The Executive Wing and The MediaMay 26, 2008
The past week has been most ridiculous, if you have been watching any of the Indian news channels, that is. What with Noida becoming the hub in Indian disorganized crime, the hopelessly ineffective Police department of the state is now the shame of the country. But then, this is not my opinion. I am all for giving them the benefit of the doubt and letting them go about solving [sic] the the case.
If only, the media had left it alone! With the groundbreaking stuff in China being ignored in favor of who can come up with the most sadistic twist in the tale of the murder of a 14 year old girl in Noida, its now in vogue for news channels to pick a tune and harp it until it competes with the latest bollywood buzz in the gossip market. Forgive this innocent interpretation of the duties of the media, but the current split of either being an upscale-luxury gadget-goa holiday-bollywood party brandishing channel or being a downscale-rakhi sawant-masala-faith healing promoting channel hardly fits the bill. Is is just me, or the fact that most of the country is hooked onto these channels remind you of afternoon Saas/Bahu/Grand Bahu addiction. It will be a great shame if these news channels were to replicate this great Indian middle class tragedy. And don’t get me wrong, I have this from personal experience. BBC, CNN et al have reported some of the biggest news breaks in India up to and hour before these desi wonders have woken up. Its a relief to see that the print media editors still have some sense left.
Of course, all this hype did rattle the Police Department. The result was the much publicized drama in which 3 different senior police officials each conducted their own press conferences and gave the final definitive report of the crime. Of course, there was just this minor snag of each report being different from the others. Bravo, I say, for a job well done. To put it subtly, we in India have come to respect the difference in the way our police works, and the way we expect them to work. But to have the 3 different theories on a case confirmed pretty much seals the fate of the parallel universe question.
As they say, its a vicious circle, if you’ll forgive the cliche. The media creates the case. I say create, because its not a case if its not on the evening news, its just an FIR. Then, after creating the case, the media proceeds to solve it, which given its expertise in creativity and inexperience in criminal investigation, makes for an (ahem) interesting read. This makes the Police Department look incompetent, so they come up with one of their own. Which works most of the time, since they come with only one. When they come up with more, this is what happens. The media picks whichever one makes most sense, or not. The whole thing repeats. Like an infinite loop, if you must.
PS: The above vicious circle is a theory that made most sense to me, considering the non-sense that has been going on of late. The media does report a lot of stories that ought to be reported while speculating without hesitation, and I am sure that the Police department must be solving a lot of the cases in which the wards of politicians have not been accused. Oh the Judiciary must be having a field day.