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Media full of sensation

Media full of sensation
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Minister D K Aruna says 'no,no' to dubbing films and indecent exposure and horror stories on Television Interview of the Week Dharmavarapu Kottam...

Minister D K Aruna says 'no,no' to dubbing films and indecent exposure and horror stories on Television

Interview of the Week

Dharmavarapu Kottam Aruna (D K Aruna) has a distinct history in the politics of Andhra Pradesh. She has represented Samajwadi Party (SP) in Andhra Pradesh and elected on Samajwadi Party ticket to AP Assembly from Gadwal constituency. She was elected as MLA from Gadwal Assembly of Mahaboobnagar district for the first time in 2004.

She was a cabinet minister in the YS Rajasekhar Reddy council of ministers and also K Rosaiah ministry and held the portfolios of Small-Scale industries, Sugar, Khadi and Village industries in 2009-10. She was later shifted to Information and Public Relations (I & PR) in the Kiran Kumar Reddy ministry.

She stands apart from other women ministers because of her daredevil dynamism and padayatras for the cause of the farmers and separate Telangana. She is opposed to too much sensationalism in the media and says "no,no" to dubbing in films and indecent exposure and horror shows in Television. D K Aruna in an exclusive interview tells LATA JAIN

dk arunaaAbout your political career? You lost twice, were you not dissuaded to contest for the third time? I contested for MP from Mahboobnagar constituency and lost with a margin of 3700 votes in 1996.I contested from Gadwal constituency during the year 1999 and lost with a thin margin of 1900 votes. Then I got elected for ZPTC from Pangal Mandal of Kolhapur constituency. I was made the general secretary of AP Mahila Congress in 1999 when Y S Rajasekhar Reddy was PCC president. In 2004 I got elected as MLA from Gadwal with a margin of 38,686 votes and retained the seat by wining with a margin of 10247votes in 2009.I served as minister for small-scale indudtries, sugar, khadi, printing and stationery from 2009 to 2010.

You are known for Padayatras and agitations. Your comment? True. I participated in the historic electricity agitation in the year 2000 leading about 2500 farmers from Gadwal to Hyderabad. I led a padyatra from Gadwal to Hyderabad covering more than 225km with 500 farmers in February 2003 to highlight the water problems of farmers of Mahboobnagar district. Rajshekar Reddy was then impressed with the idea of padyatras. I had gone on hunger strike for irrigation water to the dry lands of Telangana and was arrested by the police .Now again I started my padyatras for the cause of Telangana.

Both Your father and father-in-law are from politics, is that the reason you won the elections? My father-in-law, the late D KSatya Reddy, was a freedom fighter and was imprisoned and kept in Gulbarga jail for 11 months in 1946. He was MLA from Gadwal from 1957 to 1962 and again in 1977-1978.My brother-in-law DK Samara Samna Reddy continued as MLA of Gadwal constituency till 1994.My father Chittam Narsi Reddy was also a freedom fighter. He was a member of the legislative council for two terms. My brothers are also into politics. My brother Chittam Venkateshwar Reddy was a Youth Congress leader and was assassinated by Maoists. My brother Chittam Rammohan Reddy was MLA from Narayanpet from 2005 to 2009. But this has not been the reason to win the elections, in fact I lost twice. It was my padayatras and welfare schemes because of which I could influence the people in electing me as their leader.

As minister for I & PR and media, what is your take on indecent exposure and horror shows? The legal and community standards of what states of undress constitute indecent exposure vary considerably, and depend on the context in which the exposure takes place. These standards have also varied over time, making the definition of indecent exposure itself a complex topic. As minister for I&PR we have come up with stringent regulations on exposure in movies and tele-serials. We had meetings with people from the film industry but then the public also encourages these kind of sizzling scenes and exposure. Whenever we ban a movie, or cut a few scenes the producers approach the courts. We have to go by the orders of the honorable court. Horror shows on television are the latest to attract the ire of a section of viewers. There has been an increase in the number of complaints received against horror shows. The viewers' main grouse is that these shows are promoting superstition and the visuals are too gory for children. Fear Files (Zee TV) tops the list when it comes to the number of complaints received. One of its episodes showed a woman being raped by 'a spirit'. A notice was issued to the channel, which was asked not to repeat the episode without suitable editing. Next in the line of fire is Haunted Nights (Sahara One). We work in co-ordination with the BCCC.

What are the welfare schemes you have taken up for Journalists? Accreditations are issued to media persons throughout the state to have access to sources of information. With a view to extending relief to working journalists in dire need and distress, the government has constituted a Welfare Fund with a Corpus Rs 51.40 lakh. We have given the facility of matching grants for press clubs renovation across the state, mediclaims have been granted to 7000 journalists and helped implement wage board benefits to journalists. The government has reconstituted a state-level committee to look into the cases of attacks and assaults on journalists. In appreciation of the talent of the working Journalists, the government has instituted annual awards. There are several categories of awards such as Narla Life Time Achievement Award, Best Journalist, Best Press Photographer award, etc.

What is your stand on dubbing serials? Everything original has its value and place. I strongly oppose dubbing and we have been holding meetings with various production houses, the film chambers and educating them on the loss to industry when we dub serials. Good and original artistes, especially senior artistes, would surely be offended and would lose interest in acting. We have set up committees to monitor the same. There is so much to write and much more to enact, then why copy?

There were discussions that you are in race for the Home Minister's position? I am too young for the same. There are a lot of seniors and experienced leaders. I have a lot to learn in politics. But if the Chief Minister chooses me for the post I will do my best and justify the position, and play the role of a perfect Home Minister. The learning, keeping my family background in view, will help in doing justice to any position. I have no such aspirations but am duty bound with selflessness.

There were complaints that you were not paying attention to the welfare of your constituency Gadwal. Your take on It? Who says this? Media hypes issues. I have done the best for my constituency. What is Jurala project? We worked towards this project to ensure water flow to Gadwal.

What is your message to Hans on its 2nd anniversary? News is not a product, it's a process. Sensationalism is a type of editorial bias in mass media in which events and topics in news stories and pieces are over-hyped to increase viewership or readership numbers. Why should the news be hyped? In the early days media didn't play that much important part as it is today. I am not in favor of media sensationalizing the news and information. Whenever there is news regarding bomb blasts all the channels compete with each other and present all sorts of brutal pictures and scene of the site full of blood. This does nothing but make people depressed and concerned about their mere survival. In the race for breaking news, truth becomes the casualty. Media does not bother to delve into the inside story. Media is known for often weaving stories out of unrelated events. I feel so far The Hans has not got into this business and has been keeping a clean image. I wish them success with a clean slate.

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