Friday, October 8, 2010

The irony of “moving on”

"The verdict itself was not in tune with the aspirations of a modern, democratic, young nation."

This line,written by her eminence Vidya Subrahmaniam in The Hindu today sounds so emphatic that you will be led to believe that she has done some extensive interviews covering a wide range of "modern" and "young" people, pieced together enormous data and finally arrived at that conclusion. However, a cursory (or a indepth) reading of her article doesn't point to any numbers. Now, then we begin to wonder how exactly this conlusion has been arrived at!

Ignoring this fascinating conclusion, we move on to read the article. A couple of paras are dedicated to the peace that was prevalent in the country. For the whole of last week, The Hindu through various articles kept on reminding us that there is peace but there is discontent. And now it is beginning to sound like as if they are unhappy with the peace despite the discontent! (Note: This is only my feeling and not of all "readers of The Hindu").

And then there is a cursory mention of this - "The Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid used the Friday prayers to deliver a fiery, rabble-rousing speech". No condemnation of this speech, just a mere mention.

She then goes on to mention how she picked up "unbiased, untutored" muslims. Now, I wonder what does "unbiased" mean in this context? Having an opinion implies being biased towards the opinion. Now, is she to say they are unbiased because their thought process is in sync with her? Untutored makes sense, but unbiased, really? Who is really unbiased in this world? Don't we all have our biases? Why should the likes of VidyaS keep talking like this?

Sample this - "
However, most people added a caveat: This did not imply unreserved acceptance of the verdict. I reminded them of the Muslim promise that the community would honour the verdict, no matter how it went

Why was that "reminder" needed, Vidya? Did they say they are not honouring the verdict? Did anyone say "You know what, we ain't care a hoot about the verdict, what follows is pure violence"? They just said they don't agree with it. Now, from when did that become a crime? They are well within their rights to disagree with the judgement, and yet decide to move on. They are well within their right to feel strongly either way about the verdict, and yet decide to move on. Why should you and your ilk make this sound like some simmering discontent in the entire "young muslim" community?

Last question. VidyaS says - "Did India's Hindus, all 80 million of them, believe that Lord Ram was born at the same, precise spot where the mosque's central dome once stood? The verdict implied so,...."

Rhetorically, here's a question to VidyaS - "Have you spoken to all "young muslims" (in millions again) to get the title of your article? The title implies so..."? :D.

This article is not an isolated piece at all. The electronic and print media, to a very large extent has not been able to come to terms with the verdict. And as an attempt to showcase and flaunt their "intelligence", they are coming up with pieces like this on a daily basis. TV media spilled vitroil for almost three days (multiple debates, talk shows - all of which, incidentally, have been derided by the print media for their instant journalism!). Print media continues to publish such ill-informed pieces (too many examples to link them up here).

At one end, they exhort that India has moved on, but at the other end, these people refuse to "move on"! Talk about irony!


CodeNameV said...

Sir, take a bow. Thats one of your finest! _/\_

Surely S Vidya has set a new record of phony journalism this time around.

How can she even justify siding with one party while answering such an important question in today's demographic situation?

I dont know about other readers but I share your observation of a pattern emerging in The Hindu articles. Till the day before the verdict, both Neena Vyas and S Vidya were dishing out articles, as if they are making Dosas, speaking about how Hindu Community and Hindutva community are disconnected on the issue and how common Hindu didnt want trouble. And then after the verdict, concentration shifted to discontent among muslims.

In fact, I think (I could be wrong) The Hindu is the first paper to start "muslims unhappy" and then Shia muslims accepted the verdict which spelled havoc to the next article plans for both Neena V and Vidya S. They now shifted gear to concentrate on "yes muslims seem to have moved on but are not happy with the verdict!"

I mean come on, give me a break! Not one word of these articles is true! And then there is this demolition not justified opinion. Ok, agreed! Another case is pending with HC on this. If there is anything these ranting journos should do, it is to put pressure on judiciary to move quickly on those cases!

Articles like these, honestly, are not what one would expect from A national newspaper of repute and history like The Hindu.

Vacant Shanghai Days said...

Agree with every word of yours. The Hindu is indeed disappointing me day by day.Never felt so bad reading the paper.Big fan of The Hindu for past many years.Never missed reading it.Now I am even finding reasons why I should skip reading a page or two :-(

Sudhir said...

@codenameV thank you for the nice words :) feels thrilling to recieve such compliments :) .

One more thing to be observed in The Hindu is its Letters to the Editor column.One guy today called this piece by VidyaS as "absorbingly brilliant" !! Only such letters will be published. I sent this exact same blog to the editor and as expected this was not published! And then they will justify their articles saying - see, we get so much positive feedback! Once Hindu stops this vitroil is when things will really "move on" !

@Vacant Shanghai Days Agree with your assesment ...such articles make people skip those pages

Anonymous said...

Good post/analysis, which is in short-stock in India. It is only in India, these semi-literate, ill-informed journalists can get away with mediocrity. Why worry about it: mediocrity, thy name is India.
See the long list of names: Sidd Varadarajan, Burkha Dutt, Karan Thapar, Sagarika Ghosh, etc., If they are the best of Indian journalism, only Ram should save the country.

Nalini Varadarajan

Dirt Digger said...

Sudhir,I've linked your article to my blog.
Great analysis on the words of Vidya. If only we could have a debate .....

Sudhir said...

Thanks Nalini. on a lighter note, when you said "Ram should save the country", hope you didn't mean N.Ram ;-)

Thanks DD :) I sent a mail to the editor with these same points, and as expected it was not published!

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