Thursday, December 4, 2008

News- the bad and the good.

News bytes over the last few days have left me thinking we were much better off without cable tv and the prolification of news channels. Like I never fail to tell my husband, the news is the news is the news. Just hearing it on 10 different channels doesn't make it any different. But the husband continues to surf news channels, and the very news channels seem determined to prove me wrong and prove the husband right to surf.

Maj. Sandeep Unnikrishnan fell to a terrorist's bullets last week in Mumbai. His loss is something that will affect his loved ones every day of their lives.
But what was media's interest in the same? To glorify a slain martyr, brave to his last breath, or to sensationalise anything and everything to gain that edge over its competitor?

We were shown clippings of his mother at his side as he lay in state. One would think that the media could let a heart broken mother grieve over her son in private, allow her some last few precious minutes alone with her son.. but still, maybe it is the media's job to bring to its viewers the last images of its warriors. Certainly we felt that much sadder for seeing his mother weep over her son.
But what followed was nothing short of a farce.

Firstly, the media reports that the Major's father was upset that while the Karnataka CM had considered the funeral worthy enough to attend, the Kerala CM did not deem it worthy enough. Anyway, later, as Sandeep gained more prominence as a national martyr, the Kerala CM deemed it time to visit the family.
And THEN media reported that Mr.Unikrishnan refused to meet VS Achuthanandan. It went further to take footage of the visit. What interest could we regular citizens have had in knowing whether a CM visited Maj. Sandeep's house or not, and whether his father greeted him or not? But the news channel sensed a "breaking news" and went on to record an ill-advised CM trying to sneak inside Maj. Sandeep's house(!!!), Mr. Unnikrishnan getting livid on being shut out of his own home, and a grief maddened father abusing the CM, and shutting the door on his face.

Enough was enough, one would have thought.
But no! it went on to take the Kerala CM's reaction to being abused and being shown the door..... and then the dear CM goes one step further in sheer insensitivity and thoughtlessness. He reacts, asking whether, if not for Maj.Sandeep, any dog would visit Mr. Unnikrishnan's house. Hurray! The media channel had got its "scoop". This particularly distasteful comment did the rounds on ALL tv channels, and the issue of the day became whether the Kerala CM should resign for his statements.

But apparently, what the initial news channel and ALL subsequent channels conveniently omitted to say was that the CM had made this insensitive comment in reply to a question by the media on what he thought of Mr. Unnikrishnan's remark. Apparently, and this I got to know from a programme on Asianet, the whole sequence of the interview was not telecast- the question was omitted, only the answer went on tv. .

WHY does the media believe in pouring ghee on fire? What was the NEED to ask the Kerala CM what he thought about being called names, and being shut out of a house? Obviously no one would like it, esp when it was in full view and hearing of the entire nation. Especially when the said person was the Chief Minister of a state. And of course the CM played into their hands with that now notorious statement.

The point is that a family instead of mourning the loss of their precious son, now finds itself concerned with making statements that they did not mean to cause any offence/anguish to the CM, that the media has twisted their remarks and so on and so forth... For naturally, they would not like to be held the reason behind a CM's resignation.

Maybe at least now the media can let them mourn in peace?

* * * * * * * * * * *

However there was another bit of news this week, which tho' shocking and unbelievable to the core, was VERY welcome.

This was on Sr. Abhaya's death.
A death which occured 18 yrs ago, and which was reported to be a suicide (by drowning)for reasons unknown. Which was never accepted by Sr. Abhaya's family. A death which has finally been proved to be a murder. And the reason- that the Sister had caught another sister and two priests in a compromising act!

Apparently, Sr. Abhaya had felt thirsty and had gone to the kitchen for a drink of water, when she happened to see the three of them. Caught with their pants down, they struck Sr. Abhaya with the blunt head of an axe behind her ear. And then the three of them shoved an unconscious Sr. Abhaya into the well in the compound. Where she drowned to death.

Makes me wonder- which do these men and woman of God consider a greater sin? Having sex (or whatever it is they were doing!) or killing a fellow human being? Obviously they were in no doubt that they had to save their skins at any cost. Even at the cost of another's life.

Also made me wonder in passing - would those two priests have taken Confessional in these last 18 years? How would they have been able to hear another's misdeeds and thoughts while having committed such a HUGE crime?


WhatsInAName said...

I agree, JLT. Maybe Shri Unni should have asked the news channels to get out of his life too! Maybe then they would have realised how heartless they have become!
:( I am sick and tired of everything. There was a time I was urging my BIL's daughter who is in US, to come back to India. Now I think I am going to send my daughters abroad soon. Atleast they will be safe there! :(

Prats said...

The media turned everything that happened in those 3 days into a huge sentiments were spared nor was their some privacy for the departed souls.
The CM thought he'll get mileage but he only got negative publicity...what he doesn't realise is he can't dish out anything in the name of power.
What happened to Sr. Abhaya is very sad...the heinous acts just displays how people hide behind religion and God to get away with crime..

Just Like That said...

WIAN: Times are such that no place is 100% safe anymore. And what a sad statement that is to make.
We need to collectively contribut towards making this a safer place for our children...

Prats: Welcome to my space. :-)Apparently now, they are thinking of media management as well.. when managing such crises in the future. Hah!
On Sr. Abhaya, can you believe that the trio remained silent and carried on with their 'Godly' lives for EIGHTEEN years???? This was such a HUGE case in Malluland, esp for the way it remained unsolved. There even was a movie made on the death/suicide/murder.
Everybody suspected that it was a murder, but nobody knew WHY. They all suspected it had to do with Sr. Abahya falling privvy to some well kept secrets of the Church.
But THIS was a shocker to everybody.

Suma said...

that was shocking!!!!

its also these peopel that our society needs to guard against...the problem is identifying them now :(

Mama - Mia said...

its all maddening! and the point is, noamount of media bashing will help! they will be back to doing crap yet again! for TRPs! for them its a business!

and i dont understand how by denying yourself pleasures of life, you can offer better service to god! and then you kill someone to hide the fact that you were doing something you were NOT supposed to do! mad!