Monthly Archives: April 2009

SSLC Results Announced

1 May. Results of SSLC examinations held in March-April 2009 have announced on the internet today. The Karnataka Secondary Education Board announced the results this morning.

As usual, girls (73.8%) have outscored boys (67%)! That makes an overall pass percentage of 70.22. Another trend continues too: Udupi (formerly part of Dakshina Kannada district) top scores with 86.39% while Bidar also retains its earlier position at the bottom (though, in the first two years -i.e. last two consecutive years- of changing the examination format, it leap-frogged!) with 41%.

You can see your results on the following sites:

To know your results by BSNL phone, dial: 1250112; 080-1255225; 1250112.

Want to know through mobile: 12506; 1250112

SMSChallticketnumber to 55352; 57777

Schools will display results on 02 May 2009.


Workers’ Day

1 May. A new month has dawned. It begins with Workers’ Day or May Day. On this day, we acknowledge the contribution of workers to our society and to each one of us.

All of us are workers, in some place or the other. Hence, it is all of our day. But more so, those who are formally workers in some company, firm, farm, working place… those deprived of their social status and dignity because of their economic status and the type of job they do. Those unorganised sectors. It is their day. While they get paid meagre wages for their all important jobs, their role and contribution is easily forgotten. On this day, we stress on this aspect – their dignity and contribution. Not just their dignity, but dignity of labour itself. Every job is important and has its dignity.

Here is wishing that every individual is recognised for her/ his dignity, and that all of us appreciate all works as works  and not categoriese and distinguish them based on the salaries they get!

Mangalore Elections Over

30 Apr. Karnataka’s second phase of elections to the the Parliament are over. Mangalore -which was little known until recently- was the cynosure of all eye! Though for the wrong reasons.Thanks to the BJP and its mischievous outfits.

Mangalore, probably, witnessed the highest voter turn out in the country in these elections, so far! Roughly 72%. Though not the best figures for a responsible democracy, quite flattering figures! Thanks once again to the misrule of BJP, and the hooliganism of some of the anti social outfits associated with the sangh parivar – minorities, dalits, tribals, women, and those interested in secularism, liberty, human rights, and civil society came out in big numbers to vote.

Now you know why the local (former) MP Mr Sadananda Gowda, ran away from Mangalore to Udupi to contest this election!

Today’s voting saw serpentine queues in front of voting booths – already by 6.30 am, people were queued up in front the booths – to vote after 7am! That is the show of conviction and zeal for democracy!

Elsewhere, specially in Mumbai, the extremely low voter turn was very disappointing! Do they need a jolt, too?

Results 2009: Karnataka SSLC & PUC

30 Apr. Here is the good news for those who have been anxiously waiting for it – definite news about the results of Karnataka SSLC results of exams held in March-April and PUC (Pre University College).

Through reliable sources it is understood that Karnataka SSLC results will be out on 02 May – both on the net and on school notice boards. (Actually, the schools will get the results on 01 May evening;  but will be displayed on 2nd May – Saturday).

Similarly, Karnataka PUC results will be declared on 079 May 2009. In fact, they will be sent to the colleges on 06 May, but will be displayed on 07 May.

Correction: Earlier it was said that the PUC results would be on 7th. But according to the recent news release, it would be on 9th on the Net, and on 10th in school/ colleges. – 6 May 2009

Press Association Collaborates with SAC MCMS Dept

29 Apr. Press Association (PA), a leading news agency from the United Kingdom has come forward to collaborate with the post graduate department of mass communication (MCMS – Master of Communication and Media Studies) at St Aloysius College (Autonomous).

"This is Mr Garreth Murray," introduces and welcomes Yours Truly the Operations Manager of Press Association... and a hearty welcome to you... again and again...of course
"This is Mr Garreth Murray," introduces and welcomes Yours Truly, the Operations Manager of Press Association... and a hearty welcome to you... again and again...of course

Mr Garreth Murray, Operations Manager of PA, visited the MCMS Department (formerly called M.S. Communication) and had a long, detailed and frank interaction with the students in the presence of the faculty.

Mr Garreth Murray surrounded by curious and eager students of Mass Communication at St Aloysius College.
Mr Garreth Murray surrounded by curious and eager students of Mass Communication at St Aloysius College.

Mr Murray, presently in charge of operations of the PA in Mangalore, had already visited the College and the MCMS Department last month. During his short visit to the Dept, he had expressed his desire to collaborate closely with the Department.

