Message of the Media

Irrespective of the result of the mischief that started from Pilibhit, the Indian media has successfully conveyed its message to all and sundry that anybody can turn into a hero overnight just by vilifying a section of people – a sect, a caste or a linguistic unit - in as foul a language as possible. And that the media is ever ready to serve him/her in this regard. If anyone has any doubts about it he can simply refresh his memory of the channels reports in the third week of the current month or the files of the English and Hindi print media. They were all packed portraying a youngster slandering the Muslims in a Pilibhit crowd. Many young leaders must be envious of his luck. Sachin Pilot, Akhilesh Yadav, Rahul Gandhi, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Milind Deora may rightfully moan that in spite of their reaching the Parliament in their early age, they could not get the media blitz compared to the son of Maneka. Even the ‘Hero of Gujarat’ must be thinking that it took him years to reach those heights in the good books of media this youngster got overnight.
An Old Recipe
The Indian media has in fact already revealed this perfect recipe to all and it has also been successfully tried by many unrestrained people. Forty five years ago, there used to be a newspaper cartoonist in Mumbai. He started vilifying the South Indians and became a hero of the media. He retains his position even today at the age of 82, slandering others. Make no mistakes; it is not the universal rule of media. This privilege is restricted to only those who use this technique against particular sections of people or those speaking particular languages. Otherwise the same media can turn you into a villain. The media would also like to make sure that those who want to avail this privilege should ensure that they are above law with no fear of any police action. Or even if the police or the election commission do shyly take some action these are hollow and help him climb higher ladders of popularity. There should even be some political party ready to own and support him. If not so, he should be pretty sure of getting the position of media villain and prepared to face police retributions in the detention cells.
Why is the Law so Helpless?
The language VHP’s Ashok Singhal, Parveen Tagodia and Griraj Kishore, Shiv Sena’s Bal Thakrey, Uma Bharti and Sadhvi Ritambhra of Ayodhya Andolan and their ilk have been using against the minorities will make a foreign observer believe that there is no law in India that bars this. But when he comes to know that there do exist laws against such utterances but those using such language do not fear, he will conclude that their fearlessness of the law and police inaction are the direct consequence of media hype. It is the media that first widely publicises their abusive language to the extent that the general public gets used to it and if the law does take its course, people come out to oppose any such action against the ‘heroes’. The same media again advertises the popularity of such heroes. Politicians, intellectuals and people who are concerned about this state of affairs need to pay attention to the role of media in the society. How aptly had a western thinker pointed out long ago that if there was no media, half of the crimes would automatically vanish from the face of the earth.
28/03/09 khabar-o-nazar by Parvaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: M H Zulqarnain


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  2. seven days after publication of the above article, Times of India has carried something similar today under the caption "Power of Hate". The writer Jug Suraiya agrees that media is more interested in highlighting utterances of hate than those of love. To quote a passage from the write up :
    "Suppose instead of a `cut-off-their-hands' speech Varun had made an `embrace-them-in-your-arms' speech, suppose instead of a `hate' speech he'd made a `love' speech, a speech of conciliation and peaceful coexistence instead of vengeance and violent confrontation? Would anyone have remembered it? Would the media have reported it? Would it have become a national issue, a cause celebre? Forget it. Literally."
    How true!
    This is the message of media. If you want publicity, indulge in hate speeches. We are there to take you to the top.'

    Messenger of Love