#RIP- Veteran votary of women’s television Jai Chandiram loses battle with cancer

NEW DELHI: Former deputy director general of Doordarshan and a veteran in educational television Jai Chandiram died this morning aged 75.

She had been battling cancer of the colon for some months. Chandiram is survived by her brother and two sisters.

Less than a fortnight before she passed away, Chandiram was awarded the lifetime achievement award by the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT), whose Indian chapter she headed for many years. The IAWRT annually organised a film festival to coincide with the International Women’s Day.

 jai Chandiram started her career as a producer in Doordarshan and retired as Deputy Director General. Doordarshan.  She received her Masters Degree from the School of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida, Gainesville.  Her experiences in media covers production, training and management. Her main area of work has been on children, education, distance learning, gender and developmental issues.


She has headed several media centers in India and Asia – Head, Department of Television at the Film and Television Institute, Pune Television Consultant at the Asia Pacific Institute for Broadcasting and Development, (AIBD), Kuala Lumpur. During this period she provided training to the broadcasting organizations in the Asia Pacific region. The audio video resource kit on gender, “Into Focus,Changing Media Images of Women in Asia,”, was a path breaker and continues to be widely used in many countries. She is a regular participant and contributor to Asia Media Summit on issues of gender, children and training the Central Institute of Education (CIET-NCERT) Educational Media Production Center, Indira Gandhi National Open University (EMPCIGNOU) Chief consultant for CEMCA and author of the “Manual on Teleconferencing” (with an accompanying CD). Initiated radio programs for the start of Gyan Vani, IGNOU, in collaboration with AIR Bhopal, Executive Director Media, at the Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts (IGNCA) where she produced several documentaries and programs on arts and artists. These have been screened at the JDCA Film Forum Festival, Bhubaneshwar.


Director of Doordarshan Delhi

Director of Doordarshan, Ahmedabad

Director of Doordarshan, Central Production Center

Started the Third Channel of Doordarshan, which concentrated on the arts

Retired as Deputy Director General, Doordarshan

Director, “Beyond 60”, a series for Tara Television


Jai Chandiram has been Advisor to the Government of Andhra Pradesh for Mana TV, the

bouquet of Educational Channels. She recently did a Report on SIET Hyderabad : The Road



She has been a jury member for many national and international organizations, including

NHK (Japan), IAWRT Awards, Doordarshan, CEC. She has also been a jury member at the

national level for many organizations.


She has been on the media advisory and task forces for various Ministries andorganizations dealing with Family Welfare, Health, HIV-AIDS, Leprosy, Biodiversity, CIET , NLM


She is also Trainer Consultant, Princess Diana Leprosy Mission Trust

Examiner, Jamia Millia Institute for Mass Communication.

Consultant and Trainer, Commonwealth of Learning for National Institute of Teachers and other media centers in Nigeria and WOU, Malaysia.

For UNESCO, Jai Chandiram and Ammu Joseph did a needs study on the training of journalists in Sri Lanka.

She has been the President of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television

(IAWRT) for two terms and is currently the Managing Trustee, IAWRT – India Chapter.

For the last five years, IAWRT India Chapter has organized the Asian Women’s Film

Festival. This festival has travelled to many cities in India.

Till September 2008 she was Executive Director, Fortune Institute of Communications and Television.

Till recently she was Media Advisor, DEP-SSA IGNOU.


#India- Films under the knife #censorship


FILMMAKER:Anand Patwardhan.

FILMMAKER:Anand Patwardhan.

 The screening of noted filmmaker Anand Patwardhan’s  Ram Ke Naam  (In the Name of God) was persistently protested by the students’ wing of a political party at a recent people’s film festival in Ayodhya, more than two decades after it was documented. The filmmaker talks about the film, censorship of independent opinions and much more in an interview:

How relevant do you think is the film’s initial controversy today?

Twenty-one years ago, the film got a “U” certificate, a Filmfare Award and a National Award for Best Investigative Film. The Doordarshan showed the film following an order by the Bombay High Court who ruled that it was made in national interest. Yet there are groups that oppose it without seeing it. They are told it is “anti- Hindu”. But in fact, in the last 21 years, several  karsevaks  who had actually gone to demolish the Babri Mosque confessed after seeing the film that they felt ashamed for what they had done. They realised that the issue was not religious, but political and financial.

Ram Ke Naam  does not oppose any religion. The voices of ordinary Hindus in and around Ayodhya are testimony to the fact that the communal virus in this country does not originate from the working majority but is largely injected by upper caste urban elements. These “leaders” generally get working class/caste people to do their dirty work, whether this is scavenging or participating in riots and looting.  Ram Ke Naam  interviews Pujari Laldas, head priest of the Ram Janma bhoomi/ Babri Masjid temple/ mosque who believed that Hindus and Muslims should both be allowed to pray at the site as they had done for centuries. Within a year of the Babri demolition, Pujari Laldas was murdered.

