BREAKING NEWS : POTATO RESEMBLING LORD GANESHA UNEARTHED IN PALAKKAD DISTRICT
Cut to the news anchor – dressed in a black suit, hair slicked back by a generous dose of gel, the majestic gait of a Roman gladiator and a voice that can jerk us out of our dormancy. The aforementioned headline is revealed with a grave head nod every now and then. One would assume the news pertains to shell droppings in Syria, or a student protest gone awry , or possibly an in-depth analysis of the latest budget. But shock and awe!
A potato is the highlight. Not just any regular potato. But a potato that looks like a God, because the media has always shoved logic and reasoning out of the window. Media houses manufacture trash, that is happily gobbled up by us viewers. They serve what the audience demands, and that is sensationalised news pieces – complete with bold fonts, hyper-active-on-a-suspicious-high news anchors and mindless debates with decibel levels reaching a standard Diwali night.
In a country where suicide is a major problem- the media hounds the victims families, thrusting the mic in their faces with questions like ” How do you feel right now?” Someone lost their loved one, so what kind of an answer do you expect? The media steps up a notch on the inhumane metre by flinging wild accusations at the victim, making a public mockery of their character, prying into their personal lives with a brutal adamancy – disrespecting the deceased is their motto these days. A classic example of how the world never stops intruding and incising through you even before your skin turns cold. You’re dead? Oh so sad. Let’s make a spectacle of your life Complete with a crappy bollywood background score and flashing messages condoling your departure on the screen with garish fonts. Because your death MUST BE MADE A HOT TOPIC. And to hell with your sensibilities. The dead do not grieve over their posthumous public maligning.
In a country searing with political tumult, constant unrest between different factions and mudslinging campaigns- the paparazzi is busy linking up bollywood actors and revealing their latest exploits. All those looking for lessons in prioritising, take note!
And the prime time news hour debates? They are avenues to call forth prominent public figures and impose the anchors personal biases on them. Gone are the days when people would mask their prejudices and don the garb of impartiality. The media openly takes a stand and defends it with a ridiculous temerity. What’s the point of a debate when the popular opinion completely undermines the other viewpoint? It’s here when we dwell on the modern day discourse on tolerance and acceptance of differing opinions.
The Indian media has miles to go, before even thinking about matching up to its American or British counterpart . It can begin by covering actual news, for starters.
P. S. This observation of the Indian Media has been articulated after a careful analysis of predominant news topics. From The Monkey Man attacks to the Crop Circle sightings- been there, done that.
P. P. S. Binging on Arnab Goswami’s debates is not recommended. May cause mutilated nerves, anti-peristaltic reflexes ( puking in layman terms) and an overpowering disgust for mankind.