Posts Tagged ‘Media

22
Mar
09

IPL Blues.

This is one time of the year when journalists are most busy – the transition from winters to summers. I am unaware of the reason but newsrooms overflow with news this time annually and most of the time editors are forced to make a hard decision about whether or not a news report ought to be shelved, whether or not a journalist’s intelligence ought to be undermined. The relationship between information inflow and public memory is best illustrated at such times – that there exists a direct proportion between the two;everyone’s forgotten Varun Gandhi the focus has now shifted to IPL, and for a change Congress is facing the heat.

Anyway. Everyone is going ga-ga over IPL being shifted out of the country, people are in mourning and political parties and politicians are trying to shift focus from the main issues and divert the attention of the public. Its a pity that Indians were forced to a situation where they had to choose between democracy and cricket. And its disgusting to see that Indians, in general, prefer cricket over democracy.

What I fail to understand is, that a private sports extravaganza be held in the country or outside the country, how does it matter? I mean do we create such a ruckus over where our politicians and actors celebrate their birthdays? Why doesn’t the general populate realize that BCCI does not represent India and that it has been evoking our emotions and fooling us all this while.

And what on earth is wrong with the losers in BJP? Why are they turning this into a political issue when it is not just the congress led states that are against holding matches before the elections? BJP’s poster boy in the south Mr Yedurappa clearly stated that providing security is impossible before the elections. BCCI authorities say that Maharastra’s and Andra Pradesh’s refusal to hold matches in the respective states is what has forced IPL to move out of the country despite the thrice revised schedule. Are these losers even aware of the problems in these states? I mean Andra Pradesh is a naxal hit state where booth capturing and kidnapping is a well known phenomenon during the polls and Maharastra in the wake of the recent Mumbai attacks is on a security high even otherwise. Don’t these bastards ever read the newspapers? That the fates were rescheduled is another joke that people are forced to believe the Ministry of Home Affairs wanted the dates to be shifted and what Mr Modi and his foolish cronies did was make a cosmetic change in the dates. Do they even know about the logistical issues that the government faces when it comes to mobilizing security?

The BJP claims Congress is admiting defeat at the hands of the terror organizations and that it ought to move ahead and hold these matches irrespective of the threats. Two things now – First, the subcontinent is the second most politically unstable and dangerous place in the world after the Middle East and security concerns raised by the Ministry of Home Affairs are genuine and second what is more important a bunch of fools running around a ball and a crowd of fools clapping hands at that absurd thing or Democracy and freedom – something that lets these fools do what they please and others to criticize them.

What all these fools are missing is the kind of money that is involved and the kind of profits the IPL organizers stand to make at the cost of these fools. Unofficial reports claim the profit involved is more than 10000million $ through merchandise, sponsorships, telecast rights and other such things. Mr Mallaya and Madam Ambani ought to respect this democracy, something that let them rise to such position instead of criticizing it and defaming and demeaning the democratic process.

Jaagore Bharat. Jaago

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13
Mar
09

Breaking News!!!!

BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

News and newspapers have always been central to my daily life, but it wasn’t until I started working for media houses that I began looking at the process of delivering news as a form of art. There is speculation, quite often followed by a conformation, followed by fact gathering and then the delivery either in print form or in audio visual form. Now, that is the basics of reporting – speculation, conformation and fact gathering – or at-least that was what I was taught and that is what I have practiced all this while. But that form of news reporting is on the wane. That form of news delivery is now classified as boring and often mundane. What people want is action, breaking news – sansani tez khaber!

The sober and classy act of news reporting over a period of time has undergone a sea of change;gone are the days of idealism, intellectualism and sincerity. Gone are the days when journalists wore ragged clothes and sported a beard and toga/jhola. Gone are the days when journalists made a hand to mouth living. Gone are the days when confirmation and fact gathering was done. Everyone’s an expert.

News reporting is the next big thing after bollywood, every failed actor/actress who knows a word or two of English makes is making it big in media. And why not, even though they are dumb they look good, and they are confident – they can hold a mic, face the camera and speak in English. Well that’s not all that has changed, the art of news delivery has undergone an even drastic change, news rooms are no longer sober looking rooms, they’ve gone hi-fi – big plasma screens, hundreds of acrobatics trained camera men, lights, computer generated graphics, music directors, choreographers, art directors, script writers and what not. News delivery is turning out to be even more difficult than making a B grade bollywood flick and leading the pack are India TV, Aaj Tak, Headlines Today and Times Now.

Its hard to believe that a crucial and perhaps the most powerful and autonomous pillar of democracy, the media, is undergoing such drastic degradation. I mean what is the logic of showing tantra vidya on news channel? Of showing the existence of a goat who people claim is the descendant of some long dead emperor? I mean for days I been seeing news anchors predicting Islamabad being captured by Taliban any minute, all this while foreign security experts politely call these claims stupid. What shit are these guys on? What on earth have they been smoking?

