, the job of these 2500 people was to go door to door and educate the rural people about advertising and newspapers. The concept of advertising was alien to the largely illiterate agricultural society of Andra Pradesh. Eenadu carried important Birthday parties, aniversaries, ceremonies and festivals. There was an increase in the social prominance of the people who advertised. All the local editions became self sufficient, and increased local circulation.

# The Eenadu today has 18 editions in AP, and 6 editions outside AP.

# The Eenadu's coverage of the women disgracing drunk men in a villiage by parading them on donkeys lead to the government abolishing country liquor in the state. In 1992, the Eenadu started a full woman's page, which became a popular series.

# The Eenadu wiped out its competition, the Andhra Prabha and the Andhra Patrika. The Eenadu dominated the Telegu journalism scene within twenty five years.

! The Eenadu, in Telegu, means "Today" or "Our Land" according to different translators.

# The Eenadu has a strong influence over its readership, and because of its open criticisms of the government, it is considered to be the de-facto opposition party.

# The Vaartha was a hyperactive hi-tech infotech attempt, initiated in 1996 where editors waited for news to pour in as late as four in the morning. Initially, it was very popular, then all the fuss died down within a year.

Urdu Press

# By the beginning of the twentieth century, there were about 70 Urdu journals, unlike the nineteenth century when the Urdu press had numerical superiority over the Hindi press.

# Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad started his weekly, the Al Hilal, on June 1, 1912. The Al Hilal made its influence felt within four weeks of its birth. Within six months, its circulation had reached the figure of 11000. It became so famous, that study circles were formed where the Al Hilal was read out loudly to a group of people.

# Maulana defended the right of cow slaughter for Muslims in the Al hilal, and the influence of the journal was as far reaching as to effect Eruopeans.

# The Madina of Bijnor, started in 1912, achieved considerable influence over Muslim opinion, so did the Urdu paper of Humdum started in Lucknow.

# In 1945, two years before the Independance, the Qaumi Awaz was started in Lucknow, as a sister publication of the National Herald by Jawaharlal Nehru and other leaders.

# The Urdu papers suffered greatly from the Partition. Several of them lost their base at Lahore and had to rehabilitate themselves in fresh fields.

# The Munsif and the Siasat from Hyderabad, the Hind Samachar from Jalhandar and the Urdu Times from Mumbai are the principle Urdu newspapers currently in circulation.

The turning point

# Considering the size of the population and the readership in many languages, the press has a long was to go and has a bright future.

# There has been no planning for the press, either for its growth or for its developement, this will help the regional press grow.

# Indian regional newspapers have a great potential for growth.

# The country is still growing, and although newspapers in India have the highest readerships anywhere in the world, they still fall far below the UNESCO standards per head because of the large amount of illeterate population. However, for a country that is growing so aggressively, and coming out particularly in those regions untouched by urbanisation, there is no question that regional journalism is about to have large growth spurts.

# Almost every taluka and district all over India has at least one newspaper that is not registered with the audit bureau of circulation. There are many newspapers that circulate exteremely local news, and carry advertisements of local merchants. There is no count of how many such papers exist, but there are many.

! There are 41 countries without a single newspaper. Even today.

# Newspaper economics will undergo evolution in future growth. Investment, cost and availibility of machinary and newsprint, literacy and spread of telecommunication technology will all play a part.

# A co-operative press has a much better prospects of growth than a competetive one.

# Sucessive National readership surveys show the following trends:
- Increase in the reach of the press in terms of dailies, weeklies and periodicals
- The population, is however, growing at a much faster rate than the press, so the press is constantly catching up to its readership
- (From NRS 2006) Dailies have driven this growth in the press medium, their reach rising as a proportion of all individuals aged 12 years and above – which is the universe defined for NRS – from 24% to 25%. Magazines have declined in reach from 9% to 8% over the last one year. (This is the Trend opposite to developed Nations, where newspapers are losing out to Magazines)
- Collectively, there is a lot of Niche journalism going on that is yet to be studied. Many residential areas all over urban India have a small newspaper of their own.
- More scope for growth in Rural areas than in Urban areas

# The Indian press has scope for growth overseas

The power of the Indian press is not seen in it playing a part in the freedom struggle, not in the eradication of a multitude of social evils, and not even in true spiritual and psychological upliftment of its readership. The power of the Indian press is with the farmer who mourned the death of his bull in a full page obit.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

She Creates Curtainriser

What goes Krrrrrr.... in the night?

