Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Where Speedbumps Are 'Breaking News'



For many years now the one crime in the US that makes headlines across the world is mass shootings by crazy, gun-toting men. The one change in the approach to these crimes has definitely been a bit more sensitive reporting of these tragic events. In August 2012 six Sikhs were killed at a temple in Wisconsin. In December 2012 at a school in Connecticut 26 were killed. In fact, the chilling fact is that the US has a history of school-killings, from 1760s to the 2010s. In recent history the one incident that got most attention was the Columbine school shootings from April 1999. When the carnage was over 12 students and a teacher were dead and another 21 injured. Take a look at this clip (3.40 mins):



video


Each time these shootings happen they inevitably bring about another debate on gun-laws in the US. Lately, the debates are not just in the US but even on TV channels like NDTV and CNN-IBN. It seems to be simple logic that more guns in society would mean more gun-crimes. And the answer proposed is more gun-control laws. We are familiar with that road, aren’t we? Each time a rape-crime happens, the clamour for tougher laws and death to rapists grows louder. If only more laws could prevent these crimes. Considering the US has a huge population of guns Michael Moore, who made the Oscar-winning documentary “Bowling for Columbine”, travelled to Canada to find out their scene with guns and crimes. He shockingly found there was hardly any gun-crime. In a major city there was only 1 murder in 3 years, that too not by a Canadian.

When asked about this, ordinary folks in the US had the usual explanation for low crimes in Canada. They don’t watch violent movies, they don’t have poverty, they have low unemployment rates, there are less Blacks in Canada. None of this was true. On the contrary, for a population of 30 million people, Canadians had 7 million guns between them. (The documentary was made in 2004 so stats not current). Take a look at another clip, this one about Canada (8.25 mins):  



video

It almost looks like Canada is a terribly boring country, with boring TV. Many Canadians don’t lock their doors. Well, walk down the residential areas of South Delhi or most parts of Delhi you will find that even small bungalows and apartments have high walls and high gates. You can’t see what’s behind those walls and gates. They clearly tell you to “keep off”. After the latest incident of a 5-year old girl being kidnapped, raped, a bottle and candle shoved inside her there was naturally another outrage in Delhi. A woman on the TimesNow panel on April 22 screamed “we are a nation at war with women”. The only thing we have gotten better at is what we call them. NDTV wants them to be called “survivors” and not “victims”. The media comes up with names like Nirbhaya, Damini, Amanat, Masoom and each media outlet promotes its own “brand name” of the victim. Then again, if rapes happen in Delhi it is a problem with the whole country and not Delhi. They have now come up with a new root cause for this rape problem: “social mindset”. And they all seek and demand a change in this social mindset. What exactly is that?

There are two kinds of rape-crimes; one that happens on the streets or in public places and the other that happens in the privacy of homes. Shiney Ahuja raping his maid (or being accused of it) is certainly difficult to prevent unless homes are fitted with loud alarm bells in every room. But crimes on the streets like the December 2012 Delhi Gangrape (Jyoti Singh) can certainly be a case for prevention. In the latest case the 5-year old was kidnapped and locked up for four days. Her disappearance for more than 12 hours should have had alarm bells ringing with the police if a complaint was filed. Four days? Furthermore, there is no way a parent should be leaving a 5-year old anywhere unattended or out of sight except maybe when she’s in school under care of teachers and school authorities. Even schools don’t seem that safe anymore going by the rape and molestation cases that come up.

Asking police chiefs to resign is senseless. They are mere political tools. The real change in social mindset, if at all, has to really start with the politicians. No heads have ever rolled in Delhi for the crimes in the past few years. Not one politician has resigned or has been sacked. The most infamous cases of rape and murder have all come from politicians. There is that infamous Tandoor case, there’s Bhanwari Devi and there’s the Geethika suicide case and the list could go on and on. There is lately a PIL in the Supreme Court seeking to ban pornography on the internet citing that as a potential cause for crimes against women and children. I am not sure the criminals involved in the Delhi Gangrape, the latest case of kidnap and rape were inspired by the internet.

