Monday, June 21, 2010

What is wrong with the Indian media?

Bihar’s police blinded a dozen undertrials with cycle spokes and acid in Bhagalpur (the story of this casual act of punishment took weeks to emerge). Government engineers on deputation regularly abused tribal women, and there was no end to stories about the barbarism in the Indian village (there still is no end).

But there was always something missing from this journalism, and it is this: You could read Indian newspapers every day for 30 years and still not know why India is this way. The job of newspapers is, or is supposed to be, to tell its readers five things: who, when, where, what and why. Most newspapers make do with only three of these and are unlikely to really tell you “what”. This is because urban Indians are tired now of reading the horror stories that come out of our villages. Only a couple of newspapers, such as TheIndian Express, persist in reporting news that isn’t pleasant, and they haven’t much circulation.

No newspaper at all can tell you “why”, because they do not know themselves. The same stories from 30, 50, 100 or 500 years ago keep repeating here, and the peasant will still murder his daughter for falling in love. The happenings in the city are also difficult to understand. The news from May was that Delhi University sold radioactive Cobalt-60 as scrap. This killed the merchant who bought it and crippled another. The university, which is supposed to be a research body, had unthinkingly buried some of the other Cobalt-60 earlier and this will poison the ground.

Why are we so casual? Nobody can say, and there will be an explanation along the lines that it was an accident. But this will happen again, of course.

Union Carbide’s plant in Bhopal was owned by Americans. But it was managed, staffed and run by Indians. Its foreman was Indian and its workers were Indian. Why were they so casual about their own safety? The media doesn’t know, but it is convinced the solution lies with getting Warren Anderson.

From Aakar Patel's article in Livemint. More Here.


Thahir Makery said...

Those who are in media have not descended from heaven. They are sons and daughters of the soil. They belong to India.

Naturally they would behave as Indians. India is a great country with rich tradition and civilisational roots. But Indians are yet to evolve into good citizens.

Civic sense is absent in the society. Sab chalta hai is the order of the day. Who cares? Nobody cares? Everybody is after their own interests.

Nowhere in the world will you see educated, well fed, well bred, well clothed men pissing in the roadside. That is India!

V K Abdul Malick said...

Well said, Thahir.

Usha Rani, Ambur said...

@ V K Abdul Malick & Thahir Makery

You guys have ignored the other side of the picture. It is the brighter side.

Whatever may be the inadequacies, shortcomings the brighter side of the Indian story is that family system is intact here.

The netas may blatantly bend the rules to suit their needs. But still we could find good citizens who wait patiently for green signal while crossing the road.

The Business magnates may swindle money. But still there are more number of honest auto drivers who hand over jewels left by their passengers to the police.

The Political leaders may swallow 60000 crores in deals. But still there are scores of upright traders who care for the customers.

You can say on and on. Bharadhiyar had said Parukkullay nall nadu bharatha nadu (India is the best country in the entire world)

Thank you

Anonymous said...

In spite of the drawbacks mentioned in the messages, the hard fact is that India is a country of excellent traditions and values and this is the reason why great poets like Dr. Allama Mohammed Iqbal lauded its beauty and unity in diversity. Allama Mohammed Iqbal wrote "sare jahaan se achcha Hindustan hamaara....." I strongly believe it. I am very proud that I am an Indian.

Of course we have minus points. Let us all join together to find a solution for them. India is my country. I like its beauty, its colour, its flavour, its culture, its tradition, its simplicity, its tolerance, etc. etc. It is the country I love most. It is my country, my country and my country.

V.M. Khaleelur Rahman


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