India trusts Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but does the P M t r u st us? Ac – cording to an IANS-C-voter Covid-19 tracker, the number of people who trusted the Modi government on the first day of the lockdown was 76.8 percent. By the end April this increased to 93.5 per cent. But we didn’t really need a survey to tell us how much we trust him. When he tells us to go to our balconies and clap, we do that; when he says light candles, we do that. We applaud him when he uses our defence aircraft to shower petals on health workers instead of using the resources for doing something that is more constructive than cosmetic, than say some cash incentives (am sure they need something other than free life insurances that some states have announced). We do so because we have put our faith in him, simply because he asked us to do so. And no one can deny that, when he wants to.
Modi can ask very nicely. But does he trust us ? Now would be a good time for the PM to reciprocate some of that trust back onto the people, especially the middle class, the salaried and the industry. We pay our taxes, donate to the PM Cares Fund but we have financial commitments too. Addressing the ICAI Leadership Summit last week Harish Salve made some very interesting points when he argued that to get India running again we need to get India Inc running again. As Salve said while pointing out that the economy was on a ventilator, “The first thing you would do is to give a blood transfusion i.e. cash in the system. The second is the electrolytes — that would be smoothening doing business in India. Statutory compliances? Tax disputes? Intrusive investigation into small violations? Put them on to the back burner: let people spend time in factory floors and shops rather than rushing to government offices answering show-causes.”
In other words, the “sab chor-hain (all are thieves)” until proven otherwise mindset of the government towards its citizens has to go. And this is not Covid-related. Look at what happened during demonetisation, an exercise that was aimed at curbing black money but it can be argued that it had a devastating effect on the medium and small scale sector, the kirana shopkeeper and most of the small-scale, selfemployed businesses. I agree with Subramanian Swamy when he told me in an interview for NewsX as to why he wants to do away with taxation. As he says, the rich will hire fancy CAs and find a way to avoid taxes. It is the middle class, salaried people who suffer. Ditto for demonetisation. We still don’t know how much black money was caught but we do know that 99.3% of the demonetised notes made their way back to the RBI. So it can be argued that the big industrialists managed to balance their cash flow. It is the poor and middle class who stood in lines and even lost some of their undeclared money.
Was it to catch that kirana shopkeeper who doesn’t give the odd bill or the housewife who stashed more than Rs 2 lakh in her locker for a rainy (or a splurge) day, that the Indian government carried out this mammoth and somewhat costly exercise? (According to the RBI Annual Report, 2017, the cost of printing currency notes more than doubled to Rs 7,965 crore in 2016-17 from Rs 3,421 crore in the previous year on account of new currency printing.) Clearly it suited a certain narrative to make sure that the kirana shopkeeper or MSME owner ended up as an honest but poorer man rather than one who managed to make his ends meet by cutting a few corners. In fact this is how the BJP justified demonetisation by pointing to all the middle class people queueing up in lines as “tax evaders” who had come to deposit their illgotten gains. More importantly, the worth of a small business is not just the tax he deposits but the jobs he generates. This is life, Mr Prime Minister, and not all good men and women come in dazzling white. Circumstances and natural disasters bring with them some shades of grey.
Why is there so much distrust over the Aarogya Setu app? The same people who have no hassles in giving up their data to Google Maps and other apps that are far more dangerous to our privacy concerns are balking at downloading the Aarogya app simply because they feel it gives the government access to their data. This is a trust deficit the government needs to address. One way to address this would be ensure more transparency between the government and the people. Here are not just the concerns of the middle class. Take the way the entire migrants’ crisis was handled. Cut to the end when finally it was decided that they should be allowed to travel home. In order to board the trains (and am not even going into the confusion regarding the Rs 50 surcharge) the workers were told to first download a certain form, fill it, and get it signed by a registered medical doctor.
