Good news is rare these days, and every glittering ounce of it should be cherished and hoarded and worshiped and fondled like a priceless diamond.
When the whole of India is busy debating about JNU controversy, a 40 minutes long monologue by NDTV anchor and journalist Ravish Kumar was something that probably is not parallel with recent Indian Television history. In the thick of what nation wants to know and what reporters want to say(or SHOUT), 19th February PRIME TIME show was THE headstrong step that Indian journalism has seen in decades. Undeniably, he is one of the gems in this cluttered pebbled arena of the Indian Journalism.
The show started with an important question, “If TV is seeking TRPs, are the audience too engaged for the same purpose?” Following this question, the screen started fading which hinted at the dark times we are in and so that we may actually listen rather than getting swayed away by the pictures. There is just a black and blank background( a metaphor for Debates heading today), with words of impact, powerful ideas, noble ideals and a breathtaking narration.
He firmly stated, “TV has become sick, instead of the facts, viewers are being subjected to opinions of anchors and those commentators have become arbiters of right and wrong.” This down to Earth man didn’t claim that he is the doctor of this illness, but he is sick by this TB virus which is being spread by TV nowadays.
He reiterated the role of media- to ASK the terribly nagging questions to them who owe the country an answer QUESTIONS FOR PEOPLE and not incite, scold, defame or threaten anyone. How our media has descended into a deadly game of public opinion instead of a HEALTHY debate( aimed to pin accountability) while pointing fingers at each and how we leave behind the central question was also raised by him.
He urged for 10-12 minutes to people to pause and think about the JNU case removing their political glasses. Talking about the doctored videos of the case, he brought light to the poor family of Kanhaiya Kumar and how he became a domestic enemy. Audio clips of protests and slogans were played too. Further, he related this inciting news from JNU to the decade ago Journalism where they were asked not to report any news or statement which could lead to conflicts and how this has become a night after night voyage during the bogus bursts.
Next, there is a barrage of screams of different guests and anchors, prominent being Arnab Goswami, Deepak Chaurasia, Ravish Kumar himself and many more who are converting their news programmes into circuses. In his 40-minute bone of contention in opposition to Indian TV, he bemoaned how debates started as a vehicle to let out viewpoints was deteriorating and how vehemently TV News are opinionated. He tried his best to differentiate the thin line between giving people different perspectives and enforcing a particular perspective on the audience, by the way, one speaks.
He humbly touched upon various issues like, BJP-PDP hypocrisy over Afzal Guru, political exploitation of the sacrifices of soldiers, ill-treating soldiers who fought in a war for our safety(Jantar Mantar incident), Patiala court incident(clash between media reporters and lawyers). All such sensitive topics were broadcasted in a well-modulated but appealing voice which is a rare scene nowadays. Towards the end, there is an audio clip of Late Shri Nehru’s “Tryst with Destiny” and a poem of hope in India.
The show beat the drum for the bloodthirsty, apathetic levels our society has hunched to- a kind of society that has bent to the nth degree on proving itself right on any top dollar, no matter what the nuts and bolts may be. He surpasses every thought, leaves no stone unturned while giving the center stage to the “Hypocrisy of popular media.” And the show vividly leaves an unanswered question behind, “What is this covetous aridity of tagging someone as a traitor, patriot, national or anti-national? Do watch the video and follow your heart, follow what comes to your mind after recalling those screams while watching the news and retrospect, if you understood something from that debate or not. The ball is in your court now!