Wednesday, June 11, 2014

(Ir)Responsible Indian Media

Before the election date was announced,our media was too sincere and honest in reporting atleast few rapes a day.Once the election campaigns gained momentum,our responsible media forgot the rapes and rapists and started covering Kejriwal,Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi.Now the elections are over.The media is back to business.For the past 1 week most of the time,almost all the television channels were telecasting only rape news. To be apt,Uttar Pradesh got exclusive rape coverage.

Well,I don't think there is any politics in this coverage as the English media has been doing this for quite a long time.For media, TRP is more important than anything else.This can be easily seen from the usage of hashtags like #VaranasiBlock,#MegaExitPoll etc.Most of the tv channels and newspapers have a sick mentality that they give importance to sensationalism over sense.Let me ask a simple question - are rapes happening only in UP?Now if anyone is reading this post might call me a chauvinist.The media has brainwashed our internet generation so much that exposing the other side of coin itself is a sin.However, I have some more questions.By creating a pandemonium,will the rapes stop automatically?Is rape the only happening incident in India?Nowadays in offices,hotels and some other places where a reasonable crowd gathers,it has become a fashion to keep a TV.Unfortunately,they only keep Times Now or NDTV. The same news will be repeated 'n' number of times in the name of breaking/flash news.The word flash news lost its value because of these channels.It is highly irritating to see only rapes in the name of breaking news.

The most unfortunate part of these rape coverage is the irresponsible and adamant behavior of politicians. Here we have a democratically elected Chief Minister,who when questioned about rapes in his state, instead of promising to take action,responds the journalist arrogantly 'you are safe,aren't you?'.His father was an even noble gentleman who during elections itself said we should go soft on rapists.The problem is such statements actually will become more popular and for the sake of TRP, our media has covered UP extensively.Well,I am not here to support rapes or the irresponsible govt in UP.Personally I feel its better to dismiss the UP govt citing the law and order.There is nothing wrong in dismissing the govt.

According to UP home department sources, in major districts of UP, particularly those under the influence of the ruling Yadav family, nearly 60% police stations are headed by Yadav officers. In Badaun, where two minor girls were raped and hanged, 16 out of 22 police stations are headed by Yadav officers. Badaun is represented by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav's cousin Dharmendra Yadav in the Lok Sabha. Also, all five men accused of rape and murder of the two teenagers are Yadavs

The above information clearly suggests the reason for lawlessness in UP.How will the crime rate come down, if the police favors the guilty in the name of caste?

My point is lot of Akhilesh Yadavs are there in India and so many rapes happen every day.Creating an awareness is fine,but creating a pandemonium is not.The TV channels can conduct an exclusive program to create an awareness.Instead of projecting India as a rapist nation,our media should cover the positive aspects of our country as well.Sometimes people argue that rapes happen only in India and western countries are like heaven.But statistics doesn't support this argument.

While in the UK, a country which has less than 1/20th of India’s population, the total rapes top 95,000, the rapes in India in 2008, according to the report of the Central Statistics Office, Government of India, were far fewer—20,771. The US is similar to the UK. The reported rapes in the US in 2006 were 212,000. If unreported rapes are added, only 5 per cent of rapists ever spend a day in jail in the US (National Center for Policy Analysis US Report No. 229). One of six US women has experienced attempted or completed rape (Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Statistics).

The rape record of ‘civilised and developed’ countries
44% of victims are under age 18.
80% are under age 30.
Every 2 minutes, someone in the US is sexually assaulted.
There is an average of 207,754 victims (age 12 or older) of
sexual assault each year.
54% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police.
97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail.
Approximately 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.
38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.
Less than one rape victim in 30 can expect to see her or his attacker brought to justice.
About 1,000 rapists are convicted every year.
90 per cent of rape victims said they knew the identity of their attacker.
15 per cent went to the police.
Between 60,000 and 95,000 people are estimated to be raped each year.
About one woman in 200 has been a victim in the last one year.
1 in 38 major sex crime leads to a conviction for the offence.
2 years is the average time taken for a court verdict when the accused contests the allegations.

Just because rapes occur everywhere,one cannot justify it.I have supported death sentence to rapists irrespective of age and I stand by it.At the same time,the sick attitude of mainstream media in India is something to be worried about.Because of media reports about only rapes, Ban ki Moon,secretary general of United Nations has expressed shock over recent rapes in India.But he was not aware of what was happening in western nations(read the points above) it seems.This reaction is nothing but an impact of our responsible media's rape coverage for TRPs.Unless and until our media changes this attitude of exposing only the dark side of nation to get TRPs,India will only be looked upon as a third world nation.