Monday, May 15, 2006

A murderer left in the dark

Pramod Mahajan died on May 3, 2006.

The media was at its "brilliant best", working round-the-clock to give the suave leader the most deserving tribute. It was a sensational story for the TV channels -- a story about a leader who was shot by his own blood for not giving "enough attention" to his family .

After the death, the media, conveniently forgot about the villian in this gruesome murder.

Even while the news channels were choc-o-block with images of the BJP leader, glorifying his policital career, there were no reports on the killer. Barring one newspaper report, all other media houses ignored Pravin Mahajan.

I don't condone Pravin Mahajan's actions but the media had a duty to present his story as well. In a sensational incident like this one, media shouldn't have taken sides.

Instead of churning numerous visuals of the "situation outside the hospital", doctors mumbling out the death report or party members chanting adoration, they should have done a story on how Pravin reacted to the news of his brother's death or whether Pravin's family attended the funeral.

In a time, where journalists run haywire for "breaking news", we should introspect on the news-worthiness of these reports and not doze off. The media, who are accused innumerable times for short-term memory, should take an initiative to track a story till its very end. And not let the public draw conclusions on their own.

It's high time the media pulled up its socks!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Brand Gandhi

Move over Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Sania Mirza, make way for the "Gandhi" brigade. The not-so new brand has successfully sweeped over millions across the nation time, and time again.

From, politics to TV polls for youth icons, the Gandhis have pretty much covered every turf. And I bet, if, tomorrow, they start a fashion line, they would give Rohit Bal and Abu Jain-Sandeep Khosla, a run for their money.

I fail to comprehend, how the Gandhis continue to accomplish such adoration. We claim to live in a democracy, yet we secretly find delight in letting a generation rule us even if they have absolutely no qualification.

We might talk about freedom but the truth is that we fancy being tied down in shackles, and enjoy kneeling down in front of our rulers. The raja/maharaja style of rule will continue to cast a shadow on us.

How else do you explain such adulation?

NDTV recently picked out Priyanka for the youth icon. A lady who has nothing to boast of, but a glorifying lineage. What credibility does she have to be nominated as a youth icon? Has she won an election? Worked for the social welfare of the underpriviledged? The only time I see her, is during elections -- dressed in the typical "netah" saree outfit, walking under the scorching sun, hand-in-hand with needy villagers, pretending to show a sign of compassion. Isn't this why we despise politicians? So why are the Gandhi kids any different?

It baffles me that NDTV, which claims to be an objective news channel, plays the craze for the Gandhi tag. Are they illustrating that blood is mightier than the sword? That all it takes to be successful is a celebrated lineage?

Married to a Vadra, the media conviniently underplays her maiden name. For the masses, she's more a Gandhi than a Vadra. Simply because that's her ONLY selling point.

I beg the youth to be more discerning. Don't let shrewd politicians and manipulative media bog you down.

Monday, May 08, 2006

A man who died "two" deaths

K Suryanarayana's tragic death at the hands of the extremist Taliban militia send shock-waves across the entire nation. But this horrifying act lost significance immediatelty after reports of his "second" wife cropped up.

Instead of condemning the inhumane act and introspecting the reasons how militant outfits have so much power and influence to strike out innocent lives, the focus shifted to a more morale angle.

The victim, suddenly, attained a devil's mask. The death unfolded a family drama -- the first wife attempting suicide on hearing about the "other" woman in her husband's life, the "second" wife wanting a piece of the hefty compensation, the kids (of both the women) left stranded.

The man's credibility was questioned -- How could he have two wives? I don't propogate "double" marriages, not because it doesn't have any legal standing, but because it's a personal decision.

But it's not a new concept in India. We've seen how Bollywood families support twin houses --- Javed Aktar (now married to Shabana Azmi), Salim Khan (now married to Helen), Darmendra (now married to Hema Malini), Boney Kapoor (now married to Sri Devi) and Pankaj Kapoor (now married to Supriya Pathak). Even outside the filmi world, "double" marriages is not unheard of. None of these men have been looked down upon, infact they have huge standing in the society, so why should Suryanarayana be any different.

The media should have been more considerate to Suryanarayana. I think he deserved, at least a little more respect.

Well, his loss was the Taliban's gain! They literally walked away free after committing a gruesome murder.

Friday, May 05, 2006


A November evening on the banks of the river Thames.