by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra
February 20, 2013
The well-known poet and critic, Prof. Arvind Krishna Mehrotra,
presented a lecture on ‘2000 years of Indian Poetry’. Starting
from Sanskrit erotic poetry of the second century, professor
Mehrotra went on to discuss the radical poetry of the Bhakti
saint, Kabir, and ended with a discussion of Arun Kolatkar’s set
of poems titled ‘Jejuri’.
The Hindu Lit for Life 2013
February 16-17, 2013
A Live Blog of the Hindu Lit For Life 2013 was one of the highlights of the last academic year. It was a unique
opportunity for New Media students of the ACJ to showcase their digital journalism skills.
The coverage of the event featured an array of text, multimedia and social media elements, providing The Hindu
readers with a blow-by-blow account of the sessions in real-time.
It was a pioneering effort by the students that involved meticulous planning, arranging pre-event footage and text,
organising Google Hangouts and video interviews with authors and panelists .At the end of the Live Blog of 18
sessions spread over two days, the students had produced 350 pages of content.
International Uranium Film Festival 2013
February 5-6, 2013
The travelling International Uranium Film Festival 2013, was held in ACJ.Organised by the Chennai Solidarity
Group for Koodankulam Struggle and Poovulagin Nanbargal, the festival featured 20 Indian and foreign films,
beginning with Not for Public Release, a film on the casual manner with which the US Department of Defence
handled radioactive wastes. The short films, documentaries and animation films told stories about nuclear mining,
research and development, nuclear power, disasters and wastes with an intention to spur a debate on issues
arising from the nuclear life-cycle. The festival included discussion sessions, led by political cartoonist Hasif
Khan, Neeya Naana Anthony, Gnani and V. Geetha.
Seminar on Sexual Violence
January 25, 2013
Students of the ACJ took to the dais at a seminar on
Sexual Violence and Society on the college campus
on January 25. Amritapa Basu (New Media) pinned
the blame on the “patriarchal” society during the
first session, moderated by Aslesha Kadian (Print),
while Dhrubo Jyoti Purkait (Print) spoke about the
vulnerability of an individual trapped in parallel
identities. Writer and activist V. Geetha summed
up the session, articulating about the differences
between the ‘real’ and ‘false’ gender problems. In
thesecond session, Radhika Santhanam (Print)
discussed the parallel legal systems like Khap
panchayats and their“punishing” patriarchal laws,
while her stream mate, D. K.Rituraj, focused on
the gaping loopholes in our judicial system. Guest
speaker, D Nagasaila, rued the remedial, rather
than preventive nature ofaction. The seminar
concluded with a discussion on thenuances of
media coverage by students across streams, Nimisha
Pachory (Television), Vishwadha Chander (Print)
Manoj Venkatraman (New Media) and Richa Mishra
(Radio). Dr. V. Suresh, national general secretary
of the Peoples Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL),
concluded that the media had failed to consider the
larger context of the issue as it engaged itself in
manufacturing consent for the political establishment.
T. G. Narayanan Memorial Lecture on Social Deprivation
January 18, 2013
Jan Breman, Professor Emeritus, University of Amsterdam delivered the T.G.
Narayanan Memorial Lecture 2013. Speaking on ‘Caring for Destitution or Not’,
Prof. Breman said that the schemes and programmes in the Social Security
Act, 2008, were not implemented properly because of poor governance,
bureaucratic red tape and unrealistic eligibility criteria. Drawing upon the data
and examples from his extensive fieldwork in Gujarat, Prof. Breman pointed
out that the growth model followed by Chief Minister Narendra Modi was not
inclusive. The statutory rights for the poor were downgraded in practice as
favours and doles.
Seminar on Children’s Issues
December 8, 2012
A one-day seminar on Journalism and Children’s Issues
was conducted in collaboration with the UNICEF.
In the lecture titled “Education in India – the Need of the
Hour”, Dr Aruna Sankaranarayanan, Founder/Director,
PRAYATNA, spoke of how elementary numeracy and
literacy were eluding India’s children. She emphasised the
need for high teacher salaries, good training, sensitising
teachers to learning disabilities, and finally, rethinking
educational goals to foster creativity and critical thinking.
Dr Balaji Sampath, Chief Executive Officer, AID INDIA, in his lecture “Quality Education as a Right”,
stressed on the fact that the much delayed RTE Act did not ask the main questions, viz. Are teachers
teaching? And are students learning? He believed that the act did not set any goals.