Where are they going to get the money to consult one of the registered doctors, not to mention find a photostat shop that would be open to download the forms? Isn’t it easier to do the testing at the stations as it was being done at airports earlier? One reason why the process was made complicated seems to be that the government (state governments are equally complicit here) wasn’t very keen to let the migrants travel back home for fear of spreading the infection and so made the process so cumbersome. It’s a valid concern. Why not say so outright instead of playing with emotions? Ditto for the tax on liquor — it’s a huge revenue earner for the states.
Why not give the shops more leeway as you did the grocery shops, and earn in bulk instead of increasing the tax. For it is not the very rich alone that consume liquor. (In fact, the very rich probably still have their duty free stock and are not queing outside the shops.) I am told the Maharashtra government even considered inking the buyers’ fingers with the same indelible ink used for voting to ensure those who bought alcohol would not have access to free rations. Won’t that man have a family that needs the free rations? Let’s stop the moral policing for these are extraordinary times. Extraordinary times require a lot of faith, patience with others’ weaknesses and also need support for their strengths. We are in this mess together, it is of no one’s making (except perhaps China). But fingers will be pointed and hands will be clapped as to how we get out of this. All of us together. Individual state chief ministers will do their bit, But only one man can pull the entire country in the same direction. We locked down when you asked us to, Mr Modi; now you need to get us all out, together.
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You need to have a social media presence to build a brand: Anshuman Sharma
In an exclusive interview with NewsX with NewsX Influencer A-List, Anshuman Sharma opened up about his viral videos, his association with the music industry, his latest projects and much more.
Music and comedy influencer Anshuman Sharma joined NewsX for an exclusive interview as part of NewsX Influencer A-List. In the candid chat, Anshuman opened up about his viral videos, his association with the music industry, his latest projects and much more.
Speaking about his viral videos on Ritviz, Badshah and others, Anshuman said, “I used to make fun stuff on Instagram like dialogue remixes and stuff. There was this dialogue remix that I made on someone that kind of sounded like Ritviz. People were tagging Ritviz in the comments. I listened to his music and then I realised that I do kind of did sound like him. There were already these videos already on the Internet by International YouTubers, who showed people on how to make a Micheal Jackson or Drake song in 2 minutes. I thought why not do it with Ritviz since I already know how it sounds. I could just create a track and put a video on it. It got a million views on Twitter and 2 million on YouTube.”
Talking about his association with the music industry and the songs he’s working on right now, Anshuman said, “I have been working with Salim Suleman. I have done a couple of background music tracks along with them. I did background music for Coolie No 1, which we featured Varun Dhawan. I did Disco Dancer 2.0 featuring Tiger Shroff. They recently released an album called Bhoomi, so I did various songs in that album including one for Sunidhi Chauhan and one for Sukhwinder. Those are folk songs mixed with Jazz, so I have been working on stuff like that.”
Sharing how his journey with Salim Suleman started, Anshuman said, “I used to put videos of me playing the keyboard on Instagram. I sent some of those videos to various composers like Vishal Dadlani, Salim Merchant and AR Rahman. Luckily, Salim Merchant saw my video and my DM. He followed me back and he said it is great. After 2-3 months, I was going to do MBA but then somehow I decided that MBA is not for me. I decided to message Salim Merchant and asked if I could intern with him. He said yes. I left everything and just went for it.”
When asked about making spoofs on artists and if he ever contemplates about not making them fearing it might hurt somebody and hamper his future prospects, Anshuman responded, “There is never a conflict because I don’t try to bring them down. I keep it as less offensive as I can. It is basically just picking out certain things from their music and telling people that this is mostly this type of stuff that they have been doing and present it in a fun way. I don’t make fun of them.”
On the new trend on having a social media presence to build your own brand, Anshuman commented, “If I take examples of songs, a lot of songs are hit songs but people don’t know who made them, unless it is a big composer. In order to tell people that, you need to build a brand and you need to have that social media presence. Once you have a following, they will know who you are and your songs would have better chance of becoming hit songs.”
