The recent crack up of the Indian Mujahiddeen has presented itself as a five course dinner for the news channels. Especially hungry are Headlines Today, Aaj Tak, India TV and Star News. No surprises there.
Headlines Today aired a show called the Web of Terror yesterday (September 25, 2008). What they also managed to do was to grab a hammer, take a nine inch nail and drive it straight through your skull. No. They were not finished yet. That was just their bg'm'. They proceeded to pluck the nine incher, firmly placed in the thick of your brain, by announcing that the information they are so confidently airing is from a "secret source" in the Police Department. Then they hammered the nail back into our skulls with the rest of the show that actually convicted these people. Isn't there a clause somewhere in the rule books of news channels that a person not yet found guilty by the court of law has to addressed as "accused"?
The show presented the Indian Mujahiddeen as something we all could relate to; an IT company. You know those blue-collared, knotted-on-the-neck professionals responsible for the Indian economy's flourish.
So with the show, someone became the Head of Operations of their Delhi unit. "Like the CEO of a company," they informed us. There was a Human Resource manager who "recruited" new blood into the outfit. And this one takes the cake. They have a Public Relations Officer. A Public Relations officer for a terror outfit. And I thought I had seen everything. Or heard everything.
You can just imagine the role of a Public Relations officer. Once they have successfully completed a blast, the Public Relations guy calls a press conference. He then proceeds to inform the world in front of camera flashes that it was their diligence in planning and executing this operation that has successfully killed hundreds. You know this is going into his annual performance review.
So. I'm a buns hole sitting in my chair and trivialising a national menace that has killed thousands. Adjust those glasses a bit and tune your hearing aid.
I did not start this. One viewing of the programme in discussion that was aired on national television ( ! ) and you see there is a responsibility at rapid threat here - integrity of news channels. The supposedly serious matter has been trivialised or sensationalised for TRPs. It is a much blown horn of concern this, decline of integrity. But I bow down before you, my majestic audience, and blow it just once more. Pom!