News Dress

Maharashtra, one of the richest states of India, has been reeling under unprecedented power cuts for over a year now. The supply of power is not sufficient. There has been a shortage of about 4000 megawatts. The average cuts are for 4/6 hours a day. The worst affected areas suffer load shedding to the extent of 16/18 hours daily. The ruling party is at its wits end and the opposition is at its attacking best.

But there has been a sweating dilemma. While the whole of Maharashtra is subjected to load shedding Mumbai has been spared so far. Top ministers are stoutly defending that Mumbai just cannot afford it. Mumbai is the pride capital of the state and is also called the financial capital of India. The city municipal corporation here has an annual budget that beats the combined budgets of many states of India. Apart from trade and industry highs Mumbai keeps on making national or international headlines for many other reasons–be it acts of terror, strikes and even rains.

The opposition parties realize this very well. But morally they have to cry sore. They say that Mumbai should at least feel the discomfort of load shedding–be it for few minutes only. They point out the wastage of power in Mumbai super malls and multiplexes–the daily power consumption of a mall can feed six thousand rural families. But they know too well that money generation cannot be stopped. More details please visit:-

The dilemma is leading to some novel protest marches and demonstrations all over the state apart from irate perspiring crowds ransacking state electricity offices. Students demonstrated organizing mock classrooms powered by kerosene lamps in front of offices. With summer temperatures soaring to over 40 degrees the heat of the problem is going up unbearably.

So then, fed up with load shedding members of an opposition party have decided to shed their clothing too. They sat in protest clad only in their under garments. And in large numbers. Sweating bare chests and backs highlighted the dangers of ‘shedding’.

The editor of a TV channel decided that this is real hard news when he received the coverage tape with bytes of the main opposition leader. The ladies of the news room sighed a collective ‘Oooops’. They found the visuals very offensive and refused to write the word ‘under garments’ in the news story. The editor insisted, ‘Come on! This is news–this is reality!’ Finally, the ladies relented with the condition that ‘under garments’ be replaced by ‘unique way of protest’.

The news went on air, but the super of the main leader’s name was missing in his byte. One male reporter defended the omission with a mischievous smile, ‘You see, he is a respected leader. He should not be identified this way. It’s only out of respect, Sir!’

Well, load shedding may have forced people to shed their cloths, but not their sense of respect and decency. Ahoy!

Chinmay Chakravarty is a professional specialized in the creative field with over two decades of experience in journalistic writing, media co-ordination, film script writing, film dubbing, film & video making, management of international film festivals and editing of books & journals. Started career with a stint as a freelance journalist and then joining Indian Information Service. Employed by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Govt. of India, worked at Films Division, Mumbai as Sr. Commentary Writer from 1987 to October, 2006. Presently working in Mumbai Doordarshan, TV channel of Govt. Of India, as a News Editor

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