Sunday, September 21, 2014

Gandhi and Ambedkar, when strongly espousing their views on the political economy would be dubbed left wing loonies today - P Sainath

Gandhi and Ambedkar,  when strongly espousing their views on the political economy would be dubbed left wing loonies today - P Sainath

Catch P Sainath in conversation with Teesta Setalvad in Communalism Combat’s Second Interview, only on HILLELE TV
Rural affairs editor of the Hindu until July 31, 2014 and well acclaimed for his book, ‘Everybody Loves a Good Drought’, P Sainath speaks to activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad on the massive corporate subsidies to India Inc in each year’s budget even as India as a country becomes tight fisted about feeding, clothing and immunizing its poor. A skewed ethic among India’s ruling elite combined with the shrinking space within a media that is today representative of a combination of business interests that in turn dominates electoral politics forces strong, independent voices of dissent to seek an alternative. Where and how the alternate will emerge is the creative challenge before all of us, explains Sainath.

This Interview is available in over 14 individual parts and will be also available in a complete format soon. Facets from this conversation:-

Corporate subsidies: The high corporate subsidies of Rs 571,000 crores exempted in the 2013-2014 budget are a steady and disturbing trend. It is included as annexure to the annual budget and rarely discussed in the media especially by hard rightwing economists who keep writing on ‘wasteful subsidies.’  These direct subsidies to a hugely pampered sector include direct corporate income tax that amounts to Rs 71,000 crores which is twice the amount that India is putting into the MNREGA (rural employment guarantee scheme) this year. (Sainath to Setalvad)
Even if one excludes the Rs 40,000 crore foregone on personal income tax, within the overall subsidy --  since that write-off benefits a wider group of people -- the write-offs are shocking and include customs duty exemptions for gold and diamond jewellery that total a staggering Rs 46,000 crores! The amount we’ve written off for corporate big business since 2005-06 is well over Rs. 36.5 lakh crores. This Rs 36.5 lakh crores, Sainath explains, could fund MNREGS for around 105 years, at present levels. You could, in fact, run the MNREGS on that sum, across the working lives of two generations of such labourers. The current allocation for the rural employment guarantee scheme is around Rs 34,000 crore. As for the public distribution system [PDS], the amount could fund it for 31 years, says Sainath, adding, that, current allocation is Rs. 1,15,000 crores. The amount written off in 2013-14 shows an increase of 132 per cent compared to the same concessions in 2005-06. Corporate karza maafi is a growth industry, and an efficient one.
This interview is the second of the series of audio-visual interviews, launched on 6.9.2014 available for viewing on the internet on the joint You Tube video channel by Communalism Combat (  and

Convergence between Parliament, Big Business and Media: The interview also explores the complete domination of Indian Parliament by “more than millionaires” [the 2014 Indian Parliament has 353 of the 545 Members of Parliament worth Rs 10 million; when the last Parliament – 2009—had only 145 MPs worth Rs 10 million] and in turn these very individuals ( and their corporate business interests owning controlling shares in media). This enjoys a rare convergence, hitherto unparalleled that was witnessed in the brazen corporate campaign to spearhead Modi to power in 2014. (Sainath to Setalvad)
Working Journalists Act: Reminding us that the detailed work undertaken by India’s independent Press Commissions foresaw this danger and threat, P Sainath urges that the movement for implementation of secure jobs for journalists (Working Journalists law) that has been subverted by the Contract system be undertaken. Just as the gains of the organized labour movement (barely 7 per cent of the workforce is in the organized sector, 93 per cent work in sub-human conditions in the unorganized sector) are sought to be snatched away so another 7 per cent of our population becomes vulnerable and pliant, working journalists though driven by ideals are being forced into composed compliance by contractual employment that makes them completely vulnerable. (Sainath to Setalvad)
PARI [People’s Archive for Rural India]: Announcing the launch of this unique project that will bring us in print, audio and video form, the everyday stories of ordinary Indians, Sainath explains how he and his team hope to bring in all India’s 780 plus languages and dialects, bring the urban to the internet surfing Indian and show how the labours of the ordinary working Indian and his and her immense contribution is visibilised so we see our cities and growth as built on that immense everyday toil.

