Sunday, February 01, 2009

War on terror!

A journalist who shoots off her mouth and broke a couple of hundred rules in journalism goes and issues fatwa against a writer who voiced his anxiety and dismay at the situation. Then she coolly joins the chorus of people pleading with the government not to muzzle the press. Note the irony here? Heck… this is not irony. It is plain arrogance, hypocrisy, intimidation, violation of the fundamental right to freedom of speech, thought and expression and most importantly, muzzling the voice of a citizen who has expressed his opinion as a concerned citizen while millions others kept quite. If we are going to shoot down every man who stands up and voices concern over what he perceives is not a healthy trend for our society as a large, then we as a democratic nation are doomed.

It is like serving a notice to the thousands of people who thronged the streets of Mumbai, in peaceful protest against political apathy forcing the government to take stern action against the perpetrators of the November Mumbai attacks.

This incident has to be the lowest that journalism has sunk to in recent times. And I am appalled that the bearded man who ushered in the Indian telecasting revolution remained a mute spectator while his star reporter petulantly went about violating every rule in the book and then some rules in the Constitution because someone dared to point a finger at her. If this man has any conscience he will kick the offending reporter out and redeem the name of his company. He has to teach the people in his organization that no one is bigger than the company he founded on the principles of ethical journalism.

What is happening to us as a society? If a journalist gets criticized she serves a notice to the critic! If some random guy does not like us drinking, he will beat us up! If some stranger does not like the way I dress up, he will force the government to pass ordinance that defines what I wear or not! What next? Will a woman who is raped be tried for indecency? Will I serve time for being robbed at gun point? Will a wife who is thrashed by her husband be sued for misdemeanor?

And what is worse, instead of being pulled up for breaking the laws of this country, the government is actually going to make their demand legitimate. Yes people… forty odd people in a coastal town of an Indian state are going to decide for the rest of the 52 Crore people in the State what is right or wrong for them! So what valuable lesson do we learn from this situation? That if you want your voice to be heard by the powers that be…resort to violence!!!

A second uprising is necessary now. Like the one we witnessed in Mumbai. This time against intolerance and goondaism and violation of civil liberties. State sponsored intolerance in the name of religion and culture will slowly eat away our rights as citizens of a free country. We the educated middle class, a class these elements constantly target as we are soft targets, have to stand up for what we have fought for. It is not the duty of the government to spell out how we live our lives. It is their duty to govern. Give us roads, drinking water, safety and jobs instead of telling us what to eat drink or wear! That is none of their business. As a people we are long used to looking after ourselves. We have suffered enough of political apathy and inaction. And now to rub salt to our wounds, we have to put up with political interference is our personal lives too. That is the last straw!

It is high time we had an instrument by which we can track a government’s record in governance and make them accountable to the people who voted for them. Proposals like this will go a long way in reigning in politicians and remind them that the power is with the people and if they cannot govern we will look for somebody else who will deliver the goods.

This is my 250th post here. Wish it had a happier topic! Some good news here at last!

14 comments:

mathew said...

First of all a big congrats on reach this wonderful landmark!! am glad to be a reader of the two blogs together which has given more than 500 gems for us to relish, laugh and introspect!! thanks a lot for that...

mathew said...

The trend seems to go way how the american media works sometimes..whats more shocking for me is the silence of other media houses who seem to endorse the finanical/legal muscle by their good friends...

Our media which has a history of being the most vocal for free speech now seems to have lost the plot..does it mean free speech only for the press the way they want you to hear?? Does "We the people" mean "We decide the people" and who are the "We" now??

This is not the first instance where a blogger is being chastised..but this coming from the very own proponents of fair speech is condemnable...

Its time to show what "We the People" real need!!

thomman said...

Since I've only DD at home now it's much peaceful n I no longer have to watch the gimmicks and histrionic news reporting of the so called news channels. Least interested in commenting on them and their policies.

