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132 Indian academicians call for removal of Sheldon Pollock as general editor of Murthy Classical Library
New Delhi: A group of 132 eminent Indian academicians, including many well-known Sanskrit scholars, have expressed strong reservations regarding Columbian University Professor Sheldon Pollock, a scholar of philology presiding over the historical project of Murthy Classical library as the general editor.
The Murty Classical Library of India was established by Rohan Murthy, the son of Infosys co-founder N. R. Narayana Murthy, with an aim to publish modern English translations of classical Indian works present in various Indian languages, including Sanskrit, Bangla, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Pali, Panjabi, Persian, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.
The Library started publishing translations in 2015 and since its inception, Professor Pollock has been serving as its ‘general editor’. Professor Pollock is known for his controversial views on Sanskrit language and Indian philosophy.
The petition contends that “While Pollock has been a well-known scholar of philology, it is also well-known that he has deep antipathy towards many of the ideals and values cherished and practiced in our civilization. He echoes the views of Macaulay and Max Weber that the shastras generated in India serve no contemporary purpose except for the study of how Indians express themselves.”
The signatories further state in their petition that Professor Pollock is not politically neutral and has been a “prominent signatory of several statements which are of a purely political nature and devoid of any academic merit; those statements have condemned various policies and actions of the Government of India,” including two “recent statements released by US academicians condemning the actions of the JNU authorities and the Government of India against separatist groups who are calling for the independence of Kashmir, and for India’s breakup.”
Calling the Murthy Classical Library as a “historical project”, the petitioners have stated that such a project must be “guided and carried out by a team of scholars who not only have proven mastery in the relevant Indian languages, but are also deeply rooted and steeped in the intellectual traditions of India. They also need to be imbued with a sense of respect and empathy for the greatness of Indian civilization.”
They have further appealed the Murthy duo to “invite critics of Sheldon Pollock and the approaches being followed in his project, for open and frank discussions.”
Here is the full text of the petition:
Dear Shri Narayana Murthy and Shri Rohan Murthy,
We the undersigned would like to convey our deep appreciation for your good intentions and financial commitment to establish the Murty Classical Library of India, a landmark project to translate 500 volumes of traditional Indian literature into English. We appreciate the motives of making our civilization’s great literature available to the modern youth who are educated in English, and who are unfortunately not trained in Indian languages.
However, such a historical project would have to be guided and carried out by a team of scholars who not only have proven mastery in the relevant Indian languages, but are also deeply rooted and steeped in the intellectual traditions of India. They also need to be imbued with a sense of respect and empathy for the greatness of Indian civilization.
We would like to bring to your notice the views of the mentor and Chief Editor of this program, Professor Sheldon Pollock. While Pollock has been a well-known scholar of philology, it is also well-known that he has deep antipathy towards many of the ideals and values cherished and practiced in our civilization. He echoes the views of Macaulay and Max Weber that the shastras generated in India serve no contemporary purpose except for the study of how Indians express themselves. He has forcefully articulated this view in his career, starting with his 1985 paper, “The Theory of Practice and the Practice of Theory in Intellectual Tradition” (Journal of the American Oriental Society). He sees all shastras as flawed because he finds them frozen in Vedic metaphysics, which he considers irrational and a source of social oppression. Even as recently as 2012, he echoed this view at a talk at Heidelberg titled, “What is South Asian Knowledge Good For?”). He said:
“Are there any decision makers, as they refer to themselves, at universities and foundations who would not agree that, in the cognitive sweepstakes of human history, Western knowledge has won and South Asian knowledge has lost? …That, accordingly, the South Asian knowledge South Asians themselves have produced can no longer be held to have any significant consequences for the future of the human species?”
Therefore, we are dismayed that Pollock has been appointed the Chief Editor and mentor of the entire program.
In his recent book, “The Battle for Sanskrit”, Shri Rajiv Malhotra has articulated that many of the writings of Pollock are deeply flawed and misrepresent our cultural heritage.
Furthermore, Pollock does not claim to be politically neutral. In recent years, Pollock has been a prominent signatory of several statements which are of a purely political nature and devoid of any academic merit; those statements have condemned various policies and actions of the Government of India. He has shown utter indifference and disrespect for democratic values and even the international norms of non-interference in the internal functioning of constitutional representative institutions in other countries.
In addition, we now find that Pollock is a prominent signatory of two recent statements released by US academicians condemning the actions of the JNU authorities and the Government of India against separatist groups who are calling for the independence of Kashmir, and for India’s breakup.
