Who killed “Shobhana”?

My friend Dinkar has sent me this story. Apparently, Times of India has put a photo of the wrong Shobhana in this news and made people believe that she killed herself. What you would notice is that Times of India has not bothered to remove or replace the photo of dancer/actor Shobhana even after so many people have commented on the article.

Times of India article with the ‘wrong Shobhaba’:

Behind Woods article with the right photo:

The Savita Bhabhi Saga

savita-bhabhiI came to know about Savita Bhabhi just about a month ago, when the ban on Savita Bhabhi and the announcement of the site being shut down made news in the media. I Googled for more information on Savita Bhabhi and saw that the banned contents were available in many blogs. I must admit that the graphical images of Savita Bhabhi’s sexual adventures were well enough to satisfy my single sex life. Because, if the “girl-next-door” was a symbol of teenage romance, the “aunty-next-door” was one of the many teenage sexual fantasies for us guys and Savita Bhabhi made me nostalgic all the way and fed those teenage fetish very well.

It is then I read the whole crap that was going on in the name of Savita Bhabhi. Deshmukh, owner of the website who shut down the website following the ban, said that he made the website to prove that Indian women too have sexual desires. His point was that he was contributing to the liberation of Indian women. Very cleverly said, I must say (especially after revealing the identity behind an anime porn site). I have never had a chance to browse through the original SB site (it was banned by the time I could reach there) and so I don’t know if they have had any revenue model from the website. If they indeed had a revenue model (or was planning for one), Deshmukh displayed the qualities of a modern businessman who could rationalize his commercial interests.

And then I read Pritish Nandy’s piece in Times of India, titled “The assassination of Savita Bhabhi. He see Savita Bhabhi comic as having some harmless fun spoofing the way we Indian men treat our women. He also see Savita Bhabhi as a symbol of freedom, of empowerment, of the sexuality our women can wield and of defiance against male chauvinism.

I mean, come on Mr. Nandy! Savita Bhabhi does not represent the liberation of Indian women. Her sexual adventures were mostly confined to her household. She did not dare to go for a Gigolo. She did not file for a divorce if she was unhappy with her sex life with her husband. She did not even go for a job to support herself financially. Is that whom Pritish Nandy calls a liberated Indian woman?

And is this really spoofing the way Indian men treat our women? Take the bra sales man or the domestic helper boy for example. The bra salesman has had an eye on her and Bhabhi’s seduction came as he wished. The domestic helper boy is an expert in ‘treating‘ his madams well and he too had his way with Bhabhi. The teenage boys who had sex with Savita Bhabhi said “let’s fuck her” and it almost turned out to be a rape. So is this the classic example of a free, empowered woman’s defiance against male chauvinism as Pritish Nandy calls it?

To put it simple, Savita Bhabhi had no other purpose than serving the sexual fantasies of people – men and women alike. With her graphically perfected body, she served the sexual fetish of mostly the men – old and young alike. Rest, including Pritish Nandy’s piece in Times of India, are all plain bull crap in order to rationalize their sexual fantasies (why don’t they simply admit that they liked the porn element?).

NOTE: If Pritish Nandy or any others want to read about a woman who used sexuality as a weapon to fight the oppression and an unjust social system, you don’t really need to search in the comics. Just dig a little bit into the history or read the story of Kuriyedathu Thathri in Maddy’s blog (read from paragraph # 6).

The times of Times of India

I admit that when I read a news report titled “NGOs, Teesta spiced up Gujarat riot incidents: SIT” in Times of India, I almost bought it. I know it is stupid to blindly believe everything that the media churns out, but the story was published in TOI and they quoted the SIT  in their news report which added to some primary credibility. Then there were immediate responses from Sangh Parivar sympathizers. They said that the “pseudo-secular media” conveniently withheld the story from publishing since it is election time. They attacked their enemies, those who stand for the secular ethos of the country. They also wanted the Supreme Court to initiate action on the “pseudo secular media” because of their silence on the issue.

I was shocked to read the whole thing. I got confused too, as whom to believe and whom not to believe on such sensitive issues. I thought that the very same secular values that many people in this great country stood for have just got dirty because of people like Teesta. Like I said before, I almost bought it.

Yet, the main charges/claims of the Times of India reporter had no substance and it did not come from the SIT. The major claims in the Times of India report mentioned the following:

  • The riot witnesses were tutored by Teesta Setalvad before submitting the affidavits
  • The celebrated rights activist [referring to Teesta] cooked up macabre tales of wanton killings
  • The gangrape on Kausar Banu, and the gouging out of her foetus by the mob was found with “no truth”
  • Dumping of dead bodies into a well by rioters at Naroda Patiya was also found with “no truth”

The TOI report said that all of these were told by SIT chief R K Raghavan in the Supreme Court on April 13th, Monday. But hold your horses, because none from the SIT or Mr. Raghavan himself were present in the apex court on April 13 to tell anything.

Even though the TOI article was referring to the SIT report, the person whom they quoted was Gujarat government’s counsel, Mukul Rohtagi. And the SIT chief Mr. Raghavan told Hindutan Times that the alleged leaks appear to have been based on statements of state police officials and “cannot be termed as findings of the report.[via]

Then came the second article in Times of India, by the same reporter and this time the reporter said nothing about the above claims and rather held on to “discrepancies” and “contradictions“. No word about Kausar Banu, Wanton Killing or the Tutoring of Teesta. He chose to be silent on those allegations which he had earlier stated as the “SIT found untrue“.

So yes, if this is the kind of journalism we are fed with, there needs to have legal action against “such” media houses. Unfortunately, these are the times of India.

PS: It doesn’t take a genius to guess why the Gujarat counsel’s claims made news just 3 days before the 1st phase of general elections. I am not for or against Teesta’s case. We have a process of law in place and our Supreme Court to judge the case. So let the law take it’s due course.

Related reading:

About warped minds – Dilip D’Souza
‘Cooking Up Macabre Tales’: FAQ – Outlook

Copyright Infringement – Times of India again

Our mainstream print media is now making it a habit to steal images from Flickr or blogs and use it for free without leaving any proper credits to the original photographer. I have been tracking such incidents right from the day my picture had been stolen and used by a book publisher.

Here is a summary of copyright infringement in the recent past.

Mridula was on a flight from Delhi to Bangalore and while flipping the pages of airline magazine she had found a photo taken by her used in their featured article. No credits were given.

I was browsing through the book review section of Mathrubhumi weekly and found out that one of my photos were used for a book cover. The person who stole the photo did not leave any credit to me.

The same person, Shanavas M A (of Madhyamam weekly), had stolen a Canadian citizen’s picture to use in the cover for Madhyamam. And this seems to be a regular practice of Mr. Shanavas and Madhymam.

Haree had to face the same situation when Madhyamam (again) used one of his photos for an article of their supplement.

Hindustan Times stole a photo taken by Nita and published it in their newspaper without any due credits.

Twilight Fairy found out that her photo was used by Times of India and when contacted she got an arrogant response.

Seema also had to face the same where Times of India becomes the culprit once again.

The latest victim is Sreenidhi whose photo has been flicked off by Times of India.

This is such a bad situation that the mainstream print media houses are showing such ignorance towards image copyright. They need to be held responsible and dragged to courts. High time that we have stricter copyright laws.

(Image courtesy: Seema K K)