And the big thing, congrats on the 250th post!! Phew, 250??? :O

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

Each post is a treasure. Thanks.

I wonder if the EC's decision for the 'none of the above' was inspired by the widespread rumour on the meaning of the 49-O. That would be another instance of the reach of the masses through the web(although in the form of a rumour here!).

Yes, the increasingly saffron nature of our country is disappointing. I am inclined to believe India needs a good-hearted dictator at the top to strengthen the order (of law and order fame :p) system of our country.

Praveen said...

congrats on ur 250 th post..
as mathew said above, what surprised me was the complete lack of coverage on this issue by the other news channels..guess they all are silently supporting barkha because they too want it back when some blogger writes about them..

Nitram said...

Congrats on your 250th post!!!
This certainly would have called for celebrations and the champagne, had the times been not so trying....
I think you should have tagged 'The Journalist' as a fundamentalist: One who believes that his/her point of view is the right one, and in pursuit of his/her belief, chooses to impose it on others.
Come to think of it, this was something that i really wanted to rant about, and i was really running short of topics to blog about, so hey thanks for that!

MC said...

excellent post and i share your passion and feelings. it is upto us the youth to take up the mantle now.."to wrest politics from the politician"..lets all join the fight.

silverine said...

Mathew: Thank you! :)I am equally shocked at the silence of other media houses. But I guess they don't want to take on each other perhaps. But I am hoping the print media will report this. Anyway the lady has put herself on a very sticky wicket now. Hope this teaches her a lesson.

Thomman: You are right. Watching news channels just fries your brains! And thanks for the congrats! :)

Karthik: Thank you! :) I think Indians themselves will answer these goons in the ballot box.

Praveen: Perhaps or they dont want a mud slinging match amongst themselves considering the cut throat competition that exists between them. But it would be fun if they did. :p

Nitram: Thank you! :) I think the criticisms got to her and she snapped. It is not easy for the darling of the masses to accept that she has wronged.

MC: My thoughts exactly!! When I was watching those grey haired goons like Pinghal in the Pub Culture Debate I wanted to tell him to eff off and let us the youth decide for ourselves what is good or bad for us. It is high time the youth stood up for themselves!

~==[[[ Abhi ]]]==~ said...

Hey congrats on the 250th post. Everyone has a bad opinion about the way the media has infiltrated our living rooms and is now annoying us like the numerous REALITY shows. I'm sick of debates where the journalists are more interested in putting their words into the mounts of the innocuous discussion participants, or a verbal squabble shown live on TV goes on and on without any commercial break, but a mom's cry for a dying child is cut by an ad. How cruel can these people be?

Manoj said...

Hi,

Some excellent thoughts. Indian news channels are an extension of what they back home as ' Mancha Pathram'. I never see important international events being shown. Well thats the way media operates in most countries and India is not an exception. And was there an uprising after the Mumbai incident? Well i beg to differ...We still have slave mentality

Jeseem said...

Blogging like any other medium is liable to be attacked legally. And in most cases, blogging has been considered expression of personal opinion and most such cases have failed. However blogging hasn't till now received the safe safeguards as journalism. It is I believe a matter of time before this happens.

You should bring this particular issue up with EFF. Another good place to get opinions and lawyer's help is slashdot.org.
I am pretty sure, there are lots of lawyers willing to help out the hapless blogger, provided the issue is publicized and brought to their notice. Perhaps a PIL would help greatly.

Anonymous said...

Congrats.

A word of caution, the govt might refer to you as invoking terrorism, if you write that middle class should start to fight against the oppressions of the govt....

Otherwise, I second Mathew's words.

Wish you a happy and safe valentine's day. I do wish the moral police is quelled by civilians.

-kajan

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

First, congrats on your quarter century.

I enjoy reading your powerful writing.

Pratz said...

excellent post...true its high time we as citizens voice our concern...against the moral police, against shoddy journalism, against mindless violence in the name of politics and people welfare...