Friday, June 18, 2010


Its the second largest town after Nagpur. Dont ask me on what basis. Thats what people tell me. Like all districts of Vidharbha, Amravati gives you its own taste of heat.There is a hill station called Chikaldhara. I have not been there yet.Most probably will go there in the coming weeks.
All the government offices and official residences of all the important bureaucrats are situated in one part of Amravati known as the Camp Area.I stay here.Some part of it is also called "Chaprasipura".
The most famous (absentee)resident of Amravati is Smt.Pratibha Patil. Her son was elected as MLA in the last Assembly elections. The Camp Area is very well maintained, with wide roads, no hawkers and proper street lighting.The area near the station, the place where the markets are located are much more crowded.The place also presents a good study of the transition taking place in such towns. In a space of around 200 metres, you have single brand outlets of Adidas, Levis, Levis Signature. These outlets compete with the old traditional garment outlets that must have been operating for several decades.
The place is flooded with theatres. Two weeks back a multiplex called e-orbit opened up.A Big Bazaar is on its way.It proves that the companies are now targeting these towns to maintain high growth rates.
My project work took me to Jawahar Gate which is a historical monument. It is as the name suggests a gate of probably a fort. There are no boards signifying its importance. Just a few meters down the road is something called "Jaisthamb Chowk". This again has some link with the Independence Struggle as the chowk has the date "15/07/1947" inscribed on it.
Finally,Marathi is hardly spoken here. Hindi is the most used language here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The electronic media-Why we need regulation!!

Its the second monsoon that I am not in Mumbai. I happened to catch the first heavy showers on television ensconed in a warm room at Akola.The proliferation of news channels made it difficult for me to escape their coverage on the Mumbai monsoons. The coverage of all news channels made it seem like Mumbai was hit by a cyclone. Certain points that stood out are given below
1.All news channels played the same footage again and again. They showed us Khar Subway and Milan Subway. For all Mumbaikars, it is not news that these subways get flooded every year.But it was made out to be a big incident by the news channels.
2.All areas covered by the news channels, Sion, Andheri, Wadala are known to be rain sensitive areas.They are a bad sample for the population i.e. Mumbai
Such news coverage is something that we have become used to. Making a mountain out of a molehill is now a core competency enjoyed by these news channels. Lambasting administrators and playing judge on a variety of issues is a skill that is a must for every news anchor. We need some serious regulation on these guys. They distort and influence the news to their liking. That their 26/11 coverage put security forces in danger is a well documented fact.
Free press should not be the excuse given by these TV channels to disseminate information which is biased and is intended to shock and create panic among its viewers. Its high time that the government looked into this matter and stepped in to control the hyper TV anchors and their producers!