I have always held a firm belief that reporting ought to be dispassionate and in such a manner that the reporter’s opinion are not reflected on the report that is to say that a news report should not in any way be biased, it is the public that ought to ponder over a news report and formulate its own opinion. Well, what we see here is a bunch of uneducated, superstitious freaks on a drug trip of their own. I mean, what are they contributing to the society if not their own fears and beliefs, with exaggerated fears. They are as dangerous as the Taliban or Al-Queada. Look at this, every Muslim to us is a symbol of terror. Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia are terror centres.

We often say that one thing that the British left behind when they left India was the divide and rule policy – a policy that we often associate with political parties and politicians. Its not just the politicians who have been using this, media too has been using this, for quite some time now.

Media has created stereotypes – you can identify a Muslim with his beard, a Hindu with his right hand, a christian by the manner of his speech and what not. I was denied two houses on rent because the owners were wary of my beard and because I spoke Hindi.

Muslims are terrorists, Hindus are black magicians and trouble makers, Christians are loose characters and Punjabis are gossip mongers and trouble makers. What kind of idiotic shit are we being told? And why are we taking this shit?

The once forgotten concept of ghosts and evil spirits are back in fashion. Why? Well where else do all these evil spirits go? After-all villagers no longer want them. Everyone talks about nimbu mirch. Chicken pox is mata ka aashirwaad and family troubles is padosi ka jaadu tona.

Where the heck is our rationale? Where is our intelligence?

Oh! I am sorry, intelligence’s death is what we’re celebrating here. Sorry.

Well, ladies and gentlemen due to the untimely demise of our dear friend Intelligence, we have but no choice, we are heading back to the good old medieval times and you, each one of you, is heading this journey.

04
Mar
09

Cricket and Blood…

The subcontinent is shocked. A thin string that held this volatile place has finally  snapped.

Sri Lankan team had a near death experience when a bunch of fanatics open fired on them.

India so far has been critical and lashed out against Pakistan for not having done enough. Meanwhile Lalit Modi remains defiant – IPL will not be rescheduled, the home ministry cannot dictate terms.

My reactions?

I’m happy. Laughing my head off.

Although I condemn any form of violence, I cannot stop laughing. The Gods have been attacked! People who ruled the imagination of most individuals continue to do so except that their godly image has been shattered.

Terror organizations in the subcontinent have realized, for the first time, that a normal life, yours and mine, is not worth more than a insect’s;if the governments have to be made heard what is required is to target high profile individuals;which in one way is good, for we are safer than them, even after all the security they get.

While Pakistan slips into chaos, what most Indian media, on the first day, concentrated on was the horror of the cricketers being attacked, the fate of cricket in the subcontinent and more importantly the fate of world cup. Somewhere they forgot about the five police officials who got killed and the driver who drove the team to safety – after-all who wants to see poor and unglamorous people on screen. Media reiterating the fact that our lives are not worth the lives of some fools who run around a ball.

Meanwhile after the Home Ministry’s request to look into the possible rescheduling of dates of the IPL because of the upcoming elections and related security issues, Lalit Modi went on record to say that Centre was no one to dictate terms to BCCI. Vijay Mallya went to suggest that rescheduling IPL would hurt the sentiments of cricket fans across the globe;a poll conducted by NDTV says otherwise, people want the dates to be rescheduled. There are two things that the general public fails to see here, first, Team India does not represent India; it represents the interests and motives of a group of India’s elite who call themselves the Board of Cricket Control in India and have been fooling the likes of you for years now. The government of India, which in turn represents you and me, has no stakes in Team India or BCCI, therefore none of us here have any stake in Team India. Second thing that we fail to see is why BCCI is unwilling to change the IPL schedule – if we look at what BCCI has done at the government’s request, which is not hold games 48hrs around the election dates, what we find is that the BCCI stands to loose more than 250crore. How’s that?

Refugees in Darfur

Refugees in Darfur

While on one side you sat glued to your television screen, horrified about the death of cricket in the subcontinent on the other side there were likes of me, a bunch of useless freaks who celebrated, for more than a million people saw a ray of justice for the first time in more than 20 years . For those of you who do not know what I am speaking of, I do not blame you. The International community finally took notice of the atrocities being committed by a regime in a non descriptive and God forsaken place called Darfur, a place where millions have died and many more still die every moment in the name of ethnic cleansing.

Government Militia

Government Militia

The International Criminal Court at Hague has issued an arrest warrant against the president Omar al-Bashir of Sudan for war crimes and crime against humanity, in Darfur.

It’s a rather interesting form of war that is being fought in Darfur, primarily because of the means employed, the weapon being used by the Arab majority is no sophisticated weapon, nothing that resembles an AK 47 or its likes, the weapon deployed by the Arab majority is called RAPE. While men are murdered in the most brutal manner, women and children are raped.

Rape Victims

Rape Victims

A rather strange weapon for something like genocide aint it? What harm can rape probably do?