Check out the entire interview on NewsX YouTube:
When I started, the goal was not to become a social media influencer: Vishnu Kaushal
In an exclusive interview with NewsX as part of NewsX Influencer A-List, Vishnu Kaushal spoke to us about his journey to become a social media influencer, having an alternative career plan and much more.
Disrupting the Internet with his comedy and style videos, Vishnu Kaushal joined NewsX for a candid chat as part of NewsX Influencer A-List. In the exclusive conversation, the comedy content creator spoke to us about his journey to become a social media influencer, having an alternative career plan and much more.
Talking about his journey of becoming a social media influencer, Vishnu said, “I am 24 right now. I started making videos in 2013, which makes means when I was 16. I did not have the idea of short form content back then or all those things. When I started, the goal was not to become a social media influencer. It was to become a creator and make a living while creating and doing something I loved. That was just the goal. However, it took me a while. I made videos for 4.5 years without getting any sort of recognition or virality. I gave up the idea of doing this for a living, then Instagram reels came along and my videos started to find the right set of audience. It all started clicking really well because I had all this experience to write a joke and deliver it in the best way. I had the perfect opportunity and I had the baggage of 4 years of content, where I already knew what I wanted to say. I got the right outlet when reels came along. It really did it for me and that’s when it grew up.”
When asked if it is difficult to create short form content than long form content because one only gets 30 seconds to woo the audience, he responded, “For someone who grew up making long form videos, for them it is definitely tougher because they are used to dealing with nuances, building a premise that is longer and delivering a joke. But, for a GenZ kid, short form content comes easily. They are very intuitive with their content. They know how to do it. I have done short form content for a while and I still can’t make a video less than 45 seconds because I think to myself, ‘What do I do in 45 seconds?’. My videos are usually 45 seconds to 1 minute. I think it is more about conditioning. Once people find their length and wavelength, it comes naturally. Long form and short form are very different. Comparing them is tough.”
Speaking about having an ‘alternate plan’ to content creation, Vishnu said, “There was always an alternate plan. This was the alternate plan. I started making videos in my 12th grade. I was in my college when started this. For the first 4 years, I was doing my B-Tech in computer science engineering while I was making videos in college. I was also working with an organisation back then, so I was doing college, working on something and making videos. After college, I got an internship/job and I was doing that. I was into social media marketing, PR and advertising, then I got a call from MenXP, asking if I want to come and audition. Until I got that call, I never stopped having this one thing, i.e my day job. I always was making videos. For me, making videos was never a profession. For me, it has always been the time I can do whatever. That time is my time. Creating videos, after coming back from my college or job, was my time. It has always been fun for me.”
Check out the entire interview on NewsX YouTube:
REPUBLIC DAY CELEBRATIONS
The National Flag is hoisted above the Clock Tower (Ghanta Ghar) on the occasion of the 73rd Republic Day, at Lal Chowk, in Srinagar on Wednesday. ANIIndian Air Force’s Rafale aircraft leading MIG-27, MIG-29 and Sukhoi aircraft in a fly-past above Rajpath during the 73rd Republic Day parade, in New Delhi on Wednesday. ANIPresident Ram Nath Kovind presents the Ashoka Chakra (Posthumous) to Babu Ram, Assistant Sub-Inspector of J&K Police. The award was received by his wife Reema Rani and son Manik Sharma, at the 73rd Republic Day Celebrations, at Rajpath, in New Delhi on Wednesday. ANIA dance performance going on during the 73rd Republic Day Parade, in front of Vidhan Sabha, in Lucknow on Wednesday. ANIArtists take a selfie after the conclusion of the 73rd Republic Day Parade, in Jammu on Wednesday. ANIThe Arunachal Pradesh tableau, based on the theme “Anglo-Abor (Adi) Wars” on the Rajpath during the 73rd Republic Day Parade, in New Delhi on Wednesday. ANIIndian Army’s Akash missiles on display during the 73rd Republic Day Parade, at Rajpath, in New Delhi on Wednesday. ANIBorder Security Force (BSF) women Dare Devils perform a stunt during the 73rd Republic Day Parade, at Rajpath, in New Delhi on Wednesday. ANIParamilitary personnel march during 73rd Republic Day celebrations, in Leh, Ladakh on Wednesday. ANICentral Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel celebrate after winning the first prize for march past at the 73rd Republic Day function, in Patna on Wednesday. ANI
ITA Awards 2021 will be held in March this year: Anu Ranjan
In an exclusive conversation with NewsX as part of NewsX India A-List, Anu Ranjan gave us an insight into her association with ITA.
