This week we celebrate the one year anniversary of this Blog. This success is entirely due to the affection from our readers and we wish to thank them humbly and sincerely.
This Blog features serious articles that are not always easy to read. Our style is to explain to our readers how we arrive at our conclusions. As a result, our articles can get long and may require patient reading. So we are deeply appreciative of our readers who take the time and effort to read our articles. Their feedback is what keeps us going.
Our goal is to present a different viewpoint about global issues than what is found in newspapers and on television. We have always been impressed by the ability of a Cinema Director to take a different viewpoint and to portray a familiar situation in a radically different way. Francis Ford Coppola’s movie “Godfather” changed how people thought about the Mafia. More recently, the movie “Slumdog Millionaire” presented a totally different picture of Mumbai’s slum Dharavi, the largest slum in Asia.
This sort of a viewpoint is our goal and so we initially called this blog “Cinema Rasik”, a Rasik being one who really appreciates the “ras” or the true essence.
Since we began watching films, we had always heard the plaintive cry in India “why can’t Bollywood make movies like Hollywood?“. So we began this blog with a different viewpoint and a series titled “Are Bollywood interpretations better than their Hollywood originals?”. We wrote four articles on this topic featuring:
- Witness vs. Paap
- Changing Lanes vs. Taxi No. 9211
- Disclosure vs. Aitraaz
- Hitch vs. Partner
Three Articles that changed the direction of the Blog
I – Our first non-Bollywood article was about a One Hour Special on India by CNBC’s Erin Burnett in May 2008. We lavished fulsome praise on this special and on Ms. Burnett. It was and remains the best India special ever produced by an American anchor. It was amazing to see how Erin Burnett grasped the “Ras” or the essence of India on her very first trip and to watch the sheer joy with which she shared it with CNBC’s viewers. For that, we say – Thank you Erin Burnett.
Unfortunately, in one of her promos, Erin Burnett and her partner Mark Haines engaged in what they thought was a funny conversation about Mr. Haines and his love for food. We felt very differently about this conversation. So we wrote our first criticism of a journalist – “Flagrant Foul on Mark Haines and Erin Burnett – Their Conversation about India’s regard for “sacred cows” (http://www.cinemarasik.com/2008/05/16/flagrant-foul-on-mark-haines-and-erin-burnett–their-conversation-about-sacred-cows-in-india.aspx ).
Written almost an year ago, this article remains one of the top 10 articles on this blog. To their credit, CNBC did apologize for the offense taken by our readers and us. Mark Haines called us to discuss this conversation. After speaking with Mark Haines, we were satisfied that it was a joke about his love for food that had gone terribly awry.
We felt then and we still feel today that Erin Burnett was the choreographer of the conversation and Mark Haines was playing the role assigned to him. We were disappointed then and remain disappointed to this day that Erin Burnett did not care to speak with us to clear the air about her role as Mark Haines did.
The response of our readers to this article took this blog towards a more serious direction. Since then, we have made it our practice to protest unfair and biased comments by newspaper and television reporters. We also began exploring reasons for persistent differences between different newspapers. We articulated our thesis in the article “New York Times vs. Washington Post“ in August 2008. This remains one of the top 10 articles on this blog.
II – In July 2008, we wrote the article “Iraq & Tibet – Strategic Will of The American and Chinese People“. The article described a totally different way of looking at America’s Iraq problem. The response to this article was staggering. It has been a consistent top 10 article on our blog since its publication. This article prompted us to write other serious articles about Geo-Strategy, a passion of ours. The Geo-Strategy stream of articles accounts for 3 of the 10 most popular articles on this blog.
III – In August, 2008, the veteran Bollywood star Shabana Azmi made a comment about Indian society that we felt was patently unfair and wrong. So we expressed our views in the article “Shabana Azmi on “Indian Democracy is unfair to Muslims” – Our views and the Relevance to America“. This article catapulted to the No. 1 spot in record time. No other article on this blog received instant readership as this article did. It remains the 3rd most popular article on our blog. The success of this article encouraged us to write clearly and fairly about Indian Society and its rightful role in the world. The India related stream of articles accounts for 4 of the 10 most popular articles on this Blog.
Another passion of ours
Investing is another passion of ours.We have become very sensitive to how Financial TV shapes the attitudes of investors, often in a negative manner. So we write articles about what we hear on Financial TV. We praise anchors and reporters when they add value to their viewers and we offer constructive criticism to anchors and reporters when we feel they damage viewers by their bias.
One of this Blog’s more popular articles on this subject is the August 2008 article – “Are CNBC Anchors on a Mission Against US Treasuries – A Viewer’s Perspectives“. As recently as last month, this was the 10th most popular article on our blog.
We do watch Bloomberg TV and Fox Business Network from time to time. But, we watch CNBC every day. This is why our articles about Financial TV tend to be about CNBC. Our readers seem to approve. As of last month, 3 of the top 10 articles on this blog were about CNBC shows.
Today, the No. 1 article (most popular article since inception) on this blog is “CNBC’s Fast Money – Practice What Your Anchor Dylan Ratigan Preaches“.
Our Overriding Goal
Our overriding goal is to do whatever we can to promote the partnership between America and India. In our opinion, America and India are kindred societies and kindred cultures. By that we mean, these two societies share a deep similarity of inner spirit and core values. This is a complex topic and at some point, we intend to write a book on this subject.
It is our conviction that a strategic partnership between America and India in all spheres, economic, business and military, will be the cornerstone of 21st century peace and prosperity. It was President George Bush who began this process almost immediately after his election in 2000 and formalized this partnership in his second term. We believe that the America-India partnership will be regarded by history as the most important legacy of the George Bush Presidency.
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