Vir Sanghvi’s article Channel tunnels (December 2) highlights the fact that news channels are more concerned with TRP ratings and attracting viewers rather than focusing on the news. It is difficult to tell a news channel apart from an infotainment one. The news channels should know their limitations and not infringe on the world of entertainment. There should be a proper evaluation of news priorities.
Apropos of Aasheesh Sharma’s report Enabling the differently abled (December 2), life is hard enough if you have a disabled child due to wheelchair inaccessibility, people’s lack of awareness and uncertainty over the child’s future. But it hurts most when people do brisk business using our children. Some child centres charge for therapy at the OPD and are unhygienic to boot. Udaan is not the only centre which takes advantage of disabled children and their parents. Many others do so. Parents also know that they are being exploited but they do not have the time to raise their voices against the malpractice.
On a wing
This has reference to Ripu Daman Singh’s report Odd jobs (December 2). As a journalist, one tends to be a little blasé. But Daman’s report on the pigeon-feed seller, whom I have passed so many times without giving much thought to, was a high point in the paper, especially in these days of disappearing birds. He is also an important environmental link. In fact, he is doing what most of us ought to around our homes.
In the run-up to the Iraq invasion, media reports repeatedly referred to Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. This was portrayed as reliable coverage instead of clarifying that we were being fed this news to justify the aggression. This is a betrayal of journalistic responsibility. In such reportage, the sources providing inputs for the news analyses were chosen from the cast of political characters who helped drag the US into the war. With this kind of worldview, no wonder so much news coverage is serving nationalism instead of journalism.
Neelesh Misra in Generation divided by wall of disconnect (December 6) points out that nobody is interested in the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley. Every government in the state has been more interested in the funds for refugees than the people concerned. This shows the venal face of politics that discriminates against those with legitimate grievances and protects illegal immigrants who form convenient vote-banks.
Red star rising
AG Noorani in Perfidy re-incarnate (December 5) seems to have a single-point agenda, that of BJP-bashing. He finds the BJP’s ignorance hurtful to the nation’s pride whereas he finds nothing wrong with the stand taken by the Left parties who instead of condemning the Chinese ambassador’s remarks have started talking of give and take, in total disregard of the territorial integrity of the country. What was the purpose of the Leftists’ meeting with the Chinese premier as communists and not as Indian nationals?
Pervez Musharraf’s four-point proposal on the future is yet another attempt to try and annex Kashmir. Having failed to secure the state with the aid of a massive influx of arms from friendly countries, Islamabad is trying another tack. An attempt is on through UN and other world forums to force India to withdraw the army from the Valley. The present proposal is two-pronged: demilitarisation and eroding India’s sovereignty over J&K. Musharraf is a smart con artiste. Let Pakistan bring parity in POK with India’s in J&K in regard to democratic methods and succour to its citizens. Then we can talk turkey.
With reference to Gail Omvedt’s article Still no tryst with destiny (December 6), I am uncomfortable with the categorisation of Ambedkar as a Dalit hero. He was a great scholar and the father of our Constitution. His visionary streak makes him a national leader of the stature of the Mahatma and Nehru.
The Supreme Court’s verdict in the Navjot Singh Sidhu is yet another indication of the efficacy of the judicial system. Though the charges were different — Soren was convicted of murder and Sidhu of culpable homicide not amounting to murder — Sidhu seems to have got off lightly. Three years seems too little punishment for taking a man’s life even if it was inadvertent. But nevertheless, it shows the law does make no distinction between the powerful and the ordinary citizen.
There is little to celebrate about Musharraf’s four-point formula since the UN itself rejected a plebiscite and Pakistan did not implement UN charter which was prerequisite to holding of plebiscite in 1949. Musharraf is doing India no favour if he abandons it now. The rest of the points are meant to facilitate a backdoor entry for Pakistan to meddle in the affairs of the state. The government of India ought to see through this ploy.
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