And if there is some mindset to be changed then the first one has to be the media. Seriously, you even have Abhishek Singhvi as a panellist on crimes against women. In other shows the media promotes criminal behaviour be it from Bollywood or from politics. They live under the principle that this is what “people want”. If you want to create revulsion against crime then don’t promote Salman Khan or Sanjay Dutt even if people want it or those who are convicted of crimes. If you want to create revulsion against crimes don’t promote those who are seeking pardon for criminals. Because the more they see bad behaviour, the more people are inspired to believe one can get away with it. People aren’t watching internet movies for inspiration for crimes, our TV shows are enough. Cleverly, the Delhi Police Commissioner is frequently being made a “bakra” for all the crimes. None of the media folks seem to want to ask any questions of Sheila Dikshit or whosoever runs Delhi. On the contrary, they create platforms for SheilaD to cry on TV and appear a victim herself. If she is helpless because police is not under her control then she should take a moral stand and quit.



Far from seeking justice or stopping crimes against women our media actually seems to love these incidents. I know that is a shocking statement to make but if they mean business they should be sending a strong message to the politicians to get out if they can’t deliver. For the media another rape incident is just another incident to splurge on and generate TRPs. If they were serious they would be putting the politicians in the dock. Every editor in the country should be seeking the dismissal of Sheila Dikshit or Sushilkumar Shinde or anyone who is in charge of security. But you know what? If they really managed to do that what would they then report on? What would their debates be? Take a look at the pic from the video clip you just saw. I guess it would be as exciting as Canadian news where new speed-bumps are “Breaking News”.

35 comments :

  1. Hard hitting. Wished broken windows would be fixed at the least after the Dec rape. Things go on as usual for media as well as for the politicians is a real shame

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  2. Politicians are just a reflection of the society. SO I do not believe it is right when you say that the change in social mindset has to start with the politicians.
    Also, Imagine the outrage by the media if something similar had happened in Gujarat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Bhagyaraj

      This is a very mistaken "perception" created in the heads of people that politicians are "reflections" of society. Do any of the politicians live the life of normal people in society? Besides, if change has to start, the pyramid has to be inverted. Change doesnt start from the bottom even in a company. It has to start from the top.

      The laws of the country flow from our Constitution. You cant have a dramatic change in laws unless the Constitution permits it. So if you even need a dramatic law the Constitution has to be changed first.

      The excuse that politicians are "reflections" of society is not valid anymore. Half the crime in the country flows from the top, not from the bottom. That is my thinking.

      Delete
    2. actually they are very much a reflection of society. corrupt fools come up because people tolerate such filth. if we were more choosy and virulently opposed to a scrupulous candidate, political parties wouldn;t host such fools.

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    3. i meant that politicians do not mirror society literally, but mirror our mindset

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    4. @Ashwin I second you.. how many promote or talk about good politicians. They are never in the news. Only the cheats create TRP's, news, and appear in blogs.
      I heard lot of people saying Arvind Kejriwal will cut BJP's vote in Delhi, and thats why they oppose him. But how many applaud him for the good deeds he has done?
      Its 'us' who do a PR for the cheats by ReTweeting or publishing into blogs.

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    5. I disagree with you Ravinar on this one point. I do believe politicians are reflections of our society.
      Moreover, by playing up the protests, media may be doing the right thing. They are indeed getting the TRPs but that is irrelevant. Previously rape was a hush-hush affair. Now the lid is slowly coming off. All these increased rape cases in media may be more due to higher-reporting rather than higher actual incidences. Media now-a-days do show sensitivity in keeping the confidentiality.

      I agree with the rest of your post though.

