That the number of news papers, 24/7 news channels, columns and blogs have multiplied and are multiplying at an astonishing pace doesn't help if I need the truth. It is like being left with the feeling that the 'search for truth' is incomplete. Having too many opinion-makers or rather, people who think they are opinion-makers, is not exactly helpful when the unvarnished story needs to be told. In the name of opinions, sometimes I feel facts are twisted or selectively presented. This is not altogether different from being the front of powerful barons or lobbyists to advance their interests.
I am not trying to say that all of these esteemed camera-savvy gentlemen and ladies can be painted with the same brush. It is just that moderation and restraint are compromised. When a 1000 word column should be written on some thugs vandalizing an office (just to take an example), it is presented with so much vehemence and flamboyance of prose that is precisely not warranted.
This has two major effects -
- The reader/viewer (for the print and the electronic media respectively) never gets the real degree of importance an event/incident should merit.
- The players who act out (like the MNS and the Netas) get free marketing. Their causes, reasons and plans are broadcast to the nation.
Discretion on our side is needed to stay aware, alert and informed. This can be done by reading selectively and relying on time-tested sources. Diversity is not always good and a little knowledge in today's world is better than getting bogged down by too much. Try reading Jug Suraiya and VR Krishna Iyer on the same day or the editorial of THE HINDU and TOI for that matter. It is a recipe for craziness! One important thing before I end this post - things are not always as simple as some columns reduce them to nor for that matter is truth a matter of black or white. The reality always lies somewhere in between.