What Gives Big #Media the Right to Violate #Writers’ #Copyrights?

Note: I had made this post to demand that The Sri Lanka Guardian take my unauthorized article off  its website! Within 10 days of releasing this post, the newspaper took my article of its website.  Thank you to everyone on Facebook and Twitter who helped by circulating this post and gave voice to my protests over the violation of my copyrights.

copyright all rights reservedA few days ago, I received tweets from people regarding an article of mine, published in The Sri Lanka Guardian. This was an article on Gandhi’s sexual abuse of young girls under his tutelage that I had published on Youth ki Awaaz (YKA), but I had not been approached by the Sri Lanka Guardian to reprint it, so I was surprised. The format, including the photo of Gandhi, was exactly the way it is on YKA, as was the author’s bio that YKA put up for me.

I do write for YKA regularly, and there is a standing understanding between us that while I usually do not publish the same article on two sites, anyone approaching them for anything I’ve written should contact me directly. Still giving The Sri Lanka Guardian the benefit of the doubt, I checked my inbox for mails I might have missed, but found nothing. Then I asked YKA. They too were surprised, for they hadn’t been approached.

So I wrote to The Sri Lanka Guardian asking for an explanation. They said they had copied it off someone’s Facebook wall! When I put this to my legal counsel, he said this was absurd! Facebook is an informal platform for social sharing. However, The Sri Lanka Guardian is an official, commercial, publishing house, to which stringent copyright rules and publishing protocols apply. Even if they got it off Facebook (as they seem to claim they have), it has my name and bio on it, and as the author they should to have contacted me for permission before publishing it.

I wrote back to the Sri Lanka Guardian, relaying what I had been advised, and stated that I understood they had clearly violated my copyrights! Also on counsel’s advice I gave them two options to resolve the matter for me. Either they paid me what they did their columnists, or else within 48 hours (by May 07, 2014) they must remove my article from their site. They did neither! Instead they just stopped responding!

Copyright violations are something that writers and artists have to deal with all the time. And it is very frustrating to deal with, because (more…)


Gandhi to Asaram: Who Empowers the Sex Crimes of ‘Gurus?’

We are all accountable when we allow men we worship/ idealize/ idolize/ follow/ to get away with crimes we wouldn’t allow ordinary men to get away with.


by Rita Banerji

It’s uncanny how similar he is to Gandhi.  I’m talking about Asaram, the Indian spiritual leader who was recently arrested for sexually assaulting the 15-year-old daughter of one of his devotees.

Both Gandhi and Asaram commanded followers in the millions, who regarded them as saints, spiritual ‘guides’ and called them “Bapu” or Father.

Both Gandhi and Asaram regarded sex as and sexual desire as “sins,” and any expression of sexuality as ‘dirty’ imports from the west that needed to be shunned because they ruin India’s youth and culture.  Both preached abstinence to their followers and the control of sexual desire as a form of self-‘purification.’

And both Gandhi and Asaram in hypocritical violations of their own preaching, indulged in sexual gratification of one kind or another, even when it resulted in the sexual abuse of girls and women in their flock.

Details that continue to emerge

View original post 1,412 more words

My Memory of An Assassination

It is strange, how sometimes our memory of a public tragedy is sustained by a totally unconnected personal experience.  So it has been for me with Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination by a suicide bomber 20 years ago.

At the time I lived in Washington DC, and shared an apartment with a Taiwanese friend in the suave Foggy Bottom neighbourhood. Every morning at 7, I would sit at the breakfast table and watch people stream into the city to work in stiff grey and black suits, striding briskly, decisively, towards their destination. Each strider maintained an impervious bubble of personal space, taking care never to collide bubbles or intrude into another. And in-between the bubbles was the city’s uninhabited space: organised, methodical, clinically sterile….

Early morning on 21 May in 1991, my roommate, came rushing to my bed, newspaper in hand. “Look, an African woman has killed your prime minister!” Still disoriented, I scanned the front page trying to avoid the gory photo there. “He was not our current PM and she is not African…”  Read the whole article here in The Times of India

How Gandhian Are Obama’s Politics?

The news of President Obama’s admiration for Gandhi had preceded his first visit to India: How Gandhi has inspired his life, and how a portrait of his hangs in his Senate office. He later told the Indian Parliament that he owes his own Presidency to Gandhi. So how closely does Obama follow in his mentor’s footsteps?

To sum up Gandhi’s ideologies, they included the rejection of all of the following: war and weaponry, capitalism, large-scale industries, science and technology, and sex!!

On the eve before his departure President Obama assured an economically depressed U.S., “I’m going to be leaving tomorrow for India, and the primary purpose is to take a bunch of US companies and open up markets so that we can sell in Asia and some of the fastest-growing markets in the world.” And he did exactly that by striking some hard, billion dollars sales deals with India on the purchase of weapons, warfare systems and Boeing aircrafts.

Though it might seem like Obama is contradicting Gandhi’s ideologies, he isn’t doing anything that Gandhi himself didn’t. (more…)

%d bloggers like this: