The Water Cooler
  • Live and banned in Bangalore

    Bruce Lee Mani

    Nobody likes queues, but the picket line is quite in fashion at the moment. The ‘Ban on Live Music and Dancing’ in Bangalore has converted even the most vacuous status message into a rallying cry against injustice, a passionate appeal for freedom, or an angry outburst against culture crime. And this, for the most part, is good. Bangalore is still some sort of Pub Capital, if a little watered-down, and it is interesting that such issues don’t seem to plague other metros as often.

    In this mad mixed-up country we live in, it can be quite all right to burn down the occasional church or commit a passing genocide, but live music? ‘Aping the West’ live music? Lumped-with-the-chamiya-bar live band?

    Nay and forsooth! While these mostly honest, working musicians work very hard and pay their taxes, the rug of employment is frequently pulled from under their down-at-the-heel boots by the righteous rogues of the law. Or so it seems.

    The fog around what is or is not enforceable on Live

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  • Two weeks ago, Bangalore Police Commissioner B G Jyothiprakash Mirji ruffled familiar feathers by bringing back into the limelight a ban on dancing in entertainment venues where live music is played. September 11, while the world was obsessing over the tenth anniversary of the iconic terrorist attacks that hit New York City, police raided a well-known watering hole in Bangalore and closed down a party in which international DJs were performing. The pub, police said, violated regulations that are required to be followed by venues that maintain dance floors.

    This seemingly stray incident reignited the debate over "moral policing" and the clampdown on dancing and live music in Bangalore's watering holes. Though this subject has repeatedly made headlines, it has always been unclear as to why the issue is contentious in the first place.

    Rewind to August 2008. Bangalore police enforced a ban on live music in venues that served liquor citing the Licensing and Controlling of Places of Public

    Read More »from Is Bangalore right about its right to dance?
  • The DMK had suffered setback after setback after the 2G scandal broke a year ago, and the Congress had remained relatively untouched by the investigations.

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his party colleagues had, all along, blamed 'coalition politics' for the scandal. It won't be so easy now for his party to shrug off responsibility for what some describe as the world's biggest scandal.

    Pranab Mukherjee is coming back from New York today, and will meet Sonia Gandhi immediately to discuss the fallout of the unearthing of a note that suggests senior leaders in the Congress knew all about the 2G spectrum sale that landed former telecom minister A Raja in jail.

    In fact, Raja argued his own case in court today, and said the prosecution was harassing him and keeping him jailed when it had no scrap of evidence to show he caused a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the nation.

    The CBI sought the court's permission to file fresh charges against Raja, and urged a life term for him, and others

    Read More »from 2G fire now singes Congress netas
  • Artists, architects and administrators are meeting on September 29 to discuss how new spaces can be created in Bangalore for culture.

    Among other things, they will discuss how public spaces, such as Metro stations and marketplaces, can be used for art and cultural performances.

    Dr P Radhika, who is co-ordinating the open consultation, sees it as an attempt to connect her academic interests with social action.

    Policy makers are also taking part in the discussions. The meeting is open to anyone interested in the arts, and will be held at the National Gallery of Modern Art on Palace Road.

    The Centre for the Study of Society and Culture, where Radhika teaches, is hosting the consultation in collaboration with the gallery.

    In an interview with Yahoo! News, Radhika explains what the event is all about.

    The consultation talks about Bangalore as a Creative City. In specific terms, what does it plan to achieve?

    City planning has taken a certain direction when it comes to culture. It looks at

    Read More »from Open forum on culture spaces in Bangalore
  • What makes earthquakes happen?

    Can you feel one?

    The panic in the second question has no answer. (The answer to the first, though, is embedded in the question.)

    In the one that hit Sikkim, Nepal and Tibet, tremors were also felt in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chandigarh and Delhi.

    (Yes, increasingly, our worlds are being cracked open by the earth’s activity, conjoining in ever hopeful grief.)

    Photo: Shonar JoshiEven though I’m from Delhi and have traveled to all of the above places except Tripura and Tibet, Sikkim singes as a very particular kind of emotional aftershock. Maybe because some of my growing up years were spent in the mountains, one knows what makes hill folk hardy (drinkers?), energy-conserving-genteel but an idiosyncrasy-tolerant lot and, most of all, perennially hugged by an over-the-shoulder peek at a peak. Anytime of the night you can find it here.

    (Like the rivers that were fairly perennial until we perennially started testing this.)

    Sikkim

    But to know Sikkim

    Read More »from Tremors that bind - North by Northeast?
  • When in Sikkim, be a responsible tourist

    Sanjay Barnela

    Untitled from DUSTY FOOT PRODUCTION on Vimeo.

    When in Sikkim, be a responsible tourist


    This is a clip from our film on Sikkim, " Leave nothing but Footprints". This clip gives you a visual sense of the civic nightmare that  parts of Sikkim are becoming and how higher up, local efforts are making a concerted difference. A trekker's delight, this jewel of northeast India could do  with a (more) responsible profile of tourists. A model of tourism that follows the triple bottom line: one that contributes to local livelihoods, protects local culture, and the environment.

    Sanjay Barnela is a Delhi-based award-winning documentary filmmaker who specializes in conservation and livelihood issues. He is also an avid trekker. More information about his films is available at his website Moving Images.
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