The idea was born with Mr Allan, the former Manager (operations) showing keen interest in this matter. Mr Vinod Lobo, group manager, had taken the initiative to invite the Head of the Dept Dr Richard Rego SJ for an exchange of ideas in October 2008. But after the sudden transfer of Mr Allan, the plans were delayed, till Mr Murray came to visit the beautifully painted chapel of the College. Once again Mr Vinod was his guide.

When Mr John Thomas visited the College to give a few guest lectures to the students of Mass Communication (MCMS), Mr Spencer, the CEO was in town. Since he expressed his desire to see Mr John Thomas, the latter took the H.o.D. of Mass Communication Dept to introduce to the PA once again. It was here, that a concrete shape to this idea was given in the presence of Mr Spencer and his deputy in Mr Garreth Murray.

Our friend Mr Murray - the quiet and friendly Operations Manager, PA.
Our friend Mr Murray - the quiet and friendly Operations Manager, PA.

Today (30 April) Mr Murray made a presentation on the Press Association and its various activities, its scope and its reach. The students were enthused to see a large media house in operation next door. And their modus operandi seems to have gone down well with the post graduate students of mass media/ mass communication.

In this context, I must acknowledge the down-to-earth thinking of Mr John Thomas: if the local lot can collaborate with PA and help it make a good media house, why depend on outside crowd which has its own limitations? It would benefit the local, local educational institution, build better rapport, and of course, benefit the PA in more than one way!

I hope, this becomes a new and happy beginning to last a very long time.

Our MCMS Students with NDTV

28 Apr. It was a lot of excitement to our post graduate students of Master in Communication & Media Studies (MCMS). Maya Sharma of NDTV visited the College to get a feel of election-bound Mangalore. She met our students and was happy. Our students got a chance to interact with

Maya and her cameraman from NDTV.

Thank you Maya, and Good bye…. See you some other day!!!

The OB Van of NDTV located beside the Auditorium
The NDTV's OB Van located beside the Auditorium


NDTV Cameraman - catching the fleeting moments! (In the above picture the TV Correspondent is seen with the MCMS (mass communication) PG students are seen in the backdrop of St Aloysius College.
NDTV Cameraman - catching the fleeting moments! {In the right-above picture, the TV Correspondent is seen with the MCMS (mass communication) PG students, in the backdrop of St Aloysius College.}
You young voter, what do you say? Attacks on churches, valentines day celebration (moral policing), attack on women in a pub, etc... are these issues in this elections?
You young voter, what do you say? Attacks on churches, valentines day celebration (moral policing), attack on women in a pub, etc... are these issues in this elections?
The vocal and knotty... but when it comes to issues, no mincing words
The vocal and knotty... but when it comes to issues, no mincing words
Here is the voice speaking from wilderness... thanks to the moral policing of bajrang dal and sri ram sene who gave the unwanted publicity to the quiet town of Mangalore.... reoporting from Mangalore....
Here is the voice speaking from wilderness... thanks to the moral policing of bajrang dal and sri ram sene who gave the unwanted publicity to the quiet town of Mangalore.... reoporting from Mangalore....
After all that the ladies have spoken, let me have my say too!!! Antony the active one has his own opinions and he means business, too!
After all that the ladies have spoken, let me have my say too!!! Antony the active one has his own opinions and he means business, too!
And signing off Mangalore St Aloysius College - Dept of Mass Communication (MCMS)... boarded on the OB van of NDTV... to the satellite and to the entire nation
And signing off Mangalore St Aloysius College - Dept of Mass Communication (MCMS)... boarded on the OB van of NDTV... to the satellite and to the entire nation
Oooooops! one sec... get that moment please... camera man could not afford that moment
Oooooops! one sec... get that moment please... camera man could not afford to miss that moment

Elected Reflect the Electorate

Elected Reflect The Electorate

Dr Richard Rego

How mean can an election get is answered by the present election campaign. Actually it is not the elections; it is the politicians who make it so mean, petty and base. What was visualized as an exercise in people’s participation in self-governance (democracy) has been turned into a mockery of people themselves.

Electors’ mockery comes from none other than the elected or to-be-elected themselves. In a sentimental country like India, where everything other than progress, development, prosperity, peace, and justice matter to people in a campaign, leaders play with the electors’ weakness with chanakya-n flair.

