Srinivas Nyapathy Writes April 2011
There is a lot of anger and disgust in the public, following the media coverage of certain issues in the recent past, where ethics and decency were compromised for TRPs and Readership.
A case in point is the coverage of Shri Satya Sai Baba’s death.
To start with, Initially, the Trust may not have given the news from the hospital on time, adding to the anxiety of the devotees, but that doesn’t mean the media can go to town speculating about what’s happening inside, carrying hearsay as breaking news.
Baseless Information was reported, without any confirmation..
”Report First , Confirm later” attitude, that too, talking of one who is God to millions in India and abroad.
Where was the need to be speculating on the Trust and its wealth, while Saibaba was still in state, if not for TRPs and to make Hay while sun shines.
Talking of the Trust’s wealth is okay..but to give it a colour, as if ,the Trust having the much rumoured 40000 crore is a sin, is whats baffling.
While devotees were scanning thro the channels to get a final glimpse of Baba ..all they got to see is 3/4th screen of these discussions and scrolls on future of Puttaparthi; 1/4th screen the actual glass case where Sai baba’s body was lying. ( Oh Yes, when Sachin was having tears in his eyes infront of Baba’s glass case ..it was full screen ..TRPs)
Speculating and building on the wee bits of info they had in hand,they conducted hours of panel discussions. Whatever came of that ? Later, the issues discussed, were shot down emphatically by the Trustmembers, with facts in the press conference.
If these channels or publications which were crying hoarse with allegations had any evidence, why they have silenced themselves after the Trust’s Press Conference?
In the race to break first, all else is forgotten in this mad rat race of the media houses, Breaking News scrolls on TV and News papers with question mark headlines, Making them the Big Story, Developing Story….
A reporter of a Telugu TV channel had the guts to enter the Prashanti Nilayam, with a camera phone, stretch his arm over his head and capture what was happening inside the rooms , this is how sting operations are carried out , fine, but it can be aired only when you find something wrong happening inside the place. But this channel went ahead and telecast that operation, which basically is a invasion of privacy…and complete lack of decency. There was hardly anything in those captures but people and walls..If someone installs a spy cam in this guys house and telecasts the goings on then he would realize..how embrassing it can be. What has the Trust done to deserve this wretched invasion by a roughish channel.
For devotees of Baba, the place is of great reverence, a Temple, and no less. These acts are nothing but insulting.
Many scams and scandals were unearthed thanks to the media and sting operations, well done, bu,t to telecast something even after finding nothing in the capture was uncalled for and immaturish.
There was this Newspaper which had Aishwarya’s picture on the front page, just recently. So prominent that it was actually cutting into the masthead !
“What?” I thought, “has she received a Bharat Ratna?”…
No, No, ..it was just that shes pregnant..!
A film star ‘s, pregnancy on the frontpage , cutting into the mast page ..Well..if that wasn’t for selling the newspaper what else is it for.
The shocking helicopter crash which ended the life of AP CM YSR Reddy; after the wreckage was found and minutes before his body was identified, a regional TV channel went ahead and reported that he has actually been found alive !
May be these guys given the responsibility of handling Sai Baba’s News, do not know anything about prashanti Nilayam and how disciplined the place is . Even in the Press conference when a reporter asked a question a Trust Board Member , He in turn asked the reporter , if he had ever visited Puttaparthi before..the answer was negative.
The thinktanks behind these Channels and Newspapers should realize, that, there is a lot of difference, how you handle Osama’s killing and Sai’s death. Osama is a mastermind behind many terrorist attacks worldwide, which ended up taking several innocent lives and have changed the way we live , for the worse. Whereas Sai Baba’s life has only been about, spreading spirituality, harmony and improving lives of people across the globe.
If at all, I repeat ,if at all, the media found something wrong with the Trust, they could have waited till the time of the Samadhi. Instead of projecting nonsense as primetime news. I feel Sai Baba richly deserved at least that bit of respect at the time of his death.
All is not lost, There are enough media houses which strive hard to keep India clean and healthy.
They do bring scams to light, bringing guilty to book, catching the corrupt red handed, but, with evidence and proofs.
There are some age old publications which even today, amidst all this rat race, portray the positivity , growth, development of this Incredible India, bringing stories of the giant strides we are making in becoming a World power on to the front pages. Staying clear of speculating “IS XYZ GUILTY OF 200 Crore bribe ?”
“Was the Minister’s Office bugged ?”, “Who bugged the minister’s office ?” but finding the answers, to help us live a better life.
I salute such publications. Carry on ! We need you !