16 May 2022 14:55



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Further strengthening its leadership team, Carat India, the media agency from the house of dentsu India, has appointed Vasim Rakhangi as Associate Vice President - Strategy for North and East. With this appointment,

Carat continues to accelerate its transformation of the agency across India, as it looks to bring new focus on its designing for people proposition.

In his new role, Vasim’s core focus will be to spearhead and deliver integrated media strategy to the agency's existing clients across the regions. He will report into Anita Kotwani, CEO, Carat India.

Vasim has over 11 years of experience in Media and Research. He has led multiple brands on integrated media strategies that focus on both traditional as well as Digital media. Prior to this, Vasim has worked for conglomerates in the FMCG sector like Mondelez, GCPL, Marico as well as broadcasting brands including Star Plus and Star Sports. Besides having a career in media, Vasim is an avid traveler and thoroughly enjoys playing cricket & cooking.

Carat has always been relentless in ensuring media drives strategic value for clients by challenging the norms and designing innovations which deliver growth. With Vasim joining as Associate Vice President, this is the fourth key strategic leadership hire for the agency in recent months; bringing a fresh perspective, increased impetus, and proven expertise to deliver on well-known brands in the Indian market.

Commenting on the appointment, Anita Kotwani said, “With his extensive experience and passion, Vasim will help our clients stay ahead of the curve, especially as he helps them demystify the complex digital media landscape. One of his focus areas will be, to translate the disruption of video and the future of measurement to the consumers’ dynamically changing needs and, how the role of data, privacy, and technology impact their business. Vasim’s remit in our North market will encompass Phillips Domestic Appliances, Microsoft, Mastercard, Havells, and the DS Group amongst others, as he also works with our local teams to drive growth for both North and East markets.”

Vasim Rakhangi added, “With the kind of transformation taking place within the media landscape in India, Carat's framework seamlessly blends in with the rapidly changing environment. It has always focused on building deeper relationships between people and brands in order to design campaigns which truly resonate with people and drive impactful results for clients. It is indeed a privilege to work with Anita and lead regions with so many great opportunities to bring this to life in partnership with such powerful brands. I am really excited and look forward to contributing towards the growth of the clients.”

Voice against harassment gets stronger with News18 Network and Truecaller’s campaign #CallItOut because #ItsNotOk

After launching the campaign this year in March 2022 and taking the conversation ahead, the #ItsNotOk campaign a nationwide initiative by News18 Network and Truecaller addressing issues related to women safety in the digital space, reaches Telangana to raise awareness against harassment

The next leg of the campaign which begins on 16th May will see policymakers, senior politicians, and other stakeholders/ dignitaries coming together to address the issues related to women's harassment online as well as in real life.

The state which has already taken many measures against harassment issues will observe further extension of this initiative which is all set to run into other states of the country and strengthen voices for women's safety. The discussion will house some of the renowned dignitaries like KT Rama Rao, Cabinet Minister For IT E&C, MA&UD and Industries & Commerce Departments, Telangana, J Srinivasa Rao, Chairman, Telangana State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, Kalvakuntla Kavitha, Leader, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Swati Lakra, Additional Director General of Police, Women Safety, Telangana, Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, I&C and IT, Telangana, CV Anand, Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad, Parupalli Kashyap, Former world No. 6 Indian Badminton Player, among others. This extension focuses on understanding and encouraging the pivotal role a male counterpart can play in this unanimous effort against one of the biggest yet less reported menaces of society.

Inspiring women to ‘Call It Out’ on issues related to harassment, the campaign aims to spread awareness amongst the masses on cyber security, cyber laws, and possible course of action to report such cases leading to desired justice. The worthwhile discussions will see a keynote address by KT Rama Rao, Cabinet Minister For IT E&C, MA&UD And Industries & Commerce Departments, Telangana and speakers like Kalvakuntla Kavitha, Leader, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, and Marya Shakil, Senior Political Editor, CNN-News18 will not only focus on the need to build a safer environment for women and what all measures can be taken in this regard but also the role men can play as allies in ensuring that women around them feel safe and empowered.

