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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Postman disagrees with contents of the letter.

India has won. It is a great victory that is what we heard after the 1st test match at Mohali. India’s Gold Medals rush at the Common Wealth games say the headlines of newspapers. TV channels also echoing this. Magnificent opening ceremony to the Common Wealth Games in Delhi! India and Indians won on the 30th of September 2010. No one seems to be celebrating that. WHY?

Yes the Ayodhya verdict. The litigants accepted the verdict without any show of emotions of either triumph or dismay. There was no gloating from BJP, VHP, RSS and the other usual suspects as we have been repeatedly told by the media since 1992. Nor was there any shrill cry from the other side. Some political parties like the SP of Mulayam Singh Yadav, RJD of Lalu Prasad Yadav, LJP of Ram Vilas Paswan have made noises in order to exploit the verdict, Congress has displayed its traditional wishy washy stance.

Indians by nature are emotional and expressive, more so when it is an emotive issue of religion. Collectively we have displayed extreme equanimity, grace and maturity. There has not been a single report of an untoward incident from across the length and breadth of the country, which is very unusual, yet a more than welcome change. A clarion call from the common man, move on, no more divisiveness. No more debating Secularism Vs Communalism.

The discordant note in all this is emanating from the messenger that is the main stream English media. The common refrain is do not shoot the messenger, in present case its role is highly suspect, there is a concerted and deliberate attempt being made to project the Allahabad High Court verdict as being seriously flawed by intent, to the detriment of the Muslim rights and community. Is the media competent to sit on judgment of the verdict? Is it its brief and in fitness of things? Why is it indulging and overreaching? What is the purpose of this explicit exercise of negating the verdict of the Hon Allahbad High Court, as also the message from the people of this country?

It leads us to believe that a gory blood bath on the streets of India was the expectations of the media and it is deeply disappointed that the average Indian has fooled all these journalists who were looking for a field day/days of mayhem and violence…so they could have continued their cry on “secularism in danger’ “majority mafia rule” “Islam in danger” and the usual attack. We should congratulate the average Indian that he has now the capability to decide what is best for him and not listen to the doomsayers.

The question that is uppermost in our minds is, why have the TV channels rummaged so deep into their moth balled trunks to bring out old relics who described the judgment disparagingly? Why are aspersions being cast on the Judges involved? There are many more questions that we seek and need answers to from the media for its unremitting negative role since the 30th of September 2010. One article a day in the print has been the norm since then, not one of these authors has presented to us a balanced view or a cogent basis, so that we may move from our present position, the judgment provides an opportunity to move forward, we do not wish the millstone to be round a neck anymore.

Castigating personalities, specific media channels, and publications is not the intent though it would satisfy temporarily; nor is the purpose to delve superficially or propound a theory which would not stand scrutiny of logic and be dismissed as fanciful flight of imagination of an individual. Indian is bemused he is finding it difficult to differentiate between the Jihadis and these “Secular fundamentalists.”

Why should we not examine the media as per the below mentioned criteria? Permit me to place before you the readers something significant which I came across recently.

“Are Businessmen Smarter Than Children?”

According to the research of Lawrence Kohlberg, children at around the age of ten progress to a higher level of moral understanding moving from consequence thinking to considering the intent behind the action.. I quote: At approximately the same time–10 or 11 years–children’s moral thinking undergoes other shifts. In particular, younger children base their moral judgments more on consequences, whereas older children base their judgments on intentions. When, for example, the young child hears about one boy who broke 15 cups trying to help his mother and another boy who broke only one cup trying to steal cookies, the young child thinks that the first boy did worse. The child primarily considers the amount of damage–the consequences–whereas the older child is more likely to judge wrongness in terms of the motives underlying the act (Piaget, 1932, p. 137).

There are six stages in Kohlberg’s theory:
1) Obedience and Punishment Orientation
2) Individualism and Exchange
3) Good Interpersonal Relationships
4) Maintaining the Social Order
5) Social Contract and Individual Rights
6) Universal Principles

For now we will ignore all other stages and focus on stage 4.

Level 4 thinking means a person begins to consider “society as whole” as a factor in moral decision making. Breaking the law, damaging the environment, treating people badly, acting in the interest of a foreign government or corporation or trading partner to the detriment of your own country, etc. are acts that damage society as a whole. A businessman willing to maximize profit at all costs with this level of moral development has to believe that the long term benefits of illegal and unethical actions will produce in the long term a better society or embrace simple villainy as a way of life.

It would be fitting for all of us to look deep into the motives that have driven the media to it current stance. Judgments maybe formed on independent basis as it would be grossly unfair on my part to enforce my views or opinions as per my perceptions. Yes media handling of the issue has left much to be desired. After all it is the fourth pillar of our vibrant democracy, given the extensive interactivity, need for restrained reaction cannot but be emphasized, propagation of a unidimensional picture is not in the larger interest of the Nation.

In conclusion, this was by far the most disgusting way of expressing oneself it appeared on twitter “Lord Ram A Divine Encroacher.” The author of this tweet is yet to issue an apology to us. Media is but a ‘Postman’ and not a party to the title suit hence obduracy displayed by it is misplaced and uncalled for.


Link to some of the article published from 1st Oct onwards.
1. Shaving grace?
2. "Are we not free yet?"
3. Could a better deal have been struck two decades ago?
4. "Full Tosss"
5. "No triumphalism"

Thank you Mr. James Pilant for permitting me to use material from your blog “Are Businessmen Smarter Than Children?”