Saturday, September 20, 2008

Brave death, Sham Coverage...

At martyr inspector M.C Sharma's funeral, we were witness to a couple of truly poignant scenes when the the flower decked body of this brave officer received a gun salute by a Delhi police contingent. Family and friends bid a tearful farewell to this slain inspector. It was truly touching to see a distraught son unable to perform last-rites on his father. 

Had the media resorted to a sensible coverage of the event, we surely would not have been left with a sour taste in our mouths, as is the case now. The utterly irresponsible coverage by the television media and the visible indifference of the 'dignitaries-at-the-occassion'  really left a lot to de desired.

Firstly, i was amazed at the scale of the coverage. My mind kept questioning me as to where these politicians were when six valiant policemen had died in an attempt to foil the Parliament Attack bid. Six families had to sacrifice their sons for one Afzal Guru. I can distinctly remember that the processes that followed a conferment of 'gold medals' to the slain officers were considerably low-key. I request you not to misconstrue my intentions here, for, I do not wish to drag the deceased officer (Mr. Sharma) into this discussion and attempt to besmirch his name. 

Many 'dignitaries' from both the houses of parliament happened to 'grace' the occassion. It was a disturbing sight to see Mr. Murli Manohar Joshi and Ms. Sheila Dikshit smiling and chatting away with no visible respect or consideration for the sombreness of the situation. The respected leader of the Opposition, Mr L.K.Advani did not let go of even this chance to take a dig at the union government. 

I quote:
"How long will this process of allowing our brave soldiers and security men to die at the hands of the dastardly assassins, these terrorists continue? Is there going to be an end to this or not? I believe that unless there is a fundamental change in the attitude and approach of those in authority, the political leadership, this is not going to end." 

Well Advaniji, this was neither the right time nor the right place...

The Media would not be left far behind in this mockery. As scribes scurried to the martyr's distressed parents, I could not help but wonder 'Will the family get no private moment amidst all this turmoil'? The journos badgered the unfortunate parents with highly insipid questions like "Aapko kya lagta hai? Kya humien unko muh tod jawaab dena chahiye?" (Do you feel we should give the terrorists a befitting reply? ). Sharma's father had problems of his own. When posed with that aforesaid inconsequential query, he started off with his own pension related woes. He was smoothly whisked away by some people and media also did not wish to 'interrogate' him any further. Media persons are clinically rude sometimes i must say, for they want to cover only those people who are ready to give them desirable snippets.

Though Mr. Sharma is supposed to have been a highly decorated officer in the DPS ranks, his family is (very evidently) rooted in typical middle class values. He, being the sole earning member of this family, it was pretty natural for his mother to start thinking of how the future shall take its course. What was not natural was the media-probing on this aspect. The crippled mother went on to publicly express her anguish and anxiety ,reflecting strong cynicism about the future in the process. As the cameras panned across the people surrounding her, it was all the more disturbing to see a couple of females grinning at her utterances.

This is definitely not the first time when the media and the politicians have made a solemn occassion look like such a sham. For a long time now, people from all walks of life, eminent speakers and leaders have urged the media to act in a responsible manner. All of us want the media to refrain from reducing people and their emotions to mere reality bytes. All of us want the politicians to feel truly empathetic for people like M.C Sharma; after all it is solely because of officers like him that they are able to talk numbers and take credit in those 'post-successful-operation' press conferences. O Mantriji, a funeral pyre is not a parliament session where you have to mark your presence to achieve the minimum quorum. Try and feel the pinch. Pray, do not be there to just make your presence felt.

Notwithstanding Innumerable such instances and scathing criticism, the 'tamasha' still continues. And it promises to continue unless our news-channels and 'mantris' miraculously manufacture some conscience and sensibility in their already-stoned medulla oblongatas.

1 comment:

Pagan Winter said...

This post is not going to make an iota of difference to the situation. I have stopped caring.

Don't get me started on them scribes.
Just the other day there was an article about a boy stealing a cell from a women in the ladies compartment, along with a pic of the incident. I don't know if the person who took the pic was a journo herself, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was. For it seems only they are serendipitous enough to have their cameras/camera-phones out at just the right times. Forget trying to help the victim.