The attendees will witness conversations amongst panellists where J Srinivasa Rao, Chairman, Telangana State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, Telangana; CV Anand, Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad, Parupalli Kashyap, Indian Badminton Player and Y Arun Daniel Kumar, Founder and Director, Youngistaan Foundation will share their experiences on the extent of harassment faced by women while looking at the possible measures to tackle this.

The event will also witness the presence of Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, I&C and IT, Telangana, Sunitha Laxma Reddy, Chairperson, Telangana State Commission for Women and Swati Lakra, Additional Director General of Police, Women Safety, Telangana in a discussion on protecting women & girls from harassment in the digital age.

Commenting on the campaign, Smriti Mehra, CEO, Business News Cluster, News18 Network, said, "With a vision focused on a society concerned about women's safety, News18 Network in partnership with Truecaller, is holding a discussion in Telangana. This phase in #ItsNotOk campaign is a call to the people of Telangana to #CallItOut whenever they come across anything which might seem disturbing to a woman’s safety and consequently build a safe environment for women. This platform aims to be a source of cyber awareness for women focused on making them empowered for their safety.”

Pragya, Director - Public Affairs, Truecaller said: “We are very excited to take Truecaller’s fight against harassment to Telangana. We are glad to receive support from the Telangana Police and Government for our #CallItOut campaign to empower women in tackling harassment and report it to the authorities. Truecaller remains committed in playing a critical role in safe communication.”

The campaign has already seen national policymakers and stakeholders like Smriti Irani, Minister of Women and Child Development, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MoS for Electronics & IT, GoI, Rakesh Asthana, Commissioner of Delhi Police, Raveena Tandon, Actor, and many more, who came together, to discuss ways to report harassers, encouraging women to speak up. This campaign to fight harassment has struck a chord with every Indian and as News18 Network and Truecaller delve deeper into India, travelling from state to state, this journey has reached its next stop - Telangana.

Watch #CallItOut Telangana LIVE on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube of CNN-News18 & CNBC-TV18


We just wrapped the biggest live, in-person event in Netflix history: our first, real-life Squid Game! Just kidding … that’s coming next year. But today, I’m excited to announce that in the weeks ahead, some of the incredible shows we taped at Netflix Is a Joke: The Festival will be available to watch:

May 19 - The Hall: Honoring the Greats of Stand-Up, an evening to celebrate some of the greatest stand-ups of all time who are no longer with us. John Mulaney honors Robin Williams, Dave Chappelle honors Richard Pryor, Chelsea Handler honors Joan Rivers and Jon Stewart honors George Carlin.

June 6 - Bill Burr Presents: Friends Who Kill, a showcase featuring stand-ups curated by Burr.

June 7 and 12 - That’s My Time with David Letterman, each of the six episodes spotlights one comedian, including a 5-minute stand-up set and conversation with Letterman.

June 9 - Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ Celebration, the largest-ever gathering of LGBTQ+ comics.

June 10 - A Tribute to Bob Saget, a celebration of Bob’s life in comedy with his friends and family.

June 11 - Amy Schumer's Parental Advisory, a showcase featuring stand-ups curated by Schumer.

June 13 - Pete Davidson Presents: The Best Friends, a multi-comic special hosted and curated by Davidson.

June 14 - Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin: Ladies Night Live, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda introduce an all-female lineup of comedians.

June 16 - Snoop Dogg’s F*cn Around Comedy Special, original comedy from Snoop, along with sets from legendary black comedians performing at the festival.

June 23 - Best of the Festival, highlights from throughout the 11-day event.

We’ll share more about these shows soon, along with additional specials coming to the service. Like our newest with Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, a history-making special filmed in front of our largest audience ever – a sold out Dodger Stadium! As a forlorn Montreal Expos fan, it was incredible to experience joy on a baseball diamond again. And we’re adding even more festival performances to our Sirius XM Netflix Is a Joke channel.

