Friday, April 10, 2015

Operation was done

Hairs laid front, back and around the part
as excavated crops in the land of bloody mud.

Also the fear was wetting
as undressed dropped water.

At the soundless walk to the bed,
the knife is seeing me,
It was breathing, I heard.

I bedded like a rolled rope.
Anaesthesia travelled into my middle spine.
the needle could be plucked from mosquito’s mouth!

The cutting had started.
I couldn’t see my own blood.

When I sharpen my sense about the operation,
I feared pain, listened a song played.
It is Ilayaraja, was selling medicine.

In tear of thirst a pained wards
slipped up from my stomach
water … water ….

A face gunned me
“Injection for that only; quiet”

O.. doctor!
Who cares the elephant legged flowers,
killed already by air?
Note: Ilayaraja is a famous Musician from Tamil Nadu, India.

Ariharasuthan R (10.4.2015)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

No one again

When  I open
the gift, I smelled
the kiss
It is you,
and  no one …
Ariharasuthan R (December, 2010)

I want a poem

I want a poem to burn them

our homes are crushed
our fields are filled by bombs

I want a poem to burn them

they caught us
they chained us

I want a poem to burn them

they raped and killed
our sisters, mothers and loves

I want a poem to burn them

they hanged our elders
they axed our children

I want a poem to burn them

they cut our fingers and vocal cards
they added our fried flesh and hot blood
in their tables

I want
I want
I want a poem to burn them

Ariharasuthan R (December, 2010)

Plucked Memories!

Last time, when I came to my home town, I texted to one of my friend, “I was homeland sick”.  It has been couple of months since I haven’t been in my home town. I love to be in my district, Kanyakumari. Whenever I came back to Nagercoil by either bus or train, the moment I reached Kavalkinaru, merely the border of Kanyakumari district, I get unconsciously woken up by the gentle touch of blossomed breeze which carries medicinal values. It is the sole nature of my land.

This time, it is Pongal, yes! When I passed near the morning market towards my home at the Pogi Pongal day morning, I saw Chodakku Poo and Pongal Poo.

In Kanyakumari, people usually don’t have a habit to hang the Pongal poo on the roofs of their houses during Pongal days. But, it is known for its medicinal value. We called it as Kalmurichan kuzhai, Sirukanpeezhai, Poozhai poo and so on. It is a very valuable medicine for kidney problems, especially kidney stone. So people call it as Kalmurichan kuzhai and Sirukanpeezhai, Poozhai poo too because of its flowers. It looked like eye pus.

In all the other districts in Tamil Nadu, I have been seeing people tighten up these plants along with Neem leaves and Mango leaves on the roofs of their houses on Pongal days. Therefore, it is known as Pongal poo in general. I understood there are many people who have migrated from other districts to Kanyakumari nowadays.

Normally, there is a saying by our local people that if anyone get a punishment duty for their misbehaviors in government jobs from northern districts and get transferred far from theirs native districts; it could be either Kanyakumari or Thirunelveli. But, when they came here, they used to like the district and they are forced to buy lands and settle down here. It is for them that they have Pongal Poo plants in today’s markets.

Whatever it is; I love to see it in the market because earlier we saw it everywhere. Though recent days, it’s replaced by Partheeniam plants which cause some dangerous diseases and threats to agriculture.

Until a few years ago, NCC and NSS had an agenda to fire these plants in their camps. I’m not sure whether they followed it or not.   

For Chodakku Poo (kind of flower using to playing by children), we stamped our bare foot all paddy lands around our village in our childhood. We never forget the waved Chenkulam (red pond) and the Single Track Railway Station.

Since a long lime after around ten months ago, when I visited the railway station, I was shocked.  There wasn’t the twin trees Banian and Neem in the station which are emotionally attached with my childhood days. I used to study under the shadow shelter of them. Not only this, we also had a habit to rest in the middle of the way Chenkulam (the pond) to swim play, lotus plugging and fish catch, and some cheers in rainy days. There are mesmerizing beds I have in my memories.  But the trees were cut down for the extensional or developmental accounts for railway (now it is double track) and they were never seen in the waves in Chenkulam which is buried a lot. The paddy land where we stamped our bare foots weren’t there. Real estate people perverted in and around the pond.

