Right from childhood, stories that had their foundation in magic and ‘chamatkars’ always appealed to me. I must have watched 10s of combinations of stories like – Ramu’s son is ill and no doctor is able to cure him; Ramu goes to a godman who whips up a magical powder; Ramu applies the powder on his son’s forehead and the kid is magically cured. As a child, I remember being in awe of the godman and thinking, “Wow! This man is amazing!”. Friends readily contributed their own stories of how the godman was indeed magical.
Article touches on movies, regional languages, Hindi and English. Published as part of my column for the Maharashtra Herald that’s published on alternate Saturdays.
I am no movie buff or expert, but I do like to stay in touch with what’s happening in the movies and the changing mannerisms of moviewalas. Only a few years back it seemed like Indian movies would gradually lose out to English movies partly because of the spread of English education but primarily because Indian movies lacked innovation. They were beating the same stories to death. I was certain that Hindi movies were in big trouble once English movies dubbed in Hindi started being screened.
Have you been watching the India – England cricket matches on DD or on Sahara One? It doesn’t really matter as both channels are doing a pathetic job. Almost every over you miss the first ball as you are still viewing an ad while poor Pathan or Harbhajan is bowling his heart out to try and entertain you.
The last ball is actually even funnier as the batsman hits the ball to a fielder and as soon as the fielder touches the ball and it seems like there’s no run, you get an ad. So if there’s a runout or an overthrow happening in the background, the channel doesn’t think it’s that important for you to watch it live.
It’s painful that the channels are getting away with this and holding the nation to ransom. Cricket being the only popular sport in India, millions of Indians have no choice but to bear the torture.
Isn’t it part of the BCCI’s job to ensure that the channels stick to certain telcast standards? The administrators of the richest cricket board in the world are so busy with petty politics, grabbing power and ad money that they have no time for the game or its fans.
Cricket fans just don’t matter in India. Pack them into a stadium like a can of sardines with no water, no food, no shade and they will still pay to get to the stadium. Provide pathetic coverage on TV and the fans will accept it.
I had written about this to every Doordarshan admin email id I could find on the net and cced it to IndianTelevision.com. Of course no one ever replied.
Recently Zee grabbed the rights to some future cricket series. That’s just more bad news. As apart from ESPN-Star with Harsha Bhogle, Sunil Gavaskar… the other channels are just plain incompetent when it comes to broadcasting cricket matches.
So what I hope this blog will do is that you the reader will also bombard the channels with mails / phone / fax whatever and let them know that you are displeased. Below is a list of email and phone numbers that you can use. I have already written to most of the emails stated below. Don’t expect a reply but in all probability your mail will at least be read. Or just call the channel office.
** Indian Television Dot Com Pvt.Ltd.
317/318/319, Kuber Complex, Opp. Laxmi Ind. Estate, New Link Road, Andheri(W), Mumbai-53, India.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
Telephone: 91-22-26730660, 26730659, 26740642, 26740643
** Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
** Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI)
Apparently they do not have an official website. Crazy but true. The politician infested body doesn’t have the time to create a useful website for the public.
** STAR TV INDIA
1st Floor, Central Wing, Thapar House
124 Janpath, New Delhi 110001, India
Tel: (91 11) 5249 4900
Fax: (91 11) 5104 9490
** ZEE Sports
Zee Sports Limited
Continental Bldg, 135, Dr. Annie Besant Road,
Worli Mumbai 400 018 INDIA
Tel: (+91 22) 5697 1234
Zee Sports Limited
FC 18, Sector 16 A Film City
NOIDA UP 201 301 INDIA
Tel: (+91 120) 248 8101
FAX: (+91 120) 248 8110
Download an Excel Sheet from http://www.ddindia.gov.in/Information/Contact+Us and you will get phone numbers and eail addresses to all DD centers across India. Note that their multiple sheets in the Excel file.
Every TV channel in India is today encouraging viewers to SMS to participate in polls, contests, shows and what not. However they do not tell the viewers that he SMS sent to the channel will be priced differently than a normal SMS. In some cases the SMS would cost Rs. 6, which is about 1/8th of a US dollar.
However NDTV has gone a step too far. They are running a campaign for a retrial of the Jessica Lal murder case. They want their viewers to send SMS in big numbers to voice their protest. So under the guise of a noble cause the channel is making thousands of rupees every hour. The poor mobile owner sends an SMS believing that he is either being charged a paltry sum and that he is helping a noble cause, but hat’s really happening is that he is making NDTV richer.
The channels do show a small caption that the SMS will be charged differently at Rs 5 or 6 or whatever, but you blink and you would miss the small line flashed somewhere in a remote corner of the screen.
Like cigarette packets have a statutory warning “Injurious to health”, it should be made compulsory for TV channels to show a caption “SMS being charged at Rs x” that takes up at the least 20% of screen space for more than 30 seconds. I intend to write to the information and broadcasting ministry, but if you are reading this and know someone who is addicted to SMSing TV channels, please make him/her aware.