Archive for October 13th, 2005

Integrating new immigrants, old-skool style

by Sunny, on 13th October, 2005

Dominic Casciani has written an eye-opening piece in today’s BBC magazine about the first Asian programme launched on the Beeb 40 years ago this week.

Apna Hi Ghar Samajhiye taught our parents about the modern gas boilers; how to vote; leaving empty milk bottles outside every night; NHS registration cards and much more. Hehe, attempts at integration at their very best. How Trevor Phillips must yearn for those days again.

The series started on 10th October 1965 and ran for 14 years. Politicians saw it as a potential way to get votes so Maggie Thatcher came on twice and Jim Callaghan once. Mahendra Kaul, now 83, anchored from 1966 with Saleem Shahed. Enoch wasn’t too enthusiatic about it.

“I remember one day meeting him at a luncheon and I asked him, ‘Mr Powell, why don’t you take part in our programme?’. And he said, ‘As an MP, I have to advise my own people first’. Well, I said to him, aren’t our audience now your people too?”
Another point also made by one of the responses. We had to fight for a slot for Asians then, and 40 years later we’re still doing the same. Hmmmm.

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Indian bloggers taken on lying IIPM institute

by Sunny, on 13th October, 2005

Wondered why ‘IIPM’ keeps hitting the Technorati top 10 search terms? No? Let me tell you why anyway.

It all started with fiesty blogger Rashmi Bansal, editor of JAM magazine in Mumbai, doing an exposé of the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) in Delhi. Gaurav Sabnis subsequently linked it, inviting legal threats. Others too.

Overnight, blogs sprung up defending IIPM and making up stories of corruption on Jam. Then it got serious. IIPM started harassing Gaurav’s employer IBM, threatening to burn all their Thinkpads infront of their building. Gaurav decided to resign from his job.

Desi Pundit took on their cause, supported by Global Voices and Indian Uncut, and hundreds of bloggers came together. The story hit Hindustan Times and ExpressIndia. More coverage is now expected.

Two points: Firstly, this controversy has rallied Indian bloggers over the web like never before, possibly because of the freedom of speech issues or maybe because they don’t want to bow down to an establishment which is used to ripping off innocent students.

What will the future hold? The Indian MSM is usually too timid to highlight endemic corruption and take on the state. Remember Tehelka? This could very well herald a new era where Indian democracy is held to account by citizen bloggers who are less afraid to raise issues important to them rather than keep publishing drivel on Bollywood. Expect many more such incidents.

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