mumbai -the pain and the shame

I speak because I exist. Had I existed just because I speak, I would have never known silence. I imposed silence on myself for the past few days, not just to mourn but to watch. And as I watch, words and thoughts are piling up and pressurizing me to write. Newschannels have left me numb- with pain and anger.

Mumbai was tragic. It was terrifying. Even without the melodramatic exaggerated expressions of our newscasters it was terrifying. Death became statistical while Drama became the priority. Even as the brave and committed men in uniform were battling on behalf of us, everything was presented on the little screens with the usual fierce journo-competition that takes precedence over prudence and proper conduct. What if even as they kept claiming that the big hotels had no TV connections, someone near me in Chennai calls his terrorist-buddies and tell that there are commandos being air dropped and there is a man with a rocket launcher? Barkha and Arnab were at their usual best – dramatizing even the English cricket team’s decision not to play two more matches. In fact, I learnt that VPSingh had died much later in the day since he did not get the flash news that just gets in– the English team was more newsworthy for our news givers. And then came the discussions!

I was spared of the dramatic loading of a gun by a superstar but a starry writer compensated with a ’wowable’ response. Shoba’a’ is infuriated and indignant. Enough has become enough for her. She had the audacity to say live on TV that being the highest tax-payers in the country they needed more protection. Is tax a bullet proof suite (pun intended) ? Just because I pay less tax, as I earn less than the exquisitely dressed lady, should I take a couple more bullets? I am not supporting the idiotic if not chauvinistic comment from a saffron goon about lipstick and candles. I do not expect anything sensible or sensitive from them. But Ms.De ? She was proud of the whole of India in her book, and now she is becoming as regional as the MNS goons.

Mumbai means as much to me as Chennai. The murders in the railway station are as pathetic as those in the star restaurants. But is this the time to say enough is enough for Mumbai alone. It is now (as always) the whole of India. The pain is national. The shame is national. The whole country has had enough of rubbish- the latest being the regional chauvinism.

And it was not even a Mumbai citizen’s natural reaction to an assault on her/his peace and existence. It was the rich man’s annoyance that his citadels of comfort too are mere illusions in the face of terror which had hitherto struck mostly people on the streets, buses and trains. This was the shameless sub-text of those TV discussions. Their anguish though called a Mumbai citizen’s anger was more a response to the affront on the protection that their affordability was promising. True, Mumbai is the frequent target, but  the second attack should have seen all these people out shouting and demanding a better system in place. Even now, if this nth number of attack had not been at those two landmark-but-rich-man’s hotels, I wonder how much of real tears would have dripped down those cheeky cheeks. This was the shameful shadow of the terrible tragedy.

We have lit the candles, carried placards, condoned and cried in real pain or with appropriate emotions as the correct response, and now we shall get ready to vote for the same bunches- our politicians, who have continued to prove their mettle. A Marxist dared to say no dog would care about a house- a house in which resides the father of a slain army man! A minister quoted film dialogues! BJP in their confusion over whether or not to praise the slain ATS chief say that the anger on politicians is not fair. The congress having decided to sack its chief minister could not find a replacement even after 30 hours! Thank god we did not need the permission of the `beloved’ Bush to say we are angry. If this is the way this country is going to behave, then will its million Gods be able to do anything?

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25 Comments on “mumbai -the pain and the shame”

  1. rudhran Says:

    for those who can read tamil this is a good post on this topic-
    http://nernirai.blogspot.com/2008/12/breaking-news-broken-journalism.html

  2. kaargi Says:

    நல்ல அலசல். மீடியாக்கள் மனித உயிர்களில் கூட உயர் வர்க்கம் vs உழைக்கும் வர்க்க பேதம் காட்டப்படுவதை நாம் காண்பது இது முதல் முறையும் அல்ல இதுவே கடைசி முறையாக இருக்கப்போவதுமில்லை.

    சில மாதங்களுக்கு முன் நடந்த ஆரூஷி கொலை வழக்கின் போது மீடியாக்கள் காட்டிய “கொலைவெறித் தனமான” தீவிரப்போக்கு நினைவு கூறத்தக்கது.

    இவர்களின் ஒரே கவலை டி.ஆர்.பி ரேட்டிங்! இன்றைக்கு மும்பை – இன்னும் ஒரு வாரம் கழித்து சல்மான்கானின் அடுத்த காதலி. எதுவாயிருந்தாலும் அதை எப்படி சென்சேஷலைஸ் செய்வது என்பதே முக்கிய கவலையாய் இருக்கும். செய்தி??? அது இரண்டாம் பட்சம் கூட இல்லை


  3. தீவிரவாதிகள் அனைவரிடமும் சாட்டிலைட் தொலைபேசிகள் – தொடர்ச்சியாக தகவல் கொடுத்து, பெற்றுக் கொண்டே இருந்திருக்கிறார்கள். ஊடகங்களின் நேரடி ஒளிபரப்பு உலகமெங்கும் தெரிய – உள்ளே பதுங்கியிருந்து வெறியாட்டம் நடத்திய அவர்களுக்கும் பொறுப்பில்லா ஊடகங்களின் தயவில் ராணுவ, காவல்துறை நடவடிக்கைகள் உடனுக்குடன் போயிருக்கும்.

