Irony of A Country

Posted on
  • Friday, April 1, 2011

  • Bangalore is alleged to have highest density of traffic in the country, and is said to be amongst the top 20 most densely populated cities of the world.
    Praveen Narayan

    All Indians are my brothers and sisters, the oath is usual to hear and is usual to be laughed at. But, when a three-year old was murdered in Australia on the night of March 4th, it made news to the Indian national media, and when on the same day an infant was killed in the suburb of Bangalore named Kumbalgudu, it hardly made news for the local media and still remained usual.

    Bangalore is alleged to have highest density of traffic in the country, and is said to be amongst the top 20 most densely populated cities of the world. Kumbalgudu is approximately 30 kilometers from the Bangalore City Railway Station. Bangalore has 85 per cent literacy rate, and is connected through state highway 17 to Mysore a major tourist destinations of the country.

    On this highway is Kumbalgudu that is said to be an industrial area. Kumbalgudu is well distant from the cities busy life and is a hub for various educational colleges.

    Praveen Narayan, a broadcast student of Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) received a call early morning from a medical store located on the Mysore road in Kumbalgudu. The shopkeeper said on the phone, “ An infant is lying in the garbage and people are watching it.” IIJNM students cover local news for the college’s in-house publication and news channel, hence the students are more or less like regular journalists. Praveen reached the medical store with his friend from the same college Nirjhar Kasar, and asked about the story. The shopkeeper said the baby is lying below the tamarind tree next to the school and kids are watching it. As Praveen started to move for the school, the son said, “don’t tell people who told you.” Praveen replied, “ yeah I wont,” understanding the journalism bit of it and his choice of revealing his sources.

    The usually school uniformed Indian kids were uncommonly circling around an object next to the tamarind tree. And were watching a male infant. The baby was dark blue in color and interestingly a male, probably it was kept in the night of March fourth. The infant was dead and Praveen captured the visual of the baby and came back talking to the owner of the medical store. Interestingly, local media came to the spot and left, and no one informed the police. The inhumanness of the society made the journalists go back to the college to attend their Social and Religious lecture.
    Nirjhar described the story to Kanchan Kaur the vice dean of the college, and asked her to grant permission to go again to cover the story from social and religious point of view. The vice dean asked him to take the permission of the lecturer Nagesh Hegde. Mr. Hegde takes the social and religious lecture and has been the editor of a known local newspaper, and a force to restrict the start of Kaiga Nuclear Plant. Mr. Hegde granted the permission to both the students, but the students choose to attend the lecture.
    “An infant was dragged out from garbage by a dog last year”, Mr. Hegde said in the class, to which Praveen added, “this will happen next year as well.”

    Whether an event makes news or not depends on how an event performs at various parameters. Oddity, timeliness, proximity, impact, conflict and prominence describe the relevance of a story. Mr. Hegde described such things happen in the society and a journalist can hardly make any difference by covering such stories. But, when Journalists are emotionally strong enough to understand the worthiness of the story, there hardly remains any passion to construct a story objectively.

    Economist carried a leader named Gendercide on the same day, fourth March 2009. The strap line of the leader says Killed, aborted or neglected, at least 100mn girls have disappeared—and the number is rising. Economists say in 1990 an Indian economist, Amartya Sen, put the number at 100m; the toll is higher now. Yes, the toll is higher, “ so what,” a question Indian Journalist asks themselves before covering a story seems hard to answer.
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