Monthly Archives: February 2009

28 Feb. A few photographs of the events held recently

Yours Truly as the Chief Guest, inaugurating (launching) the Wall Magazine at a city college of education
Yours Truly as the Chief Guest, inaugurating (launching) the Wall Magazine at a city college of education
Human Rights in Frames - the first international film festival on Human Rights organised by the Dept of Mass Communication captured the audience.
Human Rights in Frames - the first international film festival on Human Rights organised by the Dept of Mass Communication captured the audience.
Writing is on the wall... you can read, of course! 20-22 Feb 2009
Writing is on the wall... you can read, of course! 20-22 Feb 2009
Young boys and girls ... human rights seems to be one of their main concerns... after all, it affects them
Young boys and girls ... human rights seems to be one of their main concerns... after all, it affects them
That's Bojamma, our student welcoming the guests..
That's Bojamma, our student welcoming the guests..
Krithika offering a token of welcome to the chief guest... on behalf of the Dept of Mass Communication
Krithika offering a token of welcome to the chief guest... on behalf of the Dept of Mass Communication
Rev Dr Leo D'Souza SJ seems to know a few things regarding the power of cinema... he went on to analyse "Slumdog Millionaire" to the delight of many young cinebuffs!!!
Rev Dr Leo D'Souza SJ seems to know a few things regarding the power of cinema... he went on to analyse "Slumdog Millionaire" to the delight of many young cinebuffs!!!
A wish in their heart & a prayer on their lips... Mass Communication students invoking the Divine before the Human Rights Film Festival
A wish in their heart & a prayer on their lips... Mass Communication students invoking the Divine before the Human Rights Film Festival
Prof. Pattabhiram Somayyaji, our chief guest inaugurating the Human Rights in Frames Film Festival by placing the globe on the collage prepared by the students
Prof. Pattabhiram Somayyaji, our chief guest inaugurating the Human Rights in Frames Film Festival by placing the globe on the collage prepared by the students
"Thank you!" seems to say Sandhya for all the good things that have come on the way of the Dept, specially on that morning...
"Thank you!" seems to say Sandhya for all the good things that have come on the way of the Dept, specially on that morning...
Yours Truly facilitated the professor-in-news by presenting him with a DVD of the student films. On the extreme left is seen Mr George Kutty, secretary of Bangalore Film Society. Mr George Kutty was the resource person for the film festival.
Yours Truly facilitated the professor-in-news by presenting him with a DVD of the student films. On the extreme left is seen Mr George Kutty, secretary of Bangalore Film Society. Mr George Kutty was the resource person for the film festival.
Prof Pattabhiram Somayyahi, our chief guest, the much-feared thinker whom the anti-social elements are not-at-ease-with, gave a point-by-point account of the saffron brigade's agenda to control society, women, minorities, downtrodden, etc. He had no hesitation calling spate and spate. He feels these tendencies, if not countered, can be very dangerous for the nation and its constituion.
Prof Pattabhiram Somayyahi, our chief guest, the much-feared thinker whom the anti-social elements are not-at-ease-with, gave a point-by-point account of the saffron brigade's agenda to control society, women, minorities, downtrodden, etc. He had no hesitation calling spate and spate. He feels these tendencies, if not countered, can be very dangerous for the nation and its constituion.

The Shark Has Pretty Teeth: Binayak Sen Trial

This is a trial the world should be watching. The story of Binayak Sen
is a wake-up call for India

by NAWAZ KOTWAL
Activist

HUMAN RIGHTS activist and public health specialist Binayak Sen was
arrested two years ago for being a member of an unlawful association.
For good measure he has also been charged with ‘sedition’ and
‘conspiracy’ and waging war against the state. The police also
added charges claiming he acted as a courier for the Naxalities. He is
being held under the Chhattisgarh State Public Security Act and the
Unlawful Activities Prevention Act — both ugly images of the
repealed POTA and tools in hands of the state to silence voices of
dissent.

