Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My reply to Mr. Madhvan Narayan (his defence for media)

Response to http://tinyurl.com/amitabhmasand: reply of Mr. Narayan to Mr. Amitabh.
(backdrop: Rajeev masand from CNN-IBN called Akshay kumar a jackass for kumar visited ill RK Laxma (legendary cartoonist for his film publicity. In his blog, Mr. Narayan has defended media to an extent and shown other side and my reply is to the reply of Mr. Narayan which he gave to to Mr. Amitabh)

Dear Mr. Madhvan,

I am writing this letter as reply to your mail which was your reply to Big B

At the outset, I would like to let you know, Yes, I m fan of Amitabh Bachchan’s acting and no denying to it, But I am no fan of Mr. Akshay kumar or have no ill-bias against you (I hope you know that) or Mr. Rajeev. My reply is purely to the reaction of Mr. Bachchan to “jackass” phrase used by Mr. Rajeev and your reply to Big B.

I would also mention that I have enjoyed whatever little conversation I managed to have with you and would thank you for letting me have that privilege where in I could discuss few stuff with you despite your busy schedule and high profile post that you hold.

Now to start with the reason I am writing you this letter

Media is a very important arm of our democracy and has huge responsibility in our democratic setup and to sustain it. Print media to certain extent has fulfilled it. But electronic media has very mixed and colourful score card.

The rat race started in electronic media which is backed by media houses who eyes only top line / bottom line; profit margins and TRPs have taken the society as a whole to new low. In this entire scenario media cannot take a moral high ground or pass the buck to certain sections of society (film fraternity included). The arrogant nature and close ears with fiefdom mindset of certain media journalist are causing trouble to these thick skinned journo’s in digesting the reaction / reply from the other side of table.

Before dissecting the issue further, I will readily accept your view to an extent that using the illness of legend Shri. RK Laxman is cheap. To this, I will add up that using illness of any human being for cheap publicity is bad, and if human being whose illness is used is an old man then it is worse and if he is celebrity old man, who didn’t receive the care he then deserved, then its crime. Now my question to media is that how on the earth anyone except Akshay kumar and legendary cartoonist got to know about the visit? Isn’t it a plain simple logic Kumar took certain greedy and cheap media guy and video man who with cold heart as that of kumar covered the whole act and also aired it / published it for cheap monetary gains and TRP? And if Kumar is called “jackass” for his act, and that he is called rightly so, than what is the definition of those media people from YOUR fraternity who not only covered this cheap act but also even aired it. And please don’t come out with explanation that media wanted to expose the cheap act because if media had not supported shameful act of Kumar then this publicity stunt would have never been successful. Here again I would put emphasis that media was equally responsible for humiliating the legend as was Akshay kumar. So I request to media please do not take moral high ground or have victimization stand.

There have been cases where media instigated the person to commit suicide in front of camera for cheap TRPs, there are also cases where victim / injured is been covered with cold blood instead of acting in capacity of human to help the victim / injured. The vendetta against Shri Narendra Modi is again one of the best example where he is lambasted by fake news and then there is no courtesy of apologizing even when proven wrong (read NDTV and CNN IBN here, along with few noted journalist). If media stops airing paid news and giving importance to trivial gossips then I guess the above problem would never have occurred. Again, media dug this hole for such low act to get some petty TRP and in a smart manner it accused the user and recipient of this hole. To me the one who digs this kind of pot hole is equally and more responsible.

The trade union mindset in the media fraternity is good enough for someone (especially celebrity) to earn a bad name even without committing equally bad deed. There are times when extra enthusiastic media people infringes the privacy of people (celebrity included) and the basic humanly reaction of the people is scandalized by entire media through groupism. One of the best comparable and recent example, few months back, a camera man violated the security cordon of Indian Cricket team to get few pictures of Indian star cricketers and in that bid he did managed to hit Harbhajan Singh on the forehead, which was clearly visible in the video footage and all bhajji did was react by pushing the camera aside. The entire media except Times Now scandalized as “bhajji man handles media yet again”. Not one TV journo questioned camera man about his violation of security cordon (which is a CRIME), and leave aside seeking apology from the channel for which he worked. 30 minutes non-stop coverage was good enough to take the cheap revenge from bhajji for the act for which he was not even responsible. Again when Hrthik Roshan bashed up media person at Shirdi when the cameramen was trying to infringe privacy of Roshan family inside the temple, did the media questioned this cheap act of camera man & journo’s to follow the people in Temple with the camera and with a purpose to violate the privacy and not to pray? Why is that cameraman given cushion despite committing such a creepy act, what I would define as heinous crime and insulting the purity of temple for sake of TRP of the channel?