These shows represent some of the best work we’ve done at Netflix, with the best comedic talent on the planet. We’re so grateful to everyone who performed, helping to create the biggest comedy festival in US history. From Amy Poehler and Tina Fey in conversation to John Mulaney performing at both the Forum and the Hollywood Bowl, and an unforgettable evening during Stand Out … this festival was a celebration of comedy and a true civic event.

There were so many special moments that are almost too numerous to mention - Bill Burr, Wanda Sykes and Kevin Hart headlining the biggest venues in town, Larry David charming everyone at the Greek, Seth Rogen leading hilarious table reads, free outdoor shows at the Palladium and Chris Rock surprising fans at the Hollywood Bowl. And, of course, Dave Chappelle's four sold out stand-up shows at the Bowl will go down as one of the biggest successes of the festival.

Just look at what we were able to accomplish together:

295 shows;

336 comedians performing;

35+ venues across LA - from the Comedy Store and the Laugh Factory to the Dodgers Stadium, the Forum and the Hollywood Bowl, and many more in between;

And 260,000+ tickets sold.

Thanks to the hundreds of thousands of people who came to support and enjoy these shows. It was a great reminder that comedy helps bring us together. There’s nothing quite like being in a crowded theater or outdoor arena with hundreds to thousands of other people laughing their heads off with their favorite comics on stage. For everyone who couldn’t make it to LA, check out highlights from the festival here. And sit tight. We’ll have plenty of great stand-up specials for you on Netflix very soon — it’ll almost feel like you were actually there.

Anthony Summers, author of Goddess, explains how he shed light on the star’s death in a new documentary on Netflix

The decades-long controversy surrounding Marilyn Monroe’s death is the crux of The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes. The new documentary introduces another piece of the puzzle to the public — audiotapes of Monroe’s closest friends, colleagues and others discussing the circumstances of her demise.

The tapes in question — never before heard by the public until now — belong to journalist Anthony Summers, author of the book Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe, upon which the documentary is based.

A former BBC reporter with a war-reporting background, Summers looked into Marilyn’s death after the Los Angeles district attorney reopened the case in 1982. It turned into a three-year-long project for which Summers interviewed 650 people.

Goddess was first published in 1985 (with several updated editions released since then), but it’s Summers’ detailed reporting that has given the book a unique kind of longevity and modern relevance. And it’s his original audio recordings of those interviews that are a focal point of The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe. The documentary’s director, Emma Cooper, praised Summers’ storytelling ability, comparing him to the literary legend Gay Talese and saying his “attention to detail is extraordinary.”

Not only an exhaustive reporter, Summers is also a prolific one. He’s written 10 nonfiction books on such prominent mid-20th-century figures as J. Edgar Hoover and Richard Nixon. His book on 9/11 was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Below, Summers gives Tudum insight into his reporting on Monroe’s death, the most difficult interview he managed to get and his thoughts on Marilyn’s life as a “sex goddess” before her death at 36.

In your years of research, what is the most striking thing you discovered about Marilyn?

I think because she was a “sex goddess,” pinup girl, etc., it came as a surprise back in the ’80s — and a pleasing surprise — to discover that this woman, although very unhappy and somebody who — more, perhaps, than an awful lot of people — got it “wrong” in life, but, nevertheless, was no fool. She was nobody’s fool. Having had no education, virtually, she was a very aware person who made herself politically aware, came up with quite insightful comments in political conversations and tried to improve herself throughout her life.

She kept little notebooks, little journals on which she made notes all the time. And she was a voracious reader, a terrific reader. [She] was a really thoughtful, intelligent woman... She played along with the effort to create her as a cardboard-cutout figure, while at the same time, in private life, doing everything she could to make sure she wasn’t a cardboard-cutout figure.

When you began looking for clues and trying to talk to people who knew her, a lot of doors were shut in your face. What prompted you to keep digging?

[You c]ome back, and you push it again, and you push it until the door opens. That applied to many interviews in the Monroe case [with] people who had known her. Remember, in the ’80s, it was only 20 years since she died, and people who were friends or intimates still felt uneasy talking about her, particularly when so many rags and flashy magazines had exploited her when she was alive. But by the ’80s, most of them were beginning to open up, because they themselves were older and they could begin to see it in perspective. I think that in the end, very few doors remain closed to me. By the time I finished, I interviewed 650 people.