    ஊடகங்களின் பொறுப்பற்ற தன்மையின் உச்சத்தைத்தான் போன வாரம் பார்த்தோம். நீங்கள் குறிப்பிட்டபடி ஒரு முன்னாள் பிரதமரின் மரணச் செய்திகூட முக்கியத்துவம் தரப்படாமல் போய்விட்டது.

    என்னைக் கேட்டால் கமாண்டோக்கள் உள்ளே நுழைவதற்குள் அனைத்து ஊடகக் காரர்களையும் உள்ளே அனுப்பியிருக்கவேண்டும்!

    தலைவர்களின் இயலாமை அல்லது அலட்சியம் + திறமையற்ற அரசு இயந்திரங்கள் + ஊடகங்களின் பொறுப்பற்ற செயல் = அப்பாவி உயிர்களின் கல்லறைகள் மீது கொடிகட்டிப் பறக்கும் தேசிய அவமானம்.

  4. arnoldedwin Says:

    I totally agree with you Doctor, Bakha is always exaggerated. Like nernirai said in their post,let these visual media people report and write for print media; then they will realize what pain is. Shame on NDTV for not mentioning anything about V.P.Singh who served for our country.


  5. //Mumbai means as much to me as Chennai//

    Very true doctor.In a short span of time you could get mixed with Mumbai cosmo peoples.

    By the way I would request you to pour your opinion in which blog to say and where not.Recently I have gone to a blog and there are some idiotic abuses on your valuable comment in the name of anonymous.

  6. Rabiya Says:

    excellent rudhran sir ,do you think that even there is no such attacks on mumbai v.p.singh death would have deserved flash news? definetly no these were media which made him villain of the upper caste,as he was the architect of mandal commission .do u know the dimisal of the former president K.R .Narayanan was also not in the flash news .we can understand for whom& where these media stands for


  7. Dear Dotor,

    I reciprocate the same as your feelings.

    When will we have some responsible media in this country? When Rajiv Gandhi wanted to put restictions on their behaviour, every journalist have jumped in action saying that he is confining our rights, the democrocy is being killed, bla bla bla, they were all on their toes and finally Rajiv was forced to withdraw his intentions.

    Examples of media atrocities:

    1. In Agra summit between Musharraf and the then Prime Minister : The Summit just started, In a break, Sushma Swaraj comes out for a break, Immediately the media jumps on her, compelling her to give her some statements though there were no concusions are even any sort of dialouges were started. Sushma swaraj, says some thing and the whole Indian media started interperating in their own irresponsible way as if the conclusion of the Summit is arrived. It obviously irritated the Pakistany delgation and the whole focus on the summit was diverted towars an unsuccessful one. Had the media acted responsibly and allowed the delegates to continue with what they had on their tables, may be the history would have been some thing different.

    2. In 2006, a proffessor in One of the univercites in Delhi was having an affire with one of his students. Suddenly his wife comes to know about it, the News channel called “AAJ TAK” named hin as “LOVE GURU” and framed a beautiful story which is nothing less than a film story, and continued to show the fight between 2 ladies as if it is a nationwide problem. The shame ful thing is that viewers allover India were forced to see this non sense continously for 24 hours and that too for 2 days. Shame on all Indians and AAJ TAK.

    3. Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan has died for anoble cause, his parents are still in the sorrow to recover from the loss of thier beloved son. In one part his father was expressing his proudness to be a father of such a brave son. But media is never bothered about his bravery or the sorrow of the family. Where as they are more interested in what happened between the politician and the family. Hey Idiots, A father has lost his son, His own blood, Nation has lost a brave soldier, But you are keen in making the whole incident as politicians are being mocked, Oh God, please don’t for give them, In spite of knowing that what they are doing, they enjoy the freedom to do so.

    Doctor as you rightly said ” Even the millions of Gods also cannot do anything.

  8. me1084 Says:

    well said doctor!

  9. Sukdev Says:

    The role of media on Mumbai terrorist attack is highly condemnable as they all create a war-like situation against Pakistan. One thing is very sure war would be a futile attempt to bring the favourable result. Last time Vajpayee government reacted in the same vein by deploying army troops around the border when Parliament was attacked. They imposed sanctions on Pakistan. Subsequently India has become a permanent target for terrorist attacks and that is what apparent in recent bomb blasts and attacks. I think we have entered into a vicious cycle.

