Award Winning cartoonist Aseem Trivedi keeps his promise, held


 

Express news service : Mumbai, Sun Sep 09 2012,

Aseem Trivedi is facing sedition charges in a Beed court, to be produced in a Bandra court today.

Political cartoonist Aseem Trivedi on Saturday surrendered to police at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) police station, where complaints had been filed against him for insulting the national emblem and other national symbols in his anti-corruption cartoons. The Kanpur-based cartoonist was arrested and will be produced in a Bandra Holiday court on Sunday 10am. The cartoonist, against whom several cases have been filed in the state and who is facing sedition charges, had on Thursday said he would surrender.

Caricatures made by Trivedi had been displayed during the anti-corruption protests led by Anna Hazare at the MMRDA grounds in BKC last December. Private complaints had been filed at the police station against Trivedi, 25, a freelance cartoonist and this year’s recipient of ‘Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award’ of Cartoonists Rights Network International, based in Virginia.

Trivedi had shared the award with Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat who is on Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people.

Among the controversial cartoons for which complaints were filed against him are one of the national emblem in which the four lions are shown as wolves, blood oozing from their mouth and the word ‘Satyameva’ replaced with ‘Bhrashtameva’ in the inscription ‘Satyameva Jayate’ below the emblem. In another depiction he has depicted the Parliament House as a toilet. In yet another cartoon, ‘Mother India’ is depicted as a woman who is about to be raped.

A case has also been filed in the Bombay High Court against him under the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act 2005, which may attract a two-year prison term and a fine up to Rs 5,000.

Mumbai Police’s cyber wing that had blocked Trivedi’s website, http://www.cartoonsagainstcorruption.com last December, sparking a row on freedom of expression, had on Thursday said they did not recall the specific case, as they routinely block objectionable sites.

PLEASE SIGN ON-LINE PETITION FOR HIS RELEASE

 

 

Political Cartoonist charged with #sedition ready to surrender


Sagnik Chowdhury, Posted: Sep 06, 2012 at 0325 hrs IST

Charged with sedition and insulting national emblems in his cartoons, Aseem Trivedi — a political cartoonist based in Kanpur — claims he will travel to Mumbai and surrender to the police in a couple of days. The Mumbai Police’s cyber wing had blocked Trivedi’s website, http://www.cartoonsagainstcorruption.com, last December, sparking a debate on freedom of expression in India.Cyber Crime police officers in Mumbai, however, said they “did not recall” such a case, as objectionable sites are blocked routinely by them.

Trivedi, 25, is a freelance cartoonist and 2012 recipient of the ‘Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award’ of Virginia-based Cartoonists Rights Network International. He shares the award with Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat who is on Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. Controversial cartoons parodying national symbols and emblems were displayed by Trivedi during the anti-corruption protests led by Anna Hazare at the MMRDA grounds in BKC in December 2011, leading to private complaints being filed against him.

In January, a case of sedition was filed against him at the Beed district court. In another case before the Bombay High Court, Trivedi has been charged with insulting India’s national symbols under the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act 2005, which attracts a two-year prison sentence and a fine up to Rs 5,000.

According to Trivedi, a Mumbai Police team visited his residence in Kanpur on August 30. “I was not at home, but my parents were taken to the local police station. By the time I reached the police station, the police team had left. It was only after I made calls to the Mumbai Police that I was told about a complaint filed by advocate Rajendra Pratap Yadav. The police did not send me any notice earlier,” Tiwari told Newsline.

One of Trivedi’s cartoons depicts the Parliament building as a toilet, while another shows the Asoka pillar, which has bloodthirsty wolves instead of the four lions and the words Bhrashtamev Jayate in place of Satyameva Jayate. Yet another, titled ‘Gang Rape of Mother India’ features ‘Mother India’ wearing a tri-colour sari, about to be raped by a character labeled ‘Corruption’.

“I am in New Delhi for some work at present. I intend to arrive in Mumbai in the next two days and surrender before the police. I will not seek anticipatory bail. If I am held guilty of sedition in my own country on account of my cartoons, then it’s better not to fight any case at all. We saw what happened at the Jaipur literary festival with regard to Salman Rushdie. In Kolkata, a professor was arrested for merely e-mailing a cartoon that poked fun at the CM. These incidents pose a serious threat to artists,” Trivedi said.