Its a means of killing that can leave the most torture techniques ineffective. You don’t just experience the physical pain and disgust, that pain becomes your companion forever. You’re not just left with the physical pain and scars but also social ostracization. Both men and women look down upon you, reminding you every minute of the rest of your life the atrocity committed against you.

If I go by the UN and Amnesty International reports children as young as 5 years old have been victims of this barbaric act of violence. And for 20 years we kept our eyes closed and continue to do so. May be blacks aren’t as glamorous as the Jews.

I leave you with a song – Bangladesh by George Harrison. A song that I believe, has a universal appeal.

28
Feb
09

Democratic Naxalism

When it comes to a blogger like me, there is nothing more disturbing than to see my blog stat hit a rock bottom. It’s 11 in the morning and I haven’t had a single visitor visiting my blog.

And hence the post which was to be posted tonight is being posted now. To begin with, I am sure I have been pissing you off with all my lamenting and social commentary but then to me writing is more of a stress buster like grass, but because of the unavailability of grass in Hyderabad, I am forced to comment than get creative and pour out my emotions onto paper in the form of stories. I want to make full use of this blog before I head to Delhi’s greenery and this blog becomes obsolete like three of my other blogs.

What does AR Rehman’s Oscars mean to India? NOTHING, I would say, and observe everything in capitals.

I don’t know how many of you remember having seen the case of a mother who sold her new born baby for six thousand rupees to pay off the hospital bill – the news wasn’t a crowd puller but some news channels did justice to the woman and granted her about a minute of prime-time television coverage and none thereafter, after-all who’s interested in all these poverty stories when there’s killing happening on in Bangladesh, when Pakistan’s forever contradicting it’s findings and when Ishan Sharma’s pants are falling off – NDTV ran a discussion on the same trying to figure whether it was Nike’s fault/Ishan’s fault. Who’re we trying to fool here? The media feeds us with filth for news and we’re happy buying it. A mother was forced to sell her new born baby to pay off her hospital dues while over 10000crore rupees from the exchequer would be spend on election campaigns across the country in the coming months, and all we’re obsessed with is some uneducated fool’s pants!

Noam Chomsky calls the above phenomenon – a phenomenon where the so assumed independent media and political forces act hand in hand to divert the public’s attention from real issues – Manufacturing Consent. Note the use of words, MANUFACTURING, an industrial phenomenon that is undertaken if and only if there is a scope of profitability, irrespective of the type of governance. It’s a profitable venture for everyone involved – the government, the opposition, the media, the advertisers everyone is happy making a fool out of us. Osho, in one of his public lectures discusses about intellect and intelligence and he says intelligence is inborn it’s like one of our six senses while intellect is something that me cultivate, something we gather from our surroundings, we feed on books, newspapers, and other things in our bid to make our intellect stronger and competable. Unfortunately, our intellect is filled with useless filth! How else would we defend ourselves when it comes to politicians and clergy and media making a fool out of us, everyday and every minute of our life.

We hail democracy as the most perfect form of participatory governance, and it is this perfect and participatory governance that is fueling Naxalism in this country. Unlike in case of terrorist attacks, these men who take up arms and live in inhospitable jungles aren’t Pakistanis or Bangladeshis they are Indians like you and me, abet they are poor and hence unlike us the worst victims of this participatory governance, men and women who are a result of our booming economy and brilliant democracy. Unlike us they have nothing to loose if the markets crash or bounce, if it’s BJP led NDA or Congress led UPA that is at power in the center or even if Rehman Gulzar and Pookutty gather Oscars.

No one wants to die off a bullet but then if it is a bullet that gives you an honorable death, then so be it.

Perhaps the only ray of hope at this juncture is the so called independent judiciary, which has indeed been acting more or less dispassionately and independently. The recent PIL in the supreme court which asks the court to examine the contoversial fundamental right to property would come as a big blow to the corporates and the government if it is accepted as a fundamental right, for it would make land grabbing on the pretext of SEZs difficult for both the government and the corporates.

A rather brilliant example of how the government fools us here is that in 2007 there was a delay in the publishing of NCERT sociology text books, the reason given out to the public was technical delays, the real cause of delay was that many of our parliamentarians were rather uncomfortable with some out of the box questions posed in the ‘interactive’ text book for example “China is six times bigger than India and while India has more than 200 SEZs already sanctioned China has only three, do you think that the SEZ policy pursued by the government is in the interest of the country?”

It is a democracy and yet we cannot question, participatory and yet we cannot decide.

Our cities are an illusion of our growing economy, while we feat on caviar and best of wines, people in the villages starve and yearn for that tiny morsel that fell off your high table.

Is there anything we can do? Perhaps not. Perhaps we can take comfort in the saying from Bhagwad Gita, “There will always be one who oppresses and one who is oppressed”, and as long as we aren’t oppressed or the oppressors we can keep guilt at bay and feast on that caviar.

I desperately need some grass.




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