Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Hypocrisy at its best!

Lately I have made a concentrated effort to try and NOT get into political discussions, debates etc. and adopt a listening mode when people around are busy having grave political debates. Not that I am not interested in it any more. I do follow political happenings as I used to and am even game to discuss FACTS. But when it come to statements like, "In this situation I fell that ******** should happen for the betterment of mankind" ... well excuse me! For one, I have realized that my views are not acceptable to many and secondly it is not even the case that if I say what I think, then things are going to change for the good! So, when there are so many better things around, I make an effort and abstain from discussing politics! So writing "political" blogs was even out of questions. I always wanted my blog to be about me and stuff close to me. But something that I REPEATEDLY saw yesterday upset ME and hence this blog!

When I was following the coverage of results of the US presidential elections, one of the stories really got on my nerves - the story of Piyush alias Bobby Jindal getting elected to the Congress! One thing that was being repeated too often that "an INDIAN achieved this feat after around 50 years"!!! B*lls**t!!!

The first question that I would like to ask is ... what qualifies Mr. Jindal to be an INDIAN? Just because his ancestors hailed from here ... is that a sufficient condition? He was born and brought up in the US. Made his career there, married and settled there and so much so even relinquished the relegion of his ancestors! So what is so INDIAN about him that excites the Indian media so much when he makes it to the House of Representatives? For me he is nothing different than the other 434 of them who made the same mark! Also there were other Indians (or do I say people who had their ancestrial roots in the good ol' land of India) in the fray. So I really fail to understand when the media makes so much hush hush about an "INDIAN" being involved in something! Patriotism is a value that I feel is of utmost importance today amongst people. But it should be in the right amount and right spirit! Else it is simply chauvinism!

Months ago when Mrs. Sonia Gandhi was almost certain to be the Prime Minister of India, many (including me) were unhappy that someone of a foreign origin, who had left the country for Italy during times of war, was about to get the top post. Politically, legally there was nothing that could prevent that. The people of this nation had given their mandate and she had all the right to take the post. Then why were people feeling sad about the situation? That feeling or cencern is what I would call patriotism. Of course the way some people expressed it was far too obscene, but still the overall feeling I feel was justified! But then, when we felt wrong that someone of foreign origin was getting an honor in our country, do we have to right to make such a hue and cry when someone of Indian origin does something similar abroad! So I personally believe that all attention give by the Indian media to Mr. Jindal is TOTALLY uncalled for!

Well that's just my first point about these DOUBLE STANDARDS!! Secondly, agreed that US is the most advanced nation today and events in the US are bound to get more importance than other countries - but HOW MUCH? People of Indian origin have held high government ranks in many other countries. Countries like Figi even had Prime Ministers of Indian Origin! But then why is that never in the news?

I really fail to understand the tendencies of the Indian media nowadays. In a friend's blog, she talks about should media be really called the Next Gen Moral Police. Well that is the role it is supposed to play, but how much does it really do?? I used to watch a program called "The Big Fight" aired on NDTV and hosted by Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai (SUPPOSEDLY one of the best people in News Media these days). I watched 3-4 episodes but then just could not sustain it. In the program 2 politicians of opposite parties were invited and as the name says they were supposed to FIGHT on issues! Have you ever seen a rural COCK FIGHT where both cocks are provoked to just HIT and KILL the other - it was nothing better than that. No issue raised by Mr. Sardesai was discussed to a point of logical conclusion! If so then WHY IS THE PROGRAM AIRED IN THE FIRST PLACE?? Is the motive of the program to discuss issues of National Importance or to provide some (unwholesome and indecent) entertainment to the viewers?? So in that case how is Mr. Sardesai any different than one Ms. "K"apoor I know off? A news channel is supposed to be telling NEWS most of the time, but observe most of the channels (NDTV, Star, Aaj Tak, Zee ... ) there are no exceptions - Half their time is covered in advertisements, a quarter in POINTLESS debates and the rest (if possible) in news!

Long ago I had a debate with a close friend when he said that India needs a "FAIR" media who is not biased to any political party or faction of society. I however choose to disagree! According to me India does not require just a fair media - India requires a CONSTRUCTIVE media. The media had the power to make or break the society ... so is today's media really doing the right thing?

Well I just feel irritated when I sit down and think about this. I personally am incapable to find (and more so implement) a solution for this! Hence I have to shut my mouth and keep quiet! There is nothing I can do, there is nothing anyone can do ... but then the question is if we can't then who can?

I have no answer to this, if anyone has do tell me!

I must quote another example of irresponsible behavior of a VERY VERY polular Indian TV channel (for details and identity of the people and the channel, contact me). This is one flash of news that I remember seeing immediately after the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers. A very respected Media correspondent was interviewing an official in New York over video just hours after the attacks. He asked a question after which the interview was just terminated and never again aired! (Note - I have added no adjectives to the word "question" because its hard to find any!) The question was - "Can you give me an estimate of how many Indians have died in the incidence". This question that deserved A TIGHT SLAP as an answer indeed got one! The officer replied, "You should be ashamed of asking me this question. Here we are worried about how many HUMANS are alive in the incidence, and you are worried about how many Indians have DIED??"

Well I can only say that the officer probably did not know how CONSTRUCTIVE and how PATRIOTIC the media person who asked him this question was!