A Nameless Indian Speaks: Is Preity-Ness Mess A National Issue?
After a decade, the nation has got a new government at the Centre, with NarendraModi as the new Prime Minister. Modi’s accession to the post of PM has induced lots of hope amongst the citizens of this country, because during his election campaign, Modi assured voters that “Achche din aane wale hain” (Good days are ahead).
Meanwhile, the PM has instructed his ministers and officials for a change in the system, with a more disciplined approach. But despite such a big change that our nation has witnessed, one thing that hasn’t changed is the functioning of our television media. We, the common men are privy to national and international affairs, day to day politics, the policies that government takes up, the initiatives in public life etc. either through newspapers or news channels. And, it’s needless to say that due to its reach, visibility and promptness, TV channels are top priority in everyone’s life when it comes to news.
But, surprisingly for the sake of TRPs, the top TV news channels whether English or Hindi are hardly bothered to provide all-round news to its viewers. For, instance, on Monday, June 16, during the evening prime time – almost all the English news channels right from Times Now, CNN-IBN to Headlines Today, and even the major Hindi news channels were deeply involved in telecasting panel discussions on Preity Zinta-Ness Wadia abuse case. It was nothing but washing dirty linen of these two ‘celebrities’ from cinema and corporate world before the nation. The anchors of these panel discussions, who were either editors-in-chief or senior editors of respective channels, were deeply engrossed in waging a war amongst the panellists on who was right – actress PreityZinta or Ness Wadia? Was the actress actually molested by her ex-boy friend Ness or was it just an exchange of abuses?
The focus of the entire prime time discussion was on this frivolous issue. Like many, I too wanted to know what was happening across the nation and the world, but failed. Even switching over to Hindi news channels, which are the Hindi counterpart of these English channels, didn’t help much. There too, the discussion was on the same topic for hours.
I fail to understand, why the issues of rape of women across the country, killing of cops, terror attacks, road accidents, electricity and water crises, ill-effects of price rise fail to draw attention of these esteemed editors of news channels. I do understand that news on Preity Zinta attracts eyeballs, but is that all that matters to this nation? What a common man, an aamaadmi – who has to run from pillar to post to earn two square meals a day and get his work done by standing in long queues, has anything to do with such frivolous issues, except drawing some vicarious pleasure for a few moments!
Why channels alike the Congress in the UPA government, and the regional Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party, fail to understand the sentiments or feel the pulse of the common man? Why a nameless, faceless Indian, who contributes to the growth of the nation by remaining oblivious to publicity, should be taken for granted by the media? Why the media should decide that whatever they show is right for the viewer?
After switching over to a lesser-known Hindi news channel, I finally got to watch the day’s happenings in the form of real news. That channel showed how innocent people in Iraq, Nigeria, Syria were being killed by terrorists and how Indians who had been to these countries for jobs, were now stranded there. This information was much more important than the Zinta-Wadia mudslinging.
And, moreover what is Ness Wadia’s claim to fame, except being the son of industrialist Nusli Wadia and co-owner of the IPL outfit Kings XI Punjab, that the viewers should be obliged to watch him on screen for hours? Why such inconsequential discussions should get priority over national issues that concern the lives of millions of Indians?
Can’t there be any mechanism to have a direction for these news channels, who prefer to cater only to the elite category? For these English news channels (and also some of their Hindi counterparts) India means, the urbane English-speaking elite – irrespective of their academic and professional background.
With the new vision of the prime minister, the TV channels should also change their way of looking at the news content. Instead of catering to a handful of elite and serving sensational Page 3 type of information, the news channels should focus on issues those can bring change in the lives of millions. The evening prime time should not just be wasted by presenting meaningless discussions in a bid to enhance one’s TRP and keep the advertisers happy.
[The opinion expressed in this column is solely that of the writer – A Nameless Indian]
Virginia Hosts Hindu Priests’ Conference
The 3rd Hindu Mandir Priests Conference (HMPC) hosted by Durga Temple, Fairfax Station was organised in Virginia to discuss the role of temple priests in the 21st century on May 29-30. Over 30 pundits and 50 adult and youth delegates, representing over 25 temples and Hindu organisations, attended the conference. The theme of the conference was ‘Role of Temple Priests in 21st Century’.