December 01, 2008

May Sanity Prevail

Now that everyone has an opinion on what happened in Mumbai and how it could have been prevented and so on and so forth it would be instructive to look at the way the whole crisis was handled by the media, which incidentally is most opinionated of them.
I am afraid it is not helping people in making in any informed and considered opinions. That require calmness and equanimity that it doesn’t have and neither does it afford. In fact, the kind of media we have earned for ourselves, feeds on frenzy and passion, which at best of times, is misplaced.
The sheer magnitude of the event that struck us put all that in sharp relief again. Scurrying for information media had nothing but bits and pieces to form their stories. This can only be slightly better than a cooked up thing but what was served to us in these four-five days was a quite a dish.
The terror strike had people afraid, initially and as soon as they were assured that security forces were in place it gave way to anger. The way whole events unfolded anger became the leitmotif.
It is the job of the media to report all that is happening around them. So if it was anger out in the streets it was anger on the screen.
But to see anchors, editors, reporters and guests on TV was a shock. Now I am not easily shocked but I was to listen to Simi Grewal on ‘We the People’ with Barkha Dutt on NDTV. Overwhelmed by the response from the frenzied crowd in the programme, she went on to spout a thinly veiled suggestion to attack Pakistan.
It was sad to see the TV discussion, in which she was supposed to be one of the main speakers (what an expert to have on discussion on any sensible subject!). Is this the way we are going to respond to the grave crisis that we are facing. And this is the set of people who like to describe themselves as “educated”.
It would have been interesting if it was not this insensitive to see what she looks down upon from upper storey of some hotel. The slums below have Pakistani flags, she told the audience.
Now I would have lost all hope if a young man had not shot up and told her if she thinks Pakistan is our enemy then she is the real enemy.
Thank you very much young man for helping me retain some faith that sanity may prevail after all.


kuldip said...

Kudos. Brush all the dust under the carpet. Be thankful for a pseudo secular terrorist,who virtually did not allow Simi to speak.The God shall save this nation of Ostriches.Why not verify or challenge her statement,instead of just berating her.

Anonymous said...

I did not know of your blog and neither have i read more than this one post. I stumbled upon it as i was looking at reactions to what Simi had said on the show. What really got me at first was Simi saying lets do what US did. Lets just carpet bomb the NWFP area. And as she said that i got a little hopeful when Barkha started to say something like- ‘it may not be the best solution...’, and i was just waiting for her to tell Simi why, when she actually finished her sentence with - Its not the best solution ‘BECAUSE IT COST BUSH HIS PRESIDENCY’!!!
I mean c'mon! Is that the reason Barkha feels the US war on terror was flawed? Because Bush lost his presidency? And even that isn't correct because he was actually re- elected post his completely indefensible and inhuman bombings of civilian targets which in fact exacerbated militant responses in the Muslim world.

Even if you ignore this very unbelievable interlude, Simi shocked me with venomous rhetoric which is so completely pedestrian and common place perhaps in an RSS shakha - the comment about pakistani flags!

I am sure, looking from the white fluffy clouds of the seven star luxury down upon the dirty dingy green monsters must have given Ms Grewal quit a fright thinking of skull capped long bearded Muslims sitting in there hutments with there heads together conspiring to give new dimensions to their blood lust, but even then at this hour of dangerous polarity and divisiveness I expected her to keep her trap shut. And people who, hurriedly, just to put together the show invite representatives should do a check on the politics of the panelist and in full acknowledgement then present them with all their glory.

I am a true democrat and if that’s what Simi Grewal stands for, that’s what should have been represented. Not at the end of the show by mistake. By the way I would have told her that just like saffron flags in hindu areas, muslims put out green islamic flags in theirs and they look very similar to the Pakistan flag, but I guess anyone could’ve mistaken them from where Simi Grewal sits and looks down.

Anonymous said...

As a friend rightly commented,

"Why'd they call her at all? At best, she should be invited as a panelist to discuss how to keep white clothes white!"

Thank god for that man.

Vashi Ram Chandi said...

May Sanity and Wisdom prevail