'Jaago Re'

Allowing plug after request through email from Pradnya Adhikari:

I am writing to you with reference to Tata Tea’s Jaago Re movement – a movement that I represent. The Jaago Re campaign was initiated in the year 2007 and the objective of this campaign was to initiate social awakening amongst Indians. The Jaago Re campaign made a great impact with the ‘One Billion Votes’ campaign and are currently targeting corruption with the ‘Khilana Band, Pilana Shuru’ drive.
Recently, Tata Tea has re-launched its flagship website www.jaagore.com. The portal which was, for the last one year, an online hot spot for aspiring voters to register and obtain all information related to Voter Registration, will now stand for social awakening in a broader sense. Jaago Re as a campaign has targeted the youth of the nation, urging them to take a stand on various issues such as voting and corruption and do their bit – thereby encouraging them to 'be the change they want to see’.
What makes www.jaagore.com unique is that it facilitates the flow of information and resources between individuals / groups / organizations – by bringing together, onto a common platform, those who possess information and resources and those who need them. NGOs can list themselves on the site, thereby making their presence felt with individuals who would like to work with them. On the other hand, individuals who wish to do their bit for society can volunteer their services with an organization of their choice.

It would be great if you can help us support us by spreading the word on Jaago Re's initiative through your blog. Hopefully readers of your blog, both NGOs and individuals alike, would be inspired enough to join the initiative.
For any further details do visit www.jaagore.com or you can contact me and I would be glad to help.

Take care,
Pradnya Adhikari

Marathi Cinema Comes Alive Again

(A still from marathi film Vihir. Photo courtsey: Vihir Director Umesh Kulkarni)

In 2008 when I saw Valu, I strongly felt writing a review. Then came Girni. Similar feeling ran through, but procrastination did not let me do anything worth. Then I saw Natrang and now Vihir. All through, I just desired, but did little.

Last evening, I defied the usual code and reviewed the entire marathi cinema. The final product appeared in the Hindustan Times was:

Ten days after the recent release of Natrang, a film on tamasha artistes, its lead actor, Atul Kulkarni, met an elderly man at a cinema hall in Satara. Kulkarni, touring to promote the film, found his face familiar. Yes, they had indeed met, the man told him — this was the 13th time he was watching the film.

A few kilometres away, a lengthy queue waited outside a multiplex for a special screening of Vihir (The Well), which portrays a child’s bond with his cousin, and has been feted at international festivals.
In 2004, Sandeep Sawant’s Shwaas (Breath) became India’s official entry to the Oscars — Marathi filmmakers have not looked back since.
In the 1980s and ’90s, most Marathi films merely played catch with Hindi cinema, and moved away from local issues and themes. In the last five years, a new crop of filmmakers has been building on the foundation laid by stalwarts like Dadasaheb Phalke, V Shantaram and Bhalji Pendharkar — and, using refreshing storylines about local issues and aspirations, brought to Marathi cinema a certain technical finesse.

Umesh Kulkarni, a Film and Television Institute of India graduate, has made three films that audiences have favoured: Valu, the story of a village living in fear of a destructive bull, Girni, about the crisis in a working-class family after it starts a small enterprise using its grinding machine, and Vihir.

Harischandrachi Factory, Paresh Mokashi’s directorial debut tells the story of the making of India’s first silent film — Raja Harishchandra, by Dadasaheb Phalke — and is India’s entry to the Oscars this year. Ravi Jadhav’s Natrang, set in rural Maharashtra in the 1970s, is still pulling in the crowds, after the success of last year’s Mee Shivaji-raje Bhosale Boltoy and Rita.
Across the state, the young and old alike have lapped up this fare. “The more local we go with themes, the more global we become,” said Kulkarni.
“There is now recognition from across the world because we have better ideas and more sophisticated presentation,” said Ajay Sarpotdar, president of the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Chitrapat Mahamandal, an association of Marathi filmmakers.

Dr Jabbar Patel, who directed Saamna and Sinhasan, two of the biggest films in the history of Marathi cinema, says: “The recent Pune International Film Festival pulled people in large numbers, and the average age of the viewer was 21.”

Cut Every Word And Earn More Money

Machael Kinsley in the Atlantic:

On the first day of my first real job in journalism—on the copy desk at the Royal Oak Daily Tribune in Royal Oak, Michigan—the chief copy editor said, “Remember, every word you cut saves the publisher money.” At the time, saving the publisher money didn’t strike me as the world’s noblest ideal. These days, for anyone in journalism, it’s more compelling.

Journalist must cut every word. He must also get in return from Publishers the hike in salaries for every word he has cut.

Should Rape Be Treated Like Other Crimes ?

Article by Niranjan Rajadhyaksha on how incentives matter, with special reference to commuting death sentence to lifer for rapist, crop up few points in the mind. The author writes: The death penalty for rape could create perverse incentives for rapists to murder their victims.

Does punishment dictate nature and severity of crime ?. Logically, the harsher the punishment, more deterrent it is. But in rape-cum-murder cases and even about other crimes, this logic is far from reality.

Whether rapist should be served with lifer or death is an issue of importance at par with how the society treat rape as a crime.

The record suggests, in most cases rapists kill victim. Contrary, in other crimes like robbery, chain snatching or economic offences, rate of culprits killing the sufferer is extremely low.

The perpetrators, having satisfied with their sexual desire, are often led by fear of getting caught. That fear drive them kill the victims, suggests confessions made by arrested rapists. Actually, murder after rape does not reduce chances of culprits’ arrest compared to when rapist abandon her without killing.

So then why rapist still prefers killing victim even though his primary intention is to meet sexual desire. ? I guess, the fear in rapist mind is more due to the possibly outcry because society apply different parameters to rape than other crimes.

I doubt if Rapist, once through with his first act, even think of incentives pertaining to the punishment and then decides whether to kill the victim, as pointed out by Rajadhyaksha. It is possibly the other way in which rapist after rape ceases to think under impression that outcry over the incident may land him into bigger trouble. The often seen outcome is then the murder of victim.

One possible way out to reduce rate of murders in rape cases can be society and her kin start treating victim equally as normal with the changed perception that rape is not the end of the road. And of course, to change that perception, start can be sentencing rapists with lifer than death.

Era Of Hindi Film Posters

Anupama Chopra in the Crest Edition:

(Hindi film) posters were hand-painted from photographs provided by the producers and then reproduced on paper. The size of an actor’s face on the poster directly reflected his prominence and stardom. Diwakar Karkare, who dominated poster design for three decades, recalls a leading villain offering a bribe of Rs. 25,000 to make his face bigger.

The era of hand-painted Hindi film posters has gone leaving some anecdotes behind. Stories like this often stoke up nostalgia and make us laugh, recalling scenes from old movies. Those were the days when even frivolity was considered seriousness. The self-mockery, as we construe it today, was the key to success.

PS: While reading Chetan Bhagat's tweets, a sugesstion for him caught up my mind. Why don't Bhagat pay movie posters makers and get his name written on them in BOLD