Watch and Listen at

P. Sainath Corporate Subsidies
Part I

 P. Sainath on Ruling Elite
Part II

 P. Sainath on Convergance of Media, Business and Politics
Part III

 P. Sainath on Corporate Media
Part IV

 P. Sainath on Media’s Private Treaties
Part V

P.Sainath on 2014 Elections
Part VI

P.Sainath on Media Alternatives
Part VII

P.Sainath on the Idealist Journalist

P.Sainath on Paid News
Part IX

P.Sainath on Contract Journalism
Part X

P.Sainath on Public Action and the Media
Part XI

P.Sainath on New Project [PARI-People’s Archive for Rural India]
Part XII

P.Sainath on the Hard Economic Rightwing

P.Sainath on the Internet and the Media
Part XIV

(Hillele Combat Bureau) 

Monday, September 8, 2014

अब आरएसएस का विभाजनकारी एजेंडा घोषित है - हंसल मेहता

Subject: अब आरएसएस का विभाजनकारी एजेंडा घोषित है - हंसल मेहता (प्रेस विज्ञप्ति)

अब आरएसएस का विभाजनकारी एजेंडा घोषित है - हंसल मेहता 
06-09-2014, मुंबई। 
फिल्म निर्देशक हंसल मेहता ने एक विस्तृत साक्षात्कार में मौजूदा सरकार के सत्ता में आने के बाद से आरएसएस और उनके अनुषांगिक संगठनों के क्रियाकलापों और बयानों पर चिंता जताते हुए कहा है कि अपनी स्थापना की एक सदी पूरी करने जा रहे राष्ट्रीय स्वय़ंसेवक संघ का साम्प्रदायिक और विभाजनकारी एजेंडा अब घोषित रूप से सामने है। इस साक्षात्कार के साथ ही कम्युनलिज़्म कॉम्बैट और के साझा प्रयासों के फलस्वरूप धर्मनिरपेक्षता के प्रसार और साम्प्रदायिक ताकतों का मुक़ाबला करने के लिए एक यू ट्यूब चैनल और मशहूर हस्तियों के साक्षात्कार के सिलसिले की पहली कड़ी सार्वजनिक हो गई।
सामाजिक कार्यकर्त्री तीस्ता सीतलवाड़ द्वारा लिए गए इस साक्षात्कार में दिल पर मत ले यार मं विस्थापितों और शाहिद में साम्प्रदायिकता-अल्पसंख्यकों के हालातों की कहानी कहने वाले फिल्म निर्दशक हंसल मेहता ने धार्मिक कट्टरपंथ और विभाजन की राजनीति स लकर फिल्मों और पाक कला तक पर सवालों का बेबाकी से जवाब दिया।
हंसल मेहता अपनी फिल्म शाहिद के लिए सर्वश्रेष्ठ निर्देशन का राष्ट्रीय पुरस्कार भी जीत चुके हैं। हंसल मेहता ने साक्षात्कार में यह भी शंका जताई कि नई सरकार आने के बाद उनकी फिल्म शाहिद को अल्पसंख्यकों पर होने वाले अत्याचार पर बनी होने के कारण राष्ट्रीय फिल्म महोत्सव की उद्घाटन फिल्म के तौर पर आखिरी वक़्त में हटा दिया गया। हंसल मेहता ने आरएसएस की राजनीति को विभाजनकारी बताते हुए कहा कि इसके खिलाफ लड़ने और बोलने के अपने ख़तरे हैं लेकिन ये ख़तरे हर वक़्त मं रहे हैं। 
हंसल मेहता ने पुरानी सरकारों पर भी निशाना साधा और कहा कि सिर्फ अभी ही नहीं, पहले भी आपातकाल जैसे विषयों पर गंभीर और सच्ची फिल्में बनाना असंभव रहा है, जबकि पड़ोसी मुल्क पाकिस्तान में भी ये आसान है। समकालीन और पुराने सिनेमा की तुलना करते हुए मेहता ने कहा कि पहले 50 के दशक की फिल्मों में ज़रूरी मुद्दों को ज़्यादा गंभीरता से उठाया जाता था। विस्थापन, जातिवाद, महिलाओं की स्थिति और साम्प्रदायिकता पर 50 के दशक की फिल्में सबसे ज़्यादा संवेदनशील और गंभीर हैं, जबकि 70 के दशक से धर्म से लेकर सामाजिक मुद्दों तक को भुना कर फिल्में हिट करवाने की जुगत चालू हो गई। 
हंसल मेहता ने अपने पाक कला के शौक पर भी बात की और कहा कि वो इस वक्त भी कुकरी के शौकीन हैं और अवधी व्यंजनों पर काम कर रहे हैं। ज्ञात हो कि 90 के दशक से 2000 तक लोकप्रिय शेफ संजीव कपूर द्वारा संचालित कुकरी शो खाना ख़ज़ाना भी हंसल ही बनाते थे। 
हंसल मेहता ने साफ किया कि वो आगे भी शाहिद जैसी फिल्में बनाते रहेंगे और असली कहानियों के सामने आते ही वो उन पर फिल्म बनाएंगे, वो चाहें हास्य-व्यंग्य हो या फिर सीधी सामाजिक कहानियां। 
हंसल का ये साक्षात्कार कम्युनलिज़्म कॉम्बेट और हिलेले डॉट कॉम की साक्षात्कार श्रृंखला का पहला साक्षात्कार है, जिसमें आगे कई फिल्मी अभिनेता, निर्देशक, लेखक, सामाजिक कार्यकर्ताओं और साहित्यकारों के साक्षात्कार शामिल रहेंगे, जो इनके यूट्यूब चैनल Hillele TV ( पर जारी और उपलब्ध रहेंगे। हालिया साक्षात्कार को देखने के लिए आप सीधे पर जा सकते हैं।

