The Gods must be crazy
The times of the self, The times of the selfie. Times in which those who dissent can no longer take dissent on themselves, freedom a revered religion and media a self-proclaimed God.
Our blind faith in media reports is akin to how religion functions. If my TV Screen blares out that the 2G spectrum allocation is 200000000000 Rupee scam, never in my line have I thought of verifying the number of zeros. Verification of news in itself is an alien concept. There is a sacred pact which makes us see every news article as gospel truth. As devotees, we listen to this mindless commotion and accept it equally mindlessly.
This blinding faith has given a clear vision on how to kill investigative journalism and move on to an opinion based studio journalism. Journalists need not ‘investigate’ to get to the essential truth of the issue, but the truth now is an opinion born out of the chaos newsroom debates have to offer. In this chaos of shouts and insults and table thumping, there is a hidden agenda of our Gods to reduce us to lumps of atoms that are not required to make opinions out of the news but to accept the opinion as the news.
A Forgetful Affair
This Selective Amnesia never forgets to make news vanish from the face of social discussions as if it never happened. Like a distasteful love story, no news ever gets closure. Media fucks the news real nice when the all the pleasures of T.R.P and sensationalism have been squeezed out, the media moves on to a new lover, and new issue.
The infamous Vyapam Scam captivated the imagination of society for weeks. The sensationalized unnatural death of 36 people enraged us, but now the issue had died a silent death, conclusion less. It is piled up in a lump of the carcass of news issues which have a lifespan of only weeks, one night they are the breaking news the next day the lie broken in a forgetful corner of our social conscious.
Comedy has a funny way to engulf in the tragedy of society. In a masquerade of memes, social issues get lost.
An interview about the Karachi Electricity Crisis transformed into the Bhadvi Aunty meme. The angst of this Pakistani citizen against the widespread corruption reduced to the humor of our times. Each share and reaction to the edited clip piled up the social embarrassment and humiliation the family faced in the locality. We need to attach a sense of humanity to memes and not just capsules of instant humor.
Behind all the jingoism and journalism there was a sly snatching of media ownership by a single conglomerate. Viacom 18 today owns the entire CNBC news network, CNN news network, News 18 network in 12 languages and the ETV news network in all regional languages. In the form of indirect loans, they own 29% stake in the NDTV news network, their only ideological competitor.
Imagine, the collective opinion of the nation, the facts we believe in, the information we get, could all just be an agenda of one man, who owns everything. A single private conglomerate playing puppet with the ideas and ideals of all generations to come.
In modern democracies, the freedom to dissent is more important than freedom itself. All the three pillars of our democracy are interlinked with mutual checks and balances. In a Teflon coating of freedom, media lies impervious to the heat of these checks. They hold with them the power of perception, outweighing the power of any other pillar.
Dissent is the check we need, the dissent of those who dissent, the dissent of this freedom.