Thursday, 18 February 2010

Learning on the journo job

Another civic story done and dusted. And this one has my voice on it.

This piece is about the Namma Metro construction along MKK Road in my side of Bangalore.

(Why, thank you, I know I sound lovely!)

Apart from giving me a chance to fiddle with sound and to stare for hours at audio squiggles (oh joy!), there's some learning that the experience brought -

  • There're so many civic issues in everyone's backyard. 
  • In a case where people will lose their homes and their livelihoods for the sake of snazzy new constructions and urban infrastructure projects, I cannot bring myself to pick a side, but I would know where my sympathies lie. 
  • That everyone, every time, will learn to live with it. Despite all protests, life goes on. 

Many years ago, I read about how the concepts of karma and fate ("hane bareha" as Granmum says) are integral to the Indian societal make-up, and responsible for holding back economic and scientific progress. Then, I was inclined to dismiss it as a eurocentric statement, full of scientific and ethnic bias.

I would still contest that this 'passivity', as it may appear to some, is unjustly held responsible for holding the nation back, just because it doesn't conform to the ideas of competition, standards of achievement, and all's-fair attitudes that characterises the globally favoured paradigm of development.

However, I have now come to acknowledge the existence of the notion. It is hard to ignore the 'What can we do, that's written in the stars' explanation and acceptance of one's lot in life.

I'm still not sure that's a defeatist attitude though. It could also alternatively be seen as simply the lack of choice. Or just pragmatism and maturity.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Reporting in Bangalore - Tannery Road widening project

I've had the chance to get involved in civic issues and do a bit of reporting recently. The hunt for my first story in Bangalore took me to Tannery Road, where I spoke to residents and property owners protesting road widening along the stretch.

Here's the story on Citizen Matters - Tannery Road businesses strike out at TDR 

Coming up...the real story behind the story.  From Our Own Correspondent style.
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