Saturdays With Shivani- Ye Public Hai, Sab Janti Hai; Really?
When cable TV invaded our homes, in the name of content we had conspiracies, murders, shape shifting snakes, reincarnations, one-night stands and promiscuity shoved down our throats- all in the name of TRP. A TV czarina had gone on record saying that she made these serials for masses and that’s what they wanted. I lived in Doordarshan nostalgia when the content was way ahead of its time. It saddened me to see the sharp decline of the Indian television and the black hole it was becoming. The creativity had been sucked out and mindless rubbish was being spewed back at us, till I discovered OTT platforms. They empowered me with choice and I could distance myself from the murk.
My happiness was short lived. The monster of mediocrity now eyed our news channels. So now we have people barking through windows in the name of debate and suicide scenes are reconstructed down to morbid details in the name of news. Conjectures, theories, gossip, unverified stray comments are being served to us in the garb of primetime news. The self-styled experts who may have no inkling of the subject jostle on our screens to spout their wisdom.
Slowly but surreptiously this nonsense, that is masquerading as news, must be seeping in to our subconscious and mutating our thought process. No wonder that we are ready to pounce upon the next person who disagrees with us. As adults if we cannot control it, what about the kids who are absorbing it passively.
Responsible journalism is a thing of past that was sacrificed on the altar of TRP. Apparently the model is working for the tabloidesque channels as they are ruling the charts. If TRP is a projection of viewers’ choice, I wonder who these viewers are? When did we degrade ourselves to the extent of becoming voyeurs? Why are we allowing these loud mouthed (and extremely foul at that) anchors to sway our opinions based on ill-informed ‘experts’? Why are we willingly letting these people into our living rooms and inviting them to stay for dinner? Why are we not switching them off? Where is the India that wants to know about a celebrity’s bowel movements in COVID induced quarantine? Who are these people or am I so out of touch with the ‘real’ India?
Where is that public jo sab janti hai? Can the real India please stand up or have we already drowned ourselves in meaningless rubbish?