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Preeti Singh
Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I am 66 years old India: Courage, humanity and freedom will be my legacy

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18 of my brave naval officers are feared dead today. It's my 67th Independence day. Many more of my army brave hearts have been mutilated, killed and sacrificed at the altar of patriotism in a region where gunfire refuses to let the mountains sleep. Their families await justice, like many of those who lost their loved ones years ago to perhaps poisonous gas of an industry or thirsty swords of religions. My borders are still porous. 550 of my political representatives have clocked a shameful number of working hours these past few weeks in the parliament... rabble rousing but ironically taking offence to the term anarchists; A house that's actually meant to discuss and frame policies that shall govern and secure me. I also continue to treat some of my countrymen as an internal security threat, losing lives in subsequent cross fire, all within my....

Tuesday , July 30, 2013

The Telangana possibility

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"Will we be two states now, telangana aayega kya?" "How does Congress think it will survive with such nonsensical decisions?" "Will a separate state solve problems of Telangana people?" "This is just for political gains, isn't it?" "How do you think Hyderbadis will take this change?" "Madam, are real estate prices going to plummet now?" These are among the volley of questions that I have been facing from my family, friends, neighbours and citizens on the streets of Andhra Pradesh in the last few weeks. It's a strange feeling for many, to think of two states as a reality. Pro-Telangana supporters are yet to rejoice, wondering perhaps if this "likely Telangana" is as close as it gets to reality. A sense of loss and disappointment hangs over the region on the coastal and Rayalseema side. I have been covering this separate statehood issue since....

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dear Prime Minister, please do not laud my spirit.

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Let me admit right away. I'm terrified of the word "resilience". So if someone mentioned the word to define my city after the twin blasts on February 21, I've had to resist an urge to scream. It was a usual Thursday. Until 7 pm. Reports came in of an explosion at Dilshukhnagar area. In situations like these, we are taught to cross check and double cross check. It could be a cylinder blast for it happened near a tiffin centre. It could be some misinformation. It could also be a terror attack. As we (my Video journalists and I) drove at breakneck speed, against the traffic tide, to reach the spot, I reported on what I saw and what I could confirm. From one, it became two explosions. From 7, it became 10 dead.. All this in a span of less than 15 minutes. We reached the spot....

Monday , December 17, 2012

Raped! Again!

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Grope: (verb) to touch or handle (someone) for sexual pleasure. Molest: (v): to assault sexually. Rape: (n): Unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse. Know the words. Know the exact meanings. Because when you enter a police station, you will be asked again & again if you are sure, which among the above three happened. You will be asked for "clarity". You, and only you will be asked, if you provoked the "accused" in any way. A 20-year-old girl has been stripped, raped and thrown off a bus in New Delhi! She was returning from a film at around 11 pm with a male friend. Her crime: Hitching a ride in a chartered bus? About 10 days ago, a 32-year-old Manipuri girl was slapped by a traffic constable in Bangalore, after a group of men groped and humiliated her!....

Monday , June 11, 2012

Whose democracy is it anyway?

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Political 'tu-tu, main-main' or the blame game is omnipresent in our land of the largest democracy. Political parties seem to almost thrive in it. But if there ever was an award for political conspiracy theories, Andhra Pradesh politicos would win hands down (no offence to the Congress symbol!) While I did cover 2009 Lok Sabha elections in the state which did have its share of poll bickering, 2012 by-polls in 18 assembly seats and one LS seat have raised the bar many notches higher. Speak with any political leader here and he will have a conspiracy theory up his sleeve. Main opposition party, Telugu Desam's chief Chandrababu Naidu will never tire of telling you how Jagan & Congress are teaming up to finish TDP or how pro-Telangana party TRS is joining hands with Jagan, under the pink table of course. And if you have been truly....