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    6. @Ravinar,

      Not many share this thought, i do second your thought - though slightly defer (it may indeed be a reflection of society as we choose them - but one good leader can change all the mess, eg: Modi). Top leader if good, will always try to field good candidates and as much as possible strive to remove bad/corrupt ones. So the driving factor has to be top to bottom and not bottom up (bottom up is simply unrealistic as different minds seek different opinion and hence no concrete and/or correct conclusion).

      Rgds
      Abhay

      Delete
  3. After Satyameva Jayathe programs, the crime reporting and sensationalizing has increased in the media.(guess).

    why a society has to take blame and feel guilty when a few fanatics/psychos/offbeats do some criminal acts ranging smuggling/murder/rape. Right from pappu to PM every has felt ashamed of being a part of this nation.

    Never have I felt ashamed inspite of all the hype created by the media about the incidents. Doesnot mean I am a psycho and locked up in the jail. No, but I am worried about the actions that follow after the hype created and pray for the justice for the family.

    The investigations get transferred from one department to another, and finally thousands of pages of documents are submitted destroying many trees. The dutts, khans and made heros and pardoned for their crimes, talwars are indicted to killing their daughter, and 3crore are waiting for justice.

    No media ever questions the right people at the right time. Only two things never failed to sell in marketing - sex, free. The second one during elections, the first one is used even though it is a rape of a small child.

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  4. Hi Ravi,

    You are hitting at root cause.

    When we have bollywood masalas, Masalas in News Channels and News Papers in Paper and Online. Then what we can expect more !!!. Just check all news online on channels websites and Newspaper websites see what they are serving mostly.

    All need to go to root cause tell telecom providers, internet providers, search providers, content providers to ban on such materials. Make them responsible. Also all mobile handset maker can install such softwares when any of such material found on someone devices. Once that person have watched of agencies then such crimes will reduces.

    Also local residents make group and do patrolling in area ( have to be pure non-political peoples) then police does not need much effort to locate anyone in any case.

    If know mumbai police did very job to reduce crime during navaratri , by imposing 10pm ban on it. Its smart move, which reduce women crime during that period.

    I request you to put some articles and tweets to address this issue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. come to gujarat and see girls roam freely at 2 am in night during navratri no problem ok.. Ban item songs ban porn ban adult magazines ban everything and than people wonder why rapes happen they are bound to happen because of repression... banning is never the solution

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    2. Ban this ban that!
      Sexual oppression is one of the reasons for the situation we have... I dont think the Delhi rapists were even educated enough to use internet... the lawyer who has filed the porn PIL is one of the most ridiculed people in SM nowadays and rightly so...

      Stop demanding to be spoonfed...

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    3. Banning everything would not be a solution. You mean to say that Rape, Molestation never happened before internet or the invent of cable TVs? Come on, these evil incidents always happened in the history of mankind and even worse before the invention/usage of internet, etc. The media should not hype over these incidents and jump into some discussions to build up public opinion.

      An individual who thinks that he/she represents the whole 120 billion populated nation and files a PIL and Supreme Court reacts to that and has sent a notice to Govt asking for its opinion on bringing a law that declares 'watching porn is against law and is offensive'. Any law on these lines would be 'draconian' and would pave ways for police/law agencies to milk the public out of this law. To prevent such rape incidents one must instill 'fear of law' which are existing. Also parents must create awareness among children/girls about their rights, the evils in the society and ways to prevent such attacks.

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  5. Agreed,in the garb of pro-women issue, these channels seem to create a hysteria to increase TRPs otherwise what sense does it make to call half a dozen ladies(probably from NGOs)in discussions who try to outshout each other without offering any solution. Anchors,with their fake angry expressions, like a broken record would keep on repeating that apart from Delhi rapes also happen in Madhya-Pradesh and Chhatisgarh (as if there is no crime in other states).

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    1. To keep Modi away from PM-ship competition among BJP, all is well for our MSM and NGO's happening in MP and Chatisgarh. Just few days back they praised CM from this 2 state and tried to project as they are far better than Modi.

