Thursday, August 26, 2010

Telangana 59: Why do we accept Telugu movies?

Why do Telangana people accept Telugu movies if almost all the movies show Telangana people in negative light? 

One Andhra commenter asked:

Tell us what is the primary, if not the only, motive of a movie-producer? Making money or not? If a producer is dumb enough to make a movie showing discrimination, wouldn't his Nizam area collections tell him to correct his ways in the next movies?

Andhras reason this quite simplistically.  They reason that a movie producer is interested in making money and nothing else.  The producer is not sitting there to insinuate a message that Telanganas are inferior.  There is no benefit for the producer doing that negative characterization because he will tend to lose certain portion of the audience.  

Andhras ask if indeed there is a negative characterization of Telanganas in the movies, why do Telangana people go and watch these movies? They could have easily exercised their right not to watch these movies, right?

Since the collection from Telangana is quite substantial, isn’t it clear that people of Telangana gladly welcome these movies?  Since they welcome these movies, isn’t it clear that there is absolutely no negative characterization of Telangana people in these movies?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Telangana 58: Impact of Movies

Most Indians do not realize the impact of media caricatures on the minds of the masses and how these depictions may perpetuate some of our prejudices leading to large scale discrimination.   Our movies, ads, TV serials are laden with negative characterizations of certain people being unconscionably lapped up by biased Indians without an iota of squeamishness that most civilized world would normally experience.   There are many references to caste, color of the skin, weakness of a woman, etc, that continue to fuel our prejudices perpetuating large scale discrimination of certain sections of people on a daily basis.  

For example, in many Telugu movies, there is consistent negative characterization of dark people.  They are looked down upon, laughed upon and are easily dismissed with a slap on the face or kick in the butt.  And this portrayal perpetuates our low opinions towards dark people in many families, leading to massive inferiority complex for dark skinned girls and boys who get taunted by many family members.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Telangana 57: Presentation to SKC

These are the three slides from my part of the presentation to SriKrishna Committee in May 2010.  I will add the actual text and speech at a later time.  For now, I am presenting those slides.  [There is a mistake I made in the slides.  It should say "More than 10,000 movies..." instead of "More than 25,000 movies..."].

Telangana 56: Article on Rediff

A commenter (Kiran) forwarded an article published on Rediff, titled ‘We don't know who represents the Telangana movement’ by Jyotirmaya Sharma and asked few questions.   Here is my response:

"The problem is that between those who are asking for a separate state and those who oppose it, there is no debate, there is no serious conversation. Every difference of opinion on both sides is sought to be resolved either by violence or by an extra dose of rhetoric."

Right now, yes, if you watch only the TV, then definitely there is no healthy debate.  That’s sad.   However, if you go attend some of the meetings held by various forums on Telangana, you will see an argument for Telangana which is sound, rational and pragmatic.   True, a genuine debate is missing.  The reason the debate is missing is because Telangana supporters and its detractors do not see eye-to-eye on this issue.  While Telanganas believe the root cause for the entire problem is ‘discrimination’, no Andhra person ever accepts it and rubbishes it saying it is a fantastic imagination of few politicians.   It’s like India and Pakistan talking about Kashmir.  There can never be a healthy debate if we don’t agree on basic premise of the argument.

The healthy debate will start only when Andhras concede that discrimination could or might have happened, and then go about asking if and so why it happened.  That would the first point of entering a healthy debate.  Instead of accepting the glaring truths that Telangana is indeed backward, they come up with Satyam like statistics to prove otherwise.   Right now, I don’t see a chance for healthy debate because the detractors are not being honest about topics on discrimination.  Unfortunately, Indians are not mature enough to concede they are capable discriminating others.

Telangana 55: Last refuge of the scoundrels

Recently a group of Ministers from Seemandhra made a presentation to SriKrishna Committee and describe Telangana Movement as ‘anti-national’.  Here are some excerpts from the THE HINDU [emphasis mine]:

…the demand for statehood to Telangana should be treated as a cognizable offence under IPC as it had the potential of disintegrating the country itself.

“The Centre should not give credence to demands for self-rule and self-respect as it will sow seeds for disintegration of the country. Asking for a separate State on these grounds is equivalent to waging a war against Indian Union. It is most reprehensible and dubious ground for formation of a new State under Article 3 of the Constitution”, the delegation of 16 Ministers said in their report.

Besides, the appointment of a committee by the Centre to look into such an anti-national demand was also surprising, they felt.

Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrels, it is said.  Detractors to a movement, a new policy or a brave action resort to introducing the elements of patriotism and national security as a last ditch attempt to slander a genuine aspiration or demand.   That is what is happening in Andhra Pradesh today.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Let go, India

Kashmir is not simmering anymore.  It is boiling and spilling over.  In the last two months 40 people were killed by Indian security forces.  These are young boys of Kashmir, less than 20 years of age, some of them as young as 8 years, and they are challenging the might of Indian armed forces by coming out onto streets violating the curfew orders imposed onto them. Look at the news headlines from THE HINDU in the last 4 days.

The new generation of Kashmiri David takes on the Goliath machinery of India.  These young boys risk their lives to defy all the restrictions imposed on them by Indian security forces.  India is at a loss.  It does not know how to deal with this situation.  There are no AK-47s, there are no hand grenades or rocket launchers so that India can claim these protestors are terrorists.  All these young boys have is bunch of easily available stones to take on the sophisticated Indian armed forces.