Tag Archives: Social media
जैसे कि अंदेशा था दिल्ली में १६ दिसम्बर की रात हुए सामूहिक दुष्कर्म के प्रमुख अभियुक्त ने आत्महत्या कर ली। सरकारी सूत्रों की माने तो इस अति संवेदनशील प्रकरण में शामिल इस अभियुक्त ने तीन और बंदियों को अपने में समेटे हाई प्रोफाइल तिहाड़ जेल के एक बैरक में भोर के वक़्त आत्महत्या कर लिया। जाहिर है इस अभियुक्त की मौत के बाद इस गैंग रैप के असल कारण तक पहुचना असंभव हो जाएगा। किसी भी औसत दर्जे के विश्लेषक को भी ये समझने में जो अगर थोडा भी सचेत होकर इस मामले को १६ दिसम्बर की रात से ये कवर कर रहे हो समझ में आ जाएगा आसानी से अगर पहले नहीं समझा तो अब कि ये गैंग रैप असल में पूरी तरह से सुनियोजित था। किसने इस प्रकरण को मास्टरमाइंड किया बस अब यही एक बात पहेली बन के रह जायेगी। ठीक उसी तरह जिस तरह सबूतों की छेड़छाड़ के कारण आयुषि हत्याकांड एक पहेली बन के रह गयी ये मामला भी बन के रह जाएगा। कोर्ट से दोषी सजा पा जायेंगे और इस मामले का पटाक्षेप हो जायेगा। ये मामला भी इतिहास के गर्भ में समा जाएगा।
एक नामी सेक्युलर पब्लिकेशन का भी यही मानना है कि ये हत्या है आत्महत्या नहीं पर जैसा सेक्युलर प्रकाशकों के साथ होता है इस मामले को ख़ास रुख देने की कोशिश की गयी है। ये बताया गया इस सेक्युलर मैगज़ीन के द्वारा कि ये पुलिस की मिलीभगत या पुलिस की भूमिका इस सामूहिक दुष्कर्म में ना पते चले इसलिए इस प्रमुख अभियुक्त को सुनियोजित तरीके से खत्म कर दिया गया। ये तय है कि इस सेक्युलर प्रकाशक के अलावा जितने और मेनस्ट्रीम मीडिया के प्रकाशक है वे भी यही सतही कारण देंगे या फिर ये राग अलापेंगी कि भारतीय जेल सुरक्षित नहीं है। लेकिन यही मेनस्ट्रीम प्रकाशक और ऐसी सेक्युलर पत्रिकाएँ खामोश रह जाती है जब नक्सली समर्थक बिनायक सेन को सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने इस आधार पर जमानत दे दिया कि जेल के अन्दर सख्त सुरक्षा के चलते किसी तरह के खतरनाक चिट्ठी पत्री का आदान प्रदान नहीं हो सकता। जबकि ये असलियत सबको पता है कि जेल के अन्दर ही माफिया जिन्हें वी आई पी कैदी कहा जाता है ना सिर्फ हर तरह के ऐशो आराम भोगते है बल्कि जेल के अन्दर रह कर ही हर तरह की अवांछित गतिविधियों को अंजाम देते है।
ये तो उसी वक़्त समझ में आ गया था कि मामला उस तरह का है नहीं जैसा कि दर्शाया जा रहा है जब पुलिस के अधिकारियो ने अपने से उच्च अधिकारी को लड़की का बयान सही तरह से लेने में बाधा डाल दिया। इस सन्दर्भ में आप घटना के तुरंत बाद ही लिखा गया ये लेख पढ़ सकते है जिसमे मैंने उसी वक़्त ये स्पष्ट कर दिया था कि ये सिर्फ सामूहिक दुष्कर्म का मामला नहीं है। फिर लड़की को सिंगापुर ले जाने का उपक्रम और उसके बीच इंडिया गेट या अन्य जगहों पर प्रायोजित धरना प्रदर्शनों ने पूरे मामले के गौड़ तत्त्वों को उभार कर रख दिया। इससें दो बाते समझ में आती है एक तो ये कि भारतीय लोगो को नौटंकी रास आती है और दूसरा ये कि जुर्म को सिर्फ जुर्म के दायरे में रख कर समझ पाने की कला अभी भारतीयों के समझ से बाहर है। इसलिए मोमबत्ती जुलूस, बेकार की हाय तौबा में सरकार ने दो हित साधे जो सीधे उसके सत्ता बचाने से सम्बन्ध रखता था। एक तो महिलाओ के सुरक्षा से सम्बन्धी कानून में संशोधन करके महिलाओ का वोट बैंक पक्का कर लिया। दूसरा नरेन्द्र मोदी की गुजरात में हुई जीत की चमक को बाँध दिया। ये नहीं भूलना चाहिए कि सत्ता में बने रहने के मोह के लिए कांग्रेस का ही क्या किसी भी पार्टी का इतिहास घृणित और घिनौना रहा है। ये तय है कि गैंग रैप अगर मोहरा ना बनता तो कुछ और मोहरा बनता। लेकिन बनता जरूर।
इसलिए इस पूरे मामले में पुलिस को गरियाना बिल्कुल उचित नहीं क्योकि पुलिस भी इसी सिस्टम में रहकर ही संचालित होती है। इसकी सिस्टम से अलग सत्ता नहीं है। मालिक का कुत्ता है। जब चाहा मालिक ने काट लेता है। नहीं चाहेगा तो नहीं काटेगा। अब इस १६ दिसम्बर की रात को वास्तव में क्या हुआ और किस तरह और क्यों इस घटना को उभारा गया ये तो सिर्फ ईश्वर ही बता सकता है। पुख्ता सबूतों के अभाव में मै भी बेवजह व्यर्थ ही दिमाग के घोड़े नहीं दौड़ाउंगा लेकिन कुछ केस ऐसे होते है कि जहा पुख्ता सबूतों से ज्यादा घटना के हालात ही सारी स्थिति बयान कर देते है। इसलिए ये अब आपके ऊपर है कि आप वो सच मानते है जो सत्ता के मोह में लिप्त सरकार दर्शाना चाह रही है या जो हालात चीख चीख कर बता रहे है पर आप है कि देखना और समझना ही नहीं चाहते है।
