Sub-themes for Frames of Reference 2009

8 12 2009


Much of the first decade of the twenty-first century has been spent coming to terms with the new global phenomenon of ‘terrorism’ and subsequently, the war against it. The facts of the matter aside, the images generated in the media and their percolation/proliferation down to the popular imagination is fraught with the politics of representation and necessitates critical interrogation. Most media narratives of terror attacks have created monsters of communities, obfuscating the finer nuances involved. However, some sensitive and committed journalism has also revealed media as a space for critical thinking and analysis. The role of the media in civil society is an important area of investigation and we wish to ponder over it from multiple perspectives.

North East

The problem with media representation of the North East is two-fold. Firstly, the singular most important impulse of popular media to reduce complexities to a bare minimum of de contextualized facts has impeded possibilities of representing dissent. The vocabulary for the movements for autonomy in the North East being greatly limited, the issue has been reduced to dichotomies of the state and those against it. Secondly, stories from the North East are also subjected to severe marginalization and thus, fail to register on the collective ‘national’ psyche. This seminar is an attempt to unravel the various layers involved in media narratives from the region and also to explore the socio-cultural and political ramifications of these narratives.


The events of the last few months have revealed an urgency with regards the ‘Naxalism menace’, the Prime Minister calling it the ‘greatest internal security threat to our country’ and the logistics of ‘Operation GreenHunt’ well under their way. Mainstream media has been involved in ‘exposing’ the trigger happy ways of the Maoists, often obscuring the socio-economic and political context to the demands of the tribals. The conception of the problem in the simplistic framework of a security issue overlooks the disastrous consequences of the development paradigm employed in the region, the atrocities committed by state backed militia on the tribals and consequently, the grounds for resistance. From the war ravaged zones of Chattisgarh to the battle grounds of Lalgarh, we wish to investigate the many complexities involved in the issue and its representation in the media in order to cultivate a more sensitive approach towards it.


Key Speakers at Frames of Reference 2009 talk on Terror 24 X 7; A brief introduction

8 12 2009


Sreenivasan Jain

Sreenivasan Jain is the Managing Editor of NDTV 24×7 and host of popular show ‘Bombay Talkies’. He is based in Mumbai and has been associated with NDTV since 1995. Reporting on virtually every major national and international story, he specializes in reportage on terrorism, investigations and national politics. With a body of work varying from covering every major National and State Election in India, the Afghanistan war, the Sri Lanka conflict, and the 2000 Presidential Elections in the US, he has won national and international recognition for shows like ‘Witness’.

Ajit  Sahi

Veteran journalist Ajit Sahi is currently the Editor at Large , Tehelka. He has been constantly contributing several reports and investigative featuures especially on the SIMI factions, NAXAL violence and the inside story. Previously the executive editor at India TV. Sahi has over 20 years’ experience in the media industry. Prior to joining India TV, Sahi had worked as Communications Coordinator (South Asia) with the United Nations Millennium Campaign. The United Nations Millennium Campaign has been initiated by the United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan with the aim to stimulate a global movement to press governments to translate pledges made at the UN’s 2000 Millennium Summit into a reality.

Sahi was Executive Editor from 2004-06 and a founding member of Channel 7 before, it became IBN7. He had worked as a Senior Producer with STAR News from 2002-04, and as a Political Writer for IANS from 2000-02. He was also Executive Producer with BiTV in 1994-95, and Director in Vinod Dua’s Parakh for Doordarshan from 1992-93.

Sahi, who began his career with The Financial Express, moved to The Indian Express Group in 1986 and was there till 1991. A print medium journalist-turned-TV man, Sahi has also worked with Star News and the defunct Business India TV where he worked as a senior producer. There, he worked under political analyst and media person Vinod Dua and TV18’s present promoter Raghav Bahl.

Diptosh Mazumdar

Diptosh Majumdar has been a journalist for the past 26 years. He started his career with The Statesman in Kolkata. He moved to The Telegraph and was the Deputy Chief of its National Bureau in Delhi in the 90s. He later joined The Indian Express as a Senior Editor. He is one of the key members of the core team that started CNN-IBN in 2005. A leading journalist, Diptosh has travelled extensively, both in India and abroad, covering politics. He is a known commentator on politics and elections. Diptosh Majumdar is currently National Affairs Editor CNN-IBN.