Thursday, February 21, 2008

Breaking News..

Breaking News: Harry Potter lives on................
After months of excitement, this was possibly the least expected ending for my curiosity. For quite a time, I had avoided reading news concerning Potter series in the papers so as not to accidently step on to any speculations. But I just couldnt manage to avoid the news. All the channels were flooded with the news of the endings. Some of them had even got some speed readers so as to be the first one to tell the ending. It seemed that all the television world has been swooped by the wizard who survived.

Same kind of scenario could be witnessed when the millenium marriage of Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai took place. The news was everywhere. It seemed that all other news have dried up. No deaths, no disputes, no burglary, no politics. Only the Abhi-Ash marriage.

There was a time when I use to wait for the news at 8 (the times when I used to watch Doordarshan). All the happenings of the day put up succintly in half an hour. But slowly with the advent of 24 hours news channel, whole scenario changed up drastically. The whole journalism thing seems to lose up its motive. The only motive now is to grab more and more viewers anyhow in the cut-throat satellite television industry. Every news is tried to make sensational. No human touch left, everything is pure business. Griefs and miseries are shown but they are always attached with the tag of exclusive. And in this race of being exclusive, they have tried everything, sting operations(sometimes genuine and sometimes framed), shows showing fradulent sadhus being beaten up, crime reporters and so on. And in all this, they have even compromised their quality. The calm and poised Salma Sultan, Shammi Narang, Tejeshwar Singh have been replaced by the modern day theatrical heroes and heroines which could be seen confronting all the interviewees with the same cliche 'Kaisa lag raha hai aapko'. It doesnt make any difference whether they are interviewing a winning captain or an ailing widow. They are just professionals. They are no longer carrier of the public consensus. They are merely the informers.

But I wouldn't definitely take all the credits away from them. There have been times when they have stirred up public opinions for a socially good cause(like in Jessica Lal murder case). But more and more such initiaves need to be taken. They have to become a medium for carrying out the public discourse, a medium to carry voices of the individuals to the masses, a medium for providing unbiased information to the people. They are the pillars of democracy and they need to function well in order to keep the great democratic engine going.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Communism in India...

In the news, ruling party in Kerala has been accused of giving away land (including those which were declared ecologically fragile) to the real state developers. The video of the channel showed the natives resenting against the decisions. The news was reminiscent of what had happened earlier in Singur.
The commonality in both the incidences is that the ruling party was none other than our very own CPI. So is the party going for an image makeover or what. Isn't the poor supposed to be the beneficiary in a communist rule. But what has happened in both these states is ironical. The Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government justified their step on the grounds of industrializing the resourceful state. But in the process, the money was flowing from poor to the rich. The land at Singur which is just 50 km from Kolkata was been given to Tatas at very petty prices at the cost of poor people's livelihood. And the most ironical fact is that the site has been proposed for the manufacturing of the NANO- India's cheapest car.
So the question which arises in my naive mind is what exactly are the ideologies of the CPI. Is this is what communism really is? The sight of Communists fighting with their Communist propaganda at the centre but at the same time being indifferent to the plight of the poor in their own state is very frustrating. And what baffles me most is the adamance with which the party has stuck to their resolution of opposing the Nuclear Deal with US just beacause it is a capitalist economy.
The CPI, as it looks has gone all the way to distort the Communist dogma, as much as possible to suit them but at the same time reviving it at times and again to make grounds for their otherwise baseless oppositions. I feel its time that the party should incorporate some changes in their otherwise obsolete ideologies so as to justiy the need for some form of capitalism and also to play some meaningful role in the national politics.