Thursday, June 28, 2007

In the news...., Then...., Now....,

A few years back, I could not wait to get hold of the day's newspaper as soon as I woke up. There used to be some news that took you by surprise, that made you sit back and take notice, that at times even shook you. There was the element of uncertainty and unpredictability and a healthy dose of freshness in news, be it political, sports or glamour.

One summer morning in '98, the newspapers screamed proudly of India going nuclear. It is a great feeling, atleast for me, to get up in the morning to realize that your country is among the nuclear-armed nations. Today, you only get to hear that, a nuclear-deal that no-one has so far comprehended, is either in a state of deadlock or that there is 'considerable progress in talks'.

And on another morning, the country's defence minister says, "China is our number one enemy". How many times do you hear such courageous statements, such brazen, or shall I say overt, declarations of enmity? Now, despite a very hostile neighborhood where one is witnessing a coup, the other a civil war and another engaged in a 'Who-will-shoot-the-President" contest,we are told that we are having 'normal' ties with all these countries. Such outrageous falsity!

Much before, IT raids brought out news of unaccounted money hidden, reportedly, in toilets of one former Minister. It was something that made us angry in disgust and at the same time laugh at such ingenuity. Discoveries of unaccounted money these days do not evoke such reactions because the hide-black-money techniques that have come out these days lack such novelty. Infact these headlines haardly catch any attention as it would be like, "IT Department conducts raids across the country; Crores of money unearthed". Come on, it's like saying, "Software industry across the country developed software. Some of them had bugs".

And sports. This has become even worse. Its one area today which doesn't need the help of astrologers. Least expected to win World Cups, a team like Sri Lanka overwhelmed everyone in that '96 world cup. Today, even Mandira Bedi or Ruby Bhatia can say that Australia will be the winner and say that with an air of certainty that would have stunned Nostradamus. So cricket news too will not carry with it any freshness or unpredictability except of course when India plays teams like Bangladesh and lose. Or shall we say even that was not an upset?

Well cricket is not the only game. There is tennis too that has started to follow a pattern. The only difference here is you should replace Australian team with a single individual called Roger Federer. Mindblowing tennis he plays, but again, in the process he too is killing the element of uncertainty that forms an important characteristic of any game. India's contribution here is Sania Mirza. She wins first round and loses second of, invariably, every grand slam tournament.

The other major part of a newspaper is glamour news. The story here is probably not as bad as the other two. There was the Shipa Shetty's 'Big Brother' drama, target-Richard-Gere-for-kissing-in-public episode, 'wardrobe-malfunction' at one of the fashion shows, to mention a few. Such variety! But it's the latest one, Abhi-Ash wedding, that's killing the variety here too. From six months before the wedding till this day, that is more than 2 months after they tied the nuptial knot, it seems every newspaper has reserved one reporter for keeping track of them wherever they go.

Well, you can go on and on about this. Then even this post becomes as monotonous as the news assuming this is not the case now. So, dear reader, I shall end this here and bid you good bye for now.


Arjun Sharma said...

Man, they blew that Shilpa Shetty-Richard Gere out of proportion. Also her Big Brother victory. She won a contest by crying on a show which about three Indians had heard about in a distant country? Wow, let's cover that!

Very astute and observant.

The lesser said about the Abhi-Ash wedding, the better. Voyeurism of the media at its worst.

Sandeep said...

Did you say Shilpa Shetty had a wardrobe malfunction or was it just at some fashion show? Because I still haven't seen the Shilpa Shetty wardrobe malfunction.

Olle articles ivre. Neevoo ittidira.

Harish said...

[Arjun]But Shilpa Shetty introduced a new paradigm - cry and win - to contests like Big Brother. Enantya?

[Sandeep]Shilpa Shetty did not have a wardrobe malfunction. It happened to someone else at some fashion show. So you need not have to, and will not be able to, see Shilpa Shetty wardrobe malfunction.

Thanks-u ivre.

priya said...

has it become "different is normal"?
a few years ago BMW case caused such a flutter, but now CM's son and Bidapa's son get caught for bad behavior and no one turns a hair.

nitin pai said...

well, there are some newspapers doing excellent work!!! The INdian express and "the hindu" are very good !!!but its difficult to get a copy of the latter in mumbai!!But I guess it comes down to wat sells!!! people are more interested in glam stories rather than some developmental activities to alleviate poverty!!!!