Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rambling on Indian media -Part 1

Is asking question such a difficult thing to do?

Tony Blair once said (words to that effect) to journalists that those in politics is in the business of doing and in journalism in the business of commentary. He implied the former is far more difficult job than mere commentary. There is substantial truth in it. (Tamilians may relate to 'Panja Tanataram') 
I personally respect Mark Styne’s advise, that all aspiring writers should learn to do something with their hands, meaning at least learn to fix a leaking faucet or repair your motor bike or such things.
One section of society just does not contribute to the economy, the engine that defines our well-being in any society. A friend of mine used to say, a farmer in Canada, that there are so many who just do not want to do anything and should be allowed to live so, in the name of freedom.
In downtown Toronto, one crosses a shabbily clad guy with a pan and a placard seeking money for ‘dope’ with two huge dogs sitting next to him. He obviously does nothing except brazenly ogling at women, passing rude comments, taking money;  then smoke dope and with the leftover buy food for self and the dogs. As long as people freely give money to him, he gets free dope.
Then there are pickpockets, drug addicts, charlatans, tricksters and similar lot who make money doing nothing but by stealing and scavenging from people who create wealth. It perhaps can be explained by the parasitical components in every system, part of nature.
Then there are journalists who work to report, providing the mirror the society needs to have a look at itself. And there are those in this trade who go by different names, media personalities, anchors, debaters and the lot who live off the fat of the land. Most of them run their show as substitute for Roman circus, feeding the ever hungry plebeian public's base taste, with entertainment of Lion eating man. It serves no purpose but it gets crowd. Some go further and imitate those simians in Zoo, engaging is self-stimulation, which attracts sizeable crowd. I don’t know why the name Arnab comes to my mind. Along with TRP.
In India, there is hardly any choice we have amongst the English news channels. If you tune in to Times Now, the simian shows go on endlessly. CNN-IBN is run with a team entirely made of people whose IQ taken together makes an average imbeciles’. Whatever one can add to the positive side is immediately canceled out by Sagarika. I am still waiting for CNN-IBN to make one single intelligent remark or even an honorable program. NDTV comes in low decibels but equally obnoxious.
These channels are brazenly crass, crude and appeal to very basic instincts of people. There are enough material in the social networking websites giving details of their connection to the high and mighty, which might explain why we have to suffer them. And they go on ad nauseam that Indian politics does not offer any choice. Have they ever wondered if Indian media provides any? All of them run similar program, similar content, the decibels varying, the ideological intent the same and if you switch from one channel to another, you will miss nothing. I would go to the extent that if you switch off, you will miss nothing, but surely these perverse anchors will surely miss their pay check soon.
The media buries either entirely or in some inaccessible place, what it does not want to show. This is evident and is a national secret. The recent rape and murder case in Latur of a Congress party woman, by Congress party workers traveling in relation to attending a Congress Leader’s birthday is buried so deep, no one heard about it. Have you seen women screaming at you with “Stop the Shame” theme? This rape did not shame her. I wonder what is that substance, which insulates her from shame in cases like these yet shamelessly continue to make selective reporting? Ideology? Money? Fame? Stupidity? Inability to introspect? I think it is all of them mixed in a oil-base of corrupt soul. The evil that makes up media in India.
There are reportedly places in India where minority community does not allow others from entering the village and it is not even reported. We all know with how much conviction media ran the story of pogrom against Kashmiri Pandits. Even today, no one talks about it but media gives huge coverage to Omar Abdulla making irrelevant hair-splitting comments.
 There were more than 100 riots in TMC ruled West Bengal and they are hardly covered by media. When Canning riot was happening, there were people in social networking websites but the response from the media, was muted as usual.
In Kerala a pregnant cow was brought to a temple and left with its throat split and the media did not report. This was done with a clear intent to offend Hindu community and also to demonstrate that law cannot touch such criminals.
Kanwal tweets that 80% houses in the districts bordering Bangla Desh fly Pakistan or Bangla flags. Immediately there are Nilim Duttas who claim it is false. There are reports that third of Kaziranga National Park is occupied by illegal immigrants. Underplay is the response from media. You should have seen the face of the woman on NDTV as she reported Modi’s statement that post May 16th, illegal immigrants will have to leave, conveying that she caught Modi committing one of the most atrocious crimes.
That takes us to the topic of this write. These people are supposed to be not sound bite catchers and regurgitate it, right? They are supposed to ask questions. But have you seen anyone asking relevant questions? On one extreme we have Karan Tapar who believes that being obnoxious is same as asking questions and on the other we have Rajdeep who says ‘yes’ to everything the panelist says but concludes in the opposite.
Times Now repeated flashes with “Priyanka tears into Modi” and seems to suggest that Priyanka has brought up some topics of national importance and had Modi and BJP on the mat. It does not take much effort to find out that all Priyanka gave was sound bites, of ‘me tera khoon pee jaoongi’.
Barkha reported that Chidambaram says that “we don’t need Fascists and Nazists to solve India’s problem”
Media reported "O'Brien saying Modi has blood in his hands" (some even added the word 'dripping')
Media reports that “Batra’s mother says that Modi is ‘pseudo-patriot’.
There are numerous instance of such publicity media undertakes to serve their masters. They are sound-bites, they are not worth nothing more. It is similar to the simian example, indulging in self-stimulation to which these media gang runs with lights flashing on.
Is asking question a difficult task?
Could Time Now have asked question probing the points Priyanka was making instead of lapping of her words to be regurgitated on TV? For example, did they find out on what basis is she defending Vadra whose declared income has grown to 300 crores? What happened to the loan that Vadra claimed he got from a bank that the bank denied ever giving? Not about her government house or other side shows. Why not probe the topic she picks?
Did anyone ask Derek if he means that Modi personally killed people? If not, do the pronouncements of the Supreme Court have any bearing in his assertion? Is there any proof in what claims?
Did Barkha ask Chidambarm why does he compare Fascism to the leader Indian people elect? Does Chidambaram feel that our electoral system is not suitable? Does he prefer any other system? Does Chidambaram know that the closest ideology to Fascism is the liberalism that Congress swears by?
Did anyone ask Batra’s mother if the only proof available to BJP to show Modi as patriot is by allowing her to win on AAP ticket? Does martyrdom of Son be converted to political pension for the parents? Will it not mean that every martyr’s parents will be filling the Lok Sabha?
 But those questions never are asked. I personally know of the price with which silence of journalists can be bought, but at best it is anecdotal.
The questions are never asked, as this is the low-risk corruption by media by which one can avail monetary gains. No one can blame for questions not asked. For not being smart.
Then there is another explanation. While passing out from school, there are some who can do nothing in life. They turn journalists, I guess, of this yellow variety.
They write and speak gossips, salacious bits, allegations and live on the verbal wastes of the society. The lowly tribe lives by their societal parasitic genetic code. And once you choose to live the life of a parasite, there is no room for ethics and morals. You become Arnabs, Rajdeeps and Barkhas. Scary.

Most journalists do not eat bread earned with honest work.

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