Tuesday, October 25, 2011

“Good talents need to be paid”

“Good talents need to be paid”
Yadu Krishnan

            “The standard of  Malayalam media is deteriorating  as owners are not paying fairly good salary to the talented journalists”, says Dr. Babu Gopalakrishnan, Director of C-DIT. Babu was chatting with students at his Alma mater,  the Kerala University Dept of Communication and Journalism.
            Babu says media should hike the pay structure of really talented journalists if they want to maintain high standard in the organization. “The condition of media people in Kerala is very poor when compared to other states. Now a days, it is impossible to make a living with an amount of Rs. 5000/- per month. Thus good talents never come forward to work in Kerala and only sub standards hang on. And it is one of the reasons why students opt to go for teaching after completing journalism courses. Media should be ready to give journalists their demands for their effort and service to the organization”.
            Mr.Babu Gopalakrishnan started his career as a journalist in Malayala Manorama and was with ‘The Observer’, Delhi. After resigning the job with Observer, he joined as vice chairman of Kerala Film Academy. He completed masters in Journalism from the University of Kerala and did his M.Phil and PhD from JNU. The activities regarding college magazine brought the journalistic talent in him to the prime line, making him realize that a journalist has more to do for the society.  “Journalists are not getting freedom in their profession, even to the level of an editor in a college magazine” observes Babu who unhesitatingly declares that he ended up his journalistic career in bitter disappointment due to these factors.
            “Journalism is now a business. It has no credibility and almost all are ghost writers for their editors”. Babu has his own examples and experience to prove this. Another painful side of current journalism is that new generation is not taking pains to prove themselves. Journalism is not seen as a passion by them as it was in the 80s. All these makes me depressed, he says.
            He shows no reluctance to express what he felt  about Kerala’s politics too. Babu is of the view that leaders like V.S. Achuthanandan are personalities who had not been covered well by Malayalam journalists in the right sense. ‘And no doubt it is because the journalists don’t have the caliber for it’, he says.
            Babu, who holds a PhD in cenema has definite views on how Malayalam film industry moves on. “The Whole thing is controlled by superstars”, he says. This heroic intrusion is seen in all the sectors of industry. So good films don’t get its own space. The film ‘Aadaminte makan Abu’ became noted only after it had won National Award. This tendency should be changed’.
            When asked about the entertainment films attempted by a few, he simply says he is not to make any comments on that. According to him there is no other society which shows this much of hypocrisy in literature, art and film. We, Malayalis never welcome scantly clad actors and sex scenes in cinema, but films which are categorized as ‘blue’ are the ones that are most screened in our state. This contradiction is really terrible. Babu further observes that there is a dearth of serious film reading among the cinephiles of the state.  The 10 days of film festival should be followed up by similar activities rather than pulling down the curtain till next year.
            Dr. Babu aims to turn C-DIT into a national institute. He is hopeful about a bright future.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Visually challenged teachers use free software

Visually challenged teachers use free software
Litty Simon

            The union human resources development ministry has lauded the general education department of Kerala for training visually challenged teachers in using free software under the leadership of IT@School project.

            According to union HRD secretary, Anshu Vaish, Kerala is the first state to succeed in the initiative. The state through its IT training has not only empowered the blind to make their profession easier but also has helped them with their daily routines. The attempt to bring the differently abled persons to the mainstream is a model for other states.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Helpers turn helpless

Helpers turn helpless
Remya Nair

            A group of self engaged scribes surrounded by layman -  a common scene in front of government offices in the city. They are in a sense, unauthorized service providers with no benefits from government. From dawn to dusk they help a number of people in preparing the necessary documents to be submitted in these offices with a small service charge.
            Nobody really knows about the hardship these scribes face in this profession. Sati, an application writer sitting in front of corporation office says that she manages to earn an average of Rs.150 per day. But a huge share of it must be invested next day in the business. The maximum service charge is Rs. 20; you may even get a concession in this rate. There are even graduates and post graduates among these people.
They are not allowed to use  bathroom facility in the offices around which they work. The whole day, these scribes are forced to sit under the burning sun controlling their basic needs.
            The forms supplied by Kudumbasree units will not be sufficient in the months of school opening and mass adalath. This makes their problems more worse. Certain groups of people have registered complaints against these scribes in Museum police station, accusing them of public nuisance and creating hindrance to the pedestrians.
                   These scribes have no registered unions and they don’t have any sort of benefits or allowance from the government. All political parties simply ignore them as they don’t have any union activities. So, a chance to get any sort of benefits from government is really feeble. And a group of people wants to drive away these scribes from the government office premises putting their lives in danger.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


TUNING FOR A LIVING:  Flute sellers at Shanghumugham beach  

Photo: Sithara Issac

The best, but unknown English writers in India

The best, but unknown English writers in India
Elizaveta Pogodina

Thiruvanthapuram: The two–day literary festival of English writers in India, “Indian Ruminations Literary Fest 2011” concluded today at Vyloppilly Samskrithi Bhavan here. About 70 writers and poets from different parts of India were present.
Literary fest held at Vyloppilly Samskrithi Bhavan
            The festival was organized by Indian Ruminations, a monthly literary web-journal specially dedicated to Indian English literature with a focus on young and unknown writers. The main theme of the festival was “Exploring Indian Alternatives in Reading and Writing”. Writers of both prose and poetry from all over the country exchanged their views, ideas and thoughts about the problems of Indian literature in English.
            Writer and poet Anita Nair, who inaugurated the festival expressed regret that Indian English writers do not get acceptance like foreign writers.
            K. Jayakumar, additional chief secretary of Kerala government, asked the Indian publishers to promote the native english writers. He underlined the importance of the role of interpreters in familiarising the English books by Indians.
            ‘Roots and Wings’, an anthology of Indian women poets' writing in English, edited by Annie George, was released in the festival. Two books – ‘Of the lesser known' by Anu Joshy and ‘More beads unstrung' by Anna Maria were also introduced in the festival.
            Indian Ruminations Literary Awards were presented on the first day. In English writing section Amit Upadhyay from Delhi bagged the best fiction award for his book ‘Evil is Evil, Good is God.' Nayanathara from Kerala received the best English poetry award for ‘The Scent of Frangipani.' The best Malayalam poetry award was won by Rajesh Chithira for his ‘Unmathathakalude crash landingukal.' Ajoykumar M.S and Sulfikkar shared the best Malayalam non-fiction award for ‘Angane oru mambazha kalam' and ‘Nithya Chaithanya yathi randu sanyasikalkkayacha kathukal'.
            After the award ceremony there were discussions on the themes, ‘Exploring Indian Alternatives in Reading and Writing' and 'Introduction of poets and poetry reading.'
            Panel discussions were also held on the future of literary publishing in India and book reading. The festival ended with a feedback session.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Nandakumar, new Trivandrum collector

Nandakumar, new Trivandrum collector

                Kerala council of ministers decided to appoint public relations director M. Nandakumar, IAS as Thiruvananthapuram collector. He is the second alumnus of the Department of Communication and Journalism to occupy this coveted     position.
                        Nandakumar started his career as a journalist with Indian Express, later he joined the Government service as a BDO and in 1993 got direct selection as Deputy Collector and Executive Magistrate. He served as the Deputy Collector of Thiruvananthapuram for six years. In 1999, he became the zonal director of Kudambasree. He was at the helm of affairs in Jawahar Bala Bhavan, Bala Sahithya Institute and Gandhi Grama Vyavasayam. In 2009 he was conferred IAS and joined the public relations department as director.