26/11 – the more we change, the more we remain the same

by Dina on November 26, 2009 · 8 comments

in Life

I couldn’t help taking these pictures off television today. And turned off TV entirely. Which I should have done a week ago, with all the rehashing of events on 26/11 last year. Just because you have so much footage during the terror attacks, does it mean it is revamped and repackaged into more and more noise (don’t forget the background dhadam dhadam music!)?

I have two three fundamental issues with all this sensationalism. One – that this sort of ongoing TV coverage is what terrorists actually desire and live and die for. While we mourn, they celebrate. Two – it’s just more noise and talk and outrage and anger and glorify heroes – how does all this Prime-time coverage actually help families of innocent victims, and all of us too, as a nation? Three (added as an update) – don’t fool us with all your citizen journalism sort of stories to round up people for your ad campaigns (Idea), media campaigns (Join Hands, lets meet here to show our solidarity etc) to showcase you care – the war here being who rounds up the most people, tweets, phone calls, and who gets the highest TRPs etc.

It’s also what prompted me to refuse all TV interviews around how social media helped da da da. I told them yes do stories by all means on how social media can provide something useful during disasters of all kinds, but why specifically today or this week?

I hope you see what I see from these screenshots of  slogans and headlines which say things like – ‘Lets Remember’, ‘Never Forgive, Never Forget’, ‘Lest we Forget’.  I grabbed them off TV channels CNN-IBN, Times Now, NDTV 24/7, Headlines Today, India TV, etc …etc etc etc.

Of course we remember, of course we haven’t forgotten, of course we can’t forgive. What are we doing about it all?  Sadly, none of the channels provide us with any clues to the answer.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 neha November 26, 2009 at 3:33 pm

I really don’t have anything intelligent to say – but a year on – I think people feel as much helplessness and fear as before.

Earlier I used to think that the media dishes out what people want to see, and it was a bit misplaced to lash at them. But I am not too sure about that anymore – especially if every channel shows the same thing… there’s no real choice in the matter is there? But most of all this bloody battle for who gets the most people to one meeting point and light candles just makes me livid.

2 Sampad Swain November 26, 2009 at 4:58 pm

I absolutely agree with you. Even more they started taking 26/11 terror attack as the Indian examples or thing for 9/11 or 07/07. As if now we are comparable with developed nations (which in this case US & UK) on the grounds of pain.

Shameless buggers, they are! Stopped watching those mindless freak.

3 arvind November 27, 2009 at 5:13 am

i don’t know… how DO you change people? how DO you turn a moment of grief into ways to prevent it from happening?

your complaint about focusing on this now, when its media salience is high, is well taken. but why do we expect the media to solve everything? just because they’re good at telling stories doesn’t mean they have any idea what stories are good to tell (and how will they, when the only metrics they have for a good story is how much attention it gets? instead of TRP, how about total impact points?)

let the candles be lit. why don’t we focus on ways to weave the meaning of this incident into our everyday lives? until then…

4 Dina November 27, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Neha, Sampad … it was such a circus really. Thanks for sharing your views too!

Arvind – great comment. There are no answers to the deeper question, and I like the suggestion of weaving in the meaning of this event into our daily lives. We don’t expect the media to solve problems or have the answers – but basic sense and sensibility ..??

5 Gagrin November 27, 2009 at 3:30 pm

terrorists does not understand these languages – media, pl cards, peace marches, prayers candles etc & for no one, care is the motive – whether its tv to idea to politicians all hve vested interests – only thing we can change is our vote to change the leadership but the q is whos’s nxt ? nice write- thanks for sharing 🙂

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