“काश्मीर की आजादी तक जंग रहेगी, भारत की बरबादी तक जंग रहेगी, भारत तेरे टुकडे होङ्गे,
इनशा अल्लाह इनशा अल्लाह”.
“The fight will continue till Kashmir is freed; The fight will continue till India is destroyed; O India, you are going to get shattered by the will of Allah.”
Beside these slogans, the disgruntled youth also went on to condemn the highest court of India by way of hoarding posters and banners describing the action of court as “judicial killing” of a terrorist.
To add fuel to the fire, Pollock by way of signing petitions has demanded that the Government of India should end its “authoritative menace”. However, we do not find him petitioning against his own USA government’s authoritative policies within its borders and around the world.
Thus, it is crystal clear that Pollock has shown disrespect for the unity and integrity of India. We submit that such an individual cannot be considered objective and neutral enough to be in charge of your historic translation project.
We petition you to reconstitute the editorial group of your project with the following ideals in mind:
- There must be a fair representation of the lineages and traditional groups that teach and practice the traditions described in the texts being translated. This would ensure that the sentiments and understanding of the millions of Indians who practice these traditions are not violated.
- The project must be part of the “Make in India” ethos and not outsourced wholesale to American Ivy Leagues. Just as your visionary role in Infosys showed the world that Indians can be the top producers of IT, so also we urge you to champion the development of Swadeshi Indology. This would entail developing an entire ecosystem of India-based research, translations, journals and conferences. These would be run by leading Indian academicians as well as traditional practitioners.
- There must be a written set of standards and policies for the entire project, pertaining to the translation methodologies, historical assumptions and philosophical interpretations that would be used consistently in all volumes.
- How will certain Sanskrit words that are non-translatable be treated?
- What will be the posture adopted towards the “Foreign Aryan Theory” and other such controversial theories including chronologies?
- What will be assumed concerning the links between ancient texts and present-day social and political problems?
- Will the theoretical methods developed in Europe in the context of the history of ancient Europe, be used to interpret Indian texts, or will there first be open discussions with Indians on the use of Indian systems of interpretations?
We urge you to invite critics of Sheldon Pollock and the approaches being followed in his project, for open and frank discussions. We are convinced that this would lead to a dramatic improvement in your project and also avoid any adverse outcome.
Scholars and Intellectuals
- Prof. K. Ramasubramanian, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Bombay.
- Prof. Ramesh C. Bhardwaj , Professor and Head, Department of Sanskrit, Delhi University
- Dr. Kapil Kapoor , Former Pro Vice Chancellor, JNU, New Delhi.
- Dr. Girish Nath Jha, Professor of Computational Linguistics and Chairperson, Special Center for Sanskrit Studies, JNU, New Delhi. Professor & Concurrent Faculty, Center for Linguistics, School of Language Literature & Culture Studies, JNU, New Delhi.
- Prof. V. Kutumba Sastry, President, International Association of Sanskrit Studies, Former Vice Chancellor, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi
- Dr. C. Upender Rao, Professor and Chairperson, Special centre for Sanskrit Studies, JNU, New Delhi.
- Prof. Madhu Kishwar, Senior Fellow, CSDS, New Delhi
- Prof. R. Vaidyanathan, IIM Bangalore, Finance & Control UTI Chair Professor
- Shri N. Gopalaswami, Former Chief Election Commisioner of India, Head of the HRD ministry’s committee on Sanskrit Promotion, Chairman, Kalakshetra, Chennai
- Prof. Ramesh Kumar Pandey, Vice Chancellor, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, New Delhi.
- Swami Madhavpriyadas, Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanan, Ahmedabad
- Dr. K. S. Kannan, Professor, Jain University, Bangalore.
- Sri Ramanuja Devanathan , Former Vice Chancellor, Sri Jagadguru Ramananda Rajasthan Sanskrit University, Jaipur
- Prof. Shrinivasa Varakhedi, Professor and Dean, Karnataka Sanskrit Univerity
- Prof. K. E. Devanathan, Vice Chancellor, S. V. Vedic University, Tirupati
- Dr. Pappu Venugopala Rao, Secretary, Madras Music Academy, Chennai.
- Dr. Sampadananda Mishra, Director, Sri Aurobindo Foundation for Indian Culture, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry.
- Smt. Meera H. R., Research Scholar, NIAS, Bangalore.