If one were to describe Sen simply, he would be a widelyacclaimed
public health practitioner who served the tribals of Chhattisgarh for
over two decades. Realising that the causes of ill health lay in
malnutrition and poverty, Sen recognised that basic human rights
needed to be bolstered in order to make ‘health for all’ a reality. Sen, also the President of the Chhattisgarh chapter of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, has been vocal against police excesses, custodial deaths and fake encounters in Naxal infested Chhattisgarh and more recently, the Salwa Judum, a violent and indisciplined government-sponsore d counter-Naxal effort. Today, he is paying the price of dissent.

So how did Sen get involved? In 2006, Sen helped Narayan Sanyal – an
alleged Naxal ideologue — get medical treatment in Raipur jail. Sanyal was suffering from a wrist ailment needing immediate attention. Sen visited Sanyal in prison several times — always with the prior sanction of jail authorities and following every rule in the book. A few months later Piyush Guha, a businessman from Kolkata, was arrested in Raipur.

From Guha, the police recovered letters written by Sanyal to friends
talking about plans to expand his work. The police extracted a statement from Guha stating that Sen smuggled the letters out of prison and gave them to him. Guha has gone on record denying having ever made such a statement. Till date, the police has not brought Guha’s confession on record.

Today, Sen stands on trial. It’s been a year and, from the way it’s proceeding, it worries me how much longer it’s going to take. Before I entered another hearing, I was asked my name, address, relationship with the accused and reasons for attending the trial.
Earlier, I used to be asked if I was a Naxal sympathiser. Having attended trials elsewhere, I had not gone through this procedure. There was no order that said that this would be an in-camera trial. There was no reason for the investigating officer to hang around the court. The law guarantees to every accused the right to a public hearing, which necessarily means that the court shall be open to the general public. This principle is an important safeguard in the interest of society at large. It guarantees that the public is informed of how justice is administered and how decisions are reached.
A public hearing affirms the independence, impartiality and fairness
of the courts, thereby increasing general trust in the judicial system. In this case, any façade of independence was totally lost.

The trial never commenced before noon. The ‘fast track’ court’s time and the respect for the judge’s chair had to give way to the convenience of the jail authorities who could not bring the accused to court on time. At noon, a large closed van drove into the courtyard.
Close to two dozen armed guards jumped out. One would think a dreaded
criminal was held in the van. But 60-year-old Sen walked out. The
armed guards escorted him to the courtroom. He looked weaker. But more
than his body, his spirit had weakened. Three of the accused were cramped into a small box with no place to sit.

A supplementary chargesheet had been filed a few months ago, along with additional evidence of 47 witnesses added to the list of prosecution witnesses. This was a deliberate attempt to delay the trial. Judge sahib was, as usual, a silent spectator. The prosecution left no stone unturned to violate procedure. Numerous attempts, mostly successful, have been made to include evidence which, in the normal course, would be inadmissible. Judge Saluja could have objected. He didn’t. Tampered evidence came on record. It seemed a waste of time to hold the trial in a court.

Things are not much different in the High Court or Supreme Court. Sen’s bail in the High Court had been rejected earlier. At the Supreme Court, the judge did not merit giving reasons to reject the bail. It was a one-word order, “dismissed”. In December 2008, the High Court did not even admit his second bail petition. It felt that no circumstances arose which were convincingly different to merit reconsideration of bail. This, against a backdrop of the DGP of the state going on record to say, “Left to myself, I would have kept Binayak under surveillance, not arrested him.” But obviously, Sen is not Salman Khan or Sanju baba, or for that matter, even Pappu Yadav, a dreaded baddy who recently got bail for murder. Sen is an inconvenient voice of dissent that the state has decided to put away.

