Monday, 22 September 2014

Entertainment Ke Liye...

the action of providing or being provided with amusement or enjoyment.

When I Google the definition of the word 'entertainment' I am furnished with the above.

But do I enjoy watching somebody being insulted? Does it amuse me in any way to see someone being mortified?

All in the name of entertainment.

Maybe Google got it wrong. But Big G NEVER gets it wrong. We all know that, don't we?

One of the most reputed media house in my country definitely differs in this regard.

That one of India's leading newspapers has been loosing it's sanctity block by block was evident to me for quite a while now, but yesterday I felt as if it descended to a different level when a quite tasteless article about a popular actress which simply doesn't go with something of their stature was splattered all over their entertainment daily.

A week ago, the same faction of media had posted a rather disgraceful video online. It didn't go down well with the actress who was in the middle of it all and she retaliated with stern replies clearly indicating she was hurt. As is the case with that thing called Social Media, a flurry of comments followed the incident within minutes. Some of them in solidarity with the actress, some of them as mere spectators scrolling their smart screens with their fingers, and a major chunk of them composed of people that we have all been at some point - the voyeurs.

That gene we all possess that makes us get all worked up and crazy excited about something about somebody we may or may not personally know. But it sure is something we would definitely like to know. There was nonstop trolling, a dash of jeering with a sprinkling of uninhibited and undisguised contempt which flowed through the thread of replies.

An apology was demanded.

But a sleazeball explanation was furnished.

They wanted the world to know the actress's 'beauty.'

You see, awareness was their only motto.

175 years of alleged excellence explained in one brief moment.

The virus of voyeurism coupled with a fierce and adamant need to assume that it is what it is being served as - entertainment.

The question that arises is this: What exactly are we being served in the name of entertainment?

Because, from where I stand it looks like utter crap.

And it is highly dangerous that they publish such unseemly content in the newspaper just because they were accused of wrongdoing in the first place. Doesn't this raise questions on the use - or rather - misuse of power? Seniority in most places is misunderstood, misinterpreted and highly misused. This incident is an example of this. How low can somebody get to prove their point?

In times when we as a nation are grappling with the horribly disintegrating condition of women's safety earning us a spot among some of the most dangerous countries for women, why are we not focused on doing something about amending the required laws - making it more stringent so that the rabid rate at which these crimes are being committed can be eradicated?

Why are we so interested in somebody's vital statistics and making sure the world knows about it? What future does that hold for our journalism?

Where do we draw the line? Is there a demarcation about what is and what is not admissible as news material?

There was a time when teachers recommended reading newspapers to us students. Now when one peruses a newspaper, they just don't know what sort of un-newspaperly content awaits them.

And it just doesn't stop at the threshold of good old news. As long as you have content that would grab attention - be it of any kind, it is alright. In fact it is actually only better.

Even if it is a shady ice cream commercial dripping with innuendoes.  Or a certain mango drink. And don't even get me started on deodorants.

In the end it is all about proving a point that we are a part of a sexually liberated society and that discussing it openly should not raise eyebrows. Because that is the modern thing to do. That is the 'in' thing. And if you are the one who does raise an objection to the same then you are tagged archaic. Regressive. A narrow minded individual. Or a hypocrite.

There is no denying the fact that people get influenced by what they see or read or hear in the media. There was nothing wrong when the  Mumbai Police called upon leading filmmakers to curb the extent of sex and violence in movies. The trend of  sexualizing things even when there's no scope for it just to get everybody's attention is just plain unnecessary. I was surprised to find that movies like 'Insidious' and 'The Conjuring' are aired on TV with significant chops even though there is no need for it while popular brands churn out advertisements that always border on being vulgar. Take the example of the daily delivered to my house everyday which divulges details about some peculiar celebrity couple in a faraway country that practice their yoga naked( why would I be interested in that little tidbit of information). Only to be greeted by cases after cases of rape - fresh and ongoing, in the ensuing pages.


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