Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Taj, The Oberoi - what about good ol' VT

Is it me or others also feel that there has been disproportionate amount of coverage of the Taj and the Oberoi than the death and destruction in CST railway station. It is no co-incidence, IMHO. "Not all lives or deaths are equal" - this is so deeply ingrained in our pysche that, we are only moved by death and suffering of people that we can relate to. We often blame the Western media about only talking about western casualties. There is great truth in these observations. But what we are blind to is the fact that it happens everywhere, at each level.

I do not remember Indian media talking about death and destruction in Africa. I dont remember Indian media covering numerous other attacks on Indian soil with as much rage and passion, as this one. The reason is that the media comprises of people who are urban and cosmopolitan. These are guys closer to Harvard than to Dharwad. These are guys who feel closer to guys dining in the Taj than they guys serving in Udipi. Guys just like me.

In general, though,Indian media is doing a great job of covering the length and breadth of the country/globe to provide a balanced view of the world. But we have a long way to go. It is naive to think that death of a homeless guy on the streets of Rewa will become equal to the death of film star in the tinseltown, any time soon. But it is a goal worth pursuing. It is the death of a unit of human aspiration and potential.


Anonymous said...

what is Rewa?

rajeev kapoor said...

Your thoughts reflect my thinking. No one is bothered about the killing of a common man in India. This time was the first time when the educated and so called 'elite' were targeted. And all of a sudden, terrorism is bad appears in the press. Politicians have found to be wanting, corruption is rampart, police is not trained and so on. Wake up India is the rhetoric, which sounds hollow to me. The same press never bothers to report on when more than 1000 Indians are killed on the roads everyday. There is no mention about how corrupt the Medical Council of India is! Dengue strikes every year killing thousand of people and the press is silent about the apathy of the district magistrates.
In my opinion, our press is very immature and callous. Trendy young journalists ride up the ladder of success by reporting trash and no one cares. Even the channels like NDTV raise their voice when the educated and the rich are affected. VIPs are called to participate in mock sessions of discussion about what is current and relevant and bad... And then there is a next day and another story.
To be honest, I thought that this time would be different. The way these journalists reported the Mumbai carnage and raised their voices about enough is enough gave me some hope; hope about a media uprising; hope about a voice against all what is bad and ailing our country. A week later, my hopes are dashed to ground.