July 30, 2006 § 1 Comment
On Sunday, I witnessed a miracle of nature. A wonder of the modern world. A witness to the sheer stupidity of the TV watching and newscasting population of India.
So here’s the story. A boy falls into a hole which is 60 feet deep. Spends 50 hrs inside. He is rescued by the army. And is reunited with the family. This is all pretty wonderful. Even a small wonder in itself. So, why am I pissed?
Its because of the freaking newspeople! Sample this: “Prince nikal chuka hai, dharti ki godh mein 50 ghante bitakar… Prince ki wajah se poora desh ekjhut ho gaya hai”(Prince has come out after spending 50 hrs on the lap of mother earth… Because of him the entire country has become one). What next, will the terrorists also surrender because of Prince? The Hindi newscasters are pathetic babblemouths. They’ll go on and on about the same thing all day round. I wouldn’t mind if they reported something informative and essential for the viewers but all they do is exagerrate and compound the news. Take the case of the Mumbai Blasts. The coverage was good, no doubt, but seriously lacking in sensibilities. The day after, the inanity continued with stories about people who were to get into the compartments but didn’t because of friends or whatever (with titles such as “Dosti ki Misal” [example of friendship] and “kismat ki pukaar” [the call of destiny]). It wouldn’t matter if these stories came as five minuters, but these idiots made thirty minute specials abt them! Some even continued upto an hour!
Coming back to Prince’s story, these idiots kept on telecasting the news abt him round the clock with shots of him squatting inside the hole, killing insects, sleeping, looking up, eating, snot coming out of his nose and also of his worried parents who predictably were worried but nevertheless put up a good show for the camera (along with the mandatory retinue of relatives). A truely pathetic display. I believe these news channelsdelayed the rescue with all the coverage anyways. The Chief Minister of Haryana came down there, which sort of shows how much work he does/has). All kinds of people were made to give their opinion, from politicians to sportspersons and filmstars. Blah Blah. I could go on and on abt this but I think this gives an apt picture of what I feel.
More to the point, I am distraught that people actually kept watching, calling and SMSing the TV stations and the crowd around the site. I am distraught at the glamourising of human tragedy, at the time wasted in India due to these channels, due to the absolute but engaging BULLSHIT that these channels dish out. I am angry that Indian Television is going the way USA went in the 1990’s. A way that will lead India onto a cultural degradation not known before. I fear we will lose our individuality, and become not unlike the Americans (thou in our own Indian way).
One week has passed and there’s little or no news of prince(which by the way I doubt is his real name, come on, he is a village boy from Haryana!!). Anyways Prince Kumar (thats his full name! which if translated into English is Prince Prince, oh this cracks me up!!) has made his parents rich (Rs 2 lakh+education expenses), some rescuers happy, his villagers are happy (Public Works department is actually working there!), the news channels wealthy and a whole lot of TV watchers into idiots. All this because the bumbling boy fell into a hole ( a deep hole, I commend him on that!). Whats bigger proof on the Americanisation of India? I pity us all.