Televisionpoint.com Special by Anu Ranjan I'm certain that all of us have had at least one experience of being pursued by stray dogs, whether they are chasing us on foot, on a cycle, or even while driving our cars. These stray dogs are troublemakers and a menace to the general public -- at the risk of sounding pitiless I say this menace needs to be curbed immediately. Instead of encouraging people to go out and feed them, animal rights activist groups need to figure out the correct and the fastest way to deal with the threat that these animals pose to the society; everyday and everywhere! My young employee of 24 years died because he got bitten, slightly, by a stray dog outside our office...
Like him, the doctors tell me that there are countless people that die of rabies every year. In a country like the USA about 700 people die of rabies per year because of bat bites, whereas in India the same number die per day because of stray dog bites. Most of these cases go unreported because this can only be found out after a post-mortem which is seldom done. And our animal lovers never tell us that either. They use the media extensively to tell us to give these dogs milk, bread and shelter instead so the animals can have a better life and they sound so noble in the bargain -- but isn't that sheer disregard for the apparent loss of human life that these canines are responsible for? How about the activists raising a hue and cry to get all these dogs off the roads or get them vaccinated at least? Or how about making noise to get our government to give free vaccines to victims of these attacks -- the vaccine is actually too expensive for any lower income group people to afford! Or why not make the pounds, collect all the stray dogs there and take care of them yourself! Or adopt them and take them home. The threat that these animals pose is a huge issue and people need to be made aware. Love the animals but please be careful and please always bear in mind the perils and the dangers that these animals are capable of causing.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING? Rajat Sharma's India TV launched a new show recently titled, what else, "Breaking News". The inaugural episode featured another expose that the channel has now become famous (or infamous?) for! This first chapter was about Dawood Ibrahim and his D-Company and it attempted to highlight Bollywood's links with this Dubai underworld. The channel put on air some sixteen or seventeen years old video footage of the underworld don Dawood and film star Govinda apparently spotted together at the inauguration of a new shop in Dubai.
Yes, I do believe the channel's intentions are most honourable and I do believe that it must always be our top priority to weed out the evils that plague our society, but could this coverage have been a case of maybe crossing a fine line -- and saying too much too soon? Only time will tell I guess...! However, in the interim, after Govinda went on air, on India TV, to speak in his own defence and to salvage his harmed reputation, live for three hours the subsequent day -to tell you the truth, by the end of all the grilling that the channel, it's editors, it's anchors and its special guests such as politicians Amar Singh and Ram Naik put him through, I couldn't help but feel awful for the guy! He came across as a small town, naïve lad that might have once made (or even have once been forced to make) a grave mistake. Somebody who had spent many years primarily toiling and sweating it out in the big city... and somebody that had finally "arrived" in life, only thanks to the fruits of that labour! Well... it's the job of investigative agencies from here on, but given our public's typical emotional temperament and reactions, and given the way the Congress party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi came out in his support instead, I have a strong sense that the purpose of the entire exercise for the broadcasters might have been defeated.
A PLEA A delegation from the ITA comprising Mahesh Bhatt, Shatrughan Sinha, Ashok Pandit and Shashi Ranjan went to Srinagar recently and then onward to Uri to understand the plight of people in the worst affected areas from the earthquake last month, as well as to offer their enduring support to them! They met with the CM Mufti M. Syed and the governor general Mr Sinha too. The centre has already granted J&K funds for organising interim relief to the tune of Rs 650 crores, but the problem the state is facing is that with the winter setting in fast and the snowfall barely a few scary days away, manpower to assist the reconstruction is scarce. The armed forces and the security forces in the area have been true angels of mercy for the sufferers. They have done everything possible and more to assist with supply of tents, blankets and food supplies and with round-the-clock reconstruction of damaged and lost roofs. This ITA delegation went to offer support and handed over a check of Rs 5 lakhs to the chief minister on behalf of the entire TV industry -- to show that they too are there and they too can be counted on for any and all assistance. Three cheers for these gentlemen and for the security forces and on behalf of all of them I too hereby appeal to all of you... lets us all pitch in and help as much as we can...
LAID-BACK RENDEZVOUS G Krishnan, the suave and stylish big boss of Aaj Tak... India's sabse tez news channel and his big boss the media tycoon Aroon Purie hosted a classy soiree in Mumbai recently. The affair was at the Henry Tham oriental restaurant in south Mumbai. GK, as he's fondly known to most, was at the entrance door personally greeting and welcoming all the guests as they arrived. Ex-MTV chief Alex Kuruvilla was there too; in deep discussion with Aroon Purie... you think we might see the launch of a subse tez music channel anytime soon? L.V. Krishnan, our TRP king was there too telling us all about his recent visit to Pakistan, where he went to meet with heads of their TV channels. Apparently the Pakistani channel heads are most impressed with our desi Indian Television Academy Awards and like we had originally looked at the Oscars and Emmies for inspiration, the Pakistani's are looking at the ITA Awards to be their mentor and guide. Others at the do included JWT chief Colvyn James Harris, Red FM head honcho Abraham Thomas and head of Mindshare Ashutosh Srivastava -- considering he decided how many hundreds of crores go out to which TV channel, radio station or print publication every year, Ashutosh was much in demand. The party started on time, at 8 pm sharp and finished on time too since both the hosts had late night flights to catch. When we walked in close to 11 pm, many guests had already eaten and were happily on their out! A super, short and sweet evening for us, in the calm Buddha surroundings of the restaurant and the serene company of the many buddhi-maans there...!
GOOD FORTUNES To bring in the festive season, Sanjay Arora the super-social, young business tycoon and his pretty young wife Ina (looking hot in her hot-pink sari) hosted a very interesting Diwali bash in their gorgeous, huge and spacious bungalow in Juhu, Mumbai recently. The place was dressed up in hundred of thousands of beautiful little fairy lights, white flowers and exotic scented candles. Each room had tables set up for Blackjack, Roulette and teen-patti players. The food and drinks flowed freely and the feeling of being transported to Las Vegas was mutual in the minds of all who attended. Talking of which, the elite guest list at the party included Sanjay's brother Ajay Arora, his wife Simone, her parents Sanjay and Zarine Khan, sister Faarah and uncle Akbar Khan!
Also present were Nishi and Dinesh Khanna of the Holiday Inn Hotel and The Club in Juhu, responsible for enlivening our dull suburban lives with some much needed club life, as were Anil Kapoor, Poonam Sinha, Anju Mahendru, Ashish and Shonali Soni, the décor-queen Gurleen Manchanda, Kintu and Kishore Bajaj, Arti and Kailash Surendernath and special import from the capital PVR's Ajjay Bijli, who was spotted deep in conversation with Anil Kapoor, probably getting some tips for his upcoming IPO. On the whole it was an amazing evening, with all and sundry engrossed in eating, drinking, making merry with the lovely lady luck! It's been a long week and there's so much more excitement to share with you, like the loads that happened at the SONY TV 10th Anniversary bash -- but given my space constraints it's got to be a wrap... will reveal all next week, so until such time, as always, please stay tuned and rukaawat ke liye khed hai...!
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