Who is an apt candidate to lead our country? Who could make a good leader? Criminals? Thugs? The corrupt? Communalists? If the present scenario is any indication, you are likely to have some more of them in this election, in this parliament. It is rare to find a clean (Mr Clean or Ms Clean) leader in our polity today; someone with nation’s real interests, someone with a genuine heart for people and their concerns; someone with a vision of uniting the country for peace and prosperity.

Just consider this: we elect someone with 30-plus criminal cases to Lok Sabha (LS); he boasts of them as ‘certificates’ to his credit. And in this election campaign, this ‘criminal certificates-holder’ challenges the electorate that he needs no minority votes, he can go to LS with Hindu votes, alone! And dares the Election Commission (EC) that this will only be one-more case to the 30-plus criminal cases already filed against him! Do we need such arrogant and communal leaders? This is insult not just to the shameless speaker, but to the esteemed electorate.

And then you have all those who have amassed huge wealth at the cost of the electorate, even as the electorate languishes in utter poverty. Look at the statistics of the declared assets of our leaders ( Where did they get 10,20,30,40, even hundreds of crores of rupees of wealth? Did they earn this wealth by the sweat of their brow? But how? And nobody –no elector- questioned them. Politicians from every party: Congress, BJP, JD, Communists, NCP, BJD, DMK, and all others… If one has to name corrupt politicians, you need to mention almost everybody!The voting hand needs to be protected - not cut off!!!

The worst tragedy of these elections has been their communal nature. Forget the tragedy surrounding Varun’s ‘chop off hands’, Laloo’s ‘roll the road roller’, and Renukacharya’s ‘chop off heads!’ remarks. These are not just cruel remarks; they are uncivilized; humiliating to those who elect them with all the good faith.

The communal nature of elections and Indian polity is glaringly reflected in the Prime Ministerial-candidate-projection. It began with L K Advani being projected as BJP’s candidate to the most coveted post in the country. That was Advani’s lifelong dream, which may never be fulfilled. The electorate knows it; the BJP knows it very well, too. But the irony is the very thought of Advani occupying such a high-profile and “responsible” chair, if you may call it! How can a such an irresponsible man who opened up the floodgates of violence in post-independence India, occupy such a responsible chair? A man who divided the Indian society along religious lines (1992), started communal tensions among every group of people, causing the death of thousands of people and heralding Indian civilization’s downfall, be a Prime Minister? That he was the Home Minister, was another misfortune! Gujarat pogrom under such a communal man & Vajapayee’s regime was no surprise, shocking though.

In the meantime, Arun Shourie has set the cat among pigeons by proclaiming Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister in waiting (though everybody knew of his dirty ambitions and histrionics); to fool the people, they suffix their dreams “after Advani!” Time and again, Modi has evoked communal card, Gujarat man-slaughter (2002) being the worst of them. Another Arun (Jaitley) has trumpeted the same call – strengthening Modi’s ambitions. A man responsible for the massacre of thousands of innocent Muslims can never make a Prime Minister! The man who is involved in almost every form of terrorizing people who are not convenient to him is a disgrace to any democracy. Definitely, to a civil society. Longing and pining to visit the United States and other European countries is Modi’s way of getting legitimacy to his dirty dreams. Is the BJP so bankrupt for people of character to project as Prime Minister-in-waiting?

It is not who becomes the Prime Minister of a country or the Chief Minister of a state. But it is what is the character of your candidate, if at all one has one! The one whom you elect represents your psyche. Probably, for a moment, human psyche is numbed by the fear factor (as in the case of Gujarat politics post-pogrom 2002). But continuing to elect communal, cruel, and corrupt leaders is a blot the face of democracy.

Modi: Ready to Die for Gujarat

28 Apr. Are you tired of the grim election campaign? Of the mud slinging? of “chop off” culture? of the corrupt and the communalists? Here is something for you to cheer up!

And who else could it come from? None other than Narendra Modi – the high priest of Gujarat mayhem.

Seven years after he let loose his thugs in Gujarat on the innocent Muslims, the law seems to be catching up with him. And finally. The Supreme Court of India, upon the prayer of Ehsan Jafri’s (former Lok Sabha MP – who was burnt alive in his Gulbarg Society) relict, has directed the Special Investigative Team to probe the role of Modi in this tragic episode.