The Chief accused in the Delhi gang-rape case, Ram Singh, committed suicide.
“The main accused in the Delhi gang-rape case, Ram Singh was found dead in Tihar Jail on Monday morning in mysterious circumstances….A police guard found Singh hanging from the grill of his prison cell at 5:45 am, while there were three other inmates in the cell. They claimed they were asleep and had heard nothing…..Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said the death was a major security lapse on the part of prison authorities, saying the preliminary probe indicated it was suicide. “There were three other inmates in the cell in which Singh was found hanging,” Shinde said.” ( The Economic Times)
Agreed that Indian prisons have become operational centers for organized crime and death inside prison is a commonplace affair, which is often sponsored by police with the help of inmates. The fact that Indian prisons are breeding ground for henious crimes was the point I had highlighted when Supreme Court granted bail to Binayak Sen on the ground that ”Visitors are screened and searched by the jail staff. Jailors are there to oversee all these things. So, the question of passing letters or documents doesn’t arise.” I had strongly objected to such a misplaced stand of Supreme Court in my article devoted to granting of bail, wherein I stated: “Anybody who knows the Indian jails know quite well that all big criminals are operating from inside the jails. The contract to kill (Supari) is being ordered from inside the jails via the mobile. A surprise raid in any Indian jail would always lead to discovery of drugs, weapons, mobile phones and other prohibited things.” However, for Supreme Court and other paid media publications the prison at that time was no less than temple wherein visitors came with noble intentions.
After the murder of prime accused in Delhi gang-rape, once again the whole episode would be projected in one particular way with talks related to security within jails gaining prominence. Some conspiracy theories by paid media shall also be highlighted that would project police as the chief villain. However, for a conscious mind, that’s merely tip of the iceberg. In fact, when the Delhi gang-rape incident took place, and the paid media side-by-side huge number of protesters demanded justice for the unfortunate girl with candles and placards having slogans “Hang the rapists”, the author had suspected that there is more than meets the eye. However, being a lone voice, the feeling got suppressed even as this writer along with other thinking souls tried to point out the murkier game played behind the curtains with dubious role of police.
”I wish to clearly state that it would be fatal to confine the urge for changes to “safety of women alone” or, for that matter, demand for stricter provisions to prevent rape. This line of action is being deliberately highlighted under pressure from feminist wings, tactically supported by Congress government, which hopes to regain power with female voters and minority card in next Parliamentary actions. The mainstream media is also singing the same tune, because in wake of fear to lose government’s aid, it has no other option but to toe the stance taken by government. This whole drama which captured the nation’s attention from December 16, 2012, until death of gang-rape victim was a well-orchestrated show managed perfectly well by the paid media and Congress government. There are enough circumstantial evidences which give proof of it that the real story is something else and it’s more horrible than what we all came to witness in these past turbulent fifteen days. I will deal with this aspect later in this article but first let’s not ignore these pertinent points.”