OUTSIDE OF court, Sen’s detention continues to draw protest. Shri
Shri Ravishankar has written to the Chief Minister asking him to
release Sen and standing guarantee for him. Amartya Sen has publicly
stated that Sen’s incarceration has been a travesty of justice.
During the same period Sen was bestowed with several awards. In May
2008, the Global Health Council honoured him with the Jonathan Mann
award for Health and Human Rights. Over 20 Nobel Laureates from across the globe appealed to the Indian Government that Sen be allowed to receive the award in person. But Sen remained in Raipur jail.

Sen’s condition is deteriorating. His heart is not doing too well. He is hypertensive and suffering from an untreated prostrate ailment, needing medical care. He has asked the court several times to permit him private care at his own expense. The court will not grant it. Sen said to the judge, “Sir, my condition is deteriorating. I could suffer a heart attack any moment.” The judge was not moved. On the other hand, the police are making every attempt to make things difficult by restricting Sen’s visiting rights. Save family, no one is allowed to meet him. There is no procedure in the jail manual or Prisons Act which allows this. But it is still being done. The might of the state prevails.

Before I left I spoke to Sen. He asked me how the trial is going. Till date, there was nothing incriminating that had come up against him. But I still hesitate to comment. He was an enemy of the state and it is unlikely that the state is going to spare him. His conviction or acquittal will not depend on the evidence before the court. The struggle is a long one. Knowing that, Sen still believes in the system. He still believes that justice will be done. And I can only hope that he is not disappointed.

Kotwal is Coordinator of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and part of Sen’s legal strategy team. From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 6, Issue 9, Dated Mar 07, 2009

Empowerment of Soliga Tribes

from: L E I S A I N D I A • S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 8 ,13
Soligas are the major indigenous tribes of BR Hills situated
in Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka state in south India.
Since time immemorial, Soligas have led a semi-nomadic
life and were engaged in shifting cultivation. Collection of nontimber
forest products (NTFPs) like honey, lichens, soap nut, roots
of Magali (Decalapis hamiltonii), fruits of Amla (Emblica
officinalis), Chilla (Strychnous patatorum) and Alale (Terminalia
chebula), is another important, but relatively recent occupation.
Nearly 50% of the Soligas (meaning those who originated from
Bamboo) income is from sustainable harvesting of minor forest
produce. They live in podus or settlements of 10 to 50 thatched
huts. Each of their headmen is highly knowledgeable with respect
to nature and traditional, sustainable agriculture.
Soligas practice subsistence agriculture for their sustenance. The
indigenous cropping systems, animal rearing and other agriculture
activities are in tune with the rituals of the tribes. Soligas are also
known for their rich knowledge on soil fertility and ecofriendly
agricultural practices. Since time immemorial, Soligas were
practicing shifting cultivation. The Soligas seldom plough the land
and they do not use chemical fertilizers or other chemical pest and
diseases control measures. They have been practicing what the
modern man refers to as organic and natural farming practices.
Soligas have been leading their life in harmony with nature and
posses a rich wealth of indigenous knowledge on forest conservation
and sustainable agriculture.
The Soligas isolated life with the nature stopped when B.R.Hills
forests was declared a ‘protected’ area, in 1974. This led to the
eviction of the Soligas from their interior podus. Shifting cultivation,
hunting and collection of minor forest produce were not allowed.
There was a shift from forest based production system to farm
grown production system.

Exploitation by landlords and indebtedness often resulted in bonded
labour. The Soligas remained ignorant of the government schemes
and could not gain much from them.

Health as an entry point Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra (VGKK), a non sectarian  and a humanitarian organization was founded by Dr.H Sudarshan in 1981. It started working with Soligas with the motto of
sustainable development of tribal people through rights-based
approaches to health, education, livelihood security and biodiversity
conservation.