Any man with any conscience, would resign immediately and surrender to the Apex Court . But not Modi. It would be wishful thinking to expect it after the man himself planned, encouraged, and executed (with the help of the state machinary and his band of thugs – the VHP) the massacre of nearly two thousand Muslims in post Godhra riots,, 2002.

Well, the joking representative of Gujarat says he is ready to die for the people! That is the best joke I have ever heard! The man who presided over the pogrom -numbing democracy in the state to come to power- is ready to die for the state! Joke of the century!

A person overheard someone asking – die or kill?

Shoe Scandals In Election Campaign

28 Apr. What began as a show of contempt for a much-disliked politician in Turkey, is continuing unabated. The shoe-attack at politicians has been doing the rounds, of late, and it does not make one feel any  comfortable, at all.

Mr George W.Bush, the former President of America was the first one in recent history to face a contemptuous act like this. A Turk, peeved at the dictatorial, big-brother-like attitude of the then-President, threw a shoe at Mr Bush. Mr Bush, in his usual humour, wished it away.

Many rejoiced at this. Probably, it was a sort of catharsis. But I was unhappy, and expressed my displeasure in this blog. The reason: no matter what your grievance is, you cannot take law into your hands. Much less treat a President of a nation (whether USA or Somalia) like that. It is not Mr Bush or somebody else; it is the nation!

Then came the turn of our own beloved politicians. The much respected Mr Chidambaram (Home Minister of India) faced the shoe attack from a “responsible” journalist. Well, I believe, he does not deserve to be called a journalist at all; if he does not know  his duty and his limits, he should call himself ‘unpad‘ – illiterate. No matter what his grievance!

Navin Jindal – Congress leader was the next victim of this ‘shoe-attention-seeker’. Condemnable.

BJP’s perpetual Prime Minister-in-waiting Mr L.K.Advani had his chance too. Contemptuous. The misled boy, Hiten from  Ahmedabad, said he wanted the five-minute glory by throwing footwear at the VIPs. Contemptuous.

Today it is Mr B.S. Yeddyurappa, Chief Minister of Karnataka. While campaigning in Channarayapattana (Hassan), the CM faced the shoe attack from a drunkard  ‘vagabond’. Whoever it is. It is unpardonable.

I have no respect either for Mr Advani or for Yeddyurappa – both are power hungry, immoral, unprincipled, and highly communal. They have pushed the nation and state to violent ways, and to mistrust between communities. But that does not help the cause of miscreants; I am peeved at the way people treat political leaders. They are  not just politicians; they are elected representatives. Hence, need to be respected. (Basic of all is human respect irrespective of their socio-political position). I condemn this sort of cheap-publicity-mongering.

In most of these cases, the leaders have shown their ‘forgiving’  magnanimity by letting the culprits go (except Yeddyurappa, who said the ‘vagabond’ be placed under six month judicial custody!). On the forgiving-politicians’ part, its’ fine. Our PM Dr Singh even asked the police not to book a case against the offender.

Forgiveness does not mean that they should not be held responsible. They should be. The leaders have done their human-duty. Now let the police/ law do theirs. Only when the culprits are held responsible, such elements can be contained – even from pranksters.

Another aspect needs to be looked into: Is there a pattern in such episodes? A VIP. Election rally. someone close to the ‘vip’ area throws a footwear. The footwear misses the VVIP, everytime! Pardon the culprit = No punishment! The pattern seems to be obvious. A good inquiry would be in public welbeing.

Cartooning on the Decline: A Lecture

27 Apr. Here is a lecture given by Mr John Thomas, a friend of mine and a visiting lecturer, on the state of cartoons. In fact, when he was at St Aloysius College Mangalore to give a few lectures on Feature Writing to our students of Master of Communication and Media Studies (MCMS), recently, he touched upon this aspect: fall of a cartoonist and journalists’ role in it.  I am very happy that he was generous to share the full lecture with us.

John Thomas, who has worked in the The Statesman, Deccan Herald and Vijay Times, holding various top-level posts in a career spanning more than 30 years, and who went on to teach in journalism schools, speaks on the decline of cartooning at the Indian Institute of Cartoonists, Bangalore. Currently, he teaches journalism students in Garden City College, Bangalore. The exhibition was held by Gireesh Vengara.