After his website was blocked by the Mumbai Police, Trivedi started ‘Save Your Voice’, a campaign for internet freedom. “On December 27, 2011, I came to know from the domain name registrar that my site had been blocked by the Mumbai Police Crime Branch. Later, I learnt that cases had been filed against me in the Beed district court and the HC. I have not received any notice,” said Trivedi.

A senior Crime Branch officer said, “I can’t recall the details of this case. We receive several complaints and routinely block websites.”

Nand Kishore More, senior inspector, Cyber police station, said, “I am not aware of the case.”

Doctor, Heal Thyself ! # Satyamevjayate #Aamir khan


 

Doctors asks Aamir Khan to apologise for his recent show on Satyamev Jayate

 

Rediff.com, Last updated on: June 06, 2012

The latest episode of Aamir Khan‘s [ Images ] television showSatyamev Jayate probed into malpractices that some doctors follow, looking at the way they dole out wrong treatments for monetary gains. It has understandably not gone down too well with the medical fraternity.

Dr Sanjay Nagral — a consultant surgeon, department of surgical gastroenterology , Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai [Images ] — explains what exactly has hurt the doctors. 

Satyameva Jayate‘s recent episode on healthcare in IndiaImages ] has created quite a stir within my fraternity. What began as benign posts on social media and closed door conversations has snowballed into a movement against what is being described as a ‘diatribe’ by Aamir Khan against the medical profession.

In an additional bizarre twist, the Indian Medical Association, the apex body of medical professionals in the country, is asking Aamir to ‘apologise’ and, in what can only be termed as an acute case of silliness, has called for ‘boycotting’ him.

The issues raised in the show, and the profession’s response to them, have important lessons. Lest they get lost in the din and drama, here is a contrarian view for the record.

What is it exactly in that episode that has hurt my colleagues?

From my reading of the various statements, it seems there are some common themes that many are upset about.

First, the show ‘exaggerated’ the extent of unethical practice in the profession. Second, it showed only the ‘bad’ side of the profession, not the ‘good’. Third, it was factually incorrect at times.

There were those who wanted to know why doctors are being targeted when the entire society is corrupt.

Finally, the one below the belt: Who is Aamir Khan to pontificate about service to the poor when he charges crores of rupees for the show?

The last one, though probably the most superfluous, is the most emotive of all.

Is it really a revelation that ‘stars’ like Aamir charge such amounts for television serials? If Aamir declares he has not charged for the show, will it in any way alter the response to the show?

Post your comments on Satyamev Jayate here.

Now, we come to the more substantive issues.

What was one of the unethical practices that the show highlighted and ‘exaggerated’? The episode talked about the practice of ‘cuts’ and ‘commissions’ that are offered by doctors, labs and hospitals for referral of patients. These are cash transactions; they are not revealed in official documents and are arbitrary in amount.

Although there is no documentation of the extent of this practice (Not surprising! How many would admit to it?), having had a ringside view in a large metropolis for many years, I would suggest it involves a large majority of referrals.

We can quibble over the precise extent, but that would just serve to obfuscate the issue at hand.

Hasn’t such ‘fee splitting’ become so commonplace and institutionalised that, as a young doctor, if you don’t participate in it, you are effectively ostracised? Isn’t this activity non-transparent and doesn’t it increase the cost of health care and affect quality? Has any medical association ever tried to build internal resistance or opposition to such a patently corrupt practice?

The show talked about the shocking state of the Medical Council of India and how its president, Dr Ketan Desai, was arrested by the CBI in 2010 on charges of corruption. He was thereafter removed from the post of MCI president by the government and is now cooling his heels in Tihar jail.

Desai amassed crores (one estimate pegs the amount of money recovered from the raid on his home at Rs 1800 crore (Rs 18,000 million)) from the lucrative business of recognition of medical colleges.

The episode also showed how Desai, who had been indicted by the courts and temporarily sacked in 2002, staged a return. What the episode did not mention is that the same individual was also the national president of the Indian Medical Association.

Thus, a convicted individual not just survived but actually thrived for an entire decade at the highest levels in the Indian medical establishment both as the president of the Medical Council as well as the IMA. Isn’t this a reflection of the permissiveness and ambivalence medical professionals have developed towards corruption in their own representative bodies?