Did you discover something about Marilyn through her own words or writing that reshaped how you thought about her or reshaped how you understood how she thought about herself?

I think I didn’t really have an impression before starting this work... When I was initially delving into the subject, I had been hired to look into the way that the case was being re-investigated by the district attorney’s office in Los Angeles. And then I gradually eased into the subject and realized that in order to understand her and her death, you had to look at her whole life.

I, quite early on, had a major break in managing to get through to the family of Marilyn’s last psychiatrist on the West Coast. That was Dr. [Ralph] Greenson. And his widow was extremely receptive when I went to see her as was Dr. Greenson’s daughter. Mrs. Greenson, though — the widow — gave me access to the letters that Dr. Greenson had written to Marilyn’s East Coast New York psychiatrist. That immediately... gave me insight into what these psychiatrists, who spent hour after hour with her, what their judgment was of her. Psychiatrists aren’t always right, but they were both compassionate doctors, and what they had written to each other taught me a great deal about her.

By piecing together her days through previously unheard recordings, this feature offers a new perspective. Stream only on Netflix.

How much agency do you think Marilyn had in her own life?

That’s a very difficult question to answer. She was in the hands of the studio. Of course, like all of [the stars of that era], or almost all of them, she could not be her own woman. There was someone pulling her strings all the time. She wanted the fame. She wanted success. She wanted success in private life with the men that she married. I think she came closest to it with the playwright Arthur Miller. But he, just as much as she, I believe, was perhaps responsible for the fact that that marriage failed, as all her relationships failed in the end.

She was dogged by Hollywood, but I think that in any life she led, this was a woman whose personality was so frail that she might well have come to a dusty end, even if she had an ordinary — what we call ordinary — civilian life. The pressures of it all, and the pressures on her as someone created as a model for sexual femininity that doesn’t really exist, were just almost impossible for her to survive.

Your book Goddess was published in 1985, and it has transcended mediums and decades. Are you surprised or unsurprised by the longevity of your reporting?

Well, I suppose I’m as vain as anybody else, so I think that I, more or less, got it right. Nobody has found a serious mistake in the research. There was so much that was sensational about her life, not to mention her affairs with the Kennedys before she died, and then the death itself. One didn’t need to exaggerate, one had to do really thorough research, use only the facts that fitted together, like a jigsaw, and be compassionate. I think that maybe people feel that I treated my subject compassionately, and that it is, of the 10 books I’ve written, perhaps one of those of which I’m still cautiously proud.

What was the most difficult interview for you to get that aired in the documentary?

I think the hardest part of the book inevitably was going to be the end of her life, because there had been so many sensational and, in many cases, purely gossipy or malicious, sometimes, versions of what had happened to her at the end of her life.

I think what I’ve published — particularly what I've published in the most recent edition of the book about the covert eavesdropping on her, in the hope of getting dirt, not on her, but on the Kennedy brothers — was the information I had to be most careful about. Because if you are talking about eavesdroppers, people who are bugging telephones, creeping around sticking microphones in the corners of people’s living rooms and so on, in many cases, you are not dealing with angels.

And so, it has been crucial to get information independently from a significant number of people that fit together. And I think I did, in the end, get that information. It took months and months and a lot of very careful research and making sure one person didn’t know that I was also approaching another person so that I got independent testimony. As a journalistic operation, that was probably the hardest thing that I did.

At the beginning of the documentary, you talk about your 650 interviews, and you say, “I hope I’ve not got obsessed.” Do you think you did, though?

I certainly hope I’m not obsessed. [But] you have to be obsessed in the course of writing a book. If, after years on from a book of mine having been published, somebody challenges what I’ve written, if they’re right and I’ve got it wrong, then I hope I always accept it. I have, on occasion, gotten things wrong. And if it’s something that comes up years later that contributes more to the research that I’ve already done, and, if the book is coming out in another edition, then I think I owe it to the reader to include that.

