Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Media makes the mare go!-By-Kamlesh Bahukhandi. along with my comments as flashed on the f.b on October 21,2010

Media makes the mare go!-By-Kamlesh Bahukhandi.

With apologies to the old adage Money Makes the Mare Go, I believe it is the media that more often makes the mare go!
Sometimes a few inconsequential events are published with such big deal and we start believing the world on fire! Remember the story of Ganesh idols drinking milk making Indians look impractical in the world press? Some years ago there was a report of reoccurrence of the dreaded disease plague in Surat. The whole world swallowed this report and newspapers and TV channels were full of this shocking news. The causes attributed to this outbreak were the neglect of sanitation in the city and dereliction of duty of the municipality.
True to the Gujarati ingenuity and enterprise Surat municipality spruced up and in no time Surat became one of the cleanest cities in India. The WHO questioned the plague news and one expert asserted that plague was in someone’s mind and not in the city of Surat. Hopefully the present alarm about avian flu also turns out to be likewise. Catharine Mayo, an American author, wrote a scurrilous book about India during the late 1930s entitled Mother India. In this book she viciously attacks every aspect of Indian life and talks of diseases in India after visiting a few hospitals. She was possibly commissioned by the British authorities to denigrate India as a counter offensive to the freedom movement.
Mahatma Gandhi called her book a sanitary inspector’s report and asked Indians to benefit from the shortcomings enumerated to improve themselves and ignore the aim of hatred in the book! There were some hostile responses, one of which I remember was a book Father India in which the author makes some very ungentlemanly personal remarks on Katherine Mayo! Likewise Beverly Nichols, a British author in his book Verdict on India, published in 1944, had similar motives. He was obviously commissioned by the British government to show India in poor light. World War II was in a critical and crucial stage. British Prime Minister Churchill was under pressure from President Roosevelt to seek a settlement with Indian political leaders. Nichols meets some Indian leaders, including Mahatma and yet speaks disparagingly of them and lauds the leadership asking for partition of the country. The motives are obvious. In a review of the book Verdict an Indian journalist wrote, “India in 1944 was visited by flu, floods, famine and Beverly Nichols…” Mayo and Nichols were intended to blitzkrieg national leadership in India to the British, American and western audience. Being political in nature of those times and with Indian freedom movement having its own lobby, the exercise was more or less in futility! News can be twisted completely out of context.
Sometimes a smart Alec from the media can put words into your mouth to embarrass you. Three years back I met a Priest come from USA , who has visited India very first time, being a journalist representative of a USA based Newspaper , I asked the gentleman what he thought of the brothels in Mumbai ! “Are there any?” humorously replied the priest. The next day my newspaper has a headline, “The archbishop asks if there are any brothels in Mumbai!” There was a time when the journalistic dictum was, ‘News is sacred; views are free.’ With such giant strides in electronic and print media with ever so many interests fighting for space in moulding opinion, the thin line between News and Views has almost disappeared. Now you can become famous over night on being interviewed on a subject like numerology in a country like India where people are fanatical knowing their past and future without being focused on their present by paying money to any news channel of no reputation. The common man is left to fend for himself to sift the wheat from the chaff!

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Anupama Pathak nice note....

it has been said, "journalism is the first rough draft of history...."

so people concerned with it should devoutedly do the job...!!!

Media makes the mare go!-

well said!

Bishwanath Singh The journalism if one looks in right perspective, he/she is bound to construe it as a mirror to our society. It's only because of yellow journalism that news and views both have started disappearing from their quality and reality both. The old values of news that was sacred and views free from hindrances required to be revived. The journalists must remain dedicated to their profession and remain free from malice, if any. The qualities of news are required to be improved and for that awareness must be developed.
Deveika Menon :There is too much of brouhaha over issues that can be well cremated and wouldnt be missed by anyone.. there is too much of glamor that has stepped in.. The recycling bit almost feels like its completely a segment for amnesics.. if one wants... to know the true meaning of ruminating which was initially restricted to our bovine friends one needs to look at the journalism these days..
Pen is mightier than the sword and carries a lot of power but it would be nice to see it utilised in a very constructive way rather than wasting it completely over inconsequential affairs..
Well written.. the content was very interesting and informative and the treatment with the right dose of subtle humor is appreciated...
Bishwanath Singh ‎@Deveika JI!i appreciate your very thoughtful comments.Well,now I can understand that it is only due to your pen you have been able to impress on my friend so much that he developed liking for you immensely.Let us pray for the best!

October 21,2010

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