The film was incidentally completed in 1991, before the Babri demolition. It was a warning to the nation that communal forces were about to inflict a grievous wound on our secular fabric. The warning went unheeded. By that time the film reached TV, the damage had been done. The Babri Masjid had been demolished, thousands of people in the sub-continent killed and a chain reaction of religious hatred unleashed that continues to wreak havoc to the present day.

The Babri demolition has completed 20 years, why do you think no mainstream film has been made on the issue?  Barring exceptions, I don’t have faith in mainstream Bollywood or for that matter Hollywood. They have the great advantage of mass reach but the very nature of the huge finances involved prevents political, social and cultural risk-taking. There is careful calculation and almost inevitable compromise. Sometimes when its heart is in the right place, a film can shift popular perceptions to a tiny degree but usually this happens only when the filmmakers believes their cause to be popular. So for instance, there may be some good films made against rape now but even here the chances are that the commercial instinct will send double messages while appearing to be pro-woman.

So the silence on Babri Masjid is not surprising. One sensitive fiction film that did touch this issue is Saeed Mirza’s  Naseem  though I won’t call it Bollywood and nor did it enjoy a big release. Incidentally when Saeed wanted to access TV footage of the attack on the mosque he could not find any, such had been the censorship. He ended up using sound clips from Ram Ke Naam .

Kamal Haasan’s 


was in the news for slightly similar reasons.

I am against censorship, especially of the extra-constitutional variety. I will not talk of the content of Vishwaroopam  as I have not seen the film, but the reviews of people I trust has me worried that the film indulges in stereotyping and sees the U.S. as an ally in the fight against terror. If this is true, I would still not call for censorship but I would find it problematic, because the U.S. is playing a deadly double game. They are both the authors of jihad  and now the victims of it. Bin Laden was their creation. They fought a proxy war in Afghanistan where they preached Islamic jihad against communists. Have they ever apologised? Peace may come to our planet the day the powerful neo-con lobby in America genuinely reveals how it used religion to divide the world. And Islamic  jihad  may realise that not Islam, not the Quran, but their enemy number one is their actual father.

Most human beings are not bigoted by nature. They are victims of manipulation. Just as  Ram Ke Naam  was able to win over  karsevaks . I am sure that even  jihadis  can be won over if they come into genuine and prolonged contact with those who believe in another idea of Islam. But if we merely practice revenge, judicial or otherwise, the cycle of violence will remain unbroken.

How has the film-making landscape changed since you made  Ram Ke Naam ? Are you freer today?

I continue to try and tell the truth as I see it. What is sad is that the real censorship in this country is no longer the censorship of the State. It is the censorship of the marketplace. Our films remain in the margins. Breaking out of this is the fight that must continue.


“…real censorship in this country is no longer the censorship of the State. It is the censorship of the marketplace. Our films remain in the margins.”




Aamir Khan specially screens Satyamev Jayate in villages

Aamir Khan‘s much awaited TV debut Satyamev Jayate premieres today. The show will be telecast in over 100 countries around the world, but sadly, not in Karnataka.
After months of hype and curiosity, D-day has finally arrived for Aamir Khan’s first TV show, Satyamev Jayate. The first episode of the non-fiction talk show will air today at 11 am across eight channels on the Star TV network, including four regional language channels which will feature dubbed versions. It will also be aired on national broadcaster Doordarshan.To make sure the show reaches people in remote areas who don’t own TV sets, the actor will hold special public screenings of the first episode for them on community TV sets in their villages. Bhingara and Kahupatta in Maharashtra, Jhunkar in Madhya Pradesh and Khannapurwa, Lalpur Sarauta and Maaniram in Uttar Pradesh are some of the chosen villages.

“It is a relevant show for the whole country and we are making sure that it reaches out to all Indians, even in places with limited or no TV connectivity,” says Gayatri Yadav, marketing and communications, Star India. Based on the response to the first episode, Star will consider screening subsequent episodes of the show in this manner as well.

Telecom brand Airtel, Satyamev Jayate’s sponsor, has reduced the cost of SMS responses to the show from Rs. 3 to Rs. 1. Also, reports say that the revenue collected via SMS and from caller tunes of the show’s title track will be donated to charity.

Aamir’s dream to reach out to every Indian might hit a roadblock however. Recent news reports have said that Karnataka has banned the show from being aired because of a state policy that disallows dubbed versions of non-Kannada serials on regional channels. At the time of goin to print, Star TV officials were trying to work out a solution.


Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

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Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists


Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel


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June 2021
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