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Newspapers - are you happy reading them?

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by rvnachar, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. rvnachar

    rvnachar Silver IL'ite

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    Unhealthy News
    ‘Scam’, ‘Scandal’, ‘Graft’, ‘Whistleblowers’ and so many more terms connected to the negative side of our lives have become so common these days. Open the newspaper. You just get dejected to find only bad news of various kinds – scams, scandals, murder of whistleblowers, corruption, sex crimes and what not! There are a few optimists who convince us saying, ‘all these existed in all times. Only media reporting has improved so much that everything gets covered. There have always been heroes and villains, good and bad, black and white’. It is very nice to get convinced so!
    Does that make things any better? With a vigilant media, better informed public, better technology, better communication, more civilized society, should things be better or worse? I know nostalgia is just romantic and leads us nowhere. But just in one life, we have seen so much change around us that we do feel like ranting about the past.
    There are certain factors that each of us has experienced and can say for sure that they have changed for the worse. A few cases of copying and stray cases of paper leakage were happening in our days too. But imagine if the papers of almost four out of six exams have been leaked and they are exact photo copies of the original papers and to top it the Department had no alternate question papers ready! What sort of a system is this in the age of computers? In our days, three sets of question papers were prepared and if at all there was a slight suspicion that some paper had leaked, the students were stunned with a totally different question paper. So, where have the values gone? Is the Department so sure that there can be no leakage of papers? The Indian Railways have challenged to take up distribution of question papers without such occurrences, as they have done so for the past so many years for the UPSC! Thus, there are foolproof systems available, if only people want!
    Financial scams and sex scandals have become common place happenings. In our days, corrupt officials were rare and looked down upon. Even a police constable seeking small bribes for traffic offences, was seen with despise. Girls refused to marry men from certain Government departments known for corruption. People felt ashamed to declare that they bribed someone for something. But these days, corruption has been accepted as a part of life and everybody boldly declares, ‘Yaar, I shelled down Rs……and my certificate was done in a day’ or ‘I paid so and so Rs……….and my driving licence arrived on my table, without me having to take the driving test’. The armed forces and judiciary which were highly respected for their clean image, have also started competing in appearing on page one of newspapers for all wrong reasons. This is scary.
    Clearances for so many major infra-structure projects are being questioned everyday. ‘Crore’ has become like a rupee and scams of thousands of crores of rupees are just ‘news’ to the public, who feel nothing can really change in this country. Whistleblowers are blown out so daringly and the culprits get away quite easily. Thus ordinary people have lost confidence in the system. With technology making reach of higher officials and ministers easier, in fact the general public can make a lot of difference by bringing many things to the notice of those in power. Instead, they stay away, accepting everything as their fate because how many of us are ready to lose our lives like ants and go unnoticed, making really no difference in the system? All of us are not Gandhis to lead the nation, achieve unachievable feats and die at the hands of the beneficiaries!
    Thus all of us lead mundane lives with no great goals, just hoping that we live and die normally. Who is interested in adding a drop of water to the ocean, when his act is going to be only punished and not lauded? DISGUSTING is not the word!
    Sudha Narasimhachar
     
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  2. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    It is a great blog listing all the social evils we face day to day. You ended up the blog indicating that everyone lead a mundane life with no great goals and described the state as disgusting. Every time, when problem becomes acute or intense, mankind found a way to overcome that ordeal and all revolutions started by a few making a small step leading up to the entire mankind making a giant step. I am optimistic if we keep discussing solutions to each one of those problems, we can begin to address them one at a time.

    If there is a citizens cop group created to watch all corrupt practices with public volunteering to provide prevention of corruption in public offices, it would be a beginning. A few people standing in front of all public offices requesting every citizen who enters to transact a business not to bribe any clerk or officer, we could bring change. As long as givers are available, takers of bribe will continue. To prevent corruption in high places, we have to bring everyone holding such position under the scrutiny of the courts. They need to make declaration of their wealth when the contest public offices, need to file an affidavit that they never accepted or encouraged acceptance of bribes when they held public offices, etc. If they were found guilty later, they should be disqualified from contesting public offices for life besides jail term.

