With reference to Barkha Dutt’s article Break in news (April 21), today all departments of the media, whether print or electronic, are in the race to dish out sensational news. In doing so, they often ignore the importance of real news. The media have a significant role in influencing public opinion and spreading awareness among people. The media should not waste time and money in irrelevant topics.
Barkha Dutt’s efforts would have been more meaningful if she had not interviewed Amar Singh on NDTV regarding the omission of certain celebrities as guests at the Abhishek-Aishwarya wedding. If she wants the media to concentrate on serious issues, she will have to lead by example. I do not think the guest list at the wedding is a matter worth discussing and it isn’t of any national significance.
Why has there been so much coverage of the Abhiash marriage and Shilpa-Gere episode? What about the problems that ordinary people face in their daily lives? It is a shame that many mediapersons have forgotten all the ethics. An autorickshaw-wallah hit the nail on the head when he described the marriage as ‘total faltugiri hai’.
The media appear to have lost all originality and is functioning as big business firms do. In doing so, it often focuses on irrelevant issues in order to grab attention. The media should be able to differentiate between entertainment and news. It should be socially responsible and adopt self-correcting measures.
With reference to the report Judiciary must not cross the line, says Somnath (April 27), in any healthy democratic system, it is necessary for the judiciary and legislature to keep a check on each other. Parliament has a right to make laws, but since vote-bank politics hurts rights of many citizens, judicial checks are vital. It would be interesting to find some instances where the legislature might have stepped on the judiciary’s toes and vice versa.
Somnath Chatterjee’s disparaging remarks about the judiciary are in bad taste and does nothing to enhance the esteem of the high chair he occupies. Instead of rebuking the judiciary, the Speaker and other legislators must acknowledge that people are knocking at the doors of the judiciary because of the legislature’s failure to ensure that laws are fair and humane.
Dipankar Gupta in Looking backward (April 26) has rightly pointed out the threat of caste determinism to a healthy democracy. Caste determinism and irrational reservation criteria will only strengthen caste identities and create further divisions in society. Crude determinism in the form of religion, culture or caste can prove to be suicidal for a plural society like ours.
Apropos of the report Azad got an earful over Geelani rally (April 26), Farooq Abdullah cannot be faulted for his reported remarks over Kashmir’s identity. Given the UPA’s permissiveness, many harbour similar feelings. The government must take corrective measures to clear the mist before new ambiguities are created. That Kashmir is an inalienable part of India must be emphasised at every forum to give a correct perspective to the audience.
Profits of power
Omesh Saigal’s write-up Power pangs? Who’ll pay for it? (April 27) serves as an eye-opener on the Delhi government’s policy on private power distcoms. When sops have not worked with greedy distcoms, threats won’t either. They are in the game to make profits rather than function as public utility services. Saigal’s suggestion on a monitoring authority is the best solution.
No dent made
The focus on the Shilpa Shetty-Richard Gere episode, an innocent take-off from his movie Shall We Dance, has had two unfortunate fallout. First, it has undermined the value of the event during which the incident occurred. The event was organised to create Aids awareness among truck drivers.
Second, it diverts attention from the service that Gere has rendered in the area of Aids awareness and prevention. Gere has been a committed worker for the cause and his efforts have been acknowledged worldwide. The misguided elements intent on sullying Gere’s image should realise that their attempts will retard the cause he serves in India and that, not withstanding their exertions, Gere’s stature will remain undiminished.
A maestro steps down
Brian Charles Lara’s retirement from international cricket was painful to cricket-lovers all over the world. His record in Tests and ODIs and his courageous knocks were remarkable, especially his unbeaten 153 against the Aussies in 1998-99, which was rated by Wisden as the second greatest Test innings. The maestro always entertained the audience and was a role model for many.