At first, when my nani called me up to tell me that SRK was arrested in the USA – I thought that they had sent him to Gitmo ! Then i realised it was a 2 hour stop at the airport. I wonder how much airtime was spent on this – and to the exclusion of what ? and how much money did the “NEWS” channels make.
Take one bloated super star ego, mix a nation in the grip of paranoia ; stir in customs and immigration officers who think that they are god ; simmer with silly season ; add a dash of news channels with no ethics, and journalists who would sensationlise their mothers’ sex life if they thought it would get them better TRP’s – and bingo you get ‘……because My name is Khan’ kind of overkill.
The unkind say that this was publicity for the film. I don’t buy that – this sort of stupid serendipity cannot be paid for. It has to happen only when every body f***s up and the News media compound it by forgetting that they are the watchdogs on behalf of the public – and get co-opted by the ruling elite.
On the day Shahrukh Khan got detained for two hours — oh my god, how can someone stop SRK for two hours, hang them, quarter them; no quarter them, hang them — 21 farmers committed suicide in Andhra Pradesh because they couldn’t pay off their debt.
But, farmers committing suicide cannot be sponsored, it does not drive up TRP’s and it definitely is not conducive for off the cuff ranting by our esteemed ‘journalists’. (note: i use the term journalist very, very loosely, and I apologise to any real journalist who is offended at my comparing the lot on TV to them)
24 Hour Blogs – one can say – but that too,would be unkind. There a whole bunch of bloggers whom i follow and whose integrity and intent I respect – even if i differ with them on their views. There isn’t a single TV journalist I can put in the same category.
Since 26/11 I have stopped watching TV news – except for DD. I read papers – sometimes – but mostly I subscribe to various RSS feeds – including bloggers, columnists and news agencies – and I figure what is happening in the world. I get my updates from my mother or my grandmother – who are avid news watchers on the death and disaster and slap to ego that is happening in the world. I listen to them, much the same way that I do, when they tell me what is happening in their favorite soap 🙂
So if we can’t call really call them journalists, or news channels or even bloggers – then what are they? If you read this excellent piece in The HOOT you will realise that a whole bunch of them are putting out ‘NEWS’ that is not in Public Interest – as they claim – but in the interest of Interested Parties – that they have close commercial ties with. So 24 hour Infomercial Channels – is possibly what we ought to call them. They have the same repetition, the same music that drives you to action, the same kind of ‘we asked 30 people and they said’ mode of driving home their point. So, if they are in the pay of commercial interests and if they are putting out content in the interest of these commercial interests, shouldn’t they be regulated by some body ?
Other Blogs with a different take on the same issue :
Churumuri on – Is an immigration clerk threat to our sovereignty?
Melissa George’s – Who is this Shahrukh Khan character anyway?
Prerna on My Name is Khan And Hence I was Detained
Shishir Joshi’s My Name is Khan…ummm…..er…so?
Reality Check India’s – We Are Not Outraged