    I know the journalist, common public, politicians and government officials did not like the emergency period introduced by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. I am not a big fan of crushing the freedom of press, freedom of speech and shaking up the democratic principles. However, I truly enjoyed the emergency period as every government official reported work sharp on time, were afraid of accepting bribe, finished work in record time and so on. That period is a proof that if the entire society wants it desperately, a robust, vibrant and non-corrupt system could be formed in India. The determination to eliminate the corruption should start at the grass root level. I know Anna Hazare is starting at the top level and the citizens should commence at the grass root level.

    Press is already playing a significant role in bringing the corrupt practices to the public boldly through their investigative journalism. They should also report all movements that are created against corruption. They need to make those who are fighting against corruption as hero and report corruption at the grass root level as well. The justice system is already are very strict on punishing the corrupt practices of politicians if the government agencies like CBI, C & AG, Election Commission, etc. are fearless,willing to be independent and report them properly.

    Viswa
     
  3. rvnachar

    rvnachar Silver IL'ite

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    It is nice to read that optimistic response. But when we see that social activists like Anna Hazare and Kiran Bedi, who have proved their honesty, hard work and intentions so clearly to the society for years, are not spared from the evil hands of the octopus called the 'corrupt system', how can ordinary persons like you and me do anything serious? For instance, there is a no parking board right in front of my house and despite my repeated vigilance and requests, people park their vehicles right royally and have the audacity to rebuke me, saying, 'mind your business. This is a public road. We will do what we like. Who are you to question?' Well dressed men get off their cars and pee right in front of my house and when I object, they talk indecently and threaten me. When I demand a ticket from the bus conductor, he gets offended and shouts at me. When I ask people to follow queues in public places like banks or post offices, I am taken to task left, right and centre. To obtain the possession certificate of our own house from the Housing Board (Government), after paying up all the amounts, we were made to run from pillar to post for months, just because we were not ready to bribe. If this is the state of principled people, who has the time and energy to fight with everyone starting from the garbage collector, bus conductor, telephone/internet/cable service provider, co-passenger, colleagues, passersby, man in charge of parking lots, traders, hospitals, doctors and so many more, with whom we have to deal on a daily basis? After all, each of us has a family to tend to and personal problems to sort out too! This is what makes me feel, the country has reached a point of no return.

    Sudha Narasimhachar
     
  4. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    I agree with you that it is a daunting task. I completely understand your frustration and concur with your views. I am so happy to hear the determination you have to fight it out every time. The real issue is why other citizens don't join the chorus when you are raising a question? Can they help you resolve issues? Is it necessary for them to wait for such things to happen to them before they come to your rescue? It is frustrating and time consuming and this battle can't be fought alone. But don't you agree that giving up on this is going to make the matters worse? I am not trying to be good in paper but I am genuinely concerned about these problems which are fought by individuals with determination every day but the number of people fighting is coming down every day because they are giving up. Surrendering to the people who are not righteous is going to make the collective higher consciousness to deteriorate and unless an Avatar comes to reestablish righteousness, it would not get resolved.
     
  5. rvnachar

    rvnachar Silver IL'ite

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    So true! We should not give up. But as we get immersed in our personal life, get older and lose energy and find that we are all alone, then we find no meaning in fighting a lonely battle. I am almost the only man on my road, because nobody joins me in such fights. In fact, they suggest, 'since you are a journalist, why don't you write to the newspaper on this issue?' I do not want to waste all my time writing only complaints, which are read, probably only by my family members and friends to whom I inform!!

    Sudha
     
  6. Pallavi4me

    Pallavi4me Platinum IL'ite

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    rvnachar,
    Your blog post made valid points and that are true and hitting hard on our face on daily basis.

    I feel all this is because, we are habituated to Chalta he attitude... Taking everything light.. When your basic / ethical values have been taken lightly & no vigilance / higher authority has the say in the right / wrong.. this is what we end up...

    A thought provoking post and understood your frustation being taken for granted when you stood up for justice.

    Also, coming to the point of Media, i agree there are more no.of such incidents are happening now-a-days than earlier days. But I feel, today's media is concentrating on negative issues and they want to create a breaking news rather than a sensible & truthful news. And they highlight the issue for few days when its heat is on high and later they leave it once they feel, it is not going to bring TRPs.

    Earlier I used to watch news channels & discussions regularly. Now I stopped tuning into News channels.. Their narration & usage of words & repetition of same issue makes me irritated.

    -Pallavi.
     

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