What do you think is news? Almost everything which our media doesn’t publish!
What’s news? I mean prime minister Narendra Modi appearing in a new rally in a new state multiple times in one single day is no longer news. At least you get that impression by looking at the newspapers which choose one and ignore the rest. Our editors are very careful, you see, that his “Mann Ki Baat” doesn’t become contagious to secularism, to the detriment of democracy in our country. That he doesn’t engage with Tikaits though riles them. To speak or not to speak isn’t given to the prime minister of this country: It’s a prerogative which newspapers decide on his behalf.
It’s a front page news though when Rahul Gandhi promises to smash BJP and RSS to smithereens; or when he speaks to some professor of some university in some foreign country out of context. That’s good enough for our pen-pushers who would never tell you why the Gandhi scion hasn’t done ONE single rally in West Bengal which would’ve nearly 100 seats sealed by Tuesday. No OpEds that you don’t lose elections because judiciary and media is pliant to the Centre but because people hardly see or hear you in the first place. As long as every clap brings in material gains, why bother with news?
I mean I am not sure if you remember #SachinVazeGate. The term is such a misnomer. What Gate? It’s not worth our chief minister’s comment. What if it threatened the face of India’s corporate world or a lifeless man was found floating amidst the jagged contours of a creek. What if people shiver if a mafia in the guise of a coalition is ruling them. An assistant police inspector can’t be front page news everyday when far pressing issues of freedom of expression in a University campus and a darling professor of global academia has resigned on moral high grounds.
Most of you would know that Mamata Banerjee’s leg is in plaster. That “Khela Hobe” is on never mind the rape of innocents, suicide of outsiders. That charismatic Didi is roaring. That her foot-soldiers, Mahua Moitra and Derek O’ Brien, haven’t stolen a wink. They knock at the door of Election Commission every living hour of the day in protest. This is what matters, not why Bengal still doesn’t have industries, that cut-money is official, and that job remains scarce in a decade. Those suffering million don’t matter. This is not the report-card our newspapers have in mind for the readers, smitten as our pen-hackers are with her bluster.
Scan the field, you won’t find one bad news from Rajasthan or Chattisgarh or Jharkhand. Or Delhi or Punjab or Kerala, for instance. They are oasis of tranquility and good governance. Their health ministers are still gloating in front of mikes. For all you know, a stern rebuke in print could’ve induced some governance in the pandemic’s Bad Boy, Maharashtra. But they don’t have watchdogs, rather lapdogs, unseen by us, fluttering their tails at the masters as long as there is a regular supply of chunks of meat.
One of the biggest threat to democracy in India is media. But for social media, we would have never known how sold they are to the agenda of their masters. Don’t the beaten saffron men, Jio Towers brought down across a state deserve outrage? How do you think media is covering Gold smuggling scam in Kerala; how much you know on Rose or Sharada scam? Doesn’t it cross your mind that a Sunanda or a Sushant could’ve been murdered? The transition of Dadra and Nagar Haveli MP would still be dinning in our ears but for the accusation that a certain home minister had allegedly wanted it to look that way.
Do you think a reaction from Arvind Kejriwal is in order when one of his MLA gives a call to behead a saint for his remarks on Prophet Muhammad? Do you think a question is overdue on Congress’ claim on secularism when they are signing up with every sectarian party in every state? How much do you know of Captain Amarinder Singh’s muse of Pakistani origin? How do you think has been the coverage on nationwide violence against Hindus and their temples in Bangladesh in wake of Modi’s visit?
So what we get as news is not news. It’s propaganda. Unalloyed. Naked. Unhinged. Nonchalant. They set the narrative. They are doing everything to suppress what we ought to be knowing. Don’t let them succeed. Our indifference is their strength.
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