As the countdown for ITA Awards 2021 begins, Producer Anu Ranjan joined NewsX as part of NewsX India A-List. In the exclusive conversation, Anu Ranjan gave us an insight into ITA, her association with ITA and the preparations for this year’s ceremony, especially amid a Covid scare.
Speaking about her association with ITA 2021 and what has the journey been like, Anu Ranjan said, “This is our 21st year. I started it and I have been there since its inception. It is just that because of what has happened the previous year, we have been running a few months late.
Talking about the inception of ITA awards, she shared, “It was an idea told to me by my friends while we were walking on the beach. They were saying that there are no TV awards and that was in 2000. I used to live in America and I moved to India after I got married. The Emmy’s was something that we had always seen so I said ‘Okay, let me try doing it’. It just so happened that TV started at the same time. All the KBCs and K Series etc all started and ITA was launched the same year.
When asked what has changed in the past 2 years considering the Covid-19 outbreak and the protocols that have been put in place, Anu Ranjan responded, “Last to last year, it was fab. There were 10-15 thousand people. We had it in Indore. It was perfect. Last year, we had to have it a studio. What we did was instead of having a 3-hour live show; we kind of extended it over 2 days. We did one act and let them all go. We had 10 awards with just 30 people and then continued.
On recognising actors who have amazed the audiences in the OTT space in ITA Awards 2021 nominations, she said, “This year, we have got OTT at par with TV. So far, TV was 80% chunk and OTT was 20%. Now, what has happened is that it has become 60-40. TV is still a little heavier. There is a lot happening here and the good thing is that all the artists, more or less, the same. Whether you are doing television, films or web, it is the same people and they are very widely recognised and accepted by all. That has made a very big difference. We started OTT 3 years ago and that time we had 14 show entries. This year, it goes into 100+. Every single network, all 8-10 of the platforms, all actively participating in the ITA awards.”
Amity Mumbai IT students win Hacktoberfest 2021
Six students of Amity University, Mumbai won Hacktoberfest 2021 challenge. Atherva Patil, MD Asshar, Ameya Gawade, Devarsh Bela, Kaustubh Kadu, Yash Sharma, all students of Amity Institute of Information Technology have participated and won the prizes. The Hacktoberfest 2021 Challenge was organised by Digital Ocean, Appwriter, Intel Devmesh and deep source to promote the open source software. Participating in Hacktoberfest leads to personal growth, professional opportunities, and community building. It begins with meaningful and quality contributions to open-source software.
On these achievements of students, Prof. A W Santhosh kumar, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Amity University Mumbai, said that, “The success of the IT Students in Hacktoberfest 2021 competition, is right step to enhance the IT Skills of the students. This participation is not only promoting the open source but also encouraging to the students to contribute into the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. The young generation students have wisely selected for the Plantation of the trees, which shows their awareness towards the environment.”
