Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Thoughts on 5/8/2006

It is not right to extend censorship on TV. Some people find something offensive is not the reason to extend censorship. Kaanta Lagaa offended some people but people who liked it were much more. It topped the charts for six months. Some of the songs, which some people wanted, banned were very popular. In India too many people and institutions exercise censorship. CBFC should be the only authority. Once it certifies a film there should be no ban on it anywhere in the country. Somebody or the other finds something offensive and if everyone’s wish is taken into consideration no film could be made. Taliban had banned films and TV in Afghanistan. The duty of the state government is to uphold law and order. Suicide is a crime. If anyone commits suicide in protest against the showing of any film he is a criminal and does not deserve any sympathy. If any state government rewards any such person it goes against the constitution and should be dismissed.

The end of the world is a fascinating subject. Since the time of Christ people have wondered about the end. When a person dies the world ends for him or her. The sum of the matter is constant. Signs like war and earthquake can be applied to any age.

Election Commission had more than four months time to decide about disqualification cases. First it did nothing when the Parliament passed Office of Profit Bill. Second it did nothing when the President returned the bill for reconsideration of the Parliament. Meanwhile one Chief Election Commissioner retired and another person became Chief Election Commissioner. There must be some punishment for dereliction of duty even when the person ceases to hold office.

Indian economy

I read about the booming economy of India. Sensex may have gone up. Salaries of some people may have doubled or trebled. For me it is not a happy situation. Three years have seen rise in prices.

Item 2003 2006
Bread 8.00 10.00
Milk (half litre packet) 7.50 9.00
Bus fare (from EC to Vasai Road Station) 4.00 5.00
Auto fare (from EC to Vasai Road Station) 4.00 6.00
Cable subscription (per month) 200.00 275.00

Similarly prices of fruits and vegetables have gone up with seasonal variations.

My salary has not gone up in proportion to rising prices. When inflation is taken into account the increment at the most just covers up additional amount spent. In these three years my salary increased by 23%.

Transport is difficult. Quadruplication of tracks between Vasai Road and Borivali has not taken place. Quadruplication of tracks between Vasai Road and Virar was over in June 2004. Since then not even quadruplication of tracks between Vasai Road and Naigaum is over. At one time the 8.20 local leaving Vasai Road to Churchgate used to come at 8 o’clock. In March 2006 8.07 local to Borivali was introduced. After that 8.20 local comes after 8.07 local leaves, which is very often later than 8.06, and crowds grow bigger and difficult to get a seat. In the rush people fall. On 14.6.2006 when 8.20 local came the door was closed. I was standing at the platform. Someone fell before me. Another person fell on me. I had a fracture. It resulted in pain, I had to take leave and spend money on medicine. Though the fracture was not healed doctor said I could attend office and I resumed on 11/7/2006. I expect to be fit by 14/9/2006.

Many farmers have committed suicides. Announcing compensation for their families is neither right nor a solution. Suicide is a crime. Crime should not be rewarded. I read or heard somewhere on TV that suicides have increased because families get compensation.

Our country has imported wheat. What happened to 60 millions of foodgrains in godowns which we had some years back? How did such a huge stock disappear?

When sensex crashes there is lot of hue and cry though sensex has nothing to do economy. TV channels and newspapers cover it extensively. The coverage is out of proportion.

Indian economy will boom when prices remain stable, travel is easy. Now the economy of only some Indians booms.

Conditional Access System

Conditional Access System (CAS) is a good thing. It should have been implemented in Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi and Madras in 2003. It was implemented in Madras. In other cities it was not implemented due to opposition from some people.

Pay channels take consumers for granted in cable system. After ESPN and Star Sports joined together they charge as they like. Whenever there is sports event a new channel bags the rights and they charge for telecast. For 2006 Football World Cup Ten Sports bagged the rights. For a cricket tour in 2006 Sahara Plus bagged the right and became pay channel. People have to pay whether they watch the channels or not.

In Madras consumers have benefited. After introduction of CAS people did not want pay channels. Pay channels became free to air channels. People had to pay less.

In other cities cable subscription charges have gone up. Did the people who opposed CAS want the consumers to benefit or owners of pay channels? In Evershine City charges went up from Rs.200/- to Rs.250/- to Rs.275/-. That is the experience of other places. Why people have to pay charges for the channels they do not want? Delhi High Court has ordered the implementation of CAS in Bombay, Calcutta and Delhi by 31/12/2006. In other parts of India it should be implemented by 31/12/2007.

Direct to Home (DTH) is there. It has not made much headway. Zee and DD have DTH. Star and some other networks do not have DTH.

There should be paper view option in CAS and DTH. People pay for the particular programmes they want to watch.

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