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Durga Pujas: Across the world


The Goddess Durga Photo Credit: Sumita Roy Dutta/Wikimedia Commons

New York:

Different cities of America:

London (UK):

South London:




Dublin, Ireland:

South Africa:







Moral Policing

We are going to upload a promotional video on You Tube where we want to high light some social problems. Though sex with children is illegal but according one estimate, about half a million Indian children are used in sex trade.

Many Indians including politician want to dictate the way women should behave or dress up in public and even blame their ‘dress sense of women’ for molestation or rape.But strangely these so called custodian of Indian culture and heritage remain silent when foreign tourists often face harassment in public places such as groping by unknown faces, molestation even rape.For them moral policing is the best way to ‘protect India’s culture and heritage’.

Honor killing is barbaric and shameful acts of murder. Marriage out of caste or religion outraged family members and even father, brother and other family members commit heinous crime like killing their daughters and sisters to protect ‘family honor’.

এবার বাংলায়

অনেক দিন ধরেই নিজের মাতৃভাষা বাংলাতে ব্লগ লেখার ইচ্ছে ছিল কিন্তু হয়ে ওঠে নি তাই আজ থেকে মাঝে মাঝে ব্লগ লেখার চেষ্টা করব বিভিন্ন বিষয় নিয়ে সঙ্গে থাকুন


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Intolerance !

Photo: Arun Lodh

Photo: Arun Lodh

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Intolerance is a species of violence and therefore against our creed.”
Conspiracy, staged incident are the pet words of Mamata Banarjee, the chief minister of Bengal and the supremo of TMC, the ruling party. She and her party leaders alleged that gang rape to farmers suicide every incident that has happen in Bengal, a section of media is hand in glove with the opposition party to malign her government by providing ‘false’ stories.Even ordinary people like Farmer Shiladitya Chowdhury, who was arrested for questioning the chief minister  at a rally in West Midnapore about rising fertilizer prices. Recently she rebuked protesters mostly women and dubbed as opposition Communist party of India (Marxist) supporters. Their only ‘crime’ was that they were asking that what took her 10 days to visit the village Kamduni, around 40 kms away from Calcutta, where a college girl was gang raped and murdered by miscreants.

Media monopoly is a worrying trend in Bengal. Political interests led to further monopolization of private media. Local media in Bengal particularly those who are not market leaders in news or new entrants in the market try to keep ‘Didi’ (Mamata Banarjee) in good humor.Even some senior journalist behave like party spokesperson.

Martyrs’ Day

Pic Courtesy: Arun lodh

On this day in 1993 (21 July),13 youth Indian National Congress had been killed in police firing during a Writers Building,the offices of the Bengal government seize led by Mamata Banarjee,then the state Youth Congress president.Due to major differences with senior leaders like Soumen Mitra (who later joined her party),she founded All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) after breaking away from the Congress in 1997 and became a part of right wing BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). In 2009 general election, Mamata formed a formidable alliance with the Congress (her parent political party) to teach Marxist a lesson.The Trinamul Congress organizes this annual event on July 21 at Esplanade to commemorate the killing of 13 Youth.The Trinamul Congress chief and the chief minister of Bengal had announced after her assembly election triumph that July 21, martyrs’ day, would also be “celebrated as Victory Day”.Hundreds and thousands of TMC supporters joined the rally to pay tribute to those who were killed in the firing.

Pic Courtesy: Arun Lodh                                                                                                        

According to police version,on July 21, huge police force were deployed near Writers’ Buildings (Bengal’s power center) and Governor’s House (Raj Bhavan). Mamata Banarjee,was stopped near the Tea Board office by the police but they could not control the large crowd that gathered on Mayo Road. The police asked the protesters to disperse but the protesters refused to listen the warning.Police then resorted to lathi (baton) charge and lobbed teargas shells.After that a police officer had ordered to open fire.

