Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Fourth Estate

The unfolding of the 2 G Spectrum scandal has me in its grip.Not that I never suspected things were pretty bad before, but this was the last straw. The unblemished Fourth Estate have sunk so low, you cannot even bend over and see them. The silence in the mainstream media after the Nira Radia tapes is deafening. It is indicative of a collusion of all the media players. Each being quiet because they have something to hide.

The tapes of course can be heard on Youtube.

The likes of Ratan Tata, and Ambani being embroiled in this case, does not bother me so much because who are we fooling, if we think business is possible without murky, underhand shady dealings. But Sanghvi and Burkha Dutt swimming alongside in this sewer makes me angry. Especially since they seem to take the moral high ground and are clearly biased on so many issues. They are entitled to their opinions but unfair reporting and coverage make them unfit for their 'supposed 'professions.

Admittedly I was already hopping mad with (as someone referred to her as) 'Bark-huh' Dutt for her amazingly unethical and biased talk shows, where the choice of the panelists is suspect and anyone who does not align with her thought is silenced or purposely misinterpreted. I specifically refer to her panels on the Kashmir Issue. As a Jammuite who does not support Autonomy or Azadi, of my home state Jammu and Kashmir, her skewed panels personally affect me.But the phone leaks of her conversation with Radia are the icing on the cake. I am not sure whether I should be disheartened by the state of my Nation and all its premier institutions or pump my hand in the air and say "I told you so"!

Dutt has denied her power-brokering and probably thinks it is only her and her friends, the pseudo-intellectual mafia of the country who speak or understand English. Rest all of us are still grappling with the complexity and illogicality of the English alphabets and phonics, and hence cannot read the CBI and IT department Reports or comprehend the conversation in the tapes.

Guilty or not ..God knows! But has it and much more before this, colored my opinion as unfavorable for her and her channel.. a resounding Yes!

An interesting and possibly the only positive off -shoot of this whole drama has been the power of internet in breaking through circles of power and corruption and its attempts to silence. Internet has allowed the, shouting out loud, of differing opinions and most likely the truth. Blogosphere is on fire and citizen journalism at its best.
NDTV and Barkha Dutt's arm twisting of a blogger Kunte and his subsequent (smartly worded) apology has only added fuel to the fire with FB pages sprouting, and condoning the obvious attempts at 'gagging'.!/group.php?gid=51657291081

I am not sure what the consequence of this whole sham will be. After all the ones in power are each more corrupt than the other or simply spineless. But hopefully it will have given a jolt to the mainstream media and taught them, that they cannot sit on things and cover up. Thank God for small mercies and technological advancements.
Also for many Barkha Dutt lost her credibility sometime back and now, for even fewer, the greedy mainstream media and especially news channels remain an authentic source of information.

All that I have said above are my views and MY views alone. I am not on the payroll of BJP or any other organization. If I was I would not be writing this blog. I would probably be out there, winning some National Award.
I am unable to authenticate all my feelings and opinions with hard core evidence. And even if I could I know I can be easily out-shouted, out-screeched and spun around in circles, by these very same journalists, till I would want to bite my own tongue for having ever wanted to speak.
I already admit defeat to the new brand of journalists whose purpose and true vocation are lost on me.

Moreover and most importantly, I do not have the money to fight it out in the courts. I am your typical honest, serviced middle-class, Indian, and a sinlge-earning family-by-choice-for-now-atleast (phew!am I gald I got that out there), who has the education, but not the requisite power or money to pariticipate in the long running daily soap opera'sque court cases.
The above should be read as it is ..a disclaimer and an attempt seeking protection from lawsuits.

At the end all I want to say (to be taken with a grain of salt by all my dear journalist friends, I swear I still love you) is that I always understood why the word Politician was a 'gaali'.
Never understood when words and even colors like Nationalistic, Hindu, Religious,Saffron, Green, and not to miss Bihari/Bhaiyaji came into the same category. (Though I have been told that the Bhaiya jis or the Biharis are waiting with baited breath for Nitish Kumar to come back into power and change things and futher restore their lost regional pride.)

What I finally foresee, is the distinct and increasing possibility of the coining of a new gaali :

"Abbe ja, journalist kahin ka!!!!!*&^%$#@!!!!!"


Anonymous said...

'I am not sure whether I should be disheartened by the state of my Nation and all its premier institutions or pump my hand in the air and say "I told you so"!' That is exactly how I feel!

And what makes it more annoying is the total blackout of the news by all other news channels. I have been scouring the net to read more and find hardly any mention of it. It just makes me wonder how many others are involved, because otherwise, why would they be so silent about it?

So so annoying! And Barkha's responses are so lame! Can't tell you how annoyed I am !

Amrita said...

I completely understand what you say. Yea and rightly said, we are the honest middle class who dont have the resources to fight with the higher ups... and its so sad, that the only thing that till now holds my belief is the judiciary. But if people are so seeped in corruption I wonder where we are headed :(

Dinesh PC said...

The "middle class" fought it out by trending #barkhagate on #1 for days together. This caused International media to pick up the story and the Indian media to hesitatingly follow suit. Democracy in Media is the future - this is no time to be demoralized, this is time to exercise your power however limited it may seem. Go trend #barkhagate on twitter!!!

Anonymous said...

Excellent and hard-hitting post. Leaves the reader with a sense of despair. I hope things change.. some day!

D said...

If Arundhati Roy has the freedom of speech to say whatever she does, why don't you? Don't worry. You've just called a spade a spade.

Chrysalis said...

@wordsndreamz: Tell me about it...I am so annoyed myself...the conniving silence is astonishing.

@Amrita: Well we as a society at large are adrift certainly but I am glad that power of the internet has broken the illusion that things can be covered up.

@Dinesh PC: Agreed democracy in the media is the future...however insecure th journos feel by bloggers...this is a river which is not changing its course.

@writerzblock: Thanks.I see us as a part of that change.

@D : :) Thanks. Cheers to Freedom of Speech and the Internet!