The current president Dr K K Talwar, who appeared on the show, had no credible answer when asked why not a single doctor in India has had his licence cancelled when the General Medical Council of the UK figures showed substantive numbers every year.

One of the ‘errors’ repeatedly pointed out by those outraged by the show is the numbers that were quoted about private and public medical colleges in India. One wonders, though, what is more important — the precise number or the fact that India can be counted among the countries that have the highest number of private medical colleges in the world? Isn’t the crass commerce of medical education in these colleges, where seats are sold at high prices, the real issue?

Isn’t it true that private medical college empires have grown because they have managed to hire and retain medical teachers, set up arrangements with hospitals to provide ‘clinical material’ in the form of patients and get recognition for postgraduate courses from inspection teams consisting largely of doctors?

Of course, there is a large industry supported by politicians at work here but the collusion of the profession is substantial.

Did the episode show examples of ‘good’ doctors and the positive side of things?

To be fair, the show did profile alternative models quite extensively. The issue of generic drugs and the work of Dr Samit Sharma in Rajasthan [ Images ] were highlighted in some detail.

That they predictably chose media favourite Dr Devi Shetty, when they could have profiled any of the hundreds of brave, committed doctors who have chosen to work under harsh  conditions in rural India to come up with alternative models of people-centric health care, is a pity. But some of this is inherent to the medium and its compulsions.

And, finally, a very old complaint — why should doctors be ‘targeted’ when the entire society is commercial and corrupt?

It is obvious that, unlike other professions, health care has a huge social dimension and hence will inevitably be scrutinised more intensely. But it is exactly this aspect that also gives doctors more visibility (don’t many of our colleagues enjoy a lot of media publicity on a regular basis?).

Historically medicine has a social contract which allows it a unique form of self-regulation in the form of medical councils, a front on which we have failed miserably. So whether it is the killing of the female foetus or the sale of kidneys, the state has had to step in with new laws because self-regulation failed.

The principle of market economics have been rejected by most societies, including western nations, as inappropriate to health care. In a strange paradox, India has one of the most privatised of health care systems.

Now, before my colleagues say that this is a result of state policy, which it essentially is, we have to admit India’s medical profession is a willing and enthusiastic participant in this process. Witness in the current boom of market medicine a new entrepreneurial spirit that is sweeping the profession. But the same market medicine, which uses media and television to sell its wares, is disturbed when the medium turns around and asks disturbing questions.

Was the show free of blemishes? Of course not.

There were occasional moments, like when the rather improbable allegation of a ‘liver transplant’ being advised for gastroenteritis was made by a member of the audience. Or when a family alleged that they did not know that a pancreas would be transplanted with the kidney in a large private hospital in Bengaluru [ Images ]. But these aberrations should not distract from the big issues that the show managed to raise.

Rampant commercialisation of the practice and of medical education, hard selling by pharmaceuticals, the high cost of drugs and the shocking price differences for the same drug from different brands are all highly disturbing parts of our healthcare policy.

That a popular film star with a huge audience articulated on prime time television what health activists have been saying for years is perhaps what has disturbed some in my fraternity.

Organisations like the IMA should actually seize the moment and ask Aamir to commit to a sustained public campaign on universal health coverage and the right to health. That would also test Aamir on a charge that has been made about him; that he raises social concerns transiently to stimulate interest in an ongoing release.

As for the boycott call, I would suggest that Aamir doesn’t really need to worry on that count. He has to just sneeze or cough and there will be a bevy of doctors running to attend on him.

After all, being a film star’s physician counts a lot in a doctor’s professional trajectory in India.

Aamir Khan, The Ambanis And Medical Ethics


Vidyadhar Date 

28 May, 2012
Countercurrents.org

Dr Ravi Bapat is the man Amir Khan should have featured in his television programme on health issues Satyameva Jayate telecast on May 27. Dr Bapat is also much nearer home , in Mumbai. Dr Bapat is committed, has a long record of serving the poor in a public hospital and he has written about the importance of public hospitals and corruption in the private sector in two books.

Social commitment and medicine run in the family. Dr Bapat’s father Dr Dinkar Bapat removed 400 doctors from the employees’s state insurance scheme on charges of corruption when he was its director in the sixties. He conducted raids and found that some doctors ran bogus clinics and gave bogus certificates.

