Friday, July 2, 2010

Indian Media's Top 5 Prayers....

I have always wondered what army men think like. Someone once said "soldiers pray for peace, but hope for war"..Not sure if I got that right. But yes, it is not difficult to believe that a real soldier wouldn't like to go through an entire career in the armed forces without having faced a single battle or a greater war. This has often made me wonder what would journalists and media persons be praying and hoping for. I spoke to some journalists and here's a countdown of a typical Indian media-person's top-5 prayers:

5. Natural Calamities : A flood, a drought, cyclones or earthquakes. "Give me any of these anytime".. said one journalist. This would make their day and many more. Journalists of the "bollywood" bent of mind take a particular delight in such situations. It gives them the opportunity to put on display their histrionic skills and the hope of winning some awards. Don't be surprised if you still find breaks advertising some chocolate brand during a flood, or Purvankara homes in Bangalore during an earthquake report. Scavengers can't be expected to have any sensitivity after all.

4. Celebrity Rape/Murder: Viveka Bajajee has been in the news lately for her suicide. It is only through the media that I learned that she was a model. But she has been in the news for a few days now. Or a Jessica Lall type murder which drives our media to tears and activism. Then there are people like Sagarika Ghose who question why Ram Jetmalani defends Manu Sharma, leaving no stone unturned to expose her own poverty when it comes to understanding the law of the land. Hold on, there is the Noida murder of Arushi when the media went on a speculation-spree of adulterous affairs, spoilt children, even called in psychologists to analyse the problems of modern youth.

3. Elections: It is an accepted fact that many TV channels and newspapers across the world have political persuasions. Nothing though will surpass our media in concocting deceptive polls to predict election outcomes. Among these the father of such polls has to be Prannoy Roy and NDTV. Election after election after election their manipulated polls attempt to influence people. The unbridled joy that the media experiences during an election is unsurpassed. Lately, they have added another dimension - "paid reporting" and politicians can get good coverage if they pay well. And then there are those investigative reporters who take us through what Laloo eats, where Rahul goes to pee, and how Priyanka manages her pedicure during election campaigns.

2. Hindu Bashing : Newspapers like Times, Hindu and of course the many English TV channels will be constantly on the look out for some stray incidents involving Hindus to coin new phrases. Some popular ones are "Saffron Terror", "Communal Forces" and so on. They can't wait to rub their hands in delight for some Swami to be caught on tape and then go on a Hindu-bashing spree. That there are Paedophiles in the Vatican or Churches or there is Islamic terrorism all around is a small matter. If the phrase Islamic Terror exists then those are not muslims, but if a stray incident involving a Hindu comes around then its an absolute delight for our journalists. It is natural that many in the public have started wondering if the major media houses have been funded by "Chrislamists".

1. Terrorist Attack : Nothing brings out the tremendous reporting and emotive skills of our journalists like a good terrorist attack. One has to just youtube videos of 26/11 and see channels like NDTV, Times Now, CNN-IBN, Aaj Tak fall over each other in dramatizing such tragic events. Mind you, they will die to be the first and show footage, reminding you over and over again that these are exclusive. One blogger went to the extent of writing..."Barkha Dutt & NDTV..A Terrorist's Dream Come True" ..I think he needs to add all the channels to his blog. And if there's a shortage of reporters, throw in an Arundhati Roy as well, she will explain to the world why people like Afzal Guru and Kasab are heroes and are justified in their actions. If I were to pray for media houses I would pray that the next major terrorist attack happens in their own office, all of them.

And they pray for these because there are lesser production costs unlike a garish studio program that involves morons from two sides of the political spectrum. And then their studio musicians get to score dramatic music to back such events and reporting. Looks like they will have their prayers answered quite frequently. And rest assured our media scavengers will be right there with their "breaking news" !


  1. I so wish for a simple life! Manipulation of all the things has become a part of human beings...No honesty...Just using the facts for their advantage!B it the US bugging the EU offices etc...

  2. Good article....Thinking how a bad thing(except Elections.that also they cover based on caste,religion etc.) Journo need for their TRP ?? Why can not a happy news be breaking which engulf +ge energy ....

  3. Finally, someone who says what I am dying to scream from the top of buildings.

  4. but why chrislamists .. do u have any particular hatred for christians ??

  5. I think it is not correct to single out our media personnel for such afflictions, There is this maxim that "bad news is good news"!
    I have for long wondered why there is a disproportionate coverage of rape, murder, calamities, in general, bad news in the media. May be the same thing goes for history also - many historians disproportionately chronicle war, famine, etc; in fact, any aberration. One of my favorite punchlines is that of Fido- "Normal is boring"!
    May be, seeing ugliness around reassures that we are after all not that bad. Or may be, learning about the bad things and feeling pity or outraged comforts us about our own morals...


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