Thursday, August 09, 2007


Two main rant points in this post: One - the attack by 'Fundamentalists' on Taslima Nasreen yesterday in Hyderabad, Two - the deteriorating quality of the news shown on all the exclusive news channels...

The attack on Taslima Nasreen by the so called Islamist fundamentalists yesterday in Hyderabad was a shame...I very proudly tell all my friends that Hyderabadis are very tolerant and friendly. After yesterday's incident though, I will have to think twice. The fact that three MLA's were involved in this incident makes it all the more distressing. How can these so called representatives of the people involve themselves in such heinous acts? The language they used was not worthy of a street ruffian. One of these MLA's even went to the extent of saying that he did not care about police cases nor about his MLA position...firstly he was a Muslim and he would kill the author the next time she came to Hyderabad. One political party said that if the other party had not resorted to the unplanned attack, they would have killed the author in a planned manner. What kind of people are these? Are these our elected representatives, is this the kind of example they are setting for us? The kind of cowardice these people display by resorting to such acts is laughable. Since they do not do anything worthwhile using their powers as an elected member of the state legislature, they resort to such cheap tricks to grab eyeballs and gain their fifteen minutes of fame. Without getting into deeper issues, lemme just be content by saying that people like you give Islam a bad name. You are not upholding any honor doing such are only further scarring an already scarred group of people.

That apart, one rant that has been long due is about the news channels. They just keep getting worse by the day. Star News is one particular channel that is particularly sad. They keep going on and on about the most insignificant and trivial of things. Mandira Bedi's saree on a TV show, a woman walking semi naked to a police station to complain against her in-laws, a kid who has a tendency to drink petrol...everything, in their eyes, deserves a half hour special with so called experts debating on the same. Recently, it was reported that a news channel actually forced a couple of people who were threatening suicide to do it would make a good visual. They actually died during the incident. During the recent police firing in AP, none of these guys had any social resposibility to help the injured or do anything useful, all they could focus on was getting exclusive pics. One of the reporters proudly proclaimed that the first pics of the woman who fell and fractured her skull while running away from the police were shown only by their channel. For god's sake, stop this kind of yellow journalism. Last evening there was a half hour show on Star News about a fight for survival by a buffalo and a fight between a group of buffaloes and a herd of tigers. This was an email forward that I received a couple months ago about a video on YouTube. It was funny to see this 6 minute clip shown for 30 mins on a TV show with some stupid hindi commentary.

The media is an extremely powerful tool, one that can make or break a nation's destiny. As of now though, it is becoming a mockery in the hands of money minded bosses who have nothing but financial gains on their minds. This is my request to all the reporters out there, ask your conscience if this is what it wanted when you took up this profession. If the answer is a resounding no, as it will be, then everyday before you go to sleep, look back at whether you are satisfied with the reporting you did during the day and ask yourself if it has done an iota of good to the society. It will be a long time before you mangage to catch your forty winks!

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