      Apart from all this noises what is more important is if you see since last few parliament session when ever congress is blamed for corruption a Rape Happens and Nitish preaches nation on Secularism this are diversionary tactic. Nitish is purely a sharp shooter for congress by rescuing congress from getting more embarrassment in Parliament and same is not shown on main stream media this itself keeps people diverted from core issue and blame opposition for not being vocal in voicing against corruption.

      I am not saying BJP is pure like Milk but they too play in hands of congress because of there own "Chal Chalan & Charitra" is questionable.

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  6. sir, people generally confuse the very purpose of law. law is for the trial of crimes but law does not stop crimes. at best, it can prevent acting as a deterrent by infusing fear in the minds of criminals. i've been saying this for ages now that the real problem is the enforcement and implementation of existing laws. what can law do when people are convicted, punishment is announced and we have people like katju and ex president on a pardon spree ?? we follow the ABCD principle of problem resolution. we Avoid, we Bypass, we Confuse and we Deflect. this is the easiest escape route for cowards who can't look right into the eyes of the problem and try to find easy excuses and reasons (blaming porn for rapes is one such example).

    sir, you have used "company" as an example, i would suggest companies or nations are too macro in nature and let us try something micro to make a point, let's say my family. today if i want to bring a change into my family, and if i would expect my 8 year daughter to lead the way, you can safely conclude that i'm the biggest fool under the sky.

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  7. Narinder Palta
    The debate whether to start from the top or the bottom ? It has already started from the middle and more from the bottom are joining in. It should travel faster to the top ... media can help and some will. Some will continue to help themselves in any manner they can and you are dealing with them well....

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  8. Dear Rishi Bhardwaj,

    Loved your ABCD principle of problem resolution by Media. "Avoid, Bypass, Confuse and Deflect".

    Although this Congress-UPA Govt is filled with corrupts starting from Chairman of NAC to PM to abominations such as Manish Tiwari & Zero loss. But the biggest fraud has to be the one & only Sushil Kumar Shinde. He has been by far the worst Home minister or atleast at par with Chidu under the failed leadership of Sonia, Pappu & Manmohan. But nobody in Media is asking his or Sheila's resignation !!! What do you call such a Media ??? On Contrary, the MSM is diverting the attention away by making it seem as an Indian Issue instead of Delhi's governance issue. This Media must face criminal charges for their anti-people policies. Alas! the opposition leaders such as Swaraj & Jaitley are more interested in using the same corrupt Media rather than pulling it down.

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    1. sir, i'm glad you liked it. thanks for your appreciation. regards

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  9. Apart from cheap sensationalism to increase TRPs - one channel even had a porn star on their panel - the overall effect of all this is to confuse the debate on crimes against women.

    From breast-beating and crying, which might have been the first reactions of an emotional public, the media is now giving a platform to extreme feminist interpretations of the 'why' and 'how'. Its amusing to see how much this root cause analysis of prime time TV ends up bashing Indian culture.

    The sad part is that the law enforcement changes that will prevent such crimes or at least ensure a sensitive (to the victim) and timely action to register, investigate, and convict rapists, are not talked about as much. People keep debating mythical laws. They miss the point that all the tools are already there, and its political and administrative will that is lacking.

    Even if 'social mindset' is a problem, what stops our netas from increasing beat patrol and ensure public vehicles have proper licensing and that drivers with criminal backgrounds are weeded out? What stops our police from registering FIRs for missing children?

    Blaming social mindset and decrying the hundred odd things that makes women vulnerable today is to help those accountable pass the buck. They cry so much and rail against everything that oppresses women, they make it seem that the task of preventive policing and effective follow-through in dealing with rape crimes impossible.

    Its a master spin. Our politicians shed a few tears and move on.

