Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanks to every Bombayite for their 'educated' concerns.

The progress of our news channels in India have been alarming. The word progress is definitely under question here. Over the last few years we have moved away from covering common working people that constitute at least 80% of the population of India. Our coverage in all channels seems to be about celebrities signing films or their marriages or their various break-ups! This forms 90% of our news about approximately 2% of the population of India.

Blasts in India in 2008 only:

Nov. 26, 2008: Series of shooting and grenade attacks, including two on luxury hotels, kill at least 195 people and wound at least 295 in Bombay, India's main commercial city.

Sept. 13, 2008: At least five explosions in crowded shopping areas kill 21 and wound 100 in New Delhi, the national capital.

July 26, 2008: Sixteen small bombs explode in Ahmedabad, killing 45.

May 13, 2008: Seven bombs hit crowded markets and streets outside Hindu temples in Jaipur, killing 80.

The last few days of coverage of blasts were really interesting. Did all the three important officials get shot when entering Cama hospital or were two of them shot outside Metro cinema? Well, CNN IBN said all three were shot at Cama and a couple of other channels said two of them were shot outside Metro. Which is these two is/was the fact?

There were attackers in Cama hospital as well? wow, that's news to me. Because about Cama hospital the coverage was only about these three officers getting killed. I didn't see any footage of patients in the hospital in the 48 or more-hour visual blasts on TV! The CST station received a a few secs in every 30-sec visual. The focus was on how the terrorists entered the station and of course also them firing at our Leopold's cafe. The toll says that 150 people probably died, out of which 100 were Indians. Most of our coverage was on the TAJ and the OBEROI. yes, there were attackers at these places for longer than the others, but they were also present at Nariman House. Did we hear about the blasts at Vile Parle? Nobody died there, so it doesn't make sense to cover it! But what affects us most is TAJ and Oberoi, because we often have dinners there or parties there or hair-cuts there?

So suddenly we all wake up to OUR city, the city that we suddenly love so much - Bombay or Mumbai. Who cares about CST that doesn't remind us of anything, we never traveled by trains, did we? We sometimes were at LEOPOLD's for sure.

If we love it so much why didn't we wake up after Malegaon two years ago? Why weren't we pained as much just because it was in the interiors of Maharashtra - the state that we inhabit? Why should we suddenly act now as the educated upper class because now it hit us badly in the areas that we inhabit? Why aren't we raising our voices against 'Sadhvi' Pragya Singh and supporting the officer whose work we 'supposedly' admire? Where were we when Kumar Ketkar's house was attacked on Jun 5th 2008 when he was performing his duty of belonging to the press? Where were we when Raj Thackeray attacked Bihari students? At our 'high' tea at the TAJ or Oberoi I suppose!

Thanks to all the news channels for covering the Luxury hotels so constantly because they remind us of Bombay, our childhoods and so on. The poor TATAs had losses there, and thankfully this time at least we will rise and do something because we can't go to our favourite place for a hair-cut or for dinner for a while.

We gave rise to this kind of journalism, all of us who feel bad at the loss of our childhood spots! We have focused only on ourselves for a long time and continue to do so. Why don't we want to know what happens to a worker in Malegaon or in Surat or even Telagana for that matter? Why go so far, why don't we want to know about people who live on the streets close to your high-rises? They aren't people enough or their lives aren't valuable enough for we have a billion of those on the streets? Why does it matter that we are size '0s' or '1s'? How come we don't devote that much concern to fellow human beings across the street?

How come the blasts at railway stations not over a year ago, could not raise our 'love' for the city? We such high and mighty educated people don't get affected till 'we' get killed! Then Shobha Des of the world will emerge and tell us how we should not rest in peace anymore. We shall also ask Juhi Chawlas and Aaftab Shivadasanis of the world for their opinions on this act of terror. They have nothing much to say than that they 'condemn' the act for sure, but we HAVE to know what they think. We shall also ask Kapil Sibal to reiterate everything that we present in our channel 24*7 and also allow him to make ridiculous statements like the killing of the police officers was a planned act! We shall also continue to speculate about Pakistan and its terrorists and cache in on the 'international' status of this issue. We may even try to divert this as an 'attack on foreigners' and forget the Indians who were killed in the process. We always want an easy way out. But this time it is a little hard, because this time it isn't railway stations alone.
There has been a lot of economic loss, hasn't there?