Cartooning in decline

Respected ladies and gentlemen of art and art lovers and fellow dignitaries called to do the honours, need I say what a privilege it is for to be in your midst. To be invited to be chief guest at the opening of Gireesh Vengara’s first exhibition of his works at the place for the art of cartooning in our state is a matter of pride, as I can claim I walked him through the doors to Vijay Times where he did his stint in English newspaper cartooning, just like I did the late Maya Kamath a decade earlier to Deccan Herald. But that joy is also tinged with a sense of sorrow, in that he is not cartooning in another English daily. (of course Vijay Times itself is no more). Irony, like satire and sarcasm, is integral to cartooning. It is the irony about the profession itself that I wish to submit for your thought on this occasion when we celebrate the achievements of Gireesh. I do that with the pain of a journalist who grew up watching and adoring cartoonists and one who rose to be in a position to have a say in what got printed in three publications — the Deccan Herald, The Statesman and Vijay Times — in the last two decades of my working life. I dare say that journalists have been the destroyers of the cartoonist and cartooning. Time was, when the cartoonist was a revered member of the editorial team of newspapers. Every self-respecting newspaper had larger-than-life cartoonists whose works adorned the front pages in three and even four column sizes, two or three times a week, in addition to the pocket cartoons on page one. The cartoon was an editorial in the graphic form — while the pundits in the papers wrote miles of text to say the same thing. The cartoonist was a journalist, regarded one of us, nay.. in a way, one above us. In my younger years, a cartoonist was an Assistant Editor by rank and occupied a cabin just like the other assistant editors who wrote editorials and those ponderous articles. Under the Working Journalists’ Act, the cartoonist was a working journalist and no less. What is the situation today? How many cartoonists can we now count in the field of journalism after the turn of the century? The Shankars of this world were respected by the doyens of our polity in an Independent India. From that pantheon of giants — it feels like a generation ago — perhaps just a Lakshman and Dhar survive. Why have we not seen the ascendance of a worthy second or third generation? It is not as if our country ran out of talent or that we suffered a talent drain to the West or to the Gulf, when the last two or three decades has been marked by the growth in the number of artists, the phenomenal growth in the business of art and acknowledgement and support to training institutions, however inadequate that may seem. The fact is, art and artists have indeed grown. The print media has also grown and editors and managements became even more art conscious as reflected in the design, layout and production quality. What we see in the scenario is: cartooning has made way for illustrations and graphics in all the print publications. Illustrators who readily gave up the palette and brush for the computer to create images in Photoshop, Corel Draw and Paint began to populate the field as cartoonists retired and cartooning as we once knew it gasped and died. Let me come to my thesis of why I think journalists are responsible for this slow assassination of a respected cerebral art form. As I mentioned earlier, a newspaper cartoonist of yesteryear was a journalist. He was one of us with our intellectual arrogance. He was accepted as a journalist who could draw his thoughts and, as such, someone we regarded an equal, but privately held in awe. They were educated like us, could think like us and write like us. They were people like us. They were thinkers in their own right whom we could not order around. Over the years, with the interest in design and colour increasing, the journalists (they after all are the ones who make executive decisions in editorial matters) began to hire artists who could draw to order. They were not taken on the same level as a journalist. They were part of the art or design department. The journalists got used to asking them for illustrations and soon, the journalists became the thinkers who gave the script and told them to draw on order — just the reverse of what the cerebral cartoonists of yesteryear did. Why? Because they were fancifully called editorial artists. And not people like us. They were often from the art schools and fell victim to the class bias — of how we treat artisans in society. So, with journalists asserting their exclusive right to be the editorial thinkers and script writers, cartooning was reduced to what we can only call comics or illustrations. Dubyamanbecame the example of the evolution — script by the journalist (Jug Suraiya) and drawing by the artist (Neelabh Banerjee). This is less so in language journalism because there, unlike in English, the artist is more comfortable with the idiom of thought, the metaphors, the phrases and the allegories. The language of thought and thereby of business of the publication did indeed cause a class distinction. How does this situation change? I remember the opening of this Cartoonists’ Gallery — created by a private vision and finance to encourage cartoonists by holding exhibitions, like what we are inaugurating now, to give them exposure and to hold workshops and interactive sessions to improve their professional standing. What I would plead is, do not give up honouring cartoonists already in business. But actively create cartoonists who are more than artists to restore to the gifted artist the glory of what cerebral cartooning is. Identify those in journalism courses who have the gift of drawing and develop their skills. Cartoon: E P Unny, The Indian Express