Yearning for Sense…

Once an issue becomes a main­stream news item in India, you can be sure every major reli­gious group, polit­i­cal par­ty, stu­dent orga­ni­za­tion, and celebri­ty will have an opin­ion on it. After the Shiv Sena, it’s now the All India Minori­ties Front’s (AIMF) turn to freely express their views on Orkut while liv­ing in demo­c­ra­t­ic India.

What are odds that the Akhil Bharatiya Vid­yarthi Parishad (ABVP) will not be the next to express their views from Gujarat?

How does one issue become main­stream? Well, one of the TV chan­nels has to take the bait, and the rest will fol­low. The print and elec­tron­ic media will then aggres­sive­ly offer the right plat­form for every­one to get their views mis­com­mu­ni­cat­ed, tak­en out of con­text, and mis­quot­ed. Com­pet­ing with a dozen oth­er news chan­nels and news­pa­pers, the one cre­at­ing the most sen­sa­tion­al­ism and mis­un­der­stand­ing will win the most eye­balls, goes the wis­dom. There will be talk shows with pun­dits, and opin­ion polls, and pub­lic talks shows.

In all this brouha­ha, two things hap­pen. Not only is the true issue mis­rep­re­sent­ed to var­i­ous extents and typ­i­cal­ly blown out of pro­por­tion, but oth­er sig­nif­i­cant news­wor­thy items are all but ignored.

How many of you rec­ol­lect tomorrow’s British PM-to-be, Gor­don Brown’s high pro­file vis­it to India? No? Not sur­pris­ing, because the Indi­an media nev­er knew of any­thing else hap­pen­ing in the world apart from Big Sis­ter Shilpa Shet­ty in Big Broth­er!

Not only is this phe­nom­e­non unique of India. For e.g., in the US, the retire­ment of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair­man was rel­e­gat­ed to the back­ground over more impor­tant stuff like celebri­ties being jailed for drunk dri­ving.

While US Cable TV was obsessed with drunk-dri­ver-celebri­ties (DDC, a long want­ed title):
“Pres­i­dent Bush skipped the final ses­sion of the G8 Sum­mit, Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney need­ed to have his heart pace­mak­er replaced, and NASA’s Space Shut­tle Atlantis pre­pared for launch!”

In India, it’s Crick­et Coach Con­tro­ver­sy, Big Sis­ter abused on Big Broth­er, the AAA (Abhi-Aish-Amitabh) wed­ding, Big Uncle kiss­ing Big Sis­ter, so on and so forth. Too much cov­er­age, too many opin­ions, too many moun­tains out of mole­hills. When this hap­pens — and its hap­pen­ing with increas­ing fre­quen­cy — I need a break. To regain my sense, reju­ve­nate my capac­i­ty to rea­son, to make this world mean­ing­ful again.

Then I lis­ten to Kumar’s Nir­gu­ni Bha­jans (or read this review) , or Mozart’s 40th in G Minor. Watch Ek Doc­tor Ki Maut, (or read this review by my friend, Asuph), or dream of tak­ing a yacht cruise like Gail Wynand in The Foun­tain­head. What can you do? Escape to the Himalayas by read­ing my Spi­ti Trav­el­ogue! Just kidding…though I do that too, some­times! 🙂

This entry was posted in cinema, culture, himalayas, India, media, music, nature, philosophy, politics, religion, Travel, U.S. and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Nice trav­el­ogue. I have got to plan that trip soon. By the way, you should lis­ten to Ravel’s Bolero. I like the build up and the cli­max. Also, Beethoven’s Moon­light Sonata, both the ada­gio and the presto agi­ta­to. Beau­ti­ful

  • Thanks, Ashok. Haven’t lis­tened to Bolero in years, will do that soon! Moon­light Sonata, on the oth­er hand, is reg­u­lar sta­ple…:-)

  • Iron­i­cal­ly, Orkut was cre­at­ed by a Turk­ish guy. And they call it ene­my of Islam? Wow!

  • Shailesh

    one can hard­ly “make this world mean­ing­ful again” by watch­ing ek doc­tor ki maut!!
    there is some­thing to be said about sado-masochism. it is in built in all of us. we must get it from the sea anemones!!

  • Shailesh: Well, it depends on your point-of-view. When I watch it, I’m not ‘only’ immers­ing myself into the sit­u­a­tion the movie cre­ates. I’m think­ing of the script writer, the direc­tor, & the pro­duc­er who had the courage to make this film in this real world.

    If you notice, all the exam­ples I’ve cit­ed are of those indi­vid­u­als who went against the cul­tur­al norm of their times and in the process, made the world more mean­ing­ful. They remind us that one needn’t be bound by one’s society’s norms — One can always rise above it.

    That’s why Kumar, Mozart, & so on…

  • Aha! So you are a Rand fan as well? You always sound­ed like tim­ber to me!! 😉
    Oh,maybe you should have a sep­a­rate post on music…you have the audi­ence for it.
    Lis­ten to Rachmaninov’s 1st and 2nd Symphonies.…more emo­tion­al, hero­ic, and mov­ing pieces I know not!

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