I like to think that, probably, I’ve given readers the most accurate picture of Marilyn as a woman and of the mysteries that have surrounded her end that is possible.

This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.


Written by By Jamie Beckman

Have you ever been called “drama queen” for drawing attention to something that is affecting you – and needed someone to hear you out?

The BBC’s ground-breaking new five-part podcast series, running on multiple platforms, Drama Queen hears out those who have refused to be victims, who have pushed back when friends and family wanted them to conform, and who have found new ways to forge a path for themselves – on their own terms.

Going live from Saturday 16 April, the Drama Queen series is produced and presented in Urdu and in Hindi by the BBC’s India-born journalist, Samrah Fatima. Uniquely for the region, Samrah has created a podcast that brings voices from both India and Pakistan, discussing, in two language versions, deeply rooted social issues that straddle both countries. Her guests are drama queens each in their own way, who make fuss, speak out and stand out.

Published weekly, from Saturday 16 April, on the BBC News Hindi and BBC News Urdu websites and YouTube channels, the series then will be available on request. Short versions will feature on the BBC News Hindi and BBC News Urdu social-media platforms. Both language versions of Drama Queen will also be available on audio streaming platforms Spotify and Apple. In Hindi, the series will also be available via the digital audio platforms Gaana and JioSaavn, on Indian FM radio stations Misty (in Siliguri and Gangtok) and Tomato FM (in Kolhapur), via the JioChat and DailyHunt apps and the JioCinema streaming service. The Urdu version also will be available via Patari, the audio streaming service.

Samrah says: “We all need to understand the root causes of anguish and hidden depression that many of us are silently dealing with every day. As someone who believes in holding hands and listening to people when they need to be heard, I hope this podcast can helps us share in other people’s challenges – and overcome ours.”

London-based Samrah is also the singer and songwriter of the series’ spellbinding original song, Nazrein mila ke dekhein (Let’s look in the eye), which brings together and punctuates the conversations with its gentle tune and lyrics. The mixing and the soundtrack has been delivered by Saad Sultan in Pakistan, as a result of collaboration, via Zoom, between Samrah at the BBC’s London studios and Saad in a studio in Lahore.

Commenting on the issues discussed, Samrah adds: “It’s been 75 years since India and Pakistan became two separate countries. But the emotional and cultural issues, due to not sharing and dealing with pain alone, are still common on both sides of the border. With Drama Queen, we have brought up these common issues – to introduce ourselves to each other with the idea of sharing and caring.”

In each of the half-hour episodes, Samrah talks to men and women who refuse to keep to themselves their dealings with societal challenges:

Episode 1: Are you sure your mother is okay?

Several studies across the world suggest that nearly half the stay-at-home mothers are struggling silently with depression. Lack of acknowledgement, support and emotional validation keeps affecting them for years. Complaining is often not an option for a mother lest she is called a “drama queen”. Have we, even as adults, ever asked if our mothers are struggling too?

Episode 2: I hate being a man

Masculinity is routinely associated with power, authority and control – but how do men cope with those expectations? Samrah’s guests discuss the pressures, the responsibilities and the loneliness that are brought into men’s lives through the concepts of masculinity conventional in Asian societies.

Episode 3: Looking for a “good girl” to marry

Can a girl with ambitions and successful professional career also be a “good homemaker”? Why are so many young professional women subjected to unfair judgement and why do such pressures force so many to choose “traditional”, “conventional” women’s careers.

Episode 4: “A divorced daughter is better than a dead one”

In India and Pakistan thousands of women suffering domestic abuse commit suicide every year. The fear of being stigmatised as a divorcee forces women in abusive marriages to continue suffering. Beneath all the layers, Samrah reveals the effects of this endured struggle on the mental health and wellbeing of the women who don’t get support – and discusses their options.

Episode 5: Boys in pink pyjamas

Samrah questions gender stereotypes and seeks explanations as to why it is important to raise children free from such preconceptions. She speaks to mums who are trying to do just that and who initiate conversations and workshops in schools.

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