Its funny really, the answer apparently, is Gryllidae.

Its funny really, there are so many noises heard in the dead of the night. You wonder what they are and where they come from. The one that is hardest to hear of all is the tick of the clock. The tick is buried in the subconscious as a very common sound, so it takes particular effort to hear. But its always there, and most households have more than one timepiece. That means there is more than one tick, clocks don't all tick together, no matter how close to time they are. So there is a loud set of ticks close by, and a whole bunch of fainter sets of ticks from all around - its a fraction of the ambient noise of the night.

Water dripping. Pretty picturesque, but leaky taps are only half the problem. That too, is a common sound, but the problem is there are a whole bunch of sounds not from faucets, but of water dripping nonetheless. The Air Conditioners of a standard housing society have a light metal din going on almost all the time. A drop of water from the twelfth floor may encounter a lot of aluminium sheeting before it ends up in the skies the next morning. Piping's are peppered with small bursts of drain water escaping into a slight splash of a pool below. And abandoned vehicles leaking fluids make a soft "splichfsss" of a sound. Ends up as muck and grease.
Many other things go on in the night now a days. Television programs, the radio, some guy with a good stack of pirated Cd's... you never know what faint echo will die just short of your ears. In certain conditions, some guy with a good audio setup in his car blasting psytrance can be heard faintly but distinctly from kilometers away because of the kind of music trance is.
Vehicles... alarms going off as somebody brushes past, in reverse and sounding recently out dated songs in jarring tones, and worst of all, honking. There will be late night bikers racing by, the odd party in a car that could support a village, and of course, the good police on their periodic patrols. When an ambulance goes by in the middle of the night... you might just wake up with a bad dream.
Doors. Opening, closing. Keys. Jingling. Footsteps, going up and going down and round about. What is imagined, what is real, what is mistaken, is anybodies prerogative. The elevators, have an alarm for when their doors are open. More or less, the sound is "Krrrr...." There are many elevators around, so it is very likely that there is a faint "krrr..." somewhere about always. The "Krrrrr...." is the one sound that can really freak the living hell out of someone.
Imagine, spending sleepless nights wondering why in hell there is a faint "krrrr" always about in the night? It is pretty easy to hear. Just stick your head into a night, and the sound will come right into your ears. It is distinct, unwavering and constant. Where the hell must it be coming from?
The far out explanations included lifts always being open somewhere... this was a little too improbable but sufficient reasoning till something better came along. The brain is tuned in to hearing the background radiation of creation. That is was just plain unscientific... we would have heard the big bang long ago then. Was it the hiss of electricity passing through the wiring around the house? Probably, but still, one should then hear all sorts of buzzing noises in the head...
Understandably then, a closer and more careful analysis of the "krrrrrrrr" was carried out, and the sound was concluded to be real. This must probably be the general ambient sound of the night. Maybe all the sounds that sounded in the night accumulated into a general planet-wide "krirrrrring" and it was just buried in the subconscious, just like many other sounds. The quest for the source of the "kirrrrrring" was prematurely abandoned.

So, one night, I am walking home, and am thinking of nothing in particular, when something beneath my shoes goes "crunch". I took a step back, look down and realise that I have stepped on a cricket.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Outrageous ways to make money from technology


# Put all the porno you have collected over the years to good use. Videoblog it. Take screencaps of the videos and photoblog them. Scan local regional magazines to get loads of hits. PS. Put Ad sense in the sidebar.

