Television is a great medium. They investigate, prosecute and even pass judgement in any given case. I am talking about news channels.
And as Justice B Sudarshan Reddy of Supreme court criticised upper middle class (media consists of upper middle class)* for reacting only when a tragedy was affecting them and keeping mum when the same was badly hitting the poor and the masses of the nation.
In the words of Justice Reddy’: "Where were these protestors when the rivers were polluted by the effluents, when the rural poor children were dying even before reaching the age of five, when the criminal justice system systematically failed the poor?' He also said, ‘the recent reaction to the Mumbai terror attack was highly urban-centric, he wondered why these protests were not seen when similar terror strikes had hit places like Gokul Chat, Lumbini park, Mecca masjid and in Mumbai trains which were frequented by the lower middle class and the poor’.
My answer is: Media, Justice Reddy, did not show interest.
Most of these protesters are media created through their wonderful system of SMS polls.
By the way SMS polls also give the media money. Some one should come out with facts and figures about SMS polls and the money earned by the media.
Aziz Mirza was only peeping into the future of television when he made his film ‘ phir bhi dil hai Hindustani’. Understandably the film was just rated average by the media. I must say he was prophetic.
Media manufacture public opinion through their SMS polls. Great!
Their talk shows are really grrreat! Take Barkha Dutt. She wants to talk more, though there are guests who are experts. She takes her own time framing a question. Even before the guest completes his or her sentence she inturrupts and starts giving her version of the guest’s non-completed answer. Then she switches to another guest and repeats what she did with the first. Then she goes on. Often she becomes hysterical. She often says ‘paucity of time’ which does not apply in her case. After saying that she goes on to speak for at least a minute before the commercial break. I think she need not ask guests any questions, instead have a monologue giving the views of guests and occasionally turning to guests to get their nod. Afterall, as it appears, guests merely want to be seen on TV.
It was sad watching Barkha Dutt yelling hysterically and some other journalist lying on the floor and reporting on Mumbai terror attack.
Reference: Report in the Times of India of 28.12. 2008 ‘Growing apathy to woes of the poor, notes SC judge’