These days the Indian media is making it a point to go overboard with issues that are of no concern to the common man. If the national media is obsessed with bollywood and the celebrities, the media down here in Kerala is over focussed on the political battles, that too within the same party. They find it hard to include issues that are of social relevance in their prime time news. Yes, its all a matter of ratings. And its all a matter of money too.
No one would have forgotten the extent to which the media suffocated us with news on Ash- Abhi marriage. The speculations which started months back reached its climax when the national news channels made the marriage a week long festival. For days on end, all the channels were showing the closed gates of ash's and abhi's palatial buildings. And then after the mariage, we were given a daily dosage of their temple visits, honeymoon and what not. Recently, there was the Haneef mohammed episode which went on like a soap opera for weeks. It was as if he had saved India from a national disaster or he did something heroic. And now its the Sanjay Dutt saga. Am a fan of his and is sad at the verdict he got but I just can't tolerate these kind of media madness. A common feature of all this is that we are bombarded with tons and tons of irrelevant details on the subject. Also they keep on repeating this same thing for days, with only a change in the name of the program. Am just wondering whom are they barking for.. For Whom are they wasting their precious journalistic saliva.. The national media's cameras have a visibility range only till the borders of the metro cities. They prefer to close their eyes to the ordinary man's plight. Instead they would show how sivaji rescued India or where exactly did Cristiano ronaldo kiss Bipasha basu.
For example, just tune into headlines today, owned by the great India today group, at 9pm everyday. This is the time most of the people are back home after a hectic day of work and switch on the tv to keep abreast with the day's happenings. And what do they get to see.. Pure celebrity news. The channel has devoted the prime time slot to special reports on the latest release or trivial details on celebrities. So, we had Paris Hilton's jail days, a serial actor's sexual escapades, Ash's horoscope, Harry Potter madness, Rakhi Savant's latest s'expose', Shakira's shaking hips and many more page 3 stuff, everything except serious news. The 4th estate is doing a commendable job indeed.
The scenario is a little different down here in Kerala, or it may appear so from the surface. You can never see any celebrity news in the channels. Here the channels are more focussed on the political battles, and that too mostly within the same party. During the UDF regime, we had the shameless father-son-daughter trio of Karunakaran-Murali-Padmaja playing all kind of dirty tricks against the A.K.Antony and Oomen Chandy. Then there was this comic circus of them joining NCP and now the occasional ''Going back to congress is not a crime'' dialogues from Mr. Karunakaran. But, wonder where the retarded daughter of his, Padmaja is hiding now. She's not been seen in the media for more than an year now. Now, its the time for the communist party and its ugly infights to take centrestage. One of the few sane persons left in that party, our CM VS Achuthanandan is being targeted by Mr.Mafia Pinarayi Vijayan and his goonda accomplices. The latest in this murky game is the interview with the tainted bussiness man Faris Aboobaker in the party channel, Kairali TV.
I had high regard for the Kairali TV MD John Brittas till yesterday. He used to handle the raging discussions on the channel impartially and with impeccable coolness. But he spoiled all the respect I had for him with this interview. It was clear that the interview was scripted cleverly at the behest of Pinarayi Vijayan to make some baseless allegations against VS Achuthanandan. The arrogance with which Faris talked was notable. There was also a stupid bishop[More on the other stupid bishops in the next post] to support him. He dint spare Mathrubhoomi, one of the best newspapers here, either. 'Mathrubhoomi' was the paper which came up with the damaging reports on the unholy nexus between the communist leaders and some dirty businessmen. And from that day on, the communist leaders are up in arms against the newspaper. And now they are using their own channel to tarnish the newspaper's and their own leader VS's image. John Brittas says that Kairali did only what any normal media would do and also that the whole interview was not at all a drama. But, having seen it all, i beg to disagree. Its no secret that VS is now the communist party's greatest enemy having taken a strong stand at Munnar and in various recent issues concerning the party. Now, the channel has also become a pawn at the hands of this goonda leaders in their battle against the old man.
The other channels like asianet also waste precious time discussing on issues such as these. But compared to the national channels, they are making an effort to go beyond the cool confines of the city and bring to the fore the sufferings of the poor. The channels have also taken a strong stand in various issues affecting the soceity. Still, as instruments to bring about a change, they also have to go a long way...
Waiting for a day when celebrity escapades are no more prime time news on the channels...
your crusader Praveen