Investigation missions are carried to unearth “archeological” proof of Lord Ram’s existence when a humongous domed building, materially existent, is negated, standing invisibilised to the eyes of a million people.
The structure is a mosque and further owes its name to a ruler of a past the country seeks to blot out of memory. Delhi media spends days covering the issue. Months, in fact. In other parts of the country, riots burn away lives and livelihoods. Young futures go up in smoke as ideological cradles of dissent are ravaged by hooligans in the garb of students. Arnab Goswami’s invigorated shouts “anti-nationalises” liberal humanities education put in praxis while draconian laws manufactured by colonisers are applied to students who did not limit themselves to a degree on the shelf.
An entire valley of people have their human dignity robbed off to persistent state-sponsored atrocities and finally succumb to the final blow dealt by occupation. Television channels obliterate the truth of an entire people as the narrative of reality undergoes fabrications of surreal proportions. The average Kashmiri stays stunned as the voices pronouncing the responses on their behalf have taken care to never be heard by them.
Goswami holds the beacon of justice where perhaps the scale of the Other has been erased out of existence. Sudhir Chaudhary peddles hatred that sells as sensationally as Eight Papers. This is to name the two chief personalities whose concern for the “nation” and its interests surpass the vigour and passion of any political thinker the world found noteworthy. And it is no surprise that our strange country finds men of the like steady inspirations for flowing gullets of hateful passion at the dinner table primetime hours or otherwise.
Churned in the country’s newsrooms is that spirit which the order of patriarchy inspires in suave corporate-serving English-speaking men of the country that perhaps isn’t acceptable in its most unadulterated forms: indulging in non-manifestant violence. Safe and sheltered to be indulged in inside homes, at after-dinner hours and most importantly, coming with the promise of stress release for the capitalistic order they serve.
India is a poor country. A very poor one for that matter. Poor also with regard to its happiness index. People are mostly unemployed or working in roles that snuff any and every shred of soul existent in this corporeal form of their bodies. It’s the same for both classes. Working as well as the owning. Although the latter is almost non-existent in the country. The owning class comprises too few people, who, if they look out of their thirtieth storey windows can see the shimmer of the clouds floating by and not the dingy grey of the slum’s murk and mush. They don’t bother with politics except at times to mould it in their favour through gifts of corporate dowry. The opposite class to the working in this country is the intellectual bourgeois or rather the illusion of it. The corporate or IT service sector. Who rarely have the time to think. Yet consider themselves thinking. Well, it’s not unnatural they get access to the privilege of this label via caste heritage and inheritance. You will rarely find a non upper-caste corporate servant.
Returning to the main point, both classes serve. Are servants. And serve an order that leaves them feeling unworthy of existence if they can’t produce. Perhaps chucks them out under such circumstances. Violence serves as a great stress buster. A release of inert and repressed frustrations and identity-lessness under such circumstances.
And our popular news rooms have tapped on a great resource of business by discovering the biggest cure to profit: sell violence. Sell lots of it. And as to find the target of it, well this country ripped apart by years and years of historical tussle between the religions has too many too good. But the best is the religious ‘Other’.
We all must have had that boisterous uncle or to hit too close, father, who chants along with Goswami, adding a verdict or two more of the violent ways ought to be met out to the heretic. Feet thumping vehemently, cursing with beastly teeth chattering vitriol. Furious enough to frighten children of the family. Or sensitive teenage daughters standing at crossroads of belief. All of the fury directed at the heretic at stake, so much so you wonder is that all it takes to turn the tide of humanity: a few words of hate and a few fingers of blame pointed at differences?
The heretic of this nation is guilty of a lot. From spreading viruses with an exclusive mileage to hijacking ‘national history’ to finally being mere butchers and villains in their very right to practise a religion that has been made the ultimate “bad” that ever existed for humankind. Journalism for mainstream media is holding out the jury. Newsrooms should in fact be termed our lesser courts. Or perhaps greater since before the court thinks, media gatekeepers spell it out.
If there would be a term called informational genocide, Indian media would be guilty before all. The media erases histories of civilizations, the anguishes of those the dead leave behind, decimates ideological youth springs and washes away valleys bloodied with splinters of flesh and bone through its brutal falsifications. It celebrates and produces grand coverages of inaugurations of a godland built on the blast site of another God’s dwelling. The media has no conscience. It has its principles of nationalism that seeks virtue in making Gods compete, severing tongues that chant the name of the Other.
The media in this country is the representation of the collective conscience of a people battered with hate. But as with The Three Witches, evil sprints when stirred. Humankind has both the virtues and the vices in equal mixtures. It is the one you tap on to extract that works wonders. And in our country those running the fourth pillar of democracy have chosen to tap on the latter in their most beloved viewers.
About the author: Samriddha is a postgrad in literature and an aspiring writer and journalist.