Sunday, June 24, 2012

Why Children Trapped in Borewells and Ugly Presidential Polls Are Important To Us...

The answer is simple.
To the media, covering the ordeal of a starving child is not breaking news. One can't start Primetime with the words, "News is just coming in that Romila, the five-year-old child suffering from severe malnutrition, has not eaten anything today, either." It's always better to begin with, "Breaking news, a child who has been stuck in a borewell for three days has died. Let us go over to our correspondent live to speak with the child's grandparents..."
And, could you blame the media for feeding on the ugliness that is the present Indian presidential polls?   The one post in the government which was earlier meant for 'dignified eminent personalities' has metamorphosed into politics of the most vulgar nature. Now, you can watch each presidential candidate  tell you why he is best suited for the position. One of the candidates said that he has 'never lost an election before.'
Everything is about PoliTics.
It's time we rethought EVERYTHING.
As for us, you and me. Why do we not like to think of the starving child? Well. We are in denial. We know policy needs to be changed. In order to change policy, we have to change the structure of the government. And to do that, we have to gather consensus, or worse, protest. Too much to do? Yes, we'd rather watch a child die stuck in a borewell.
And when that gets too depressing, we can always change the channel and watch Indian politicians bicker in bad English. BlisS.


  1. Can't always blame the media. There is a huge audience for the borewell drama. Consumers want the news to be entertaining. Very few people will watch the news if it comes in a documentary form showing malnourished kids, exploited farmers, oppressed sections of society, etc.

    Also, there is an inherent human tendency to have a fetish for dirty politics. Everybody knows that Presidential polls are hardly significant, yet people tune into the news because they find the political one-upmanship entertaining compared to their daily humdrum existence.

    Ultimately, media companies are businesses. Unless we consumers demand content that does not insult our intelligence, the media will be averse to taking a risk by showing real, relevant news.

    There is hope though! CNN-IBN (English, Hindi and Marathi) is significantly above the rest. The high TRPs for Aamir Khan's show too suggest that there are people who care about real issues.

    But ultimately, we have to accept that there are always going to be people who prefer yelow journalism and Page 3 type news and there will always be media houses providing such nonsense.

  2. I agree that it is the consumers who need to make changes, and soon. Then the media would have no option but to change itself. It is great news that millions are watching Aamir Khan's show. One only wishes more people open their eyes and see, not just shows run by concerned celebrities, but also listen to simple people who have given their whole lives to eliminate social evils.