“Jai Ho”, an intimate and exciting documentary directed by ‘Brokering News’ fame Umesh Aggarwal shows why AR Rahman is widely regarded as one of the world's great film composers
‘Jai Ho’, a documentary film on musical evolution of the maestro AR Rahman premiered last week at The Museum of Moving Image in New York. Renowned documentary filmmaker Umesh Aggarwal, who had directed Brokering News – Media, Money and Middlemen, an eye opening film on paid news, directed the film on Rahman.
The premiere, which was attended by Rahman himself, opened to a full house despite the freezing cold (-20 C) in New York! Not just that, the 60-minute film received a standing ovation from the audience at the end.
"We are honoured to be hosting AR Rahman, an icon of Indian music, and the world premiere of Jai Ho," said David Schwartz, the Museum's Chief Curator. "While Slumdog Millionaire brought him to the attention of many Americans, Rahman has had a long and accomplished career in India and abroad for nearly two decades. This intimate and exciting documentary shows why he is widely regarded as one of the world's great film composers."
Following the film, Rahman and the director Umesh Aggarwal participated in a discussion and question and answer session, moderated by Scott Foundas, Chief Film Critic of entertainment trade magazine Variety.
Rahman has been solely responsible for taking Indian film-music to the world stage. Moreover, his stellar amalgamation of eastern and western styles of music have earned him a worldwide fan following. The TIME Magazine described him as “the world’s most prominent and prolific film composer” and in 2009 included him in in its list of the world's most influential people. The same year, Rahman also performed at a state dinner arranged by US President Barack Obama at White House during an official visit by the then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
As of today, he is the recipient of two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, four National Film Awards, 15 Filmfare Awards and 13 Filmfare Awards South. He has also been awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, by the Indian Government. Panchathan Record Inn – a recording and mixing studio in his backyard, is today the most-advanced recording studio in India, and one of Asia's most sophisticated and high-tech studios.
‘Jai Ho’, shot in Los Angeles, London, Mumbai and Rahman's hometown Chennai, features Rahman’s close friends and family, as well as his many collaborators such as Mani Ratnam, Danny Boyle, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Shekhar Kapoor, Ram Gopal Varma, Subhash Ghai, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Alka Yagnik and Hariharan.
The film is novel in that it captures the evolution of Rahman's musical style, and not the events in his personal life. In fusing the ethos of the Eastern world with the technical brilliance of the Western, Rahman has managed to create a unique musical style that is innately Indian and yet has a global appeal.
The first screening in India will be held in New Delhi in April. After a few more screenings across cities in India, the film will be available online for everyone to watch and enjoy.
The film is produced by Public Service Broadcasting Trust and Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Until then, click here to watch Umesh Aggarwal's pathbreaking documentary, Brokering News –Media, Money and Middlemen.
Home Ministry wants to amend existing laws to prohibit live media coverage of counter-terrorism operations by security forces
The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry Tuesday said that it is considering a proposal from Home Ministry for amending existing laws in order to prohibit live media coverage of counter-terrorism operations by security forces.
"The ministry has received a proposal from (Home Ministry) regarding bringing amendments in the extant laws to prohibit live media coverage of counter-terrorism operations by security forces. The proposal is under the consideration of the ministry," Minister of State for I&B, Rajyavardhan Rathore, said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
Meanwhile, in response to another question, the minister said that the Department of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) releases print advertisements on the basis of requests received from various "client" ministries as per their requirement and themes.
Committed expenditure for all the ministries' campaigns, during the period June 2012, till-date is Rs875.35 crore.
Rathore also said that DAVP has empanelled seven impact assessment agencies for carrying out impact assessment of the publicity campaigns of any ministry or department based on their requirements.
TransUnion, Equifax and Experian are present in India, either on own or through a partnership and it would be interesting if they follow the same system to accept and rectify errors
To the relief of American consumers, New York State's attorney general announced Monday that his office has reached an agreement with the three major credit bureaus in the US. Under the agreement, all three TransUnion, Equifax and Experian will revamp the way in which they rectify their own errors, and the way they handle medical debt.
