Posts Tagged ‘JNU’

When a mainstream newspaper debates ‘caste’

23 January 2014

prajavani-jati-samvada-week-1-copy

Do caste experiences and untouchability really exist in India, particularly in urban and middle-class India?

The answer depends on who you ask although the usual newsroom tendency is to turn the nose away.

So, how do we find out beyond what we think we know?

In the first half of 2013, the mass-circulated Kannada newspaper Praja Vani, from the Bangalore-based Deccan Herald group, devoted its op-ed page to address the issue.

Christened Jathi Samvada, every Monday the op-ed page was anchored by two scholars: Prof Gopal Guru of the centre for political studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, and Prof Sundar Sarukkai of the Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities.

Every week, for 24 weeks, the professors wrote and edited articles on caste and posed questions on various themes for public responses. The two scholars report their findings in the latest issue of Economic & Political Weekly (EPW) and why they took up the project:

“One, we felt that there was a continued disconnect between academic writing on caste and society, and popular narratives around it.

“Reading news reports on caste or watching the news reportage on issues related to caste might make one believe that there has really been no serious intellectual reflection on the dynamics of caste.

“The public discourse on caste in these mediums ignores the rich sociological literature on this topic.

“An objective was to bring this sociological literature to the attention of the readers, thereby doing two things: one, expose the readers to these theories and empirical results which might then have some impact on the naïve beliefs about caste and, two, make the readers challenge these theories about caste from the perspective of their own caste experiences.”

For the record, on the birthday of the Constitution maker B.R. Ambedkar in April 2012, the entire issue of Praja Vani was guest-edited by the noted Dalit poet Devanoor Mahadeva.

Read the full article: Publicly talking about caste

Visit the Praja Vani archives: Jathi Samvada

Image: courtesy Barefoot Philosophers

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Also read: Loksatta‘s ad without SRK, MSD or AB

Anybody here who’s Dalit and speaks English?

6 pages for Ambedkar; 393 pages for the family

‘Our media only bothers about elite, middle-class’

Do we need quotas in the media?

Is Vijaya Karnataka ready for a Dalit editor?

Think Katju is wrong? Take the Sans Serif Test!

10 November 2011

The press council chairman, Justice Markandey Katju, has hit journalists—especially journalists who show off their JNU, St. Stephen’s, ACJ, Presidency, St. Xavier’s, Loyola, IIT-IIM, Colombia, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge credentials in their sentence constructions—where it hurts most.

In saying that he did not think that we have “any knowledge of economic theory or political science or literature or philosophy“, the former Supreme Court judge has stopped just short of calling us idiots and ignoramuses, who presume a divine right to inform, educate and entertain the world, no questions asked.

To no one’s surprise, the egos punctured by Katju have responded in kind (here, here, here).

But there is another way to prove Justice Katju wrong than dashing off indignant press releases reeking with anger and self-righteousness. And that is to show him that we have read something and that we do actually have some knowledge of economic theory, political science, literature and philosophy.

(You do, don’t you?)

At the invitation of sans serif, Mastermind India runner-up Prof M.V. Rajeev Gowdaa Ph.D. from Wharton who heads the Centre for Public Policy at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, and is a Reserve Bank of India director—has compiled a 12-question quiz, quotes really, from politics, poetry, philosophy, business, spirituality that should reveal whether the learned justice is on target.

Or not.

You can take this quiz in confidence, of course, but you are also free to mail the answers to churumuri [dot] churumuri [at] gmail [dot] com with your college certificate to receive the sans serif Official Stamp Of Approval™ . Googling for the answers, Prof Gowda assures us, is akin to “paid news”.

Your time starts now.

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QUOTE ME IF YOU CAN

Who is credited with each of the following quotations?

1.Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.

2. A king can protect his kingdom only when he himself is protected from persons near him, particularly his wives and children.

3. The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else.

4. Never send to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.

5. An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.

6. Neither in this world nor elsewhere is there any happiness in store for him who always doubts.

7. Anyone who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without feminine upheaval. Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex, the ugly ones included.

8. Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.

9. Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.

10. Bhakti in religion may be a road to the salvation of the soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship.

OR

Why should the village become the locus of the political structure?  The village is a ‘cesspool, a den of ignorance, narrow-mindedness, and communalism.’ Why would we want to entrust political rule and development to it?

11. You are free, you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this state of …. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed; that has nothing to do with the business of the state. You will find that in course of time Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state.

12. Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil.

OR

He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.

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Terms & Conditions: This quiz is open only to Indian journalists or journalists of Indian origin. sans serif welcomes news organisations and journalism schools to use this quiz or parts thereof to test the Trivia Quotient of working journalists and student-journalists. sans serif reserves the right to cancel, modify, extend or discontinue the quiz or any part thereof, without giving any reasons or prior notice if Google or Wikipedia has been used. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery of sans serif Stamp Of Approval™. All disputes shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the court of public opinion only. If you have read all this and reached this far, congratulations, Justice Katju would like to hear from you.

EPW journalist bags Appan Menon award

15 September 2011

Srinivasan Ramani, a senior assistant editor with the journal Economic & Political Weekly (EPW), has bagged the Appan Menon memorial award for young journalists.

Ramani, who is pursuing his PhD in international at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), won the prize for his coverage of India’s role in the emergence of Nepal’s new constitutional republic.

The award, which carries a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh, is presented by the Appan Menon memorial trust, in memory of the journalist who once anchored The World This Week on NDTV. Menon had earlier worked with The Hindu and Frontline as well as news agencies PTI and UNI.

View his P. Sainath interview: Prisoners of profit

View his Sevanti Ninan interview: Antidote to Murdochisation

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Also read: Rema Nagarajan of ToI bags Nieman fellowship

Mint‘s Monika Halan among Yale fellows

Chameli Devi prize for Tehelka scribe, K.K. Shahina

Pallava Bagla bags ‘Oscar’ of science journalism

Saikat Datta bags prize for using RTI for story

India-China friendship award for Pallavi Aiyar

Knight fellowship for Frontline’s Dionne Bunsha

‘At least tabloids connect with our little lives’

17 July 2008

Dipankar Gupta, professor in sociology at Jawaharlal Nehru University, in Mail Today:

“I would rather go for low-brow tabloids any day. At least they address matters that concern us and connect with our little lives….

“The popular press and the media, in general, are blamed for wallowing in sensationalism and pandering to gross readership and viewership standards. That may well be true, but news around Aarushi’s murder, the brutal massacre of the old couple next door, the fashion fantasies, the tales of bribery and corruption, are the kinds of things that really matter to us. At least, they are closer to our lives….

“True, tabloids are generally not very professional, but how clued in are the rest to purvey and relish the other kind of news? Given this lack of dogged professionalism at all levels, we might as well openly acknowledge the virtues of tabloid journalism. At least they come up with the real news!”

Cross-posted on churumuri

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