The readers can have a look at that article to ascertain what could be the reasons, which indicate at involvement of hidden players in the orchestrated drama, which took place in the wake of gang rape. Now after the suicide of the main accused, which is apparently cold blooded murder, it would be quite obvious to thinking minds that real picture is indeed a “dirty picture”. And like always the real mastermind-the real villains-shall have the last laugh. I do not wish to shoot arrow in darkness since in absence of concrete facts there is always risk of arriving at flawed conclusions. However, there are enough circumstantial evidences to prove that police is merely a puppet in the hand of chief villain. The police was no more than a puppet when the gang rape occurred, and even now in the aftermath of the suicide of Ram Singh-the prime accused- is nothing but a puppet.
It has now become certain that we would not come to know what exactly happened in the name of gang-rape. All we know that a beautiful girl came to lose her life in a painful way. This case would remain an unresolved dilemma like the Ayushi murder case. It’s a painful scenario that conscious citizens can do nothing much other than being mute spectators. However, the citizens can remain alert by beginning to see beyond the obvious. That way they would begin to become aware of the great politics played in their name. That would be the beginning of making better changes in the system from the top to the bottom.
The governments, across the globe, have become highly suspicious about the activities taking place in the world of social media. In some circles, especially among the bureaucratic class, which in my eyes are comprised of dullest minds, look with disdain at people involved in world of social media. For instance, Facebook for them is still some sort of time pass, when it has emerged as a powerful medium to shape vision of present and coming generations. It’s highly amusing that if the activities on Facebook are such harmless affair then what’s the need to monitor it? The truth is that it has become a powerful weapon to shatter the lies spread by government. It’s shattering their propaganda, with better version of any critical issue, haunting the society.
Anyway, this post is not intended to discuss about the influence of social media. It’s about one of the worst problems faced by India: Population Explosion. I am presenting the excerpts from a thought-provoking conversation that we had on Facebook. I must thank the participants that by giving way to such lively well-meaning thoughts, they added a new dimension in the stature of Facebook. Few participants expressed their views in Hindi. I have added English version of their comments, which highlights the essence of what they expressed in Hindi.
ये जनसँख्या असंतुलन देश की समस्याओं को बढ़ा रहा है केवल.. क्यूंकि संसाधन तो बढ़ नही रहे.. वो घट रहे बस और लोग बढते जा रहे.
[The growing population imbalance is merely adding new problems. Resources are decreasing but population is increasing with each passing day.]
Well, one of my close friends, Carmen, living in a different nation, always feels as if she has seen/faced the worst. I ask her to visit India and travel in over crowded compartment of train, no less than a Nazi torture cell. I am sure, after having such rough travelling experience, she would start imagining combis of her nation were better, and she would then, definitely, run away to her nation, shedding all romantic notions aka Taj Mahal.
अरविंद जी, पूरे सम्मान के साथ इस विषय पर मेरी असहमति है। मैं इस मसले को सामाजिक मानता हूं और इस पर कानून के पक्ष में नहीं हूं। आपको पता होगा कि चीन में भी जनसंख्या नियंत्रण के लिए नीति लागू हुई थी, वन चाइल्ड पॉलिसी लेकिन वहां भी सरकार ने कोई कानून नहीं बनाया था। हां, इसके बावजूद चीन में बेतरह अत्याचार हुए। एक नीति मात्र बन जाने से किस प्रकार आम जन पर अत्याचार किया जा सकता है, यह चीन की निरंकुश शासन प्रणालि के कर्ता-धर्ताओं से सीखना चाहिए। भारत, एक वैविध्य सांस्कृतिक चेतना वाला राज्य है। यहां राजसत्ता अगर ऐसे संवेदनशील मामले पर कानून का चाबुक चलायेगी, तो समाज के बिखरने का पूरा अंदेशा रहेगा। बेहतर यही होगा कि इस समस्या को नैतिक रूप से सुलझाया जाये। जैसे प्रथम मातृत्वोपरांत महिला बंध्याकरण पर माता को तीसरे और चौथे दर्जे की सरकारी नौकरी दी जाये या फिर पुरुषों की नसबंदी पर किसी भी रेलवे की परीक्षा में कट ऑफ मार्क्स पर 40 नंबर का ग्रेस दिया जाये, तो यह ज्यादा आकर्षित करेगा। कानून का चाबुक तो सिर्फ समाज में वैमनस्यता फैलायेगा। इसे इस नजरिये से भी देख सकते हैं कि हत्या के खिलाफ कड़ा कानून है, लेकिन क्या हत्याएं रुक गयी हैं?
