Anderson Cooper


I wasn’t a big fan of Anderson Cooper, until last week. One would have started to notice him just before Katrina. That’s when Aaron Brown’s prime time on CNN was taken back and allocated to Anderson’s 360 show. His Katrina reporting was talked about. I felt, he made animated movements trying to exaggerate the situation.

Last week, browsing through the cable, I came across Oprah show where Anderson was the guest. Coming from the royal family of Vanderbilt, Anderson Cooper had taken challenging journalist pursuits in Kenya and Myanmar. It was astonishing, given the fact that he was barely out of his teens when did such expeditions.

As he puts it, there is nothing wrong if a reporter feels emotionally about the news. One needs to be objective about the news but one can certainly feel the news that is being reported. That was a fair statement which explains his animated movements and unique intonations while reporting tragic events. What made the show was the quote, Hope is not a plan. Don’t hope for something. Plan for it. Makes sense.

Blog – Bug – Ghost !!

There was a bug in the blog. No idea how it was created. No idea how it was resolved. Life goes on.

To whichever ghost that screwed up the blog, may the 49.5 % policy be enforced in hell also. And I pray that you should wander around without a single place to rest.

Kamal Hassan’s shortstory in

anayaa neruppu

Kamal Hassan’s shortstory in Vikatan[28 May 2006] named, Anayaa Neruppu, is a dazzling sample of his story-telling skills. I’m not hinting the story. But it’s a class apart. No jokes. Tell me if you weren’t amazed.

P.S – I read it for the second and third time. I’m still amazed. Much more than the first time. How could he ever think of this dimension, from a story that’s so common. Every single sentence has been crafted after much thought. Brilliant. I’m not going ga-ga because it’s Kamal. For a short story, this is one helluva trip.

P.P.S – Just came back after watching the Da Vinci Code. It did strike me that Kamal just explained, in this story, how Dan Brown managed a Da Vinci Code. This story is a sort of mini Da Vinci Code on Hinduism.

Swadesamitran – The symbol of Tamil journalism

Last week, I was reading a column from Ashokamitran Katuraigal. Asokamitran worked for Swadesamitran, a newspaper of yesteryear Tamil Nadu. He wrote political opinions in a pseudo name, Kinkaran. He describes the doomdays of Swadesamitran as it was struggling to compete with Alai Oosai, another newsdaily. The column was a sensitively written moving account about the death of the newspaper.

Swadesamitran was started by G Subramania Aiyer who was then owning The Hindu. From 1904 to 1906, Subramanya Bharati worked as a sub-editor of this newspaper and was writing radical opinions against the British Raj. He left Swadesamitran to start another newsdaily, India. Later he re-joined Swadesamitran in 1920 and continued to work for them until his death in 1921. Swadesamitran was closed in 70’s after losing to the competition of Alai Oosai and Dina Thanthi which brought modern journalistic practices to Tamil journalism.

The news here is this. After reading two columns of Ashokamitran on Swadesamitran’s history, I was inquisitive to read more history of this newspaper. While searching on the net, I found this gem written by the historian S Muthiah. In this awe-inspiring article, S Muthiah talks about the rise and fall of Swadesamitran. An extract –

Nevertheless, Bharati in 1914 wrote of him, “unaided he has made Tamil Journalism a fact of the world in spite of his imperfect early training in Tamil. … They win who dare; Mr. Aiyer dared and he has succeeded in establishing a Tamil daily journal which, with all its faults, is the most useful paper in the Tamil country. His whole political gospel can be summed up in these words: `Peaceful but tireless and unceasing effort.’ Let us sweat ourselves into Swaraj, he would seem to say.”

Seriously ill in 1915, Subramania Aiyer persuaded A. Rangaswami Iyengar, Kasturi Ranga Iyengar’s nephew and right-hand man at The Hindu, to take over the paper and he made the Swadesmitran “a new force, potent and pervasive… (changing) the placid atmosphere of Tamil Journalism”. Rangaswami Iyengar brought in his kin C.R. Srinivasan to manage the business end of the paper and Bharati, back from Pondicherry, rejoined the paper in 1920. The three made the Swadesamitran ” a literary masterpiece of political analysis.”

The next thing, I did was to reach out I figured that the domain wasn’t even booked. Wayback Machine doesn’t even have a trace of this site which means it wasn’t ever booked in the history of internet. That is such a pity. Though the company closed down, I assume that someone would be holding the registered trademark of Swadesamitran. I expected Hindu to have booked the domain in rememberance of this newspaper which once started the newspaper experience to the Tamils. I wanted to buy it and then create a remembrance site of the newspaper. With just three articles on hand, two by Ashokamitran and one by S Muthiah, I booked It’s currently in the construction mode.

On the other hand, I’m not sure if someone would come now, after all these days, with a copyright violation. Ofcourse, I’m ready to transfer the site to them without any conditions and even ready to sponsor the domain registration charges. But I have no clue, why those of them who hold Swadesamitran trademark haven’t even bothered to book the domain. I’m also clueless if someone really holds the copyright of this newspaper at all. I was also thinking of shooting an email to the Hindu editor, to check if they hold the copyright and are interested to host Swadesamitran.

Neverthless, I will find time to host the site with whatever available information I have. If any of you have any mastheads, paper cuttings or other information on Swadesamitran, please pass it on. Will host it crediting your name like how they paint a sponsor’s name ‘through-out’ the tubelight in temples. That was meant to be a joke for this rather serious blogpost. Konjam Siringappa.