We are all crying hoarse about the prevalence of corruption in public life and how individual efforts are throttled, the ones trying to root it our persecuted, hounded and even burnt alive. It has become endemic to the system in our country today and sometimes one feels there is no hope.
Some committed public figures mobilize the common people to stand up and say no, when they take out rallies against corruption in difference cities and the support is universal, what happens? Do the channels telecast it live? Do the newspapers give it a 72-point headline? Sadly no. The channels studiously avoid any mention, the odd one just giving a one-line coverage before going back to the live coverage of the film awards functions. Now that is news of national importance; who wants to see the sweaty faces of Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi when one can feast one’s eyes on the gorgeous Katrina Kaif, the hunky Hritik or the macho Salman, not to speak of the item queen Malaika with her zandu balm.
The T-shirt of the rallyist in Los Angles says it all.
The rally was organized under the aegis of India Against Corruption the ‘people’s movement’ in Delhi. While many blackened pots aka political parties have held rallies against corruption of some other kettle, this one was different, in that it did not align itself with any political party and made it clear that it was not either in favour or against any party.
All the major communities had at least one representative. It had such diverse participants as Baba Ramdev, The Archbishop of Delhi, The Rev. B.Vincent M. Concessao, Mufti Shamoon Kasmi, Mahmood A.Madani Rajya Sabha MP, Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi — both Ramon Magsaysay awardees, a former Chief Justice, a former CBI director, two former law ministers and many other prominent people sharing a common platform to root our corruption. Above all thousands of common people like you and me marched against corruption.
The rally took place not only in Delhi, but in 60 other cities across the country. And what do our wonderful national channels with its pantheon of illustrious journalists do? They quietly ignore it. It is not some fancy IPL auction or the glamorous filmy function to be telecast live. Leave alone telecasting it live, but not even was it shown on newscasts. Only Zee News showed some footage. It was an excellent opportunity to have redeemed itself after all the accusations of being partisan and sensational. If not for anything else, at least to show that there is no religious bar to a common fight. But that would defeat the grand designs of these media houses wouldn’t it?
Granted that the channels are a bunch of screeching banshees who can spend three days in a row bringing ‘live’ such things as the ‘Yamuna flowing above danger level’, till one had memorized every crack, brick and stone of the various spots in the river from where they were screaming their heads off. But what disappointed me is that even newspapers didn’t give it front page coverage but shunted it to the inside pages like city or metro. Let them not give it the first or second headline status, but one expects them to at least give it a one column coverage on page one.
One can’t blame the media. It is so busy right now doing and perhaps on the verge of achieving what even the British didn’t achieve — polarize the minorities against the majority so completely that there is no chance of reconciliation. Having high-voltage stage-managed ‘debates’ between various factions and communities in the studio is far better for their TRPs than highlighting the combined fight of the same groups against a common enemy — the corrupt. So don’t send one of your screeching banshees to any of the rallies.
After all who wants to watch harmony and peace? Give us scam, give us violence and give us hatred! More, more and more gore! We have got a bloodthirsty media that is feeding a bloodthirsty nation demanding more such news coverage. We have a media here that has either forgotten or hasn’t learnt how to act responsibly, how to play down hatred and distrust even while showing news. It could be because by highlighting a rally that is fighting against corrupt governments everywhere the media would be antagonizing the very same parties that fund them and keep them in comfort and luxury. Can they take such colossal risk? God forbid!
The rally might not have drawn millions to the road, but it is a beginning. A snowballing of the movement that can change the face of this country – a dream that we all cherish. The promoters and supporters are from such diverse backgrounds that they can motivate their well-wishers and followers, who are considerable in number. And we can each favour at least one of them surely, surely? And If you can’t find a single one whom you trust, it is about time to start a movement of your own, isn’t it? So what are you waiting for?
The cause is noble. The mass involvement of the common man will prevent the movement from being hijacked by any one individual for vested interests. That is people power.
All of us might not have been able to take part in the rally in person. But we can all support the fight. And this time, we don’t have to walk to the polling booth to stand in a queue to vote — I vote every time, by the way. The net-crazed nation that we are, we have been given the chance to exercise our vote without moving out of the comfort of our living rooms.
I just voted against corruption on the website of India Against Corruption at http://voteforindia.org/ Won’t you?
****Following Purba’s suggestion, I am doing a tag for this post.
Let’s all do our bit for rooting out corruption.
Have you read these tag posts yet?
Mayank Sharma — Mahajan-Man Returns: The Curious Case of India TV ! @ http://www.whatthefckisgoinon.in/2011/02/mahajan-man-returns-curious-case-of.html //
Restless Mind with Sensitive Heart — Corrupt? Me? Nah!!! @
Manju @ http://bit.ly/gRD1eR
Alka – Celebrates the C word