But before long, we children were competently running to pluck Chodakku Poo (Poo = Flower). After plucking we aired the flowers and stuck it on our foreheads. It sounds tubby. It is a delight. We played it either on our foreheads or friends’ foreheads. To give a surprise, we do it on Amma, Appa, brothers, sisters, closed relatives and neighbors’ foreheads while they are working. And, some time we have been thrashed for disturbing them. When we tried it with friends, they ran to escape or came towards us for their chances. It was full of fun to see how children were celebrating in their homeland during Pongal days. There were plenty of Chodakku poo in streets, markets and everywhere you go.

 What now? Partheeniam! Partheeniam!! Partheeniam!!!

Ariharasuthan R (25th January, 2015)

A Call for investigative Journalism to Save Green

Where some danced on their friends with colored drinks in sparkling ball rooms of giant hotels, where some awakened within the divine places to welcoming, where others anticipated to new hopes in Tamil Nadu for the New Year 2015, there have been two places forcefully agitated again Kudankulam Nuclear Power project and Kaveri River Bed Methane project.

In Kudankulam, people were gathered in to the seashore and sea at Idinthakarai from 31st December, 2014 evening to January 1, 2015. Thus the Kudankulam struggle is continuing as the Government of India signed to extend the project to third and fourth nuclear plants. Nothing was reported in the mainstream media. Even though, we have numerous 24 by 7 news media in our country, they are just doing other talk shows and debates as usual.

Some vernacular media covered the news about the Kaveri River Bed Methane project. There were people agitating in Thirichirapalli, Thanjavur, Gangaikondan, Kumbakonam and many other places too. Pointedly in Kumbakonam, a group of enlightened young students and youths started their endless hunger strike for non-renewal and stoppage of methane project.

Perhaps we take same stands for above struggles. I request media to have follow ups and in depth investigations into these issues seriously. It should bring out the keys of the continuous progress against the people who stands for democracy and environment.

The thing is we need to have investigative journalism for giant projects like these. Ought to torch companies, politicians, unethical scientists and others who are involved to forcibly take up such kind of projects, wherever people strongly opposed in public hearings and the briberies involved. It would help people to understand the problems in different perspectives too. Probably it will help to lead new path and approaches to save green and save democratic activities.

In the past history of media, we’ve witnessed, there have been cases treated in investigative journalism patterns that had been done by braved journalists and media. I could state some for examples in India by Dr. Srivalli (2006).

·  Bhagalpur Blindings (Nov. 1980): blinding 31 under trails by Bihar police in Bihar Jail:  investigated by SNM Abdi, Sunday Magazine.
·  Kamala case (1981): women sold into prostitution in Madhya Pradesh: investigated by Ashwini Sarin encouraged by Indian Express editor Arun Shourie to prove the presence of flesh trade in Madhya Pradesh.
·  Antulay’s Trusts (1981): Arun Shourie showed that Abdul Rahman Antulay, the chief minister of Maharashtra state extorted millions of dollars from businesses dependent on state resources and put the money in a private trust named after Indira Gandhi. Auntulay had to resign from office because of this exposure.
·  Bofors: taking the cue from a Swedish Radio Broadcast, N Ram of “The Hindu” in Chennai with active collaboration of a woman journalist in Geneva, Chitra Subramaniam, lanched a vigorous effort to expose men in high places in India who received kickbacks in the guns deal.
·  Harshad Mehta Case: Sucheta Dalal of Times of India, Mumbai about the security scandal in the Mumbai stock market which rocked the country and forced the government of India to appoint a parliamentary committee to go into the messy business involving crores of rupees in losses to bank and private investors.
·  Cricket Match Fixing scandal (2000): Tehelka sent Manoj Prabakar, a former player met the players and officials with a hidden camera.
·  Zaheera Best Bakery Case: Tehelka conducted a sting operation in December 2014. Ashish Khetan, reporter of Tehelka taped a conversation by Chandrakanth Batthoo Srivastav, cousin of BJP legislator Madhu Srivastav, bribed Zaheera which reveals that Zaheera had taken Rs. 18 lakhs to change her testimony. 
·  Sin in Paradise; Paedophilia in Goa: Five month investigation in 2004 by Tehelka, exposed prowling paedophiles (sexually attracted to children) in Goa.
·  Price of Insanity; Doctors giving certificates: in 2004, Jamshed Khan, reporter of Tehelka exposed a Psychologist who issued certificates for Rupees five thousand to certified normal healthy women as mentally ill at the request of their spouses. Such certificates were used by men to seek divorce and remarry.
·  Pilot Licence: Tehelka exposed that anybody could buy a student Pilot licence for Rupees one lakh without even stepping into a cockpit.
·  Prescription Scam: Tehelka exposed how doctors work in tune with pharmacies and scanning centres to make money.
·  Cash for Warrants Scam: in January 2004, Vijay Shekhar of Zee TV staged a sting operation in Gujarat to expose corruption in the lower judiciary in Gujarat. The Journalist obtained unbailable warrants against President APJ Abdul Kalam. This exposed that warrants against anybody could be bought for money.
·  Judeo and Jogi Sting Operations: (example, done by the political parties for misuse of sting operation to investigation journalism) – In November 2003, the Indian express exposed Dilip Singh Judeo, a central minister, accepting bribe for providing mining rights to an Australian Company. It is cleared by CBI Judeo’s political opponent Ajit Jogi’s son Amit Jogi was involved in setting up the operation. Ahit Jogi in turn was caught in a sting operation by the BJP, were he was shown on camera try to bribe BJP MLA’s with the hope of splitting the party in Chhattisgarh.
·  Cash for Query – Operation Duryodhan and telecasted in Aaj Tak in December 2005 exposed 11 MPs for taking money for raising questions in Parliament. Aniruddha Bahal, who conducted the Operation West End, did this sting operation.
These are my examples to recall brave journalism to the betterment of the society, when it’s needed, especially when we are in the hot pot contemporary. Let’s hope to propagate investigative journalism towards save green too.