Faculty mentor and Head of the Institution, Dr. Manoj Devare said that, “To have used Innovative Teaching and learning pedagogy of Indirect Gamification to involve the students in the learning of the advanced IT Tools of DevOps. This year, six students have shown their skills in the Hacktoberfest 2021. The competition›s mix of UG and PG students has created a healthy environment. It was interesting to see how the students were helping each other succeed in submitting the PRs. Students have learned from their peers and understanding the Distributed Version Controlling System, forking the repositories, and using Git and GitHub tools made them more confident to make them Industry-ready.”
The GitHub and Git Version Controlling System are important tools for the Team of programmers working on the IT Projects. GitHub is the popular tool among the programming community to submit their daily contributions into the Project Repositories. Similarly, the open-source community is involved in pushing and pulling the program code into the public and private repositories. The Automation of the software development processes in the Development and Operations (DevOps) smoothly handover the completed software modules from the Developer to the Operations Team. In Continuation to this, the Participation of the IT Students in the Hactoberfest 2021 makes them Industry ready, and also contributing into the Sustainability. Participants in Hacktoberfest came from all over the world and represent thousands of unique skills sets in programming and Software project management.
The students have won prizes for the T-Shirts, Stickers, and selected tree plantation to reduce carbon footprints contributing sustainable environment.
All six winners are pursuing their BCA, BSC-IT and MCA programs from Amity Institute of Information Technology. Yash Sharma, student of BCA second year and one of the winner of competition said that, “I have completed Hacktoberfest›21; indeed, it was a great month-long journey got to collaborate on new ideas, projects, and tech stacks, around the world. The best part was its learning curve, networking, adding value, and building this open-source community more strongly. I have made successful contributions to frameworks like React Native, Angular, Python, etc. also was part of an organization like Appwrite.”
BUDDHADEB’S PADMA REJECTION BECOMES A HOT POLITICAL DEBATE
As the list of Padma awardees came out on Tuesday, one of the surprise names among the list of Padma Bhushan winners was former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya. However, the veteran communist leader has refused to accept the award. Bhattacharya said he was not aware that he has been named for the Padma Bhushan and that he would reject it if it was true.
“I don’t know anything about a Padma Bhushan award. No one told me anything about it. If they have given me a Padma Bhushan award. I am rejecting it,” he said in a statement.
The news of the former Chief Minister’s Padma-rejection is making rounds in the political circles. The Left camp claims that it is a political stunt of the Center. The Trinamool, on the other hand, claims that the addition of left-wingers is clear in paying homage to Buddhababu. The saffron camp (BJP) has not stopped with this. BJP state president Sukanta Majumder claims that the rejection of Buddhadeb Babu’s award is being politicized.
In the words of the BJP state president, “Buddhadeb Bhattacharya is the former chief minister of the state. Keeping in mind his social and administrative contribution, the central government felt that he should be honoured with the Padma Bhushan. There is no need for politics to reject the award. It’s unwanted.”
On the other hand, Dilip Ghosh commented, “Buddhababu’s rejection of the award is his personal matter. However, the CPM has never maintained that tradition. The communists have always insulted the culture of the country. So not taking the award is also a sign of that insult. ”
The CPM’s rejection of Buddhababu’s award was reported on social media.
CPM’s Facebook handle states, “The CPI(M)’s policy is consistent in rejecting such awards from the state. Our work is for the people, not for rewards.” Everyone mentions another former Chief Minister Jyoti Basu. Bharat Ratna was rejected by Jyoti Basu. Buddhababur refused to walk that path.
On the other hand Trinamool mouthpiece ‘Jago Bangla’ demands recognition of Buddhababu, recognition of crushing of land movement in general.
The Left is saying that the government which is depriving the people of their democratic rights, will not accept the reward given by that government.
On the other hand, according to the Trinamool Congress, this award has once again exposed the BJP’s secret collusion with the Left.
After the award was announced on Tuesday, Kunal Ghosh made the same demand on behalf of the Trinamool. And on Wednesday, it was said in ‘Jago Bangla’ that the BJP actually said ‘vote of thanks’ to the CPM voters out of respect for Buddhababu.
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