Friday, November 14, 2008

Trial by media

Raucous reporting by presenters of vacuous intellect passes off for serious news In India. The 24 X 7 television news channels are so driven by sensationalism and TRPs, they have dropped all semblence of responsibility, objectivity, fairness and nonpartisanship. News reports are no longer factual presentations made after thorough verification, instead they are almost often peppered personal opinions, spun to suit the presenter's political inclinications. Hardly any report could be considered credible enough to be regarded as a reliable record of an event.
Any objective viewer of the Indian news channels will have noticed their blatant one-sided coverage of events. The electronic media has appointed itself as the nation's conscience keeper. The abject lack of respect for law and the judicial process in the media houses is evident from their eagernesss to pronounce verdict even before the law has taken course.
The recent Amarnath episode is one such example. News coverage presented the Pakistani flag waving, anti-India slogan shouting Muslims of Kashmir as the aggreved party, while there was a near total black out on the completely patriotic and justified Jammu protests. Apparently Hindus had no claim on temporary land for their pilgrimage to Amarnath.
Gujarat riots of 2002 were covered to death, without investigating into the cause, however, there was complete silence on the Nandigram episode. The Gujarat riots brings us to another example of blatant partisanship. The Nanavati commission, which had the Supreme Court's (SC) blessing, after one of the most thorough investigations, absolved Modi of wrong doing. Yet the media sough to discredit the report by comparing it to an extra judicial commission on whose report a stay order has been issued by the SC, simply because it did not suit them.
While multiple bombs exploded in Assam last month, it only was as a momentary breaking news item on the news media which is in the midst of a campaign to prove "Hindu terrorism". The alacrity with which the media is seeking to prove Hindus as "terrorists" is galling. The same was completely missing in investigating or reporting any previous acts of terror. In contrast, there was every effort to protect any and every Muslim link. The same media houses denouncing Hindus as "terrorists" never painted previous acts as "Green terror" or "Islamic terror". Terrorists did not have religion we were told. Yet that has not stopped the media in proclaiming Hindus as "terrorists". While the "intellectuals" are busy lecturing, the same conscience keepers of the nation are completely silent on the illegal Bangaldeshi immigrants issue, illegal and unethical conversion activities of the foreign missionaries.
It is time the media be held accountable for its irresponsible and partisan behaviour. It is time for a reality check. The political position they hold and try to sell to the people is so far left that it is an anathema to our national interest. Divisive and seditious voices are given prominence and termed as the voice of the "sane" or "intellegence" while nationalism is denounced. The nation must question the media's transgressions.

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