The interventions started with the most basic need of the
communities, i.e., health. At that time, the Soligas were very shy
and were hiding themselves in the forest. The initial help rendered
by Dr.Sudarshan in curing poisonous snake bites and in de-worming
gained the confidence and love of the Soliga community which
fostered an unbreakable bond between the great humanitarian doctor
and the innocent, and nature loving Soligas. Dr. Sudarshan
understood the basic need of the people in terms of their medical
requirements and promoted curative, promotive, rehabilitative and
sustainable health care practices.
Organising communities
To bring in overall development of the communities, it was felt
that they need to be helped beyond their health aspects. A leadership
training workshop was conducted in 1985 which resulted in setting
up of development councils called Soliga Abhivrudhhi Sanghas
(SAS), to protect them from rapacious outsiders and resolving
disputes within the community. Their work is coordinated by the
Soliga Abhivrudhhi Maha Sangha, which helps the tribals in getting
back their land and ensure that the forest department employs only
Soligas in work to the plantations.
The individual podu sanghas are grouped into taluka sanghas. All
Soliga men and women are members of the sanghas. Efforts are
being made to include at least one woman in the committee. Local
problems are discussed and solutions worked out. Very often contact
meetings are organized along with officials to iron out contentious
issues. The Sangha, through its programmes, have sorted out issues
of alienation of tribal land by conducting systematic study and
collection of accurate facts and figures. This helped in educating
the people on the latest developmental programmes. It has been
successful in getting pensions, training and development
programmes, housing and agricultural projects and bank loans for
the people. After initiating the Community Development
Progammes at village, taluk, and at the district level, the exploitation
of the innocent locals by contractors and the forest department
stopped.