# Sell clothes from Fashion Streets... at auction portals.

# Buy pirated CDs before their release and mail in reviews to mags and papers

# Try selling ringtones and songs over IR/Bluetooth/GPRS and local trains. Be frank about the fact that you expect money.

# Sell your old computer parts individually, or mem cards, or software etc...

Whats your e-mail id?
Stuck up people who are holding on to old communities and chat circles formed in the haydays of internet use. Technophobic because they are slightly behind the internet growth. Bunch of senti guys.

Are constantly introduced to the forefront of internet technology. The form the youngest demographic. Students and most of the corporate workforce. Users are likely to have put photos online, maintained a blog, spent time on youtube or owned a community.
Some brand loyalty happening here. A bunch of people who have struck a balance with the internet. These guys don't spend too much time online. They are aware of their online options, and yet choose to use the net in a guarded and safe manner. Unfortunately, they have a fetish for forwards.
This is the internet spread to the lower middle class. Has surprising penetration into a very smart and large demographic. Desi spasm, scams and photos of couples in cybercafes all originate from here.
Either people who have worked to the technological high points in their lives and regged a domain for themselves, or some corporate guy abusing his professional e-mail. Will probably get fired soon. Those guys keep a track of your forwards and internet activity man.
Are somehow dependant on the Times for a living. This portal is like a desi wannabe google.


Ever wondered how households five years in the future will be? There is an imminent onset of new technology. New technology has been penetrating very rapidly in recent times, like the iPod spread as rapidly as the walkman in a shorter span of time. What is coming our way is:

Television: Really smart televisions. Notice the picture getting sharper in the past decade? The resolutions on the verge of coming in are four times of what they are now. There are already television sets available in the market that can emit light from the sides based on the lighting on screen (google Philips LCDs). The next generation of televisions will have inbuilt multimedia disc players, that's for DVDs, CDs, USB drives and maybe even Blu-Ray discs. The cablewallah will be just one of the ways to get access to television, consumers will probably use a personalized mix of signal sources, from set tops to pay-per views. A little ahead of that, the internet will probably be connected to all televisions. HDMI interconnectivity is like the USB for the next decade, its gonna let any source of multimedia connect with any point of output. You probably won't need to take all the trouble anyway, because television could just be available from a proxied hyperlink in a dodgy website, right on your computer.

Mobile Phones: Television Programs have still some time to wait before they are broadcasted to your mobile phones – the technology already exists, but a network supporting that kind of connectivity has to be put into place first. It is already possible to send video messages across GPRS. Leading networks will probably be able to kick in more support for the new users first, after which interconnectivity hell will break loose. The best thing about this is that you can probably take around a small personal file, that will let you take around all the personalized settings of your PC wherever you go, and operate it from any interface, like the mobile phone, or the comp, or the cyber cafĂ© around the corner. Everything from savegames, to passwords, to expensive serial protected programs like photoshop can be taken around in that file. Infact, if you have a USB drive, you can already do this, just head over to and use the software to install a copy of windows (and other things you want) onto a suitable USB drive.

P2P: Of course, the pathways of music piracy will be well ahead of those who are trying to curb it. Here is the good news: the next generation of peer sharing clients will not be illegal. After Napster, and Freenet and Supernova, came DC++, which is already more or less legal, just being abused. There will be no need to abuse the P2P clients of tomorrow, because of the rapid spread of peer-production. The same concepts that are already running wiki projects, will invade into other creations as well. Softwares, maybe even Operating Systems, Multimedia formats, music files, films, and a hell load of other things will be produced after online collaboration, and distributed with such rapidity, that the major labels and production houses will shift a considerable load of their output into the internet. Their shit will probably have advertisements, but those that come from the people will be free.

