Media Sen-cynicism: Conditioning The Common Man Daily

Posted on April 2, 2012 in Politics at Play

By Vishakh Unnikrishnan:

The contemporary media in this country has always been popular for unearthing scams and controversies suo moto. But what’s interesting is the fact that how all those revelations have changed the mind-set of the common man. True, it is because of the media that the ‘common man’ is aware of institutions such as The TRAI, CAG and PAC. It is of utmost importance that the working of such institutions and how they exactly carry out their tasks be published and that is something the media does impeccably.

So how would a common man react? Join the Anna Hazare movement probably? Or support Aruna Roy’s NCPRI and believe in their slogan of reclaiming democracy and challenging corruption. It might be a ‘hard choice’ for people, but then again it is fortunate that at least we have a choice. Regarding the government and their popular ‘scams’, most of the present society has virtually lost hope, and how can one argue with that? For the common man getting up every morning and reading the first page of the newspaper, is all he has to do to get to know how well his government is performing.

Every day he/she is up for a surprise. It might be the Prime Minister appointing a corrupted bureaucrat to head the institution which addresses corruption (P.J Thomas a CVC head, later squashed by the Supreme Court), or MP’s watching porn while the House is in session. With all this, there can be only two outcomes, people losing hope completely or anarchy, the latter being an ephemeral possibility. So, when the common man does lose hope, he doesn’t care about anything that will not impact his day to day life.

He is not willing to act against any kind of injustice, since he doesn’t believe in the judiciary. When he realizes (from the media) that justice, if at all served to the each, takes more than a lifetime; he loses the basic zest to even try and fight for justice. In a situation like this, it is almost impossible to get rid of all immorality prevalent in the society. And why should be the media be blamed for this?

Let the state of Gujarat be an example. If asked about the state and its history to the common man, he/she will be well aware of the Godhra riots, Narendra Modi’s list of controversies and similar issues. But what are the chances that he/she knows about the effort put forward by social activist Medha Patkar and others during the Narmada Bachao Andolan? Now why is such news not glorified? Is it that ‘positive’ news gains less attention that scams and controversies? We know more about the controversies celebrities get into, rather than know their positive works. Is it the mind-set that has to be changed? As for now, the only thing the media has done to influence the mind of the ‘common man’, is turning them to cynics, and here I thought the teachers of my college were good enough for that.

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