[ Arvindji, having due respect for your views, I beg to differ. I treat this issue as a social ill and do not subscribe to the view that this can be handled well if tough laws come in origin. No specific law is needed to control growth of population. You must be aware of the fact that China implemented one child policy, but it did not give way to any tough law to execute this policy. Despite absence of law, the government agencies gave way to cruel means to make this policy attain logical culmination. The point is even a simple policy is capable of triggering such cruel gestures on part of government. That we need to learn from inhuman treatment of people at the hand of dictatorial government agencies in China. India, on the other hand, is a Pluralistic society. I am sure, a tough stand on part of government, would lead to disintegration of society. I suggest a moralistic approach, for instance, women opting for Tubectomy, after their first pregnancy, should be offered Class Three/ Class Four government jobs. Men, on other hand, opting for Vasectomy, should be given concession in cut off marks set for qualifying in Railway Examinations. The whip of law would only increase tension within the different layers of society. Let's see it from this angle: Do tough laws that we have to control murder, stopped murders?]
नदीमजी पहले तो इस बात के लिए आपको धन्यवाद कि इतने दिनों के बाद कोई पुराना मित्र दमदार तरीके से वापस आया। फेसबुक को सरकार और कुछ मीडिया के लोग बड़ी तिरछी नज़रो से देखते है पर आप जैसो लोगो की उपस्थिति इस मीडियम की सार्थकता बढाती है। मुद्दे पे आते है मेरा रूख थोडा सा अलग है। चीन में लोकतंत्र नहीं है इसलिए वहा से तुलना बेमानी है। ये समस्या विकट है। क्योकि अगर आप भीड़ बढाकर काम नहीं देंगे तो समाज में जुर्म का ग्राफ बढेगा। अराजकता बढ़ेगी कि बिहारी बिहार में रहे और मराठी सिर्फ महाराष्ट्र में।आप देखिये आज जो भी समस्या है इसके मूल में जंगली घास की तरह बढती आबादी ही है। तो मेरी नज़रो में एक स्पष्ट नीति होनी ही चाहिए भले ही सख्त कानूनी स्वरूप उसका ना हो। इसके बाद भी अगर कंट्रोल मे ना आये तो सख्त कानून अनिवार्य है। आप इस देश में कर ही क्या सकते है जब एक बड़ा वर्ग इस बात को मानता है कि जितने हाथ उतना मुनाफा! उनको क्वालिटी आफ लाइफ से क्या लेना देना। आप पोलियो की ड्राप पिलाने में जूझ जाते है तो इस गंभीर समस्या को आप सिर्फ समझा बुझा के कुछ कर पायेंगे मुझे संदेह है। चलिए पहले आप के पाले में बाल डालते हुए पहले समझाने वाला, कुछ साथ में लाभ देने वाला विकल्प ही ट्राई किया जाए। ये अलग बात है कि पानी सर से ऊपर बह रहा है।
[ In the very beginning, I must thank you, Nadeem, for making your presence felt, after such a huge gap, with such a powerful response. The government is not pretty happy with activism, which prevails on Facebook. Even many circles in traditional media make mockery of journalists involved in world of Facebook. However, I must say such a conscious take on this critical issue on Facebook, makes it clear that people targeting social media are, in actuality, afraid of its ever-increasing influence in deciding the fate of any issue. Let's come at issue at hand. I have slightly a different perspective than yours, Nadeem. China does not have a democratic set-up and so I don't think we can contrast our situation with what's happening there. This is a very serious issue. If you would not create scope for jobs, but keep on increasing the population, then it would automatically increase the crime rate. It will lead to chaotic situation as one state will start rejecting people belonging to a different state: Biharis should live in Bihar and Marathis should remain caged in Maharashtra type conflict would become order of the day! I mean analyze any issue and you would find surging population, spreading like wild grass, as its root cause. That's why in my eyes, a strict policy has become the need of the hour, whether or not you have a rigorous legal sanctity. If such a policy fails, then there is no other way left other than to give way to tough laws.
You know well that simple measures, devoid of legal force, more often than not, have failed to bear proper results in India. There is a big section in Indian society, belonging to particular community, which believes greater the number of hands, greater is the profit. They care a damn about quality of life. Let's know that government agencies faced huge difficulties in ensuring smooth implementation of pulse polio drive, which had no controversial aspect at all. Anyway, you have made good suggestions. There is no harm in giving way to them before experimenting with tough measures. The truth is that water is already flowing above the danger mark.]