‘Correct and clarify mistakes’

A Jadavpur University professor and a retired engineer were arrested for allegedly circulating cartoons depicting chief minister of Bengal and the supremo of Trinamool Congress Party (TMC). Later,they were granted bail.Indian Government wants to tighten its grip on social networking sites. UPA government at the center wanted social networking sites to remove ‘abusive’ comments and images of Indian politicians like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi. After initial reluctance , Facebook, a popular social networking site, ultimately removed the objectionable comments and images. But those who believe that it’s a big blow to free speech and privacy must know you can not or should not write defamatory or obscene or threatening messages, mail or picture. I personally follow the guidelines of Radio and Television Digital News Association (RTDNA)such as:

Social media comments and postings should meet the same standards of fairness, accuracy and attribution that you apply to your on-air or digital platforms.

•Information gleaned online should be confirmed just as you must confirm scanner traffic or phone tips before reporting them. If you cannot independently confirm critical information, reveal your sources; tell the public how you know what you know and what you cannot confirm. Don’t stop there. Keep seeking confirmation. This guideline is the same for covering breaking news on station websites as on the air. You should not leave the public “hanging.” Lead the public to completeness and understanding.

• Twitter’s character limits and immediacy are not excuses for inaccuracy and unfairness.

•Remember that social media postings live on as online archives. Correct and clarify mistakes, whether they are factual mistakes or mistakes of omission.

•When using content from blogs or social media, ask critical questions such as:

– What is the source of the video or photograph? Who wrote the comment and what was the motivation for posting it.

– Does the source have the legal right to the material posted? Did that person take the photograph or capture the video?

– Has the photograph or video been manipulated? Have we checked to see if the metadata attached to the image reveals that it has been altered?

• Social networks typically offer a “privacy” setting, so users can choose not to have their photographs or thoughts in front of the uninvited public. Capturing material from a public Facebook site is different from prying behind a password-protected wall posing as a friend. When considering whether to access “private” content, journalists should apply the same RTDNA guidelines recommended for undercover journalism. Ask:

– Does the poster have a ‘reasonable expectation’ of privacy?

– Is this a story of great significance?

– Is there any other way to get the information?

– Are you willing to disclose your methods and reasoning?

Media have the right to criticize government policies

Conspiracy, staged incident are the pet words of Mamata Banarjee, the chief minister of Bengal and the supremo of TMC, the ruling party. She and her party leaders alleged that rape to farmers suicide every incident that has happen in Bengal a section of media is hand in glove with the opposition party to malign her government by providing ‘false’ stories.

Pic Courtesy:Petr Kratochvil

Recently the library department of Bengal has issued an order asking government and government aided libraries across the state to stock eight newspapers to spread ‘free thinking’. Ironically, among the listed newspapers Sangbad Pratin is known as an unofficial mouthpiece of TMC.The owner of Sakalbela and kalam (yet to be published) is known as the close confident of Mamata Banarjee.After an uproar, five more newspapers are incorporated into the list. But,Ananda Bazar Patrika, The Telegraph, Bartaman, market leaders in news are still not on the government list. Officially, the government says that the circular issued to promote local and small newspapers.But experts believe the real fact is that Mamata doesn’t like criticism even constructive criticism. She patronizes some newspapers which blindly support all policies of the government.
Media outlets in Malawi, a small African country get regular threats from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leaders to criticize government policies.
According to Committee to protect Journalists (CPJ), 179 journalists in prison world wide, 595 journalists murdered since 1992, 908 journalists killed since 1992, 14 journalists killed in 2012. In Iran 42 journalists were jailed as Iranian authorities have reinforced controls on major media after the disputed presidential election results in June 2009. Eritrea,China ,Vietnam, Syria,Turkey where intimidation is still going on against journalists.
The first journalist who criticize the government policies was John Peter Zenger in the year 1735 in The New York Weekly Journal. He was jailed by the government but jury acquitted him.
On the other hand, Reporters Without Borders (Reporters san frontiers) compiled and published an annual report where media in less developed countries like Namibia, Mauritius,Ghana, Benin, Mauritania enjoy huge press freedom and openly criticize government policies.
Similarly,the new government of Bengal should remember that media only exercise their right to criticize government policies.

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