Beyond 'Theek Hai': A Brother, the PM and Media Mischief

Nothing has moved me as much today as the words of the brother of the Delhi gangrape victim. Here are a few quotes from the report:

•“It is like the life we had a week ago never existed. Every day is now passing by in a flash. When I switch on the TV or log on to a social networking site, I see these emotional outbursts about Damini, Amanat, Nirbhaya (the names some media organisations have given the victim). It’s hard to digest that this is my sister they are talking about."

•“I thought the channel in question had got my sister’s name wrong, because they said ‘Damini’s condition is deteriorating’ — they addressed her like that. I was reassured from the first day that our names, my sister’s name would not come out. I was furious."

•“Every two hours, there is a new rumour. On social networks, celebrities and many friends flash her obituaries every night. For them it is just an online status they correct in two hours. At the same time, media channels say she has had a two-hour conversation, she has walked, she has smiled, she has hugged UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi."

It is easy to join the hype and the popular outrage. I felt a bit out of place. But, this young man's words confirms my belief that the media does more harm than good.

He, however, does not completely dismiss the protest movement. But, has it not brought even more fear in his life?

- - -

Read the papers, and suddenly rape cases stare you in the face. This is not sensitising, but is likely to numb people.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh came on TV and gave a short speech. People know the precise time - 2 minutes, 15 seconds. Had it been longer, would it change anything?

He became the butt of jokes because a news wire service forgot to edit out his post-speech words "Theek hai". It gave the impression that the PM was saying all is well.

>“Since the team got delayed because of the traffic diversions and the heavy equipment, they were unable to set up a teleprompter for the PM,” a source said. The PM’s address was uplinked directly to TV channels with the “theek hai” comment that went on air. Later, news agency ANI clarified, “A question to ANI’s cameraman was inadvertently broadcast by some news channels as we fed the PM’s message. The lapse was rectified.”<

It does not seem inadvertent. The media is upto mischief, especially when the news is hot.

Yet, one has got to be particularly stupid to see disembodied words nullifying the main speech.

But, stupidity is just a click away. It transforms into concern.

So, if you are concerned about security of women, then the government is meeting you halfway. Write to the Justice Verma Committee directly. I know it will deflate the efforts of 'petition' waalas. But this is what you can do:

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