- Prof. Shashi Tiwari, General Secretary, Wider Assiciation for Vedic Studies (WAVES).
- Prof. Amba Kulkarni, Fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced study.
- Dr. Bal Ram Singh, Professor and President, Institute of Advanced Sciences, Dartmouth, MA., Ex-Professor, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
- Prof. Malhar Kulkarni, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Bombay.
- Shri Mitesh Katira, Sanskrit Bharati, Mumbai
- Dr. Baldevanand Sagar, Ex. Sanskrit-news-broadcaster,AIR-DD. New Delhi, General Secretary, Bharatiya Sanskrit Journalists Association.
- Prof. K. S. Sateesha, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, New Delhi.
- Dr. Sudarshan, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, New Delhi.
- Dr. P Ramanujam, CDAC, Bangalore
- Dr. K. Mahesh, Post Doctoral Fellow, IIT Bombay
- Dr. K. Venkatesha Moorthy, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi
- Dr. Ratnamohan Jha, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi
- Prof. T.P.R Nambudiri, Principal, Madras Sanskrit College
- Prof. Viroopaksha Jaddipal, Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupathi
- Prof. Rajaram Shukla, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
- Prof. Deviprasad Tripathi, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, New Delhi.
- Prof. Hareram Tripathi, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, New Delhi.
- Prof. K.P. Paroha, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, New Delhi.
- Prof. MA Lakshmithathachar, Chairman, Centre for literary Research, Indian Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (IIAIM), Dean, Ramanuja Vishwa Vidyapeetam, Melkote, Karnataka
- Prof. MA Alwar, Karnatak Samskrit University, Mysore
- Dr. Vinaya Chandra, Research Fellow, Development Foundation, Bangalore
- Dr. Anuradha Chaudhury, Research Fellow, Development Foundation, Bangalore
- Dr. Arathi V, Director, Vibhu Academy, Bangalore
- Dr. Ramachandra G Bhat, Vice Chancellor, SVYASA University
- Dr. Tilak M Rao, Assistant Director, Veda Vijnana Shodha Samsthanam
- Dr. Mahabaleshwara S Bhat, Principal, Veda Vigyana Gurukulam, Bangalore
- Prof. Pramod, Amrita University, Coimbatore
- Dr Kameshwari, Director, Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute, Chennai
- Dr KS Balasubramanian, Deputy Director, Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute, Chennai
- Dr TV Vasudeva, Deputy Director, Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute, Chennai
- Dr Sita Sundar Ram, Research Fellow, Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute, Chennai
- Prof Parthasarathy, Hon Professor, Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute, Chennai
- Dr. Sudarshan Chiplunkar, Lecturer, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, Mumbai
- Dr. Gayatri Muralikrishna, Asst. Professor, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, Delhi
- Dr. Seetharama, Asst. Professor, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, Mumbai
- Dr. Sridhara Bhat, Professor, HoD, SDM College Ujire, (Mangaluru University), Karnataka.
- Dr. V.Yamuna Devi, Research Assistant, K.S.R.Institute
- Dr. V.Premalatha, Research scholar, K.S.R.Institute
- Dr. Binod Singh Ajatshatru, Associate Professor of Indian Studies, Peking University (Ex), Director, The BRICS Institute, New Delhi
- Dr. J.S.R. Prasad, Professor&Head, Dept. of Sanskrit Studies, University of Hyderabad
- Dr. Ram Nath Jha, Associate Professor, Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies, JNU, New Delhi
- Shri Mahamahopadhyaya Krishnamurthi Sastri, Retd. Principal, Madras Sanskrit College
- Shri GSR Krishnamurthy, Registrar, S V Vedic University, Tirupati
- Dr. Rajnish Mishra, Associate Professor, Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies, JNU, New Delhi
- Prof. V. N. Jha, Former Director, Center for Advanced Study in Sanskrit, Universit of Pune
- Shri Arjunkumar K. Samal, Principal, Darshanam Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya, Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanan, Ahmedabad
- Shri Basu Ghosh Das, President, ISKCON, Vadodara, Vice chairman, ISKCON India Governing Bureau
- Shri Lila Purushottam Das, Principal, Bhaktivedanta Gurukula, Vrindavan, Professor, Department of Electrical Enginneering, IIT Kanpur
- Prof. Bharat Gupt, Former Associate Professor, College of Vocational Studies, Delhi University.
- Prof. Rudrapatna Shyamasundar, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay.
- Prof. Kannan Moudgalya, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Bombay.