The sangha has co-ordinated with the Forest Department for the
sanction of tree patta (right to harvest the produce of certain trees),
irrigation, housing and drinking water schemes. By far, the most
important contribution of the sanghas has been the sustainable
management of minor forest produce by the people themselves.
Further, the Soligas systems such as their traditional Nyaya (Justice)
Tribal communities are a rich source of traditional knowledge. Initiatives that respect their knowledge while taking them through the process of development could be enriching to all the partners involved. Here is a case of a partnership which has been mutually enriching.
by: M. Jadegowda and M.N Ramesh
Soligas living in harmony with nature.
14 L E I S A I N D I A • S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 8
have been rejuvenated by the unity that the SAS has created. In
strengthening the community organization, street plays, Jathas or
community meetings, and festivals have been effectively employed.
The Soligas have evolved the strategy of the three Ps – Petitioning
the authorities; airing their grievances through the local Press and
finally, Picketing and mass demonstrations. The local community
is fighting effectively against the illegal granite quarrying and other
environmental issues.
Settled agriculture
Soligas were helped to adopt settled agriculture which they were
not following traditionally. Every effort was made to preserve their
traditional knowledge.
Mixed cropping system and multi-storied cropping systems are
followed. They maintain intraspecific (genetic) diversity among
the crop plants. In one case, they have grown eight varieties of
finger millet. The field crops grown are finger millet, maize, field
beans, pigeon pea, horsegram, beans, mustard, amaranthus, foxtail
millet and pearl millet. Vegetable crops include, cucumber,
pumpkin, tubers, perennial beans, etc. Most of the farmers grow
finger millet and maize as staple food. Pulses like pigeon pea and
field bean, oil seeds like mustard and castor, besides grain
amaranthus are grown as mixed crops in the field of maize and
finger millet. Several local varieties of these crops are grown without
applying chemical fertilizers. Some cultural operations like
mulching of crop residues, thinning, weeding etc., are carried out
by them. In different crop species such as ragi, maize banana etc.,
they cultivate more than 6-12 varieties on each piece of land.
Agricultural operations are associated with certain rituals of tribals
eg., Ragi Habba (Festival) which is associated with harvesting of
millets. Soligas have their own method of forecasting rain,
controlling diseases and pests, through their indigenous tribal
traditional agricultural calendar. This traditional calendar represents
the agricultural activities and rituals associated with the Soligas in
a calendar year. It also gives an insight into the comprehensive
traditional agronomic practices and rituals by the Soligas.
In order to preserve this wisdom, VGKK initiated a novel
programme known as organic village. This progamme is being
implemented by the assistance of State Department of Agriculture,
Karnataka. Presently, it is undertaken in 3 tribal villages of BR
Hills in an area of 100ha. The main objective of this venture is
preserving indigenous seed diversity, encouraging the use of ecofriendly
manures, conserving seed diversity through seed banks
and promoting soil conservation practices like live edge fencing.
Under this progamme, tribes are empowered through various
activities like compost making, vermi-composting, constructing and
maintaining farm ponds, seed fairs and seed campaigns. In addition
to this, all benefits from the line department are made available.
As part of this programme, women self help groups (SHGs) were
involved in seed storage. Many women have won prizes for the
excellent collection of local seeds. VGKK is starting a organic
selling center in the campus. Farmers are encouraged to supply
organically grown vegetables, fruits, reared chickens, honey, wild
edible products and food grains.
Totally 71 varieties of different crop seeds have been collected
from 97 farmers’ fields in different villages of the project area.
Training on importance of local seeds in agro diversity, and organic
farming is being given to farmers as well as to gram panchayath
members. Several seed fairs (Beeja mela) and seed campaigns
(Beeja yathre) have been conducted. Awareness programme on seed
multiplication, seed mapping, seed storage technology and
documentation and inventory of different practices are the other
components of the project.
Biodiversity conservation and sustainable harvesting of minor
forest products
The local people have been living here for centuries and more than
50% of their income is derived from the collection of Non Timber
Forest Products (NTFPs). In order to conserve the rich bio-wealth
of this area, the tribal people were given training in Participatory
Resource Monitoring (PRM). They have learnt methods for
mapping the resources, estimating productivity, quantifying the
extraction and evaluating the extent of regeneration. The Soligas
are very selective and systematic about their indigenous way of
collecting products like lichen, amla honey, fruits and fibers. Neither
it is random nor exploitative. Fruits and berries are harvested only
from trees which flower profusely and when very ripe. Raw fruits
are not collected. This method leaves enough fruits behind for birds,
small animals and insects which depend on them. They harvest
29% of fruits of one variety each year and 60% of fruits of another
variety of goose berry. The percentage of overall collection of fruits
does not seem to have a negative impact on the natural regeneration
of fruit trees, a measure of sustainability in extraction.
Conclusion
In more than two decades of its association with soliga tribes,
VGKK opines that it is not just the Soligas who have been
empowered in the process. VGKK had also imbibed many of the
strengths of Soligas in building their organization. It was a
partnership based on mutual learning.

M. Jadegowda
Assistant Professor,
College of Forestry, Ponnampet.
email: mjadegowda@gmail.com
M.N. Ramesh
Assistant Professor,
University of Agricultural Sciences,
Bangalore – 571216, Karnataka.
References
Jadegowda, M., 2000, Effect of Farmyard Manure on Maize and
fingermillet Based intercropping system in BRHills. M.Sc.Thesis,
University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore.
Ramesh, B.R., 1989, Evergreen forests Biligiriranagan hills
(Ecology,Structure and floristic compostion). Ph.D. Theses, University
of Madras.
Sharmila Rudrappa, 1993, Land use changes in the B.R. Hills. M.Sc.
thesis, University of Wisconsin, USA.
Sudarshan, H., 1998, Traditonal Medicine and health care system of
Soligas: in Biligiri Ranga Swamy Wild Life Sanctuary, Natural History,
Biodiversity and Conservation (K.N. Ganeshaiash and R. Uma Shaanker
eds.), Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra, Chamarajanagar,
pp. 17-19.
Veena, N., Prashant N.S.and Vasuki, B.K.2006. Our Forest and Our
Lives.Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra, BRHills.

Modi Mollifying Muslims?

