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It is sad that for the media, the line between news and reality TV is fast blurring. I came across this very disturbing video shot in the home of a cop who was beheaded by Naxals in Ranchi.
They shot it when his 7-year old son calls up the school and asks authorities to send home his brother, because their father has died.
Then, presumably as an answer to the oft-asked question ‘How do you feel ?’, the kid says, ‘You have killed my father, I will join the police and will kill you people–I will kill you people’ before breaking down on camera.
Good for TRPs, hell great ! But what if the Naxals who are watching this target the child ? You and I would probably not be threatened by a kid, but I don’t know how Naxals think; the ones who beheaded a cop in cold blood.
Whoever said our media had become slightly responsible after 26/11. Added irony is that this was telecast on CNN-IBN, whose Rajdeep Sardesai tried to claim the moral high ground among channels for their ethical coverage of 26/11.
No humour or sarcasm here.
I wasn’t really going to write anything today considering I am already in my finals week. But I wanted to write about a few things when the matter was relevant (and partly to make up for the guilt of having posted some humour recently).
As expected they try to make sense and successfully defend themselves against having broken any rules.
Unfortunately, that is not what we were trying to tell.
Being stupid does not necessarily mean being wrong. While it made sense to argue that the media at all times respected the security cordon and hence prove that the media did nothing legally wrong, that does not prove that the media was ethically right (let us forget the stupid for a moment). I am sure you heard of something called ‘media discretion’ when you were studying to be serious journalists. How many times are you both going to stick to the ‘holier than thou’ attitude after every allegation ? I can assume for some time that the problem might be scaled down on your television channels (assume, I said), but somewhere, sometime let’s all own up our mistakes. Isn’t that what we are accusing the politicians of doing anyways ?
Composer Vishal Dadlani has started a campaign to not just bash the media, but help form guidelines for future crisis situations. Please spare a moment to let him know that you support the petition : smallchange.in
Let us shed our cynicism and contribute to the efforts of a united India, when it lasts.
On that subject, for readers from Pune, there is a rally this Sunday at Nal Stop around 10 a.m.somewhere in Pune sometime (someone please correct me here if I am wrong. Beat that). I am sure the rally might not change things overnight, but then again you could just be down the wrong thought process.
While on this point and mainly owing to the Mumbai attacks being hailed as India’s 9/11 (again something that attracts attention, but didn’t necessarily have to be so), here is a video everyone must see. It was Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, 9 days after the Sep. 11 tragedy, it is truly one of the most honest pieces of television you might ever come across :
Jon Stewart, apart from being one of the most unbiased political commentators (which is quite a big achievement in the USA), is arguably one of the wisest men you will come across. For people who think war or violence is the only solution, here is what he quoted when British PM Tony Blair was on his show :
Jon Stewart: 19 people flew into the towers. It seems hard for me to imagine that we could go to war enough to make the world safe enough that 19 people wouldn’t want to do harm to us so it seems like we have to rethink a strategy that is less military-based, in general.
Worth stopping there for a second and thinking.
But the tragedy in all this :
Jon Stewart is a comedian.
His show airs on Comedy Central.
Lastly before I end, I heard this beautiful Kabir bhajan sung by Kailash Kher dedicated to the Mumbai martyrs at a recent function honouring them. Titled ‘Ud jayega hans akela’ , his version is here. Originally composed and sung by Pandit Kumar Gandharva, it is here :
The lyrics are pasted below for convenience and its meaning is here :
Ud jayega hans akela
Jag darshan ka mela
Jaise paat gire taruvar ke
Milna bahut duhela
Na janu kidhar girega
Lagya pawan ka rela
Jab hove umar poori
Tab chootega hukam hajoori
Jam ke doot bare mardoot
Jam se para jhamela
Daas kabir har ke gunn gave
Bahar kou paar na paye
Guru ki karni, guru jayega
Chele ki karni chela
P.S. : My posts heavily rely on the readers not being in China or who do not associate the term ‘Websense’ with their daily life.
Rajdeep Sardesai writes in an open letter to Raj Thackeray pretty much what it is on everybody’s mind. Hope we get an answer :
When you started your party a few years ago, it had been pitched as a party committed to a “modern” Maharashtra. If that vision still stands, why don’t you take it forward in real terms? Why don’t you, for example, set up vocational courses and technical institutes for young Maharashtrians to make them competitive in the job market? Why not, for that matter, start English-speaking classes for Maharashtrian students to equip them for the demands of the new economy? If cultural identity is such a concern, why not launch a statewide campaign to promote Marathi art, theatre and cinema by financially supporting such ventures? If Mumbai’s collapsing infrastructure worries you, then target the politician-builder nexus first. And isn’t it also time we realized that Mumbai is not Maharashtra, that the long suffering Vidarbha and Marathwada farmer needs urgent attention? Why not use your political and financial muscle to start projects in rural Maharashtra instead of focusing your energies on Mumbai’s bright lights alone? An employment generation scheme in a Jalna or a Gadchiroli may not make the front pages, but it will have far greater value for securing Maharashtra’s future.
Jai Hind, Jai Maharashtra!
Methinks the answer is obvious : Because .. it is tougher.
As I watched the 2nd presidential debate, I couldn’t help but wonder if such debates would ever be held in India because fundamentally when you juxtapose 2 candidates (or in India, 20 candidates and a few hundred hopefuls), you really get to see your choices and shop accordingly. Add the fact that you actually need to talk about issues, you cannot get away with calling each each Italian, communal and pseudo-secular.
Turns out Rajdeep Sardesai had tried to get both the PM hopefuls Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Mrs. Sonia Gandhi face-to-face during the 2004 elections, and as expected, neither agreed. Also, read his analysis of every major politician and why such debates might not really work as well : Link
The ending is priceless :
I intend to write to Mrs Gandhi, Mr Advani and Ms Mayawati to appear together on a televised show ahead of the next general elections. It’s unlikely to happen, but it may still be worth a shot. If they don’t agree, there’s always Messrs Sibal and Jaitley to turn to!!
I wouldn’t like to be a Kapil Sibal or Arun Jaitley reading this, especially after having provided countless journalists with their bread and butter.
As it turns out, most Hindu organizations are going to have to work overtime. They have two project deadlines coming soon : As if MF Hussain returning wasn’t enough, the Government, in support of the Sethusamudram project has said that Lord Rama himself destroyed the Ram Setu after the war, according to one of the millions of versions of the Ramayana. (Considering how many versions of the Ramayana are present, I do wonder if typos while copying one version are counted as new ones.)
P.S. : Somehow, I found IBNLive’s title for this article a bit weird : Oh Lord! Now Govt says Ram destroyed Setu. I would have appreciated a Hey Ram instead of Of Lord ! I think this proves that Rajdeep Sardesai is a patron of the Congress as alleged by my dear friends (in the comments section, obviously) from the Mandir.