Where have all the men and women of a few words gone? The obnoxious banter seems to have caught the fancy of one and all. Tune into any form of media and you will know the truth. People who matter hurl profanities in public with the least concern for the decorum. The politicians are on the kill all the time looking for the first opportunity to pin down their adversaries. The slanging match grows louder each time the elections approach. Even without elections most of the time it is a free for all and rarely does one see any streak of civility. The street brawls and road rages have become the order of the day. Most of these end up in severe causalities often leading to a fatal end.
The print media especially the newspapers that once upon a time treaded with caution lest their reputation gets tarnished have thrown their guards to the winds. In the craze for ‘breaking the news first’, each morning one reads more sleaze, tales of deceit, lies, blood, mayhem and falsehood than the previous day. Is there no positivity left in the world that can find a mention on the first page of the newspaper. The advertisers sell the products and services on a loud pitch and it resembles the fish market where everyone is eager to sell, by out bidding others. I never came across so much of negativity being circulated anywhere in the world from dawn to dusk. We are the second most populous nation with a very high level of poverty and illiteracy, thus the proportion of negativity is bound to be far more. What is alarming is that those who are spearheading the bad news are the ones who are supposed to be more affluent, literate and on a higher wrung of the social ladder. I remember when I was in Tel Aviv many years back when the city was struck with Scud missiles, just the days before. The newspapers highlighted the achievement of drip irrigation on the first page and the news of attack featured on subsequent pages. Every citizen was prepared to face the eventualities like an outbreak of chemical war. Even the visitors like us were informed to contact the hotel staff to collect gas masks, if situation so warranted.
We are a society that is in flux on many fronts. The political situation in North Eastern parts and Kashmir remains fragile and any permanent solutions still appear distant. The war hysteria is created from time to time. Worse, the journalism has taken a plunge to a new low that enjoys highlighting the perils of the common man on every front ranging from distraught leadership, rising prices, and growing crime. Unfortunately, even the leading TV channels that have high viewership keep ‘breaking the bad news’ of kickbacks, murders etc with much aplomb and within a week’s time dies into a whimper with no follow up, as something more juicy appears on the horizon. It is time we learn to ‘mind our language’ and take the right of ‘freedom of speech ‘in a responsible manner. We need people of few words and lot of action rather than the other way around!
PS : Image kind courtesy Google