The divisive agenda of RSS is now Public - Hansal Mehta directly.

The divisive agenda of RSS is now Public - Hansal Mehta 
06-09-2014, Mumbai.

Film Director Hansal Mehta in an interview has expressed serious concerns over the overt activities and statements of the RSS and allied organizations, after the recent central government's victory in the general elections of 2014. He has stated that the "Communal and divisive Agenda of the century old rightist organization RSS is now open and public." This interview is the launching video of a series of audio-visual interviews, available for viewing on the internet on the joint You Tube video channel by Communalism Combat and

Hansal Mehta, the director of films Dil pe Mat le Yaar (Story of migrants) and Shahid (Minority Rights) was forthright  in his assessment of the present scenario while talking about the threat of hate-driven divisive politics to journalist, educationist and humanist, Teesta Setalvad, who conducted the first interview of the series. 
Mehta has won the National Film Award for best director for Shahid (2014). A marked shift in priorities of the government at the centre, was one reason that Shahid was unceremoniously replaced from being the inaugural film of the National Film Festival in May 2014, soon after election results, due to the crucial issues it raises. A fear of challenging the ideology of the ruling dispensation governs this mood of self-censorship, according to Hansal Mehta while emphasizing that there have been such threats before, even during moments of our own authoritarian past.
 "Even during and after emergency, it was impossible or difficult to make serious and honest films over the period of emergency or about Indira Gandhi. While it has been easier (to make critical films) in neighbouring Pakistan."  Talking about Hindi Cinema-Then and Now, Mehta assessment of the 1950s and bollywood ran thus, “"Films in 50's were more serious and sensitive towards society, raising several questions, tackling even the gender question. “After the angry man of the 1970's it was tokenism that replaced a more thematic understanding of issues."
 He also talked cheerfully about his hobby, specifically about his first venture into television with a highly popular food show. A lover of good cuisine and passionate about its creation, Hansal Mehta is today learning the nuances of Awadhi Cuisine. It was Hansal, who produced the the famous Sanjiv Kapur’s show 'Khana Khazana'. Dedicated to creating more films like Shahid , that turn the mirror of society within, Mehta spoke honestly about also creating a sex comedy with the same brutal dedication.

This interview of Hansal Mehta is the first of the series of Interviews by Communalism Combat and The Series will further include interactions with various Actors, Film Makers, Artists, Academics, Writers-Poets, Activists, Politicians and Musicians, which would be launched on their You Tube Channel 'Hillele TV'( To view the recent interaction with Hansal Mehta, you may go to directly.
  (Hillele Bureau)