- Prof. Sivakumar, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay.
- Prof. Shripad Garge, Department of Mathematics, IIT Bombay
- Prof. Arunkumar Sridharan, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Bombay
- Prof. Varadraj Bapat, School of Management, IIT Bombay
- Prof. Shireesh Kedare, Department of Energy Sciences, IIT Bombay
- Prof. Saketh Nath, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay.
- Dr. Kuntimaddi Sadananda, Material Scientist, Former Head of Deformation and Fraction section of the US Naval Research Lab, Acharya of Chinmaya Mission, Washington Regional Center.
- Prof. Rakesh Mathpal, Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Kanpur.
- Prof. Ganesh Ramakrishnan, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay.
- Prof Karthik Raman, Department of Biotechnology, IIT Madras
- Prof. Neeraj Kumbhakarna, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Bombay
- Prof. Ashish Pandey, School of Management, IIT Bombay.
- Dr. T. S. Mohan, Director, Pragyan Datalabs, Bangalore
- Prof. Devendra Jalihal, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Madras
- Prof. Karmalkar, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Madras
- Prof. Ashwin Gumaste, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay
- Dr. Deepika Kothari, Founder Vishuddhi Films
- Dr. Ranjan Ghosh, Lecturer, Department of Economics, SLU Uppsala, Sweden
- Prof. Balaji Jayaraman, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Oklahoma State University
- Prof. M. S. Sriram, Dept of Theoretical Physics, Univ. of Madras
- Prof. Anil Kumar Gaurishetty, Dept of Physics, IIT Roorkee
- Prof. Kavi Arya, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay
- Prof. Sanjay Chitnis, CMR Institute of Technology, Bangalore
- Prof. K Gopinath, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
- Prof. Muralikrishna, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
- Prof. Arun Agrahara, Rajeev Institute of Technology, Hassan
- Prof. B Mahadevan, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore
- Prof. TV Prabhakar, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
- Dr. Samir Kagalkar, Director, eMBArkers, Fellow of IIM Bangalore
- Prof. S. Krishnan, Dept. of Mathematics, IIT Bombay
- Prof. N. Narayanan, Dept. of Mathematics, IIT Madras
- Prof. Murali Krishna, Dept. of Computer Science & Automation, IISc, Bangalore
- Prof. Amartya Kumar Dutta, Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta
- Prof. M.D. Srinivas, Chairman, Centre for Policy Studies, Chennai
- Dr. Paresh Joshi, Academic Program coordinator, Junior Science Olympiad, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education and also Vice-President (ASIA) of International Junior Science Olympiad.
- Dr. Anand Bulusu, Dept. of Electronics and Communication Engineering, IIT Roorkee
- Dr. Ram Manohar Singh, Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Roorkee
- Prof. Makarand Paranjpe, Dept of English, JNU, New Delhi
- Prof. S. M. Deshpande, Senior Research Fellow, JNCASR, Bangalore, Former Professor, Department Aerospace Engineering, IISc Bangalore
- Prof. Srikanth Vedantam, Department of Engineering Design, IIT Madras
- Prof. Sunil Kumar, Director, Multimedia & Wireless Networks Research Group, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, San Diego State University, CA, USA
- Prof. Krishna Shankaranarayanan, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay
- Prof. Sachin Shinde, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Kanpur
- Prof. Umesh Sharma, Faculty of Education, Monash University, Australia
- Prof. Mohan Yellishetty, Faculty of Education, Monash University, Australia
- Prof. Kunal Mukherjee, Department of Methamatics, IIT Madras
- Prof. Himanshu Pota, School of Engineering and Information Technology, University of New South Wales, Australia
- Dr. Raghbendra Jha, Professor and Head, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University
- Prof. Krithivasan Ramamritham, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and Head CUSE, IIT Bombay
- Prof. Prasanna Gandhi, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Bombay
- Dr. Nagesh Bhandari, President, Indus University, Ahmedabad
- Dr. Rakesh Bhandari, Director, Indus Institute of Special Studies, Indus University, Ahmedabad
- Shri. Shankar Sharan, Associate Professor, NCERT
- Prof. Shekhar Babu, Amrita School of Business, Amrita University, Bangalore
- Prof. Sudharshan, Amrita University, Bangalore
- Dr. Bharati Karnik, Professor, Dept. of English, M.L.B. Govt. College of Excellence, Gwalior
- Dr. Amresh Shrivastava, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Western University, Canada
- Dr. S. B. Sharma, Executive President, Indus University, Ahmedabad, Former Deputy Director, Antenna Systems Area, ISRO
- Shri G. Anil Kumar, Writer, Journalist, Editor-in-Chief of Karmaveera
- Prof. Ritendra Sharma, Centre for Indic Studies, Indus University, Ahmedabad
- Prof. Harshit Jain, Centre for Indic Studies, Indus University, Ahmedabad
- Prof. SG Rakesh, Amrita University, Bangalore
- Shri CSR Prabhu, Former Director General of NIC,Govt of India
An integral part of Sangam Literature, Agam and Puram poetry constitute the primary cultural lens into the erstwhile Tamil kingdom. These poems are a central part of the Tolkapiyam, which is the most important text of the time, written by Thiruvalluvar.
