My Remonstrance with Contemporary Journalism !

With the emergence of Television and Digital platforms in last 10 years, I expected more from Indian News Media, but I stand disappointed. I am disappointed because, even after inclusion of newer technologies and heavy investments, our news channels have not milked the benefits in right direction. In the era of fierce competition of making profits, news channels have lowered their standards of content creation and reporting, their outreach and journalistic code of conducts.

Frog in the Well

Today’s journalists are such lazybones, that we end up watching news only from urban India. None of the news channels today have journalists or teams to cover issues of labors and farmers.  Thus effectively, news from 70% of India is neither reported nor even considered by today’s news channels. English News Channels cover stories (pun intended) only from metros/capitals or of major events. And Hindi News Media is busy serving their audiences with either crime reports or entertainment. Even election surveys are merely confined to urban population. We would never get to know how the rural India (actual voters) actually feels, before D-Day of election arrives.

Obsession with Headlines

Gone were the days, when we used to see news reports and features on relevant topics. Today either we end up seeing only speed news or debates. Investigative journalism and reporting seems to be out of fashion. Journalists are out there seeking bites from the news-makers, more so to create headlines. We rarely see these days any documentaries or news reports illustrating all existing on-ground perspectives.  Journalists have turned into vultures, news-makers being their prey, looking for controversial statements or key words to create headlines; and further stretching the issue through irrelevant debates and featured stories.

Opinionated Anchors

News anchor’s role in any discussion is to merely moderate the debate and help bring out all the perspectives. A news anchor has to project him/her as non-partisan and free from any prejudices. But in an era, where debates are equated with popular journalism, news anchors push their views and ridicule counter-viewpoints or perspectives. Though journalists are entitles to have a personal viewpoint, but that can only be exemplified through editorials and not through news or debates.

Mahila Bank or Mahila Police Stations ?

P. Chidambaram’s idea of creating “Mahila Bank” is silly to say the least. There aren’t any major banking issues with women in the urban. And for the rural also, women do prefer their men to take charge in financial issues.

India, desperately “Mahila Police Stations” instead. This would be an important confidence building measure for women across the stratas of society.  Currently, post “Nirbhaya” case and several horrific rape cases across India, Indian Government should take more steps to provide sense of security to women.

I would go a step further in suggesting, that we should even have “Mahila Courts” where, women related specific cases could be heard without condescending them !

Hope our PM is listening !

So guys, what would you all prefer a “Mahila Bank” or “Mahila Police Stations” ?

Cycle Rickshaw – Common Man’s Kingly Ride

India is growing, its economy is well-stabilized, infrastructure is improving, income levels are raising and the whole world wants to invest in this country. My journey from Kanpur (my birthplace) to Delhi and to Bangalore, have seen immense change in terms of city infrastructure, especially transport.

In Kanpur and other two-tier metros, roads are as slim as the footpaths.Four-lane roads are rarely seen, that to in the very outskirts. Smaller Mahanagar Buses, are as full as a popcorn pack, where men and women are popping out of doors. Moreover, in buses, more likely are the chances of pickpocketing and eve-teasing (Kanpur boasts of it). To add to it, you could never ever find a seat to sit even in your wildest dreams. Thus “Sharing Autos” (Vikram) are prominent mode of transport as they are cheap (literally), quick (just see them driving), and safer (you have to experience that). But, for small distances, these cities still depends on “Cycle-Rickshaws”. I assume, whole of North-India depends on them.

According to Calvin Trillin of National Geographic, “Most rickshaws serve people “just a notch above poor” who tend to travel short distances. He added that some people use rickshaws as “24 hour ambulance services,” as escorts for shoppers, and as a way for businesses to transport goods. Trillin added that children enrolled in schools were the “steadiest” customers. Many middle class families contract with rickshaw pullers to transport their children; a rickshaw puller who transports children becomes a “family retainer.”“
The best part about cycle-rickshaws is that, it makes a common man feel as if he is “The King of the Road”. Yes, they are damn slow, but its like a elephant-ride of King, who sits alone, and rules the road as well the driver. Moreover they are eco-friendly and cheap. Yes, it doesn’t save you completely from the heat of summers and rains. But friends, drenching yourself in rain while travelling, is an experience. Rickshaws are the best-friends of people living in smaller cities.

No matter, how thin a lane is.
No matter, how rough a road is.
Rickshaw would take you there!

But, with times, the cycle-rickshaws are reducing in numbers. And I always felt that future generations would never be able to live this experience. Rickshaws are losing the race with times. In more developed cities like Mumbai and Bangalore, rickshaws are even banned. Reason, their slow pace affects traffic and it involves excess physical labor.

Whenever I get an opportunity, I don’t miss a chance to grab a rickshaw ride. It reminds me of my childhood days.

I wish if we could have done anything to save this eco-friendly transport from extinction.

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