  10. Bala Says:

    Dr.,

    The UPA Govt has been inept and sleeping for all these years. Atleast now the Media has woken this inactive Govt, even though they did not play a proper role. Let’s hope something comes out of this. Thanks for your blog.

  11. me1084 Says:

    Pls check out what gnani says doctor. He has whipped the English media angels what they deserved.

  12. rudhran Says:

    gnani is right. it once again reaffirms my opinion that srinvivasan was the most cultured (on those two days) of all the newscasters

  13. Shankar Says:

    Dear Doctor, I completely agree with you. But, we are helpless. We have to depend on the same news channels to receive news, without objectivity and acting to protect the rich and the affluent. Would it be an excuse to say that the newscasters were overenthusiastic in the tough competition among themselves ? As you have rightly said, the myth that people with money could not be harmed by any kind of terror acts has been broken and that is what which has sent chills down the spines of many of the celebrities, who spoke about the failure of the system in many news channels. This has hit them like tsunami. They will not have the same comfort and pleasant feeling when they enter into the bars of any hotels after 26/11. Unlike the past when celebrities talk in news channels after a terror strike, this time the horror and shock was very visible, since till now these places were considered as god’s place.

  14. ஜோ Says:

    சரியான சாட்டையடி!


  15. After Reading this article , Really what you want me to say..except this two drops of tears


  16. என் உண்ர்வும் அதே டாக்டர். லைவ்வாக நம் கமெண்டோக்களின் நடமாட்டத்தையும் அவர்கள் எங்கு நிற்கிறார்கள் எனபதையும் காட்டுகிறார்கள். அதை வெளியில் உள்ள தீவிரவாதிகள் டி.வியில் பார்த்து உள்ளே உள்ள தீவிரவாதிகளுக்குத் தகவல் சொல்ல மாட்டார்களா?? கேட்டால் ஜாமர் வைத்து செல்போன் தொடர்பு துண்டிக்கப் பட்டு விட்டது என்கிறார்கள். இவர்கள் இப்படி செய்வார்கள் என்று தெரிந்துதானே அந்த பயங்கரவாத நாய்கள் சாட்டிலைட் ஃபோனோடு வருகிறார்கள். no doubt நம் கமெண்ட்டோக்கள் சிலரின் இறப்பிற்கு இந்த மீடியா லைவ்வும் ஒரு காரணம்.


  17. //It was the rich man’s annoyance that his citadels of comfort too are mere illusions in the face of terror which had hitherto struck mostly people on the streets, buses and trains. This was the shameless sub-text of those TV discussions.//

    //The murders in the railway station are as pathetic as those in the star restaurants.//

    டாக்டர், ஆங்கில செய்தி தொலைக்காட்சிகளில்,தேசபக்தியை கமர்ஷியல் விளம்பரங்களுக்கு முன்னும் பின்னும் விற்பனை செய்து கொண்டிருந்தவர்கள் யார்? ஏன் திடீரென இந்த விற்பனைக்கு வந்தார்கள் என்பதை ஒப்பனை இல்லாமல் எழுதியிருக்கின்றீர்கள்.

  18. bmurali80 Says:

    There is a cost for “now”.

    TV channels have long back lost their dignity in giving out breaking news. CNN was the one to come up with the concept of “Breaking News” but after 2001 attacks they had a progressive approach. (i.e.) A news first starts as a “Developing Story” and that turns to a “Breaking Story”.

    You like it or not Burkha Dutt was praised for her “Kargil War Journalism” and I guess she won some award for that. She just tried the same on the Mumbai terror attacks!!

    The “We the People” show on NDTV can be simply called “We the Rich/Elite”. See the women/men sitting there with stylish English and demanding action by the government because they pay more taxes!! This view was endorsed by the South Mumbai MP too, so “they” think the same and report the same!!!!!

    A 10 minutes delay in reporting a breaking news is not going hurt anyone, even 1 hour is not going to be a problem.

    Again there is a cost for “now”. This time it was the security forces.

  19. Sarika Says:

    wonderful blog. exactly my sentiments. read gnani’s too and it was bang-on.

    Btw, i just found these two links while trying to find if there was any way to express our grievance/annoyance with the media.

    http://www.rediff.com/movies/2008/dec/02mumattacks-vishal-versus-the-news-channels.htm

    http://smallchange.in/

    i dont know if this will be of any help sir. but if it does, why not sign it? would like to know ur view on this.

  20. Shilpa Says:

    Wonderful article.Those who can read Hindi are advised to visit http://literatureindia.com?hindi to read Dr Chandra Mohan’s article on mumbaiblasts and media’s opportunism in this tragedy.

  21. valaipookkal Says:

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    Please check your blog post link here

    If you haven’t registered on the Directory yet, please do so to update your new blog posts and bring before your work to the large base of Tamil readers worldwide.

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    Valaipookkal Team


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