Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Is India right in barring foreign journalists?

7 November 2009

The Great Wall between India and China is not made of bricks and mortar; it is made of freedom and liberty. Any debate, any discussion, anywhere, on the superpowers-to-be is sealed, signed and delivered by the roaring presence of those essential ingredients in plentiful on our soil, and the utter lack of it in our great neighbour.

China notoriously detests dissent—and democracy.

It bars foreign media from freely moving inside its boundaries; Tibet is off-limits to them as is Tiananmen Square. BBC was famously taken off Rupert Murdoch‘s Star Network at the behest of the comrades. Google and Yahoo effortlessly dance to the tunes of the Chinese dictators. Chinese citizens routinely can’t log into YouTube, Facebook and other media. And so on.

But has difference between “us” and “them” been erased by the Congress-led UPA government?

In barring foreign journalists from going to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh to report the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama‘s week-long visit to the northeastern State which China off and on claims as its own, has the Manmohan Singh government thumbed itsĀ  nose at India’s great democratic traditions?

Has India missed a trick in showing its inviolable sovereignty before a global audience? In behaving much like China would, has the Congress-led regime obliterated the difference between democracy and dictatorship? Or was the government right given the war-mongering that has recently been on display?

Also read: Media freedom is what separates India and China

Censorship in the name of ‘the national interest’?

Is it an idol (sic)? Is it a statue? Is it a mannequin?

8 October 2007

Political photography, like all photography, is about timing. But good photography is no longer easy on the chaotic Indian political landscape where hundreds of (“still”) photographers and (“video”) cameramen now jostle and slug each other out for a slice of the pie.

This picture by Manjunath M.S. of Karnataka Photo News is a very fine exception.

The man jumping the chair at a protest in front of the Governor’s office is B.S. Yediyurappa, former deputy chief minister of the southern Indian state of Karnataka. The man behind him, to his left, with a hand on the chair is Ananth Kumar, a party colleague who is generally assumed to be happy at scuttling Yediyurappa’s career advancement despite his benign public posture. And the man in the white shirt behind Yediyurappa is M.P. Renukacharya, an MLA at the centre of a sexual harassment case, involving a former nurse called Jayalakshmi.

In one frame, as it were, the picture captures everything about Indian politics: the ambition of its leaders, the betrayal by partners, the sniping, backstabbing and backbiting, and of course, the colour, chaos and sleaze.

View a bigger frame at churumuri.com

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