Unless everybody is educated, this problem cannot be solved. We can see that thirty years back the average number of children in a middle class family was 4 or 5. And now if we see it is 2. The problem is mainly in the lower class of the society, which is uneducated, and open to accept any level of living and any work (legal/illegal), and that is the class which is a deciding factor in Indian politics. By deciding, I mean, they are easily lured by corrupt politicians, and being in large number make them an important factor. And it will take another 20-30 years, to control the rate of reproduction in this particular sector of society.
Thanks for a thought provoking reply, Ghanshyam Dasji. The seriousness of the issue can be felt in exchange of views between me and Nadeem.
Since childhood, I have been reading this slogan “Hum do Humare do” (We Two, Our Two) but I don’t think it has brought any desired impact. And one reason why population graph has gone down in upper middle class, I think, it’s because of high cost of living rather than education. Still, one cannot deny educated families have better approach in this regard. Interestingly, it’s easier to convey messages in modern times. So let’s see what a vigorous campaign comes to yield. But in my eyes, we need to have a clear-cut policy in this regard. Simply messaging and giving concessions would not yield desired result.
देश का दुर्भाग्य संजय गाँधी ने गलत ढंग से मगर अच्छी पहल की थी. संजय गाँधी की असामयिक मौत ने देश को वर्षों पीछे धकेल दिया। सारे अवसरवादी,वोट के ठेकेदार इस महान अवसर को भुनाने में लगे हैं कि कैसे अपनी जाति बिरादरी की संख्या को अधिकतम किया जाये। जीवन की गुणवत्ता से इनका क्या वास्ता इनकी तो गद्दी सुरक्षित रहनी चाहिए। पढ़े लिखे (गधों) से इन राजनीतिज्ञों को कोई अपेक्षा नहीं। उन में से अधिकतर तो वोट देते नहीं। उन्हें TV पर मनोरंजक चर्चाएँ /बहस आदि देखना पसंद है तो जो वोट बैंक हैं उनके उसकी संख्या को तो वे (Politician) बढ़ते देखना चाहेंगे न ?आखिर गणतंत्र (भीड़तन्त्र) चलेगा कैसे ? गुणतन्त्र की बात कोई यहाँ कैसे उठाये ?और चौथा स्तम्भ भी सुनते हैं बिक गया है। एक खास दल जिसके पास अकूत धन है शायद, तंत्र उसीके हिसाब से चलता है।
[ Ironically, Sanjay Gandhi made a good move in this direction, although appropriate methodology was not adopted. The untimely death of Sanjay Gandhi put the nation again in medieval times. The opportunists are now making all efforts to cash-in-on the chaos, which prevails in this nation on this particular issue. Let the tribe of their caste increase is their only motto. They are not interested in quality of life, being solely interested in keeping their bonhomie with power intact. They are not afraid of educated class since it never uses its voting rights, being all the time swayed by cheap thrills of life. Probably, that's why, politicians are pretty much interested in greater number of heads in lower sections of society, who constitute their vote bank. How else mobocracy would sustain its presence? Who will dare to ensure quality of life amid this lust for power? Even the Fourth Estate has compromised with its credibility. It appears that this country is ruled by a party, which has amassed huge wealth.]
जनसँख्या बढ़ेगी तो वोट बैंक बढेगा …और क्या पता बढ़ते बढ़ते एक अलग देश फिर पैदा हो जाए तो एक नया भ्रष्ट केंद्र बिंदु पैदा हो जाए। इसलिए जनसँख्या बढ़ने दो। और कम पड़ जाए तो बांग्लादेश से बुला लो।
[ Definitely, increase in population would increase the vote bank. And who knows, this ever-increasing population gives birth to another nation, which may give rise to new centers of corruption. So let the population swell! And if they still need more people, invite Bangladeshis!]
Arvind K Pandey ji, you are right in stating that “it’s because of high cost of living rather than education”, but the poor section of the society is equally exposed to the same harshness of high cost of food and clothes, but they fail to realize that it’s due to less developed intellect and go on reproducing mindlessly. That’s because of lack of awareness/education (mere school certificate is not eligible to be called as education until unless it instills the mind with wisdom and intellect). And it is equally true that the population would continue to increase as long as green revolution comes to absorb all the pressure. A time will come when even the best efforts to ensure the food safety will fail to satisfy all of them, the cost of food will rise very high, and there will be no availability of the jobs/or very less paying jobs. That will compel even the lower class of the society to stop breeding further.
