Thursday, December 04, 2008

is it just me?

am i really the only one grossed out by the media frenzy over the terror attacks? i get the feeling that the old and the breathless - the barkha dutts and the arnav goswamis and all the other little idiot tiddlywinks - really are getting their collective knickers in a twist simply to justify their fat salaries finally. it's mind-bendingly sad and gross and tacky and just somehow so immature.
so bad, in fact, that the govt's finally seemed to notice and has asked for them to stop repeating footage of the attacks aimlessly (today's hindustan times, front page and page 6). i expect the media to go a bit off-centre, to look under the obvious, to somehow be a bit liberal, a bit thoughful. but they've turned out to be real jokers and vultures this time, literally using this whole incident to up their precious trp's.
gouri was asked by some pakistani left-leaning friends as to why the indian media seemed to toe the govt. line so obsessively; why did there seem no independent thinking almost? she felt like replying - and rightly so - that the govt. didn't seem to have as much of 'line' as the media, which seemed to be playing judge and jury in this rather sensitive case.
friends who went to the rally at the gateway said that the only sad thing was the amount of anti-pak feeling and sloganeering. it was overwhelming to see the collection of so many people without an obvious political focus (though the rss types were there too), but with a deep underlying sense of sorrow, anger and disappointment; but it was also scary to see how top-of-mind war was.
this is totally a product of how the tv channels have swung it for us. they've made pakistan and its establishment out to be so evil that if you're watching tv for a lot of time, like many people are, it's easy to get swallowed by their jingoistic tirades. there is total anarchy - here as well as there. how would fighting a war between states help? i really don't know what the way out is, but i do know for sure that if there is a popular push for war, the tv channels are to blame.
here's something small by my favourite author amitav ghosh on the subject.

4 comments:

Banno said...

No, I am sure there are a lot of people out there who feel the same way as you do. I stayed away from the news reporting as much as I could, and it was easier to do in Goa. But even at IFFI, some delegates withdrew from the festival to watch the news day in and day out, and came back with all kinds of angry, unthought out statements, like 'war', 'army dictatorship', 'get rid of all outsiders' etc. And yes, they got it from the media.

I think most people don't know what war really means, or an army dictatorship. And are surprised when one points out what it would actually mean in terms of their own personal freedom.

Anyway, let's hope, better sense prevails.

Anonymous said...

Agree with you completely on war not being the way to go, absolutely not. BUT, having said that, responsibility has to be laid at the door of the Pak govt. to do whatever it takes to wipe out the scourge thats been reared and nurtured on their soil. I think if the people you are ranting against see evidence of the Pakistan govt, taking concrete steps to work with india in wiping out the camps mushrooming all over their territory, i doubt there will be war cries from any quarter in india . Has there ever been such a reaction in all the years we have been subjected to terrorism from across the border despite strong evidence of the pak govt's and ISI's culpability? I think you have to see the reaction of the few folks rashly advocating war in perspective.
While good folks like you are up in arms against people in india damning pakistan for the attacks (this, despite the fact that there is no doubt about where the terrorists came from!), do you hear of any pakistani citizen demanding that their government do whatever it takes to hand over the LeT and their ilk, and stop all infiltration across the border?

dipti

Anil P said...

At some point India will need to face up, like the Allied powers had to.

Anita and Amit Vachharajani said...

dipti,
i think it's easy to get all jingoistic about how 'good' we are and how evil THEY are, but by doing so, you stand the risk of sounding terribly naive. there is a mail doing the rounds these days - don't have it in my inbox or i would have fwd'd it to you - by a pakistani saying that if the terrorists are pakistani let's get rid of them (said to his govt, etc.). there are enough voices from both sides of the border asking for the end of terrorism - remember geo tv which went to qasab's village is a pakistani channel. i doubt any indian tv channel would have done such an openly defiant and dangerous thing. so no point really getting on a high horse about it. also don't forget that these same jehadis were once friends of america, used in the war against communists. the path of argument you are choosing will eventually lead to war, and don't forget, they have nukes too...