Agam poems deal with love. They are an insight into the many different kinds of love that bordered on caste, kingdom, and religious differences. Some of the lost manuscripts which were stored in Oxford, UK, were translated by A.K. Ramanujan and rendered in the modernist style. What was originally a poem of 13-30 lines, was condensed to around 4-5 lines. These poems, however, keep the crux intact, and through them, cultural practices like illicit affairs, flora, fauna, and appearances of the people according to region are illustrated in detail.
Kurunji (mountains) and marutham (crops) Image source: wikimedia commons
The Puram poems deal with economy, state affairs, and kingship. These poems are longer and more diplomatic. They were probably read out in court, and had to be indirect in intent. Some of these poems talk about the religious influences on kingdoms, and draw heavily from regional epics.
Both the Agam and Puram poems are an important indicator of geography during the Sangam period. They are classified based on the type of landscape they feature. The five main landscapes mentioned are, kurunji (mountainous regions), mullai (forests), marutham (cropland), neithal (seashore), and palai (dry land). The use of words related to these landscapes signified either where the poet lived, or sought to live. Some of the flowers and animals referred to in the poems also indicate where the action is happening.
A map of Sangam landscapes (thinais) Image source: wikimedia commons
The Sangam period was a prosperous time in the history of South India, and the literature from this time reflects this. There are instances of war, but they are not large-scale. They were a people who had their own language, religion, epics, and literature, but only a few of these have survived to today's culture.
Keywords: Agam poems, Puram poems, Sangam literature, Tolkapiyam, Landscapes
By Vinod Mirani
There comes the official news of Zee TV network's merger with Sony TV and the news invokes a sense of melancholy. When India liberalised its policies in 1991, changes started taking place in all fields and one of them was the media. It marked the entry of privately owned television channels in India. What makes one a bit sad is that Zee TV, India's oldest television channel, will now merge with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), with Sony slated to hold the majority stake of 53 per cent as against Zeel's 47 per cent.
Naresh Goyal's Zee Telefilms Limited was the first to venture into the telecast medium with its Zee TV channel. The year was 1992, October 2, to coincide with Gandhi Jayanti. I remember the programme specially designed for the inaugural evening. To be candid, it was quite chaotic, like a children's costume party. One of the items stuck in my memory is a skit played out by two young men dressed as rustic Haryanvis, carrying huge dangs, and blabbering what they thought was funny. Though launched in October 1992, the regular daylong telecast on the channel started in 1993.
That opening show did not promise much and that is what the content in the early days of the channel presented. The channel had a huge collection of hit movies it had acquired from top notch producers, many of which starred Amitabh Bachchan. Programmes were woven around movies like songs, dialogues, scenes that were appreciated in the films earlier and were a sure shot eyeballs grabbers.
When colour TV came to India, colour TV sets were not available off the shelf and were imported into the country. | Pixabay
The TV channel needed a running serial to hook the viewers which came its way in the form of Tara in 1993 and went on for five years. This was followed by Hum Paanch, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Banegi Apni Baat and such. Zee had the advantage of being the first alternative to Doordarshan, which was a government-owned enterprise and the programmes were approved by people who knew nothing about mass entertainment. Some babu who was in the Tourism Ministry one day would the next day be with the I&B Ministry and sitting on your TV script! Also, DD approved a serial only for 13 episodes and getting an extension if any, was a tough task. As it were, television took its time coming to India and, when it did, its debut was pathetic. Launched in Delhi, in what they called experiment basis, Doordarshan telecast for about two hours a week, not day! What was there to experiment when the medium was not only accepted elsewhere and was already in the process of moving from black and white to colour broadcast?
