Congress MP from Wayanad and former president of the party Rahul Gandhi has been in news lately. From donning the hat of a journalist and asking questions to eminent economists and Nobel laureates to congratulating Indian photo journalists for winning Pulitzer prize, he seems to be making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Gandhi, who turns 50 next month, should have displayed more political acumen when he congratulated the three journalists (two from Kashmir, one from Jammu) for their pictures which were a gross one-sided depiction of the ground reality in Jammu and Kashmir.
Normalising stone pelting against armed forces, sloganeering in favour of Pakistan and portraying J&K as an “independent” entity is what comprises as the body of work of the three Pulitzer winners from India. In his zeal to congratulate the winners, Gandhi unwittingly endorsed the position of the three photo journalists, their employer and the Pulitzer committee. All of which have a clear anti-India bias and position. The question is should a politician who wants to present himself as the political alternative to Prime Minister Narendra Modi exercise more restraint? Jammu and Kashmir is a part of sovereign India and any decision regarding the same is New Delhi’s internal matter. This position has been endorsed by the grand old party as well — most recently when the government made Article 370 ineffective and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories. So why did the Gandhi scion not realise the full import of his endorsement of the work of the Pulitzer Prize winners. This incident could not have come at a worse time for Gandhi who is painstakingly trying to cultivate an image of a politician who is not averse to seeking inputs from domain experts, particularly in the area of economics.
Gandhi’s two encounters with eminent economists Raghuram Rajan and Abhijit Banerjee were intended to create a persona of a politician who wants to engage with the most informed and educated minds in the field. But there have been several reasons why the exercise has fallen short of its desired objective. First, every politician in India knows (or should know) that for any public communication to resonate with the public at large, it needs to be said in simple terms. In the language that people would understand and relate to. Even if it is about the economy. Business journalists paid attention to Gandhi’s “interviews” of the two economists for any good policy measure in present times, political journalists heard for any new ‘RaGa vs Modi’ debate and maybe rival political party handles logged in to start any new hashtag. But where was the “aam aadmi”?
That’s a question Gandhi and his team will have to answer before they have any new interview with another eminent economist. The other significant drawback to the exercise was the sheer repetitive nature of the conversation — both the questions and answers. The desire to ensure multiple endorsements by global economists to UPA-era policy like NREGA or for Congress manifesto ideas like NYAY cannot be the driving feature of these conversations. The desire has to be to identify a solution to the present economic crisis. This brings us to the third main issue with these conversations. Politicians around the world are voted on two things — promises and the perception that they know better and can ensure delivery of these promises. A politician grappling for answers all the time is unlikely to cut ice with the voter. Gandhi must do more on these fronts if he wants to present a credible alternative in Indian polity
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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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