In his statement to the Wall Street Journal, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that the three bureaus have promised to be “more proactive in resolving disputes over information contained in credit reports — a process federal watchdogs and consumer advocates have long decried as being stacked against individuals”.
The same big global names operate in India—TransUnion with Credit Information Bureau of India Limited (CIBIL), Experian India, Equifax (with CRISIL) and CRIF Highmark and it would be interesting if they follow the same system here as well. Remember, few years ago, how Suresh Prabhu, the current Railway Minister, found himself as marked defaulter for no fault of his? Apparently, a telephone company had failed to disconnect a mobile number and was piling on the minimum charges with interest that made him a ‘defaulter’. (Read: Credit Reports: Rightfully Ours )
This has been long due, considering that credit-rating agencies have hardly ever been held accountable for the errors they make in their credit-reports, neither do they have any incentives to correct them, regardless of the trouble it causes the people. At the end of the day, the ordinary “consumer” is not their customer. Their real customers are mortgage lenders, cell phone providers, credit card companies, car dealers or any business or institution, which might lend money or enter into a contract with individual consumers. Their job is to provide their clients with credit-information on their prospective customers.
Your credit report would evaluate your credit worthiness or credit score, which is basically an estimate of how likely you are to pay back your loan. A higher rating would indicate a higher credit-worthiness, and that in turn will lead to a lower interest rate on your loans. Anyone with low credit-worthiness would be charged a higher interest rate. This however, is not happening in India at present.
Your credit score depends on how regularly and promptly you pay your bills. For example, if someone keeps maxing out on their credit card or is perennially late in repayment of bills, they will have a low credit rating. It seems rather simple, but in fact, there are some major issues with it.
It is evident that your credit report and score is of great significance to you – whether for a loan sanction, or the application for a new credit card. Now consider this – what happens if the credit bureaus report erroneous information about you – stating that you are delinquent on many bills despite the fact that you have made all your payments on time? It is obvious that this will have seriously negative consequences – but only for you. The agency has absolutely nothing to lose, and hence no inclination to fix its mistakes.
In the US, several consumers have reported mistakes and errors in their credit-reports, many of which are absolutely absurd. For example, in one complaint that a consumer reported to Consumer Affairs, a US based consumer news and advocacy organisation, his credit-report released by Equifax showed no changes from any of the previous months, yet his credit score had dropped by 80 points. When he called them up for help, they refused to provide any details over the phone. Instead, they requested him to write to them, promising they would respond within 30-90 days.
This is just one of many, many cases of careless errors made by credit-agencies. While they have no incentive to correct their errors promptly, the consumers have a lot to lose. It was in response to the increasing number of such complaints that the Attorney General's office started its investigation.
While the latest development in the US is promising, consumers will have to wait for anywhere between six months to three years in order for the changes to be implemented. This is perhaps because along with the agenda for efficient handling of errors, credit-agencies are also looking into changing the way they deal with customers' unpaid medical bills. The current system treats all kind of debts equally – and this includes medical bills. This causes issues in instances of medical emergencies, where delays may be either due to lack of immediate funds or because insurance companies are late in making payment.
In our country too, consumers would benefit a great deal if credit bureaus such as Credit Information Bureau of India Limited (CIBIL), Experian India, Equifax and CRIF Highmark are made more accountable, especially accepting and then rectifying errors made in credit reports.
A set of people are completely innocent victims of an identity mix-up within credit information companies (CICs) whose data algorithms match up multiple borrowings of people from different lenders to create a credit profile. Sometimes, this goes horribly wrong and people who have no borrowing or good credit record are shown as defaulters. Moneylife Foundation has helped resolve a couple of such cases.
Moneylife Foundation runs a free helpline to address all issues related with credit. You can access the Credit Helpline here: www.freecredithelp.in