It is all about the minimum requirements of the life of a particular individual, which matters. For upper middle class a respectful status in the society is equally important for life as are the foods and clothes. Therefore, they stopped early. For lower section of society, the minimum need is only food and clothes, which will be under risk soon with this rate of their growth, and they will be forced to follow the middle class.
One of the advantages in modern society is that messages can be spread easily. So let’s try to increase the level of awareness.
True, otherwise, it will be too late. And the society may collapse. Serious consequences are in store–like increase in crime. If awareness program fails, a binding law is a wise decision. “bhay binu hohi na preeti” (fear factor is necessary to elicit love/respect). Giving way to harsh decisions to prevent a greater disaster, is right in my opinion- something that you have already mentioned above. That’s because the government has not enough resources/employment to lure them. So the alternative way as suggested by Nadeemji does not look feasible in current situation.
Finally, Ghanshyamji took a big U turn and felt that “a binding law” is needed. So let’s see what the result of your way, which is recommended by Nadeem as well, yields. I have no problem with this idea, but given the way this nation functions, unless there is well regulated proper policy which supports this vision, I am apprehensive about the success of vision you both collectively share.
So, finally, we arrived at the root cause of all the rot in our society: Poor governance and political scenario!
Ghashyamji, you got the bottom-line! This is one of the few conversations on Facebook which took place so well with such a perfect bottom-line. No chaos and confusion in presentation of ideas at all. Hats off to all wonderful participants, for engaging in a thought-provoking discussion in such a well-coordinated manner.
Well, it appears emergence of bloggers have really unsettled journalists and media groups. I say so because they love to indulge in snide insinuations about the bloggers, which speak volume about their insecurities. I had been part of journalistic fraternity and, therefore, know quite well about the type of work done inside newspaper office. I agree that journalists follow a refined work culture, which lays stress on “accuracy, a critical sense, balance “and divergent view-points. However, it’s really tough to understand how come presence of certain aspects in one circle leads to absence of same aspects in other circle following a different modus operandi? It really defies logic that while highlighting the good features of traditional media, it’s been assumed that media in its new avatara (emergence of blogosphere) lacks credibility and substance.
The truth is that bloggers have emerged as better alternative because traditional media betrayed the faith imposed on them by the readers. It’s now very clear that newspapers/electronic media take stand according to their political affiliations. Most news is now sponsored news. And that’s the reason why bloggers emerged on the surface. You cannot fool all the people all the time. Okay, the journalists are taking total care of language errors, factual accuracy and etc. but these are of little use if the end product is flawed one! I think none of the gentlemen participating in the debate came to throw light on the unholy nexus between journalists, politicians and business tycoons. True, great power is always in tandem with great responsibility and I am pretty sure that bloggers would learn all the tricks necessary to present news items in better way. In fact, they have already done some wonderful work. It’s now undeniable that citizens have finally found a medium to express views close to the reality. Or else, they were left at the mercy of big media brands who offered only half truths in name of truth!
Anyway, when I appreciate the good work done by the bloggers, I do not assume (like my friends in newspaper world) that everything is wrong about the traditional media and people associated with them. They have certainly set good precedents. But my main worry is that will the bloggers be able to keep themselves above the flaws found in traditional media landscape? Will they be able to use in fair way privileges enjoyed by them? Or will they become monkey with a razor blade? Let’s leave it on time. In the end, I must inform my friends that in many countries, including India, new IT laws have been introduced to make bloggers more responsible. In other words, they are being tamed in name of acting with responsibility.
If bloggers have still to learn a lot from journalists, if they are still novice and if they are still inexperienced I wish to know why all prominent magazines, newspapers, websites and web editions of prominent magazines are placing views of bloggers side-by-side views of their own writers/journalists on important pages? In India nearly all news papers have either introduced regular columns for bloggers or they are borrowing articles from them. If bloggers or blogging still lack required credibility, I wish to know why many journalists have become bloggers? Why are they playing the role of blogger? Why blog columns have been introduced by prominent magazines like Time, Newsweek, New York Times and etc.?
Lastly, it really sounds ludicrous when I notice that veteran journalists speak aloud about superiority of their ilk only because they have received certain training and they have got few qualifications. That gives them right not to acknowledge the traces of good writer and journalist in a person who did not become like them but instead became a blogger! In other words, if one becomes a blogger one loses the right to emerge as person of substance; after all, how dare one wrote beautiful articles, prepared brilliant news reports without qualification and training! This rigid insistence is a weak (and shrewd as well) attempt to maintain their superiority complex and monopoly, which in any case is destined to be crashed in new scenario that has emerged.
