Through the context of entertainment, the name of the serial could be ‘The Republic of India’. The actors are the Executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary. We have a make-up artist called ‘media’. The media can literally change the face of these actors, making them look either beautiful or horrible. Thus, the media has a significant ‘role’ to play, even if it is not directly acting on the stage.
The Indian media has had its share of achievements, and has received widespread acclaim for its ‘performance’. But of late, there has been a trend of extrapolating and glorifying certain information. Paying attention to detail is a good habit, but it takes away valuable attention from the bigger issues. This process can be likened to a rubberband being stretched to its breaking point. It is not surprising that it has begotten a chain reaction, where every news channel vies for the attention of the viewers. In seeking the attention of these uncountable viewers, most channels lose their focus. India is a huge country, and huge enough for the media to be quite unsuccessful in accommodating the ‘breaking news’ from every nook and corner of the country. The solution lies in prioritizing items of value. It does not lie in exaggerating seemingly petty ‘issues’. Recently, there have been a few instances which have taken away from the importance of other significant issues that are always left behind to be discussed (some other day). Three such instances have surprisingly kept our media on its toes and kept them rather intrigued.
Mr. Nitin Gadkari, our Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport mentioned in clear terms that there was no veracity in the information that his house had been bugged. When the inhabitant of the house himself denied the existence of any such equipment, it was an indication enough to the media to not aggressively pursue it. The only person who could have been affected by the act of bugging flatly denied the news, but it affected many others except him.
As if the indication by one Member of Parliament was not enough, the next target was another Member of Parliament, Mr. Rahul Gandhi, who was caught sleeping during a session. In my view, it was not a subject of national importance. Students sleep in class, officers sleep on duty, so what is so surprising about a member of Parliament catching a nap in the Parliament? This is not to say that the act was justified, but sleep is often involuntary. If yawning is scientifically attributable to good concentration, I don’t find it surprising that people end up sleeping during the most active classroom/parliament sessions. The incident surely became the butt of many jokes, and shifted the direction of news. Would it have made a difference if the person in question were a less popular MP? Hmm.Another incident where the Gandhi family was targeted was the revelation by Mr. Natwar Singh about the real reason for Ms. Sonia Gandhi’s choice to not become the PM of the country. I personally believe that even if there’s truth in the fact that Mr. Rahul Gandhi was concerned about his mother, his worry was not unfounded. The combined trauma and pain of having lost his grandmother and father definitely loomed large on his mind and from a son’s perspective, it was an emotional but valid concern. Even if there were other reasons for Ms. Gandhi’s choice, there is little logic in digging up the past after a decade.
It is the media’s job to segregate the past from the present from the future. It has to act as a filter and provide with information likely to have an impact on the nation. But sometimes, when mountains are made of molehills, the only outcome that gets manifested is unwanted drama.