He got so fed up with the corruption that he sought a transfer and wrote an article on the decline in the morality of doctors in Mumbai.

So what Amir Khan highlighted was important but by no means new. For example Dr Bapat points out on page 165 in his more recent book Post Mortem that if a doctor takes a seriously ill patient hurriedly for an operation, it is likely that the patient is already dead but all operation charges will be recovered from the family.
Hysterectomy is the bread and butter of gynaecologists and appendix of general surgeons. Many of these surgeries are unnecessary, he says.

Dr Bapat’s book Ward No 5, KEM, published six years ago, is published in Marathi as well as English and the more recent is Postmortem which is in Marathi and deserves to be urgently translated into other languages.

God forbid if a major calamity strikes Mumbai because we are weakening our public hospital infrastructure, warned Dr Bapat in Ward NO 5, KEM. .

It is only in the last few years that the craze for private, expensive hospitals and private medical colleges has begun. Formerly, prominent political leaders regularly took treatment in public hospitals. Members of the Bal Thackeray family including wife Meenatai used to get treatment in the municipal KEM hospital. Dr Ravi Bapat recalls this in his book .

The book reads like a novel because it deals with such a wide variety of characters. Nowhere else can a doctor get such experience as a public hospital. Ravi Bapat has treated all sorts of people from senior politicians to gangsters, artistes, sportspersons and social activists.

In 1983 when Bal Thackeray’s ailment could not be diagnosed, Bapat examined him, stopped his homeopathic treatment, gave him new medicines and restored his health. One needs to make it clear that Bapat is not at all close to the Thackerays. Far from it. He was very close to many activists and leaders of left wing trade unions during the more militant days of the sixties and seventies.

Bapat’s father and wife too studied in G.S. medical college of KEM and as a student he got guidance from such stalwarts of those days as Dr A.V. Baliga, G.M. Phadke, Arthur D’sa , B.N. Purandare and P.K. Sen.

Bapat is troubled by the growing privatisation, commercialisation of medicine. He has seen it all from close quarters as a practising senior surgeon and later as vice chancellor of Maharashtra university for medical sciences. Doctors are so busy chasing money these days that they are putting their own health at risk, Bapat says.

Many doctors have a long record of dedicated social service and many are brilliant writers. The foremost among them is A.J. Cronin, who did pioneering work in the field of occupational health among mine workers in the U.K. and his writing was responsible for the much lauded British health service. More recently, Dr Atul Gawande, a U.S. born son of a doctor couple, has done pioneering work in the profession and on writing on it. However, the profession also has been lampooned for its downside. I remember a Sanskrit proverb Yamaraj Sahodar which says a doctor is like the elder brother of Yama, the god of death, Yama only takes your life, the doc takes both your life and money.

Way back in 1978, the book Chloroform, written by Dr Arun Limaye while losing his battle against cancer, questioned various aspects of the medical profession. The book was published by Granthali. It was a landmark book and Limaye’s premature passing away left a void.

The irregularities and crimes of multinational pharmaceutical companies are regularly exposed in the Western media and literature but so little notice is taken of these in India. John La Carre’s novel The Constant Gardner shows the crimes of the MNCs which included the murder of a British diplomat’s wife in Africa because she is a committed campaigner.

Amir Khan’s programme is good and many decent people are connected with it. But it is completely marred by the exhortation by Mrs Nita Ambani of the Ambani Foundation and there arises a very big question of credibility.

She talks of taking India from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge, from dependence to self reliance and so on. While she speaks softly, the import is extremely arrogant as it seeks to project the foundation as the solution of all of India’s problems. Even an election campaign speech has more credibility.

The Ambanis are simply using a good programme to brighten their extremely controversial image. Of course, there is no shortage of collaborators in the media trumpeting for the Ambanis.

And an Ambani-sponsored programme on health issues seems extremely odd considering the record of the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital at Andheri though it belongs to the rival Anil Ambani group. Just read the damning report of the auditor and comptroller general presented to the Maharashtra legislature recently.

That apart the programme and much of the discussion elsewhere on health issues is too focussed on big hospitals, doctors and treatment. The more crucial issue of prevention is generally neglected. It is much more important to provide clean drinking water, air and nutritious food and basic health services to the masses than to build expensive, high tech hospitals. But hospitals bring more publicity and strengthen the vested interests in the medical corporate complex.

