Gangrapes, child molestations, extortion and blackmail, accidents, deaths, divorces... newspapers are filled with these reports. And they should be. We should be aware of the latest happenings around us. And it’s the duty of newspapers to report these incidents, right?
Well, my theory is that newspapers are the reason these crimes are on the rise. Now that’s a paradox. Aren’t newspapers the reason these crimes are reported and can be controlled? Well, not really.
Man is a product of the 5 people he spends most time with, and what he reads. And today, man barely has time to read anything other than newspapers. Maybe a Chetan Bhagat novel here and there. What does he read in newspapers? Rampant incidents of rapes, child abuse, domestic violence, death, bribery, corruption and more. Since papers barely report the punishment meted out to such criminals, they appear to have gotten away with it. Maybe he can too. If he can’t the newspapers will carry his name, won’t they? They will glorify him. He will be a hero; brag to his friends; his colony will celebrate his name – doesn’t matter why. In short, these bloody newspapers indirectly encourage criminal minds. Why do they continue to report these cases? Because they’re paid by politicians and rich businessmen to keep actual news like ineffective policies, corruption and dying farmers under wraps. Don’t believe me? Look for the e-newspaper article of Ambani’s son crashing his car into 2 others one night. After all, why won’t we vote for politicians just because molestation cases are on the rise? We will protest a little (get our names and faces in the papers), turn apathetic in some time and go back to our depressing lives again.
Gurcharan Das had written in ‘India Grows At Night’ that during the internal war in Egypt, a leading Egyptian newspaper carried the photo and an article on an old man planting a nursery. This was a symbol of hope, of positivity. Numerous websites and posts on social networking sites carry stories of humanity, inspiration and love. Why can’t newspapers do the same? Well, it’s because they’re just trying to sell. And they know that this ‘inspiration, motivation and hope’ shit doesn’t sell for long. We humans crave for tragic stories; we yearn to feel subconsciously satisfied at the fact that other people are worse off than us.
I have stopped reading Times of India and Indian Express since some time now. I just breeze through it because I’m still a sucker for stories which offer hope. Unfortunately, I find none. Time for you to open your eyes and mind. Stop lapping up these crappy stories in newspapers and watch crime rates dwindle. Or maybe newspapers will start reporting the punishment dished out to these criminals too. Change will be slow, it will be gradual, but it will come.