25 Feb. Is the lust for power -more specifically the temptation of becoming Prime Minister of India- forcing anti-minority Narendra Modi  to fool himself ? It might. But it will not fool the Muslims who can never forget the genocide of 2002 in Gujarat. Niether can any person who respects the Constitution of India. Nor any truth-and-justice-seeker. 

http://mangalorean.com/news.php?newstype=broadcast&broadcastid=114161

Blood of over two thousand (according to some estimates over five thousand) innocent Muslims is still crying out for justice and truth to prevail and justice to catch up with Modi & his bjp. 

Election gimmicks! They will not pay – niether in Gujarat, nor in Karnataka, Orissa or elsewhere.

Bajrang Dal in College, Officially!

26 Feb. Moral brigade and the self-styled cultural police is still on the prowl. Latest is the notices of the bajrang dal i n University College near Hampankatte! baj3

You can see hand-outs of bajrang dal pinned on (INSIDE) the LOCKED notice board in the college funded by public money. That too an educational institution. How fair is this? How did the college authorities permit this? Without the express permission of the authorities,these outsiders could not have OPENED the lock of the notice board inside the college building! 

Are the authoritie -district in-charge minister, principal, and the University- which were  eager to serve notice to Prof. Pattabhiram Somayyaji for defendng the Constitution of  India, willing to assess themselves and theoutside- miscrants who communalise educaiton against the backdrop of the same Constitution of India?

If not, would V.S. Acharya (home minister), Limbavali (minister of highr education,  Kageri (primary education minister – who was quick to serve notice to minority institutions for legitimately closing their institutions on 28th Aug. ’08), and Yeddyurappa – the chief minister enforce the law?

In the meantime, there is news that the same miscreant brigade has gone on attack near Balmatta, this evening.

Communalism is thriving in Karnataka, specially in coastal Karnataka. Yeddyurappa and his band of wo/men is desperately trying to make Karnataka “another Gujarat”! 

Unfortunate!

Indian Christians Afraid Again After New Slaying

BHUBANESWAR, India, FEB. 24, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The slaying of another Christian in the Eastern Indian state of Orissa has rekindled fears among a population driven from their homes by a wave of persecution at the hands of Hindu extremists.

Hrudyananda Nayak, 45, was found dead last Thursday, showing signs of a violent end to his life, Aid to the Church in Need reported.

Ongoing Hindu-Christian tensions in India flared into a wave of violence at the end of last August, after extremists blamed the slaying of a Hindu leader on Christians. Dozens of Christians, including a priest, were killed and thousands fled their homes.

More than 10,000 of those same Christians are still living in displacement camps. According to Father Madan Singh, spokesman for Archbishop Raphael Cheenath of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, “People from relief camps have been slowly returning to their villages. But after this incident, the fear has been doubled, movement has been controlled, suspicion has increased.”

Rudangia, a mainly Christian village about 161 miles (260 kilometers) from the state capital Bhubaneswar, bore the brunt of the violence that erupted in the region during Christmas 2007 and again last August.

According to Aid to the Church in Need, latest reports state 80 people were killed as extremists went on the rampage in nearly 300 villages with destruction to some 6,000 homes and about 300 churches.

OFFICIAL STOPS TEMPLE CONSTRUCTION AT CHURCH SITE

BHUBANESWAR, India  — Catholics in Orissa say they are relieved after a top government official stopped the construction of a temple on the premises of a Catholic church that was destroyed by Hindu extremists.

However, they say they want the government to do more for the safety of Christians in the strife-torn eastern Indian state.

Kishan Kumar, collector of Kandhamal district, visited Betticola village after Church groups complained that Hindus were building a temple on the grounds of a local Catholic mission.

Catholics in the state capital Bhubaneswar said the district’s highest government official had stopped construction work at the site. These were only three meters away from the demolished church building, part of the Church mission under Cuttack-Bhubaneswar archdiocese.

Archbishop Raphael Cheenath of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar commended the collector’s action as a positive step.

