PROF G R MALIK
It was a matter of great pleasure and relief to hear Mr. Markundey Katju of the Press Council of India to speak so perceptively about how our media operate, not the least because it is of a piece with what has often been appearing in these columns. He expressed a sense of anguish at the disproportionate importance that our electronic and print media give to events that have little or no bearing on the problems of the common man – hunger, disease and ignorance. How would it help the common man if we devote large chunks of time in electronic media and pages on pages in print media to the death of an entertainer like Rajesh Khanna or to the events relating to sports. Even as we heartily appreciate Mr Katju’s remarks, the fact remains that the common man has been brought up in a way and his psychology has been manipulated over the years in a manner that he also seems to attach top importance to sports and entertainment. This is borne out as much by the local Kashmiri press as by seemingly significant activities like finding out by a reputed T V channel through referendum and adjudication as to who is the greatest Indian after Mahatma Gandhi. It seems the question whether the media should tamely submit to the public taste or try to mould it positively is becoming increasingly irrelevant to us.
It is high time we faced the crucial fact that our whole way of life, the civilization that dominates us, is diseased. We have consciously or unconsciously submitted to a system of values that springs from the fundamental conviction that eating, drinking and entertainment is all that life is about. The working of all the organs of life is ultimately determined by this system of values. No doubt that eating and drinking are absolutely important to maintain our biological existence. So also is entertainment to ensure our psychological health. But our biological and psychological existence is ultimately meant to enable us to achieve higher goals in life. If our biological and psychological existence is again recycled for eating, drinking and pleasure-seeking, then we are exactly like the bull of the proverbial oil-press owner who ends his journey where he begins it.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 6 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 6 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 7 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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