Friday, November 26, 2010

26/11- the big fat tamasha of the year

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I am having a range of emotions at this moment. from sadness, to frustration to anger to pity! well, the reason being the tamasha that was today. my morning started with remembering the martyrs of 26/11- the biggest terror attack on country till date. I, like millions of others, still can not forget that attack, my eyes still water and the memories of those visuals which were seen on TV do come back. every time I go to taj, or gateway, I do sense goosebumps erupt at the back of my neck. I can picturise the tragedy, and the shrieks of many. I can feel the terror. every time I see pictures of the police officers who died, there is a lump in my throat. I feel pain. and still, today, 2 years after the attack, I am saying that the emotions i expressed today were mixed, and definitely NOT in a desirable way.

The government and the media, and i will still say this though I am a part of the media, ended up making this day a big fat tamasha. I do not know a better word in English, hence tamasha. Govt held countless ceremonies of shraddhanjali. and media was stuck with this topic since today morning. I mean practically stuck. showing the clips, the pictures, the interview bytes from the politicians, broadcasting the special segments made for today, grabbing people and asking them about their feelings, and so on.  stop that! The tragedy that happened, happened. and please take this positively, but let the bygones be bygones. what is going to be achieved by being stuck with the same topic throughout the day? all those unfortunate people who were directly or indirectly affected by 26/11, are trying to get on with life. stop harassing them and rubbing in on their wounds. :(  and moreover, If you are really a social institution, and the so called fourth pillar, stop talking! its time to act! wake up the system! stop making this day a TRP grabbing occasion!

and media was not alone. the big boy- Govt of maharashtra did quite a few ridiculous things in last couple of days . one of them was suddenly making the security measures severe. there were police in the locals, on the railway station, there were random checks on the road in last couple of days. and its not that it happens everyday. all of these fellows mushroomed in last 3- 4 days. and when you go and ask them why, the answer is '26/11 hai na! to orders hai govt ka acche checking ka!'  trust me, I haven't heard a more idiotic and ridiculous reason in my entire life! somebody please explain the logic behind this. have the terrorists told you that they are going to attack on the same day again? are they too, celebrating this anniversary in their own way?(read- attacking again). and if they decide to attack on some other day( and they obviously will!), there is no need of security around?

frankly, the limitations of the security system were exposed to the world post 26-11 attacks. there was no vigilant coastal security, no updated communication devices, and shame on you India- no bulletproof jackets!!! after that there were big talks of updating the system. apparently, three submarines/shifts/naval aircraft carriers( I am not sure) were bought, and they were supposed to based at various coastal locations. today, two of them are not functioning, coz we do not have the needed technology nor technicians! no skilled personnel and hence, no use of that extravagant spending! the metal detectors on the train stations in Mumbai DO NOT work. leave the other stations, those on CST, do not work. and its rare that you can find police available all the time at the police booths on the train stations. what about that ??? there was a program launched in various cities called 'mission mrityunjay'. it was supposed to educate the youth about what to do in these disastrous situations. what happened to that???
what the hell are we going to do if the terror attack happens tomorrow? are we really prepared for it?

and then I hear that there happened peace marches across the city and they had event management team, media partners and sponsors! commercialization of the emotions! 

I feel sad. I don't know what to say when I see that Kasab is still alive, our judicial system can not hold a special urgent trial for some reason, our govt is stuck with these idiotic ideas about security, people commercialize the sadness,  and its become an occasion where TRP, publicity, artificiality and crocodile tears are at play. bravo! the Tamasha will continue years after years, and let all the beneficiaries prosper forever!  

Monday, November 15, 2010

I fit nowhere

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I do not believe that its been long again, and almost a month and half has passed without me writing anything! but this time around, i will attribute it to the life in big city ( i know, lets stop the fuss!) and lots and lots of work. anyways, here i am on a break of 2 days, thanks to my sore throat. the throat is literally in pits, and thats the worst thing for my job. even if I am without a limb or say couple of bones, nobody would bother as much if i am without a voice. see the news anchor has to speak, not dance. so sore throat is the worst thing and hence I am full on typing and minimal talking :D

well, to come to the point its been exactly 2 and half months since I took this new job, and finally feel 'into the groove!' works getting more and more, more enjoyable also, and I have started feeling 'included' in this media circle! Though as I interact with more and more people both inside and outside the media circle, I see two very strong stereotypes emerging. there are two groups in which people try to fit you. or rather, I would say people claim that they belong to one of these groups, and then the characterestics of that group are expected to be seen in all the people who might just slightly belong to the group.

 I will of course, elaborate. There is group A. I work in regional media and hence get to see this group more often. I have been seeing this group right from my college days. in my university class, at my work, everywhere. this is a group of regionalists. I do not know a better word, so i use this regionalists. what do I mean? Here, people expect that you are deeply into all the regional literature( esp the one from downtrodden), deeply into the regional journalism, know lot of inner secrets of this circle, cant speak decent English AND BOAST about it, are not really familiar with the latest happenings in this globalized, tech savvy world, and again BOAST ABOUT IT. Its taken for granted here that you have a very strong political view, you hate the channels like zoom and MTV, and understand all the very prayogik abstract poetry.
Now, I do not intend to put all the regional media men in this category, but i guess 70% would agree that they have many of these qualities, ( some may have all!) and at the back of your mind, you do expect a marathi patrakar to be like this.  
my question is- why?? well, now I do have certain qualities from above like deeply into regional literature, and do like the abstract art up to certain extent, and well, do dislike the zoom phenomenon to certain extent. but hey, I do not have a very very strong political view( you can say which is bad, i dunno), I am aware about lot of latest facts from around the world, and I MOST DEFINITELY have a good command over English. In fact, for past some years, I have been expressing only in English through my blogs. I do not like to pose as a typical patrakar with a kurta, and do have an ipod. and if that does not fit the bill of being a marathi patrakar, I am sorry, but I can not help it!

and then there is this other gang- 'you know, media and all'. they are the ones who have lost the touch with all their regionality, watch nothing except V, HBO, star world, Zee cafe, and sometimes zoom and some hindi GEC. they will stare at you blankly if you tell them about an old Hindi song, or a great regional work of art and literature. they will stare more if I say I do not drink, even socially, and I am engaged to the only guy I have dated. They will ask me what's marraathee news yaar? we really do not watch 'ghati' things. they almost faint when they hear me being equally fluent in both English and Marathi, in fact having a proper marathi accent so to say.
so I do not fit the bill here as well. the new age, hep media gang. will not be very inclusive of me. coz for them I might represent some of the 'passe'  values, and for the regionalists, i might be out of place coz i do not have lot of those stereotypes. My only question is, why categorize? why label? why cant we treat everybody as individuals having a mixture of lot of attributes? why cant we understand the fact that any person IS a member of more than one group at the same time? and why cant we stop making stereotypes??

all my fellow media men, and all my just fellows, do tell me. Even if nobody does, i will continue writing about it, but if you do, the chances are that the future posts will have less amount of questions! :)