Gaming: Your console worried will be over because of the personal file thing. You can take your save games across consoles, no sweat. They will probably be different game play and different rewards across consoles, and probably the option of continuing different games in different controls, but the next games will take Massive Online Multiplayers to the next level. Multiplayer gaming will be where the difference will be felt the most. Avatars will get increasingly individualized and customized, and say Need for Speed will be able to let you race a virtual replica of your real car in a virtual location near your own against other players in your location. Or GTA will have a massive storyline evolving because of players thrashing about their own cities in different ways.

What next: Then skynet takes over and sends homicidal robots back in time.

Videosurfing beyond youtube

If you are into bloglike inane videosurfing, check out Many of these films are downloadable. The very generally named "moving images" section of has a bunch of public domain films. Classics from cinema history like Le Voyage Dans La Lune or old weirdo films like the 50 year old tutorial videos on what to do if you are attacked by zombies. Check out Hindeburg exploding or the archived Kennedy-Nixon presidential debates. These communities have a stronger reward system than youtube. also helps get exactly what you want, and you do not need firefox plugins to download the videos. Right click on the download file link, open the gvp file in notepad, and copy paste everything between the words "url" and "docid" in the address bar.

You have a caveman bash up another over a worm, and a stork delivers them all food and everybody is happy. It is available on along with a bunch of other student animations. They range from the hilarious to the what-were-they-thinking types, but all the 30 or so short animations are worth watching just because they show what is on the minds of the youth. If nothing, check out Naam chod kaam dekh by untitled1, Aamchi Mumbai by Tatva and Kiss Naturam ka by Animact.

If someone were to find out Mumbai's most popular videoblog, would probably win outright. If you have not seen a video from this blog, then you haven't seen any videos that have later been debated over in the news. NDTV videos stream well even over bad connections. Check out the video zone on their website for interesting shorts. If you want to save these videos, use screenrecordergold or hycam2.

To be perfectly fair to them, and were there before youtube came along. These portals have everything from trailers to selected shorts. The quality of the films here are far better than other portals, because they are screened for an audience that gets advertised too. Don't worry, both the sites have found that balance between advertisement and entertainment, and lead to some quality video surfing. Ifilm has David Hasselhoff drunk and Atomfilms has an amazing short called delivery.

At the end of the day, if you still like YouTube more, cannot blame you. You can be the next Ninja. Seriously, all you need is a webcam. Vlog yourself away, join in the fray. You can, and are expected to, post ANYTHING on youtube.

Monday, August 20, 2007


The fate of men was not rehearsed
Just be sure the head goes first

# Humans had primate ancestors

# Said primate ancestors descended from small shrew-like, tree climbing mammals

# The ancestors of the small, shrew-like, tree climbing mammals came out from the ocean following plant life, which was their food.

# Prokaryotes had been evolving in the oceans of the earth for a long time, they came from complex protein structures and amino acids

# These were synthesized in the oceans of the earth under the correct circumstances


# The elements in the oceans of the earth and the earth itself, have not been created spontaneously, or have not been existing forever. Carbon, nitrogen, oxygen... were all generated by stars and the big bang.

# We came from stars (supernovae to be precise), and not just the sun, but all the thousand tiny pin pricks of light are responsible for the existance of matter, and consequently, us

# If you represent the whole thing with a picture, it will be all explosion of light and man coming out somewhere... the ancients had got it bang on, absolutely right, they might not be able to explain the flash of light being a supernova explosion and how tiny streans of matter flows through space, or how organisms adapt to the enviornment and evolve complex systems, they did, even back then, guess what science took over two millenia to prove. Men, like everything else, came from stars. Although they were just imagining the whole process in their head, they were surprisingly close to the answer.


# Maybe, just maybe, physics and mathematics are much more instinctive and automatic than we have ever believed them to be.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

windows vista

-new features
*better use of left click
*smoother graphics
*better fucking security than XP
*solid fortification against malware, spyware, adware etc
*Excellent for internet and multimedia use
*New arrangement of system folders

-Irritating shit
*Those greedy bastards at IBM have betrayed the revolution in computers they kickstarted.