“But that is not enough,” the Divine Word prelate added, noting that Christians continue to stay in relief camps while their attackers move around freely. “None of them have been arrested so far. So the crime continues,” he declared.

Betticola parish priest Father Praful Sabhapati said he was happy the collector had acted justly. “However, tension remains in the village and Christians cannot go back to their homes.”

He said all 56 Christian families fled the village soon after anti-Christian violence erupted in the district on Aug. 24, 2008, a day after Maoists killed a Hindu religious leader. The Hindu radicals had blamed Christians for the murder, a charge that Christians denied.

The Betticola church was completely razed to the ground during the violence.

Father Mrutyunjay Digal, the archdiocese’s treasurer originally from Betticola, said he felt relieved after the collector’s move. “I was really worried for my village people who remain in relief camps,” he stated, adding that “I hope and pray that people will return to the village.”

He explained that Christians would have feared returning even more if the temple had been erected.

Father Digal said if the collector had not acted, Hindus in other Christian villages would have been emboldened to build their temples on Church land.

Parish head catechist Teleswar Digal, who is presently staying in a relief camp, said the villagers had written many petitions to the administration to stop the temple construction. “They have taken some action and we are happy,” he stated.

Christians in Orissa, mostly tribal people and farm workers in remote villages, comprise 2.1 percent of the 31 million people in the coastal state.

Source: UCANews

Slumdog Millionaire the Oscar Millionaire

23 Feb. On the Shivarathri day, it was Oscar bounty for Danny Boyle & his team. Moreso, A.R. Rehman and Resul Pookutty. 

For the first time an Indian came up with TWO Oscars. And Indians with total three Oscars. 

A lot has been written about Slumdog. Both positive and negative.

I personally, was not too much impressed by that. The movie itself is not bad. I found there is a three-layer narrative taking place. 

No problems with showing poverty. The fac that poverty exists is beyond doubt. We just don’t want to be honest about our realities. Just want to bluff the world by denial. But that does not change our realities.

After all, poverty is not glorified. It is portrayed. But there is hope too. 

But I did not think of it as deserving Oscars… may be it helps to capture Indian market … Indian audiences.. 

Greater films than that, greater music scores than that… greater directors than that have been ignored for decades on…

Short films need not be commercially viable: expert

Short films need not be commercially viable: expert

(Staff Correspondent ) 

The three-day film festival ‘Human Rights in Frame’ ends

 

Concern over absence of film societies in Mangalore 

 

— Photo: R. Eswarraj 

 
LEARNING: Students of Mass Communication and Journalism watching a film at the ‘Human Rights in Frame’, a film festival organised at St. Aloysius College in Mangalore on Sunday.

MANGALORE: The first international film festival “Human Rights in Frame”, which witnessed long discussions after every film screened at the St. Aloysius College, came to an end on Sunday.

The film festival had been organised by the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism of St. Aloysius College, Mangalore, in association with Bangalore Film Society, and the Delhi-based Human Rights organisation, Breakthrough.

The valedictory function coincided with the “Shooting-Stars”, a national-level students’ film competition, which was presided over by theatre and cinema artiste Sadanand Suvarna.

Mr. Suvarna said that the absence of film societies in Dakshina Kannada was a cause of concern.

However, the initiative taken by the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism of St. Aloysius College in organising the film festival was laudable. It aimed at creating a good taste for good films, he added.

Handing over the prizes of the “Shooting-Stars” to Abrar Khan of Mysore University and the Panduranga Kini Memorial Prize for the best film in Konkani to Arron Menezes and Anthony Lobo, Mr. Suvarna said that the students films were promising.

The students should work towards achieving a hold on the “language of cinema”. The short films should not think of achieving commercial success as they did not require huge investment, he said.

Richard Rego, Head of the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism of the college, said that the disturbed condition of Mangalore warranted that the youth here be woken up and sensitised to the issues of the world.

Hence, the film festival on Human Rights was oerganised, he said.