(Citation: P. Srivalli (Feb. 2006). Journalists’ and Public Perception of Journalistic Ethics With Reference to Tehelka Expose: An Exploratory Study. Ph.D.Thesis, Department of Mass Media & Communication Studies, University of Madras, Chennai.)

Ariharasuthan R (11.01.2015)
Editorial for Greenwatch (e-digest)

Dance the pens to green!

The title of this editorial are inspired by the words of Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was executed on November 10, 1995 by the Nigerian military forces during his uncompromising struggle against a multinational oil company to save their land.

Dance your anger and your joys; dance the guns to silence! Yes, we have a similar situation prevails in various parts of our country. Here, there should be a need for transfusing new blood into environmental journalism in India, especially Tamil Nadu. This is nothing but the journalism associated with non-human world with an interaction by human beings as well. For understanding, it reports on events, trends, and issues associated with the environment and focuses on the planet’s natural systems like plants, animals, habitats, ecosystems, atmosphere, water, climate, etc.

Since 1960s, it branched off with the book of Silent Spring authored by Rachel Carson, which alerted the people’s minds to dire problems in the environments. The most important legacy of Silent Spring, though, was a new public awareness that nature was vulnerable to human intervention.

Environmental journalism seeks to raise awareness about environmental problems and related issues to influence policy and action to resolve them.

Environmental journalists need to be fluent in the language and methods of science. They need to understand how policy decisions are made because science and implementation of projects in the name of science development are different vendettas. It should be important to extract and exhibit political ideology behind the implementations of the projects. Therefore, the environmental journalist must be able to place current environmental events into a historical context. And, on top of all that, they must tell compelling stories, communicating complex information in ways that are relevant to people’s lives and easy for them to understand.

We have a lot of environmental journalists or writers who often work on environmental issues in great depth. But in mainstream media like newspapers and televisions, we sense blank spaces in environmental journalism. And, we have a ‘sin’ in media - Bias.

There are organizations, movements, people, and scientists, writers who are having continuous struggles dealing with environmental issues. Sadly, it is not enough.

It is high time to nurture green journalism. Let dance the pens to green!

Ariharasuthan R (31, December, 2014) 
Editorial for Greenwatch (e-digest) 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

When I am who not I am

when, I am silent
with the darkness
the flowers fill as moon light
leads underneath
of my own sadness

eye misleads
hands shiver
blood roars
tongue stick with hard palate
fears raise up a dancing copra
and there are groups of
big elephants filled with knifes
waiting for me
I am not who I am
when I am who not I am
nothing else
happens every night

Ariharasuthan R (29, May, 2012)