In his talk, “Reporting as if Children Mattered”, Mr Augustine Veliath, Founder/Director, Asian Centre
for Entertainment Education, spoke of the importance of treating children as participatory agents with
autonomy and a voice, and urged journalists to keep children’s issues and the violation of their rights in
In her presentation titled, “Reporting on Sexual Offenses against Children: Looking Beyond the Rhetoric
of Sensitivity versus Sensationalism”, Ms Vidya Reddy, TULIR- Centre for the Prevention and Healing ,
said that several cases of sexual violence against children went unreported simply because the victims
feared media intrusion. She also emphasised the importance of reporting ethics, accuracy and protecting
the victim’s confidentiality.
Presentation of Malcolm Adiseshiah Award for Distinguished Contributions to Development Studies
followed by The Malcolm Adiseshiah Memorial Lecture
November 21, 2012
Prof. Satish Deshpande was awarded the Malcolm
Adiseshiah Memorial Award of 2012 at the Asian College
of Journalism. In his acceptance lecture titled ‘Caste and
Castelessness in the Indian Republic’, Prof. Deshpande
traced the emergence and spread of the notion of
castelessness in the Indian society. An examination of the‘general category’, Prof. Deshpande said, was central to the
understanding of the ways in which caste manifests itself.
Lecture on long form journalism
by Annie Zaidi and Ben Law
November 15, 2012
Annie Zaidi and Benjamin Law engaged with on
the subject of long form journalism. Both journalists
emphasised the point that any story can lend itself to any
journalistic form report, feature, or long form narrative.
Lecture by Sitaram Yechury
on 'The Reality of Reforms'
November 7, 2012
Sitaram Yechury spoke about the misguided
liberalisation policies of the Government, particularly
about the latest move to get Foreign Direct
Investment in the Indian retail sector.
Screening of award winning film
by Sashi Kumar
‘Kaya Taran’ (based on the anti-Sikh riots of 1984)
October 30, 2012
Indira Gandhi’s assassination and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots
Readings and discussions
November 1, 2012
Screening of award winning film ‘Kaya Taran’ (based on the anti-Sikh riots
of 1984) directed by by Sashi Kumar
Sashi Kumar spoke about the context of his award-winning film, Kaya Taran
Nicholas Nugent who was in Delhi in October 1984 discussed some
historical details pertaining to the events following Mrs. Gandhi’s
Vikram Kapur read excerpts from his novel on the Sikh riots, ‘Time is a Fire’.
Homage to Eric Hobsbawm
Readings and Discussion
October 17, 2012
Homage was paid to the late British historian Eric Hobsbawn (1917-
2012) by students and faculty members. Four students read excerpts from
Hodsbawm’s major works, Primitive Rebels, Inventing Tradition, The Age
of Capital, The Age of Empire. Prof. A.R. Venkatachalapathy spoke about
Hobsbawm’s eminent contribution to the field of history, while Prof. Arvind
Sivaramakrishnan discussed Hobsbawm’s place among other British
Marxixts like E P Thomson, Raymond Williams and Ralph Milliband.
by Prof. Prabhat Patnaik
September 29, 2012
The distinguished Economist Prof. Prabhat Patnaik
delivered a Special Lecture on ‘Growth and Stagnation
in the Indian Economy’ at ACJ. He spoke on dangers
of governments focusing on private rationalities of any
kind whatsoever. The job of a government claimed Prof.
Patnaik, was to promote social rationality for the greater
common good. In this context, he criticized the Indian
government for exhibited private rationality in pandering to
the interests of private foreign investors, in the mistaken
belief that it would boost the economy.
July 9, 2012
The inaugural lecture to the Class 2013 of the Asian
College of Journalism was delivered by Prof. Akeel
Bilgrami. His lecture was titled “What is a Democratic
Akeel Bilgrami is the Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy,
Columbia University in New York. A leading philosopher of
the language and mind, he has numerous publications to
his credit, among them are ‘Belief and Meaning’ and ‘Self
Knowledge and Resentment’.
A training programme on Freedom and Responsibility in the Media
March 26 - April 6, 2012
The Asian College of Journalism in association with the International Institute for Journalism, Berlin, conducted a Summer Academy on Freedom and Responsibility in the South Asian Media for young journalists from the SAARC countries.
The aim of the programme was to enhance the quality of journalism in South Asia. 14 young journalists from newspapers, news agencies and online media attended the academy. The two-week programme covered a range of issues in journalism and looked at a comparative practice of the profession in Europe and India. Lectures covered the emerging media, tabloid journalism, gender reporting, reporting poverty and ethical issues. Participants also went on field trips to slums in Chennai city