*The most idiot friendly OS in human history
*There are too many "no way out" popups.
*Extensive measures to curb piracy

>The interface is clearly heavily influenced by competing operating systems. Vista is a definate compromise, it offers absolutely stunning usability, and is all in all, a very satisfying experience. However, the whole system is terribly dependant on regular updates and the system will continue to perform well only if it keeps feeding on microsoft updates.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Space out.

The professor was, simply put, fat. There was no way around it. He walked like a large slow duck towards the classroom, and a ring of fat just above his belt wobbled about like gently heated jelly. He was about to enter the classroom. The class, reached a state of stability from one of chaos as soon as he cleared his throat. He gave a broad smile to all the boys on the last bench who had been shouting in some childish mischief some time ago. Inwardly he thought, this was going to be another pleasurable day.
The professor walked slowly to his desk and sat down. He looked at the monitor, rewinded it and saw a video feed of the class just before he entered. He snorted at the picture, turned it off, inserted his portanet drive and a presentation flickered to life on the whiteboard. It had a single question. "Where is space?"
He looked around at the students, and asked anyone who thought they could to answer the question. One of the boys in the last row raised his hand. They were bold and clever, but their oversmartness made them hopelessly stupid. "Outside the Earth, Sir" he answered. "Class, Arun here is of the opinion that space is outside the Earth. This classroom is not inside the Earth, so according to him, we are all in space. Is he correct?"
The classroom echoed with murmers nobody could comprehend. One girl from the left hand side corner raised her hand. She did not wait to be asked to speak, she was the only one raising her hand, so she said "Space is everywhere". The professor was incredulous. "What about the Earth, is the Earth space or not?"
He was only pretending, hoping someone in the class would be smart enough to come up with the correct answer. "The Earth is occupying space sir". "Very good, Shantanu, that is close to the correct answer, but if earth is occupying space, where did the space go?" Shantanu could not reply. He sat down thinking hard about space. He did not know where this was headed. The class was silent and watchful. They were all, for once, paying attention - somewhat. The professor clicked his clicker and the slide changed. Another question came on the screen now "where is space not?"

The class laughed. They had understood.

Still Witchdoctors

The first element in a patient-doctor relationship is of course, the trust. The doctor knows more about the patient's body than the patient, and the patient acknowledges it. This puts the doctor in a position of power, where he can exploit the patient in many ways without the patient knowing this. This is in fact, the commonest of the malpractices, but at the moment the concern is in establishing medicine as a noble profession. It must be recognized as a profession, and that the doctor is interested in medicine for some amount of personal gain in any form, otherwise he would not bear any responsibility towards his patient. Therein lies the problem, Indians are not prepared for lab-coat-white-gloves-face-mask doctors. In fact, almost no one is.

It must be acknowledges that the profession has grown in recent years, and a lot of progress is being made, and this is visibile most in the extension of the average life span of an Indian from forty to sixty years in a matter of a decade. However, doctors have always held a position of respect, and in most of rural India still do, allowing them to benefit too much because of their profession. Exploitation of patients is rampant, and even well educated people in urban areas may be reduced to frequent check ups and visits despite having a perfectly normal and healthy constitution.

Consider such a person sitting on an operating table and deciding how much anesthetic any person should get. Sounds real scary, but these people arent dumb enough to kill you, but they are smart enough to do something to make sure you come back for more. Morphine based medication is still legal in India, and can be prescribed by your physician. It is a common practice for doctors to make patients dependant on painkillers, antidepressants, analgesics, and in many cases, even placebos like asperin. In plain language, thats dummy medicine, medication you do not really need, prescribed for the modest doctor's fee.

Imagine this scenario: you go to a doctor with a cramp in the stomach. The doctor checks you up, mumbles something about tests, gives you some painkillers and asks you to come back if the pain persists. You go back, he orders a bunch of tests, prescribes more medication, your stomach ache disappears on its own accord, the tests all come out normal, and you relieve a sigh of relief.
Not knowing that the tests were unnecessary.

