Just now saw a newshour debate in NDTV 24/7 on the topic, whether the media is being used as a platform for fringe groups. One among the participant was N.Ram, the chief editor of The Hindu.
In the past recent and in the distant past too, there were several instances where many unknown groups became popular overnight by petty issues, which were overblown by the media. And I felt good that NDTV, had taken up such a topic to be discussed live.
There are so many incidents which come to our memory when we start this topic - women barred from going to pubs, Valentine's Day issues, dikats, protest against films citing reasons that some scenes 'degrade' or 'insult' their religion/community/state/blah/blah, protest against exhibitions/novels/paintings/interviews and the list never seems to end!
Now starting to analyze the reason for these kind of confusions, freedom of speech is of course guaranteed to one and all, but it comes with responsibilities and moral ethics. Just for the sake, one cannot talk or come out with any stupid work and people do have a right to protest against those. The same with the 'artistic freedom' claimed by some. Your artistic freedom does not guarantee or provide you any right to ridicule or degrade a particular person or group.
Coming to the protesting groups, i'm reminded of a story which I wish to narrate it here.
M.S.Subbulakshmi, the spring time singing bird needs no introduction here. While honoring her with the prestigious Bharat Ratna, there were some who were against it saying that she was poor in Sahityam (for those who don't have much of knowledge in Carnatic, Sahityam means lyrics) and I don't want to continue it further, as I don't intend to make a joke at this juncture :)
If you wonder in what context this story is narrated, people will criticize and ridicule us if they want to, no matter how cheap they go. The sun doesn't stop shining just because a dog barks at it.
If this becomes the attitude of the people and they being really genuine, why should they get offended at the simplest or harmless stuffs? Is it any kind of hidden guilt, hidden in their minds?
And the media (not entirely) do get a chance to prowl upon every single issue to increase their TRP ratings (which God alone can understand with clarity) ad try to blow them out of proportions. 'Pen is mightier than the sword' proves well here, where TV+internet is today's pen.
Earlier the nib of this pen was not that strong as it was today and several issues burned down without causing any blister. But today these nibs have multiplied and with infinite source of ink, the pen is staining the social fabric.
The role of media is to be responsible and take the news as it is to the general public, rather than conducting useless surveys, debates, opinion polls et al. This kind of media can (will) do more harm than good to the nation, in general.
P.S 1 - Reg the stupid critisism on M.S - No one bothered to protest on it, as everyone were too busy listening and enjoying the mesmeric voice of her - I read this in an article in the archieves of a newpaper and I'm not aware of the genuineness of it.
P.S 2 - I forgot to include a scenario - Paid Media, on which I'd post in near future
P.S 3 - I'm waiting for the slightest provocation, to get offended and raise my voice against something and protest!! but nothing seems to cross my way!! :P :P