Films such as Morality TV, Loving Jehad, and Operation Majnu prompted long discussions among the audience. The discussion touched upon the recent pub attack and the attack on couples. Some students said that the films were realistic and educative. The situations in some of the films were similar to the ones around us, they said. Georgekutty, editor of a periodical Deep Focus, in consultation with the students of mass communication of the institute, had chosen the films for the programme.

The festival was inaugurated by activist Pattabhiram Somayaji on Friday.

http://www.hindu.com/2009/02/23/stories/2009022358350300.htm

SHOOTING STAR ’09 – Valedictory

s722 Feb. (from our student reporters)  The “Human Rights in Frames” film festival on its third and final day screened the movies of different varieties. The first film,  I Want To Become A Pilot  is a 12-minute movie. The film portrayed the life of a twelve-year-old boy, Omondi who was HIV positive. The film ended with a note of Nelson Mandela. With the intention of screening more movies.ss2

 Mr. George Kutti moved to next film,” China- The Women’s Kingdom.  It depicted the matriarchal system prevailed in some villages of China. The movie “La- Americana” was also screened. ss3The last movie of the film festival was “Iron eaters” by Shaheen Dill-Riaz. The movie depicts the systematic exploitation of farmers of North Bangladesh.

The Shooting Stars-09  made appearance after  the Film Festival on Human Rights. The shooting star is a platform for amateur and aspiring student filmmakers to express  their creativity through short films. In all, there were 19 films produced by the students of various college across India.ss4

The first independent jury, consisting Mr. Vivek Kannadi,  lecturer of mass communication at St Aloysius College,  and Dr. Mahalinga Bhatt, lecturer in Kannada, St Aloysius Evening College, shortlisted  10 films for the finals.

The second jury members Mr. Abhaya Sinha, filmmaker, Mr Samvartha ‘Sahil’ – film buff and journalist with The Hindu,  and Mr. Iswar Santhos,  associate film director of Jayaraj selected the winners.  ss5

The films that did not enter the final round,  were shown to the audience in the morning, after the Human Rights films. The afternoon session was the most thrilling event of the day; the top ten movies were screened and the awaited results were announced. The top ten movies were Uunheard Voices, Yawn to Dawn, SIM, Action Reaction, Slum Dreams, Udakachi Shel (Konkani – Water), My Name c..c…c…Coin, Saliva forSswing – Unhygienic?, Nishabd – A Silent Screem, and The Meek.  Each short film portrayed different ideas. Some of them were documentaries.ss

Rev. Swebert D’Silva, the principal of St.Aloysius College was present during the screening. After the screening the chief guest, Mr. Sadanda Suvarna, a well-known personality in the field of theatre and cinema, was escorted by Rev. Richard Rego to the dias. Sofia, a student of M.S. Communication welcomed the gathering. Krithika, another student of M.S. Communication  introduced the chief guest, who  has directed many plays and has received many prizes and awards. His film, “Kubhi and Iyala” is the only Kannada film nominated under Indian Panorama in International Film Festival in 1990. He congratulated the students for organizing such programme. He said that the film societies -which played an important part in cultivating good cinema taste and cinema, are diminishing. He stressed that the bollywood films were considered as national and ‘other language’ films were considered as “regional films.”

“I won’t say that those are very good films but are good ideas,” said Suvarna about the short films. He pointed out that those films lacked in techniques and sound.

The chief guest gave the participants of the shooting stars certificates. Then Rev. Richard Rego, HOD M.S. Communication  announced the results.  Ms. Anita Shenoy, a lawyer, was the sponsor of the award. There were two categories- best movie and the best Konkani movie. “Saliva For Swing- Unhygienic” by Abhral Khan, former student and presently a mass communication in Mysore won the best movie award with the cash prize. The best Konkani movie was “Udakachi Shel” a movie by Arron and Antony. With Sajna’s vote of thanks, the ceremony got over.