The Indian media ecosystem is having problems. Vir Das’ “Two Indies” exposed them


Comedian Vir Das | Photo: Twitter

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A The comic book monologue has become one of the most important national news this month. This fact in itself is quite concerning, but how it happened is serious. There is already a great deal of opinionated talk about whether what Vir Das said on “Two Indias” was justified, so I won’t write about it. What this the article looks at some glaring problems with the way this discourse was held.

I wish to present a critique of the Indian media, especially of what has become its most destructive and popular form – television news. This ecosystem has transcended the limits of television. All of the major TV channels also have YouTube channels and they have enough clout to shape the narrative around the print media which is already desperate with steadily declining readership. Most media are, in business terms, an advertising platform. Advertising space is what news channels have to sell to make money. Charles Baudelaire, the French poet, wrote “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world that he did not exist”. public interest and that opinions are current.

Read also : Vir Das was right, there are 2 Indies, and they do not come together

Opinion as news

On November 16, Zee News uploaded a video to YouTube with this description: “Defame India in America – Why should Vir Das be arrested?” What actor-comedian Vir Das has done in the name of free speech in America is very shameful. He made some very reprehensible comments against India. It is therefore necessary that Vir Das be arrested and prosecuted. “

The segment featured on the video is where Sudhir Chaudhary purports to respond to Das in a 25-minute rant on national television. Arnab Goswami, the editor-in-chief of Republic TV, also had strong criticisms on the matter ahead of a debate on the matter, something which is supposed to be impartial. The two channels launched hashtags for their respective news shows. How? ‘Or’ What Is a panelist supposed to keep a point contrary to the pre-set narrative for viewers when “#AbuseIsNotComedy” in red is suspended above their small frame?

I don’t think the amount of yelling on a program like the Goswami debates surprised anyone. The entire 50 minute ordeal was reminiscent of the two minutes of hate in George Orwell’s book 1984. To call such Orwellian broadcasts would simply be stating the obvious. A topic for hate is chosen – here it is Vir Das, in the book it is the hated traitor Goldstein – the only exception is that the two minute hate is only two minutes long, no more than an hour and in disguise in the news.

Goswami even felt compelled to talk about Colonel Viplav Tripathi and his family who were killed in an ambush in Manipur. When the attack occurred, Goswami was very clear in asking the so-called “Urban Naxals” about theirsilence on the tragedy, actively ignoring to put pressure on the state on the public order situation under its jurisdiction. I would say it’s double-thinking, but I may have relied on Orwell enough for today.

Chaudhary decided to bring up Vivekananda’s Chicago address in this context. He then turned away to talk about the insult to Hinduism. How he ended up giving a community angle to a comic monologue against community separatism after invoking Vivekanand is baffling.

Both gentlemen had a problem with Das getting followers and making money from the monologue. This is, of course, after the two presenters broadcast their hate propaganda on television and uploaded several videos to multiple social media platforms.

Read also : Thank goodness for Netflix and Vir Das. India craves comedy and satire, but televisions are banned

Journalistic pursuit of the truth

If Das is an Indian ambassador, as Chaudhary said, then our journalists are supposed to be ambassadors of truth to the same Indians, and as long as they peddle their unbridled views as news, they will remain unfair to their duty. .

There is a common notion in journalism that no news can ever be perfectly objective, but I think there is something both romantic and necessary in the pursuit of journalistic objectivity, a pursuit that the current class of journalists strangles to oblivion and crucifies for all to see. To be opinionated is not criminal, this article proves it, but to ram the opinion of the ascending class down the throat of the common man when he expects to see the news, is something that must be done. be corrected. The frequency and agenda of inspiring hatred for political benefit from the same ascending class is what concerns me on the verge of horror.

Vinayak Ohri is a student at Jaswant Modern Sr. Sec. School, Dehradun. Views are personal

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