(Mr Vidyadhar Date is a senior journalist and author of the book Traffic in the era of climate change. Walking, cycling, public transport need priority. datebandra@yahoo.com)

Does the truth prevail in Aamir Khan’s Satyameva Jayate?


Satyen K. Bordoloi , http://www.sify.com

aamir
Aamir Khan in the very first episode has shown society the mirror, but perhaps we also need to investigate what lies behind the mirror, says Satyen K Bordoloi

The most surprising thing about Satyameva Jayate is Aamir Khan. The star who is otherwise so inaccessible, has suddenly become someone you cannot escape even if you want to.

What with his program being shown at the same time in eight channels and viewers being subjected to a countdown as if something earthshaking was about to happen.

To begin with, one has to give in to the marketing genius of the man, the star… who in his quest to brand himself as the “socially conscious star” has finally nailed it.

Yes, Aamir Khan indeed shows the society the mirror, exposing the hypocrisies of the educated middle class. Yet, to get the true picture we will have to see the other side of the mirror.

First, however, let’s look at what Aamir Khan wants us to see.

Aamir’s Satyamev Jayate- Copied ? You Decide


, TNN | May 7, 2012

Aamir Khan‘s TV debut yesterday, which was preceded by months of publicity, culminated in a controversy with the band Euphoria alleging that the chorus of the show’s 22-minute anthem, Satyamev Jayate, had been lifted from the band’s decade-old song Satyameva Jayate. While Euphoria’s lead singer Palash Sen said all the TV show’s team had to do was ask him for their song to be used, composer Ram Sampathrefused to comment.

I was shocked: Palash

For the last few days, Palash Sen has been receiving calls from many of his fans who told him that the tune of the anthem of Aamir’s show, Satyamev Jayate, was the same as Euphoria’s song, which was also called Satyameva Jayate.

“The trailers and the anthem of this show have been running on television for quite a while, but I had not seen the videos. When I heard it, I was shocked. In 2000, Euphoria released its second album Phir Dhoom, and one of its songs was named Satyameva Jayate. And the chorus of composer Ram Sampath’s version of Satyamev Jayate is exactly the same as the chants in our song. They’ve basically used the same refrain. Jo baaki ka gaana hai, that has different words and tune. But the mainstay of the song – the chorus – is ours. Which is why I’ve sent a legal notice to them,” says Palash.
He adds, “It was the first Indian non-film song that was composed on the thought and phrase of ‘satyameva jayate’. We used to play that song extensively at our concerts about a decade ago. That song is not as popular as Maaeri (from the same album) because we did not make a video for it. But I believe that is the point – if one takes a 12-year-old song and picks up its chorus, most people won’t know about it, barring a few passionate fans who instantly recalled it and called me up.”

I’d have given permission

“They could have asked me and I’d have agreed at one go. I wouldn’t have asked for money. I would have just asked for a small credit to the band for the song,” says Palash.

“A lot of times, I see Euphoria’s tunes, catch-phrases, etc, in many Bollywood songs, but since that was not full-fledged copying, I didn’t raise any objection. I admire and respect Ram, and I remember how he fought for copyright issues when his own song was lifted and used in Rakesh Roshan’s Krazzy 4, hence the shock is even greater. The problem is that today, in the industry, copying is so frequent that people don’t even care about the original contributor’s objections.I want the audience to hear Euphoria’s Satyameva Jayate and decide on their own,” says Palash.

In 2008, Ram was involved in a similar copyright controversy, but back then, he was the one accusing the Roshans of not giving him credit for the music of Krazzy 4. He ultimately won the case and got 2 crore as compensation.


No comment: Ram Sampath

When contacted about Palash’s allegations, Ram Sampath, composer of the anthem for Aamir’s TV show, said, “I don’t have any idea about what you are saying. Nobody has said anything of this sort to me yet. So, I refuse to comment.”

Ditto: channel

When we spoke to Star India, they refused to speak on the matter. “No comment”, said the official spokesperson. Another official, though unwilling to be quoted, told us, “We don’t deny that we have received a legal document on this. But before we take any action or revert on this, we’ll check the authenticity of the allegation. We will not simply accept what someone is shouting from one corner of the world. We need some time.

YOU WATCH BOTH VERSIONS AND DECIDE