Monday , May 14, 2012

Look who's fighting

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So, the opposition decided to show no sense of humour over a late 1940s cartoon of the revered B R Ambedkar in NCERT textbooks. (Regardless of the fact the man himself, alive then, showed no angst and in all probability, laughed it away!) What followed the Parliament chaos was predictable, protests across the country, debates, apologies & resignations. (And it's us journos, who are accused of being thin-skinned!?!) Now, at the outset, let me make it clear, that we, in Andhra Pradesh, especially Hyderabad, have come to become very enthusiastic over national issues (Blame it on the Telangana reins being handled in Delhi!) So of course, there had to be some protests here as well. "Find out," ordered my assignment (sitting in Delhi, where else?!) While I punched numbers of "habitual protestors" (yes, they exist & no they haven't yet made it to my speed dial!), I met....

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Jagan jinx

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What's common between CBI's Andhra Pradesh chief VV Laxminarayana and YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy? Both of them get very flustered when women reporters are jostled around in the crowds that surround them. Women reporters, including yours sincerely, appreciate the fact that one strong glare from both these men, helps in restoring the oxygen passage amidst that suffocating group of cops, security guards and fans! (FYI: This CBI director has a facebook fan page!) But that's where that small patch of common ground ends. For then, they are placed on opposite sides of law but fighting what seems to be a political battle. While the CBI director has been granted Y category security (reportedly under threat from the mining mafia), Jagan has found no such favour with the ruling Congress at the state and at the Centre. Jagan stands as accused no 1 in CBI's....

Friday , August 12, 2011

Can CBI connect the Jagan dots?

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With scams in the last few months regularly throwing up numbers of not less than a 100 crores, we as an alert audience have tuned in to the "not-surprised-anymore" mode. Or so I thought! When the Andhra Pradesh High Court decided on 10th of August to give a green signal to the CBI for a detailed investigation into YSR Congress MP, Jagan Mohan Reddy's assets, it did catch the state's attention. While politicians came up with their predictable rhetoric, it was amusing to see the man on the street to be equally interested. In fact, at most informal gatherings these days, Jagan & his money are the toast of the discussion. Dinner table conversations veer around how much will the CBI unearth? Is Jagan a victim of Congress witch-hunt, as he claims to be? And the question that's asked most in hushed tones is, will he be arrested,....

Saturday , June 18, 2011

Drug trials, at whose cost?

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Five women hospitalised in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, after "volunteering" for a drug trial. Now that's a story that we know will make headlines over a weekend. But each time a story such as this comes about, it brings to my mind that unending debate of ethics in such clinical trials. No, I'm not going into the technicalities of the greater good, the need of medicine etc. instead this is just to finally confront a few nagging thoughts that come up each time I cover a story on illegal clinical trials. The first time I came across a death due to a clinical trial was in Dec 2008, when a young 24-year-old lad died under suspicious circumstances. Investigations revealed, he had volunteered for several drug studies, all at the same time, thus leading to an untimely death. While the several Pharma companies were quick....

Monday , February 07, 2011

A 'hand'ful of the 'rising sun'

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A huge laminated poster of Andhra Pradesh's favourite megastar Chiranjeevi stares back at me from the corner of a friend's room. The friend, also now a disappointed fan, took it off the wall of his room after Chiranjeevi officially announced his party's merger with the congress. And my friend says he is not a one-off case... with reports of many a staunch supporters of Prajarajyam, from various districts of Andhra Pradesh, feeling a sense of betrayal. And can they really be blamed? For a party that promised a non-Congress, non-TDP (AP's main opposition party, Telugu Desam) alternative to the state's voters in 2008, amidst a gathering that ran into lacs in the temple town of Tirupati; for a party that said it will fight against corrupt forces of Congress & TDP for social justice.. Prajarajyam failed to meet the high standards it set for itself. ....


More about Preeti Singh

Preeti Singh is CNN-IBN's state reporter for Andhra Pradesh. With general news as her beat, she has covered ground on business scams like Satyam to the politics of General Elections, floods, cyclones, sports and entertainment. Tracking all that happens in the state is her business. A graduate in Chemistry and Biotechnology, she did her PGD in journalism from Xaviers in Mumbai. She has been working with CNN-IBN since 2007 & is based out of Hyderabad. While she's not chasing stories, she loves driving around the city, reading works of Indian authors & troubling her 3-year-old German Shepherd. Preeti received the 2009-2010 Ramnath Goenka award for On-Spot reporting for the coverage of floods in AP.


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