Mid-day reported how kidnapped person’s father held Media responsible for his son’s murder. Lately Indian media specially the television has become hyper reality show with cooked up “supporters/viewers”, hours of unabated “report of music competition”, “product launches” etc and occasional get together of “people” talking about issues.
Today’s Indian media is shrill, over the top, unreliable muckracker and has flimsy credibility. The top stories for the tv media has been never ending “Great Indian OJ saga” consisting of Salman Khan (a film actor with history of bad/dumb behavior gaining sympathy at dumber viewer/fan’s cost) and Sanjay Dutt(Another film actor with penchant for anything on borderline of legal stuff).
It is utterly apalling to see both of these people get sympathy from “viewers”. Anyway – One was indicted for crime after 13 years of holding an automatic weapon. Another one was let off on charges of drunken driving and mauling over people on the street as witness turned hostile(similar to Nanda’s- a former naval officer’s name inheritor -mowing down 7 folks in Delhi). Salman was indicted in sleepy city of Jodhpur where a local tribe considers everything with life more than God. This man was caught killing Chinkara. At present the sympathy+appeal consists of pathetic attempt to get him off by saying many more people have killed others why he should be punished. Sanjay dutt tries to shave off his bad behavior saying he lost his mother, his father was good indian, he tried to protect his family by getting a gun from a mobster.
I would say inspite of assumed harsh sentences, these two folks should be treated guilty and serve the sentences. No questions asked. Otherwise it will be always chicken and egg problem, nobody except the poor and without links will ever get punished and they will grow disillusioned with the illusion of system.
The role of the media in both cases was limited to
1. Running around the police van and shouting to give “views”
2. Sending breaking news about what the person was given to eat/wear/sleep
3. Breaking news with cell number of the prison
4. Breaking news of who met him/what they talked or witness who saw person inside/what he was doing inside today at this moment
5. Interviews with friends and “well wishers” who justify how nice each one of them was – watching this was re-enactment of the earlier days of OJ trial.
6. Interviews with astrologers on what is the “dasha”(Status) for these stars etc
Not even one tried to respect the judiciary and present the facts and the impact of not allowing the law. Offcourse good work was done uncovering scams(politicians asking for money for asking questions), shoddy trial(Jessica murder) etc. But they completely overlooked soldiers dying on border, sibu soren getting reprieve in presence of strong evidence.
The recent nuclear deal saga met its pit when one of the channel(aajtak) did a survey among astrologers to predict the dangers for the government. Heck not even one intelligent journalist worth the bread was around.
That brings me to the hot debate of recent weeks – should India sign the nuclear deal? This deserves another post.