Doordarshan Logo. | Wikimedia Commons
For years, it served only a few hundred or so Delhi viewers who cared to own a TV set. TV came to India in September 1959, 23 years since its debut in the UK and six years after coulour telecast started in the US. The India entry was described as an experiment and this experiment lasted for an eternity till the introduction of colour television. Doordarshan branched out to a few other cities and, except for acting as a propaganda tool for the government, showing news bulletins besides educational programmes for students and farming programmes for the farmers, none of whom had access to a television set.
When colour TV came to India, colour TV sets were not available off the shelf and were imported into the country, there used to be a waiting list of some months. If the idea was to promote television as an entertainment medium along with the government agenda, it finally happened only on the eve of the 1982 Asian Games. The then government wanted to showcase India as a progressive country which ran a colour television network through a satellite.
Initially, Doordarshan, which used one city channel to cater to all its people, encompassed Hindi, Marathi, Sindhi and other news and programmes aired only in the evenings with a special morning slot on Sundays. After going colour, slots for serials were outsourced and, it looked like DD had arrived as the first soap, Hum Log, followed by Buniyaad added to its viewership. Then there were serials based on the great Indian mythologies, Ramayana and Mahabharata, which are now replayed on other private channels.
Sadly, that was an era of using U-matic format tapes for telecast and, with little attention to storing or digitizing them, a lot of other great serials are now lost. (On an aside, talk of control: owning a radio set and, later, also TV set needed a license from the postal department in those days! And, till All India Radio went commercial, it was not even worth owning a radio.)
Since then, the floodgates for television channels have opened in India. Doordarshan itself started channels dedicated to sports, news, farming etc and also its regional channels in local languages. Many Indian and foreign channels came in. Today, though a layman may have lost count, there are about 900 TV channels in the country. They come and some vanish just as quickly.
When Sony came to India, the name Sony was yet identified only with its music and video systems, mainly hardware. It was making inroad in the business of entertainment like cinema and television. Sony is an international label while Zee is an Indian brand which has continually been marking its place in the international arena. The Sony merger will only make it easier for Zee to make rapid progress as the channels list may be streamlined.
When Sony came to India, the name Sony was yet identified only with its music and video systems, mainly hardware. | Wikimedia Commons
At present, Zee runs 49 domestic channels in 11 languages and 35 international channels of which eight are in non-Indian languages. To make things clear, the deal is between ZEEL, which is its entertainment channels arm, and not the Zee Media Corporation (earlier known as Zee News). Zee Media owns all the news channels including Zee News and WION and will continue to be owned by Zee Media. While the shares of Zee Media Corporation have remained static, the scrip of ZEEL went from around Rs 170 to near Rs 320 today. And, this is yet the Due Diligence stage and the merger may materialise only after many months!
News channels are forever and, so one thought, were the movie channels. The content of both can be said to be largely exclusive to a channel. But, as things stand, the movie channels are totally deprived of fresh content since they all go to OTT platforms. If one checked, the English movie channels are barely surviving repeating the same features day after day, Hindi channels feed on regional dubbed films, also oft repeated. Looks like a wise move for Zee to retain its news channels and trim the burden of other channels. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: India, entertainment, zee tv, sony tv, doordarshn, channels
Continuing with its commitment to support Small Medium Businesses (SMBs), Amazon India on Sunday announced that it is all set to begin its 'Great Indian Festival' (GIF) 2021 from October 3. The company said that Amazon GIF 2021 is dedicated to lakhs of small sellers, including over 75,000 local shops from 450 cities, offering their unique selection of products to customers across the country.
"Our top priority remains customer trust and the interest of our sellers, especially the lakhs of small sellers and the tens of thousands of local shop owners across India," the company said in a statement. "The Amazon Great Indian Festival will now start from October 3, 2021 and as always, Prime members will have early access," it added.
The shopping festival will also showcase products from Amazon sellers under various other programs such as Amazon Launchpad, Amazon Saheli, Amazon Karigar, as well as top Indian and global brands across categories. The festival would include over 1,000 new product launches from top brands such as Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Sony, Apple, Boat, Lenovo, HP, Asus, Fossil, Levi's, BIBA, Allen Solly, Adidas, etc. Amazon Business customers in India will be able to avail exclusive offers, bulk discounts, lower festive price offers, cashback, rewards and more, for their regular business buying or corporate gifting for clients or employees. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: India, Amazon, Shopping, festival, October