Safeguarding oneself against such medical malpractices is easy. The medical profession respects those patients that take the trouble to take second opinions. Ask for specefic details on the medicical analysis, and exactly what each drug will do to the body, and its side effects, before leaving the clinic. Have a medical insurance cover, and talk openly to your doctor, if he talks back, and answers your questions, he's probably a nice guy.

Has Google buried the web?

Search engines are a natural consequence of the web. A large amount of pages needs to be catalogued and indexed, and no one does this better than Google. The web is so large that it would take years for any team of humans, however large, to go through and catalogue every single web page. Many directories exist, but the categorization is relatively broad, considering how specialized some pages are. Consider the items under the "misc" category in any multemedia site, and a sense of what is happening will be understood.

The focus shifted from browsing to searching somewhere in the mid nineties. Before that, the url of a web page was all important. Google had a head start there. The famous Google crawling algorithm. It browsed through web pages, following links, and picking out "keywords" and determining "pagerank", both of which are processes little understood by anyone. This is not because their programming is difficult, all search engines use this, but the control of what pages shows up after a search has shifted from humans to computations. Now any computation can only be as good as the initial inputs from the humans, and this is where Google went wrong.

Only recently have there been efforts to understand the meaning behind the words typed into a search box. Most of the time, people are clueless what to search for, and have to go back to the search fields three or four times over before they get a bunch of pages full of something close to what they are looking for. Finding something the first time you search for it is a very rare. The search relevency is low, not because of flaws in the input, but because of flaws in the search engine.

And it is irreparable, as the internet has already been buried by Google.

# The rate at which Google can crawl the net is far behind the rate at which new content gets created

# A large portion of the new content generated is just a bunch of crosslinks, references and directories. Google is not the only middleman trying to make some easy money, it supports a lot of other middlemen - mainly those who use adsense.

# The first few sites that the user visits is a fraction of the relevent content out there on the web. (To be fair, this is slightly compensated by the user who uses a sucession of similiar search terms to find generally the same kind of content.)

# Google has yet to crawl large portions of the internet, there is a lot of content not yet indexed by Google.

There is a lot of web content that is filtered out because of new web pages spawned to meet the demands of the Google algorithm. This is the problem, the Google crawler is itself, impartial, so to speak, but web site designers looking for a quick buck have no problem in confuddling Google to spike their page rank, make their pages show near the first few search results, and generally bury all the information on the web that the user is really looking for. Google really does care a hell lot about this, but their concerns are centered around the algorithm being foolproof, not which particular websites actually show up in the search results. The internet is slowly, but surely, bowing to the demands of a search algorithm that is not under direct control of any human. Google has changed the texture of the web in a very severe way, it is customary for adsense to show up in a side bar somewhere on the page, and if it is not ad sense, then it is some competition to ad sense.

The standards of how a web page is to be presented, with the allocation of space for advertisements and information, has evolved because of the way Google integrates "relevent" business opportunities alongside with web content.

Where this is headed?
A definate step back. Somewhere along the line, people are going to stop in their tracks and say "hey! this is not what we wanted." Open content, when it arrives, will arrive in force. As surprising as it may seem, the real search capabilities of Google is hardly ever used. It is common to head to google, to fill out something in the search box knowing what results you are going to get. Instead of exchanging a url of a web site, a common way to give someone a web address is "go to the third result after searching for so-and-so". Most people who use Google do so only if they already know what they are going to get. Recreational searching is another major passtime, the beggenings of wandering about the web aimlessly, clicking whatever interests one the most at that particular point of time. It is necessary for all the bullshit to be filtered out. The future is in the wiki.

Dream Diary preview

Soft shadows. Ambience. Gamma correction. Dof. Reflections, refractions, shadows. Shadows on top of shadows. Total internal reflections. Put...