Anyway, I am just trying to establish that qualifications and training are not the only or ultimate parameter to measure the worth of a blogger. The ultimate parameter is the qualitative output a blogger delivers even as the blogger is devoid of critical resources, key infrastructure, financial gain and reward. On the contrary, a journalist enjoys all this advantages. The blogger, on the other hand, is most of time, a selfless crusader. So it really hurts that instead of being honoured, the blogger’s good work is ignored citing absence of training/qualification. I wish to know will they dare to dismiss the greatest performances of many actors, singers, sportsmen and businessmen, to name a few, only because they did all that not with help of training and qualification but with help of natural talent provided by the almighty Lord? Will the future generations refuse to acknowledge their worth only because they did not attend Business College, Acting College, Fine Arts College and etc? Please think over it carefully.
In one of the recent discussions on a prominent LinkedIn forum, some participants representing prestigious journalistic bodies were of the opinion that bloggers lack the expertise which is found in the journalists. They conveyed the impression that since journalists get trained at recognized school of journalism, they display a better critical sense, exhibit better style and react in more mature way. That makes them a greater and more respectable entity than a blogger. However, in my eyes, they missed an important aspect: Why should a blogger be interested in emerging as a good journalist?
It can be easily understood that rising importance of bloggers and their ever-increasing influence have unsettled their counterparts in journalistic circles. However, I am not interested in being at loggerheads with them. I am, at present, more interested in making bloggers aware of the fact that instead of aspiring to emerge as a good journalist, it’s time to acknowledge the uniqueness associated with blogging and how to use it well to do justice with critical issues.
The difference between them should exist even as both come to use similar method and approach while dealing with sensitive issues. The bloggers should not be coloured in the traits which has made journalism a profession instead of a mission! One cannot overlook the fact that journalists or editors having a developed critical sense often display biased approach while framing the perspective.
For instance, if one reads India related news items in reputed foreign magazines one would always notice prejudices of foreign correspondents. Still they boast of impartiality and transparency! The bloggers, more often than not, are free from external pressures to view the issue from a particular angle only. They are free to present the issue as it is. It’s another thing that being human they give way to prejudiced opinions.
I strongly dismiss the views which suggest that it’s necessary to be part of journalistic institution to emerge as a good writer or good journalist. The ability to write a perfect piece cannot be nurtured within journalistic institutions. A good news sense cannot be manufactured. In fact, it’s a recent trend to have a degree from journalistic institution. That’s one of the reasons why many journalistic institutions have come in origin in India, which are fooling the wannabe journalists.
Anyway, that’s not an attempt to ignore the role of good institutes but I am against any division based on this assumption that journalists are better since they have honed their skills at some institute. Bloggers, too, have their own share of unique experiences which cannot be overlooked only because they have not attended any journalistic institution!
Anyway, let the blogger set good precedents without the desire to emerge as a good journalist. After all, the bloggers have emerged as a better alternative to biased media. There is no need for them to copycat mannerism prevalent in the journalistic circles. The bloggers should aim to be better than journalists instead of being like them!
Who is performing better in modern times–blogger or a journalist? This question has become relevant in our times when bloggers have made their presence felt in a big way across the globe. In our age when online publications are fast replacing print versions, one needs to evaluate the role of bloggers with fresh perspective. The people belonging to world of traditional media treat bloggers with disdain even as we find that most reputed brands have given healthy space to bloggers on their editorial page. It’s now commonplace to find bloggers contributing to newspaper columns on issues sensitive in nature. However, the sad reality is that people working in newspapers love to exhibit holier than thou attitude when contrasted with bloggers.
They find the role of bloggers not as reliable as journalists involved in print publication. In support of their viewpoint they cite their biased approach, lack of accuracy, lack of accountability, lack of originality and lack of multiple sourcing. In my eyes, since I am sandwiched in both the worlds, that’s a sweeping analysis. It’s not true. After all, social media is comprised of people belonging to journalistic circles, academic institutions and prestigious forums. So how can these responsible people enter in malpractices on social media forums? And if they are doing that on social media platforms then it’s hard to believe that in reputed print publications they remained above corrupt practices!!