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  10. All these reasonings and analyses are just for one purpose, to save Sonia Gandhi and Congress party from their accountability, open failure and inability to govern. The so called social mindsets are much more worse and perverse in USA and China. Why are there no rape epidemics? Because there the governments are held responsible and criminals are punished with their justice system or military system (in case of China). The only reason for India's rape epidemic is Sonia Gandhi's UPA Congress which cannot maintain law and order, cannot provide basic security to women and children and cannot punish the guilty.

    Imagine any of these happened in a remote village of Gujarat and imagine how viscous and venomous these media crooks on Modi and BJP.

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    Replies
    1. Yes. Agree with you. And more distractions would happen run up to the elections

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  11. When it comes to murderers and rapists, the state, courts, our lefty crooked media ll have soft corner. No wonder people can get away with any thing repeat the crime.

    http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=796165


    A Madurai report identified the third person as 36-year-old Kichan Bukari, an activist of banned Al-Umma, who was picked up at the central bus stand there when he was on his way to Tirunelveli from Chennai.

    He was also a convict in the case relating to the 1998 serial bomb blasts in Coimbatore that claimed 58 lives and left more than 200 injured during the visit of senior BJP leader L K Advani to the city to address an election rally.

    Bukari, hailing from Melapalayam in Tirunelveli district, had undergone 10 years jail term in the blast case, a report from Coimbatore said. He was also sentenced to life in three murder cases against him but released by Supreme Court.

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    1. Good one Vivek, I was thinking on the same lines and you have brought it out! Courts/politicians would pardon many such criminals and would encourage more crimes!

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    2. If I am not wrong this convicts where freed during DMK regime on Annadurai's Birth Anniversary.

      No wonder J & K Govt had pardoned N-Numbers of such dreaded terrorists and Even AP Govt too did such pardoning of criminal.

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  12. I feel that the present situation in India around increasing instances of rape is on account of repression repression and many fallacies prevalent countrywide. If prostitution is legalized ( licensed) , it would help bring down the instances of rape . Right now Indians are a repressed lot ( sexually ). And that is adding to the beastiality. Whilst legalizing prostitution also opens up possibilities of degeneration of other kinds - but then equally it also has other potential to indeed reduce the instances of rape , reduce sexual misconceptions , improve sexual health ( reduce spread of diseases ) , improve economy , income distribution and many more

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    1. Prostitution whether voluntary or otherwise is exploitation of women. This exploitation is beyond the usual definition of exploitation. The repercussions of such a step will be disastrous

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  13. The Chinese got their curses right, I'd rather live in a boring country than in "interesting" times. :(

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  14. I completely agree with you, the change has to start from the top of the pyramid, I think what our politicians are lacking is the will to act/ take decisions. Very good article, waiting for the next one..

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  15. Off the topic, I got my copy of SMW today, Thanks!

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  16. Very nicely pointed out by giving eg. of Canada. It is not movies it is not.. It is Politicians, media.
    I lived 4 years in Canada, and can say one of the best country to live (of course after India for me)

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  17. yeah i too remember that broken windows article. this article i feel is the best so far!

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  18. Just read a news on Bharat kalyan Blog that Wikileaks revealed how US and Indian Embassy targetted Modi through Teesta and other fake NGOs.

    http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.in/2013/04/counterterrorism-disingenuous-us.html

    Modi and us Indians have both internal and external, both known and unknown enemies.

    Time to expose the TRUTH.

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  19. I agree Ravi. To implement the laws, you need to set examples and those examples has to start from the top. I remember when GE entered India for outsourcing jobs, they saw that people are giving fake rent receipts. This is common and almost all the people who talk against corruption in government themselves are engaged to extend it to private sector. To set the expectation right GE raided the given addresses on rent receipts of top executives. Those who were found not to live there or showing inflated rent were sacked and mail sent to all employees on why these top executives are sacked. That set an example for all to follow the rules of the organization. It may be another story that they do lobbying to set their own businesses. Descipline flows from top to bottom.

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