If it is agreed for a moment that media does not have trade union mindset, even then for sake of money and TRP’s the channel has stoop so low in its own individual capacity. In the case of paid news, who is to be blamed, only the party or even media, I would reckon media is equally and in fact more guilty for using its mass believing medium for spreading biased news.

Media is the best case where the serial rapist pleads to be victim and then acts as judge to announce the punishment it also claps in group as audience too.

I agree celebrity are equal responsible and even we viewers / audiences also have high share in such crimes for I do believe, the idea which rules society (celebrity / media / layman included) is “jo dikhta hai woh beekta hai and jo ek baar beek gaya woh hi baar baar dikhta hai”. The media is used as tool for cheap publicity and fake news to get score level with one’s enemy or for some monetary gains. The people using media are as criminal as media itself. But larger question is why do media allow all this? Is it for the sake of money? And then why does it take moral high ground when it gets caught. Media should either call itself as entertainment channel / medium or should have disclaimer that “News shown could be affected by the personal and corporate bias of the anchor or channel”.

In all I just want to say that in the current degradation media should not claim to be victim for it is one of the leading culprit. The solution is self-introspection by the media instead of buck passing the fault to every another person.

I am too small in compared to experience I have in front of you, and in case of being offensive with the words and expression I would apologize but the idea and content attracts no apology.

Thanking you

Mr. Jaymin Panchal

(Who religiously reads your tweets and occasionally interacts with you on twitter)


  1. Wooh! Thats one huge post.

    Although, I agree that media should behave itself, I dont a a reason to believe that it will, at least on it own.

    We get what we demand. As long as the people will keep watching this kind of media, it will remain. Therefore, the change has to come at the demand side and not supply side (simple market economics ;) )

    btw, I think you should consider spacing out your paragraphs. Makes it easier to read :)

  2. You've a point there.There must be media presence to catch AK's grin.
    However, my point is left-lib journalists take a dig at celebrities and politician selectively, depending who they like or dislike. I follow Mr Madhavan on twitter. Man has great satire and there my following ends. The moment he cheaply n routinely makes fun of BJP and its old respectable leaders, I don't agree with him. Madhavan carefully avoids any mention of G-family and SRK. Why? If he is fair as he claims to be why not treat all equally? He gets away with it 'cause firstly, he is polite and secondly, people can't match his humour so they give him margin n ignore it.

  3. @Aditya: Thanks for commenting. Also ur suggestion for presenting is taken and implemented.
    I disagree a bit on the comment; As although media house owner has media in to business; still it is not "jatte da dhaba" tht it has to serve what is demanded. Media cannot b termed n compared in normal business economics n ppl doing it, India n society is getting doomed. Media is medium to get information / knowledge and not to exchange antiques which is paid. And if it works this then media should stop its hypocrisy as "yeh galat ho raha hai". Every one is to b blamed, and it includes even u and me both.

  4. @Lata - Thanks for the comment and accept ur point whole heartedly. The selective bias is worst for INDIA

  5. I have become your fan.
    I am following you now. Great analyses.

  6. You said it all with elegance yet with impeccable words. Truly I am proud of you that there are people who can stand by the truth. Keep it up sir.

  7. it just couldn't have been put in a better way. i totally agree to what you wrote. it's a great read gives one a lot a to think about...
    keep it up :)

  8. Late reaction...but better late than never!
    I agree with you that the media, too, is to blame. But what we do need to understand here is that change doesn't come in a day. The media reports such things because people watch such things. Until the 'jackass' comment was made, not one person was taking that view of the episode. My point here is that to change the way media works, one has to get into it. Sensationalism is the order of the day, because sensationalism is appreciated. Once sensationalism is ignored, it will surely die out. People need to get into media and change the way things work, by reporting things that make a difference. And not just reporting, unbiased analyzing too. So that our celebrities, who use the media for cheap publicity, get a piece of their own medicine! Simple matter of work ethics and moral responsibility!