In fact, social media enjoys terrific advantage over print media in a sense that contributors have the choice to present uncensored news by remaining above the biases of media houses and editors. True, a large number of are devoid of proper language and perfect style to convey their viewpoints but it’s presentation of facts and truth that really matters. That sabotages the lies spread by enlightened souls associated with print world!
There is merit in allegations leveled by big names in print media that bloggers often present one-sided stories in absence of multiple sourcing and often news when put under microscope proves to be false. I need to say that blogging in its nascent stage displayed such tendencies. Over the years it has matured as far as presentation of stories is concerned, shifting focus from details pertaining to one’s private life to cause-based blogging. Yes, many bloggers still depict lack of responsibility and are bit lazy in searching for right facts but that’s not suffice to whitewash their genuine efforts. Let’s not forget that how refined people in traditional media distorted the news items to serve vested interests. If that’s the case what’s the point in undermining the sincere efforts of people related with social media? That’s one of the important reasons as why it has emerged as a powerful alternative to traditional media, which is now dying a slow death.
We have many evidences wherein sponsored journalism has wrecked havoc. It’s no secret that sensationalism and rush for “breaking news” has wiped out the ethical values in field of journalism making journalists behave more like professionals than people in search of truth! For instance reckless journalism, which made mockery of one’s privacy, led to suicide of Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, the professor of Marathi at Aligarh Muslim University. In other incident, a female teacher named Uma Khurana faced deep humiliation when a fake sting operation showed her involvement in sex racket. Taking a look at the issue from a different angle, the emergence of people like Neera Radia who in name of media management influenced the making of news, made it clear that in days to come social media was about to emerge as perfect alternative to traditional media.
The rise of social media has not disappointed us considering the way it came to influence the happenings in big way in Egypt,Tunisia and Syria. The footage of protests and police repression presented in uncensored way by the social media activists led to ouster of cruel regimes in these nations. In fact, it became the primary method in mobilizing protests. Back in India, it was because of brilliant role played by the Internet activists which ‘led to prosecution of police personnel involved in the midnight crackdown on yoga guru Ramdev and his supporters in June last year’.
So we can see how these bloggers devoid of facilities, enjoyed by journalists, protected the foundation of democracy. Before undermining the bloggers one should not forget that they often do not enjoy privileges owned by journalists associated with media houses. That makes it difficult for them to track the sources and get versions of influential sources involved in particular happening.
On the other hand, Wikileaks revelations confirmed the fears that we had about the Iraq War: It was based more on concocted grounds than true facts. The point is who provided legitimacy to lies spread by U S government if not traditional media? This suppression of truth was the result of traditional media being hand in glove with U S government. Against this backdrop, it leaves me really stunned that journalists associated with traditional media sill wish to be treated as holy cow-the icons of perfection, accuracy, accountability and reliability.
I am not saying that bloggers are epitome of truth and perfection. They, like their counterparts in field of journalism, often churn out stories having facts blown out of proportion. In fact, the bloggers in India still behave, more or less, like a monkey with a razor blade. That because true facets of social media are still missing. Internet is still luxury and those who have it use it more for the entertainment’s sake than using it to promote real issues.
However, that’s one side of the story. The Indian bloggers, despite being placed in wretched conditions, are doing excellent work. Often their works remain ignored but that does not deter them to post good stories one after another. Doesn’t that speak volume about their spirit? After all, they do not receive fat salaries including perks like the journalists associated with big brands. They do not even get proper recognition. However, they sill manage to hog the limelight with stunning portrayal of issues happening at local, national and international level.
That’s why journalistic circle is trapped in insecurities of all sorts. The rise of bloggers or social media has limited the monopoly enjoyed by the media houses. The social media is not only capable of presenting news earlier than anyone else but also capable of making news reach to the people who really matter. No wonder the bloggers have bulldozed superiority complex traced in journalistic circles.
It’s understandable that bloggers need to act with more responsibility to emerge as more powerful medium. However, the governments across the globe have already started panicking. The countries like India have immediately amended the IT laws to curb the influence of bloggers and social media activists. In my eyes, social media is not adversary of traditional media. It’s a new platform that deals with missing elements of any issue. That means it act as complement to traditional media.
Unfortunately, they are comprised of underdogs, caught in conflicting situations. Still they manage to highlight issues in notable manner. In our world, money is needed to sustain the spirit of excellence. One expects standard performance from social media activists but nobody pays attention to their lack of resources, lack of money. At least, stop entering in mindless criticism if you have nothing to offer them for their survival. Let’s recognize the real worth of these champions of truth who are working day and night in selfless manner so that truth remains in our lives.