Saturday, October 9, 2010

Mirror Mirror on the wall expose this face before all.

Hindustan Times should be commended for it efforts and yeoman service, it is rendering towards promoting journalism in India, it has for all practical purposes converted this publication into a Hyde Park of this field, any individual with the most minuscule of pretentions of being a journalist is afforded unfettered opportunity to unleash his/her spiel on the unsuspecting readers.

“A half-way house” by Mr.Rajdeep Sardesai, being the latest fruit of that labor!

“Today, there are more than 120 news channels. The frenzied competition among channels has been brilliantly caricatured in Peepli Live, but ironically, the manic nature of the medium may well have acted as a round-the-clock watchdog when the Ayodhya judgment was delivered last week, thereby ensuring that there was no place for any potential trouble-maker to hide. That a majority of news channels consciously shied away from projecting extremist voices is also a sign that amid the madness of the news whirl, there is still some space for restraint and responsible journalism.”

Granted there are more than 120 news channels, agreed there is intense competition. At this point we would have to part ways. Author has gone on a flight of fanciful, self delusional overstatements which flies in the face of ground realities. The medium is perceived to be a watch dog, fact is it is a pet poodle of a particular political party and its ideology. Just as there are others catering to the same master and it grand plans.

This ostensible watch dog, watches all events however reports selectively, which are beneficial to its master. Convenient arguments, twists are added to emphasis, sway public sentiment in a direction preselected to the detriment of those who are to be maligned or presented negatively to fit the larger picture and the grand plan.

Point by point rebuttal of all the claims is feasible; temptation to indulge in such an act is also high. Monotony of such an exercise would diminish the import of the points that are the main focus of this blog.

However will pose two questions, before proceeding to the crux of the matter.

1. Why has this watch dog not been able to reduce corruption?

2. How many individual have tasted their just fruits at hand of the law for their misdeeds? Due to the efforts of this watch dog!

Let us explore just two points, one efficacy of this watch dog in reporting and preventing events which have profound effects on the society. Second being the restraint exercised which calls for applauding its role in pre & post Ayodhya verdict period.

Who can forget the extensive reporting and prime time debates on Switzerland disallowing building of minarets for a mosque in that country, overlooking the fact that the citizens of that country delivered their verdict in a referendum conduct by the government of a sovereign nation as envisaged in its constitution, and again when France opted to ban the use of Burkha in public. Both nations are democracies older than us. Alacrity with which these two incidents were dubbed as Islamophobia, by this channel and others, the shrillness of their reporting made them out to as fanatical as the Jihadis who are being shunned by their own community. Would we be wrong if we were to label the author and his ilk as secular Fundamentalists?

Now let us contrast this with the events they chose to ignore. There was a deafening silence on this event there was no mention what so ever.

“2010 Deganga riots: 24 North Parganas West Bengal India.
From Wikipedia,the free encyclopedia The 2010 Deganga riots began on 6th September when an Islamist mob resorted to arson and violence on the Hindu localities of Deganga, Kartikpur and Beliaghata under the Deganga police station area. The violence began late in the evening and continued throughout the night into the next morning. The district police, Rapid Action Force, Central Reserve Police Force and Border Security Force all failed to stop the mob violence, army was finally deployed. The army staged a flag march on the Taki Road, while Islamist violence continued unabated in the interior villages off the Taki Road, till Wednesday in spite of army presence and promulgation of prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC. The violence finally calmed down on 9th September after hundreds of Hindu business establishments and residences were looted, destroyed and burnt, dozens of Hindus were severely injured and several Hindu temples desecrated and vandalized by the Islamist mobs led by Trinamul Congress MP Haji Nurul Islam.”

You judge for yourself if this watch dog was making the right type of sounds for the first two events and if it was looking in the wrong direction and was suffering from a serious bout of cold that it did not open its mouth.

The other point is about the restraint shown by the media.


What do you have to say to this, did your stomach not knot up in disgust, where is your sense of restraint and sensitivity? What kind of an example is being set by placing such thoughts in public domain, what will be the effect on the young of this country? How would your children react to this? The individual in question is not just an employee of your channel, but also your spouse. What action have you taken? Why have you not apologized to the nation for this? Oh please do not tell us Freedom of expression; that incidentally stops where our nose begins, this is a straight hard punch on our collective nose.

Do not misappropriate what belongs to the people of this country, self congratulatory article, patting your own back for a job well done is premature and misplaced. Leave this to us the people to pass our judgment on your role and its effectiveness.

This is the latest update on CNNIBN. 12/17/2010

I welcome a debate and discussion on this…As always, please keep your tone civil, your language polite…no sweeping generalisations please and no personal abuse.  Thank you.

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