Thoughts on media, Mumbai, ‘terrorism’

The violence in Karachi today has overshadowed what happened in Mumbai yesterday. More on that later. Meanwhile, here’s a comment I posted to my facebook page (relevant to Karachi situation too?): Salam Mumbai. Hope the damage is contained. And – I understand the addiction to ‘breaking’ news, but wish we could do it differently. If there was no live TV, would terrorists put up such shows? …Death toll as reported this morning is 21. Even one is too much. I keep thinking of Sahir Ludhianvi’s universally relevant and humanitarian poem, ‘khoon apna ho ya paraya ho, Nasle aadam ka khoon hai aakhir…’ Here’s a response from Rakesh Sharma, a prominent documentary filmmaker from Mumbai:

“On 7/7 I was out filming. Post 26/11 I was out filming again from the 29th onwards. It was horrifying to see TV crews shooting on the streets of my city both during and after – the sheer theatrics, the uncouth, insensitive questions, shoving people, trying to get that dramatic frame or soundbite. I wasnt the only one repulsed. Such widespread was the revulsion that 4 days later, any victims or their families just refused to speak to any TV crews! In fact, for the first time in my worklife, I was welcomed into homes and hospital wards only because I said – we’re not TV; we are documentary film-makers! And really for the first time, I didnt need to explain what a documentary is and no one asked which channel will it be shown on…”

He added that he was “now besieged on another thread by impassioned bigots” responding to another comment of his: “Till the time there is Hate, till the time we tolerate or support Hate-mongers, till the time we don’t oppose Politics of Hate – we can not possibly dream of peace and harmony. No amount of street or online hysteria, momentary outrage, demand for resignations or other meaningless gestures will make any real difference till we allow Hate to breed and flourish”.

The hysterical tirades began when he posted a comment by someone else – “Terrorism is arbitrariness. You can put the whole army on the streets, and you’d still have a bomb blast. You can arrest everyone who has read the Anarchist Cookbook, and you’d still have a bomb blast. You can terrorize an entire society, and you can still have a bomb blast. Its arbitrary nature ensures its survival, and it will survive as long as there is hate in society. ~ Javed Iqbal…

So, now he is “battling the barrage of creative name-calling!” More power to him and other peace-mongers

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2 Responses

  1. [...] Thoughts on media, Mumbai, ‘terrorism’ [...]

  2. Rakesh Sharma is right but that doesn’t matter right now. What matters to the millions of angry Mumbaikars right now is that our government is so clueless. According to what he told Barkha Dutt, it took the Maharashtra CM 15 minutes to get through to his police officers because the phone lines were congested and apparently, the govt was not using any secure communication network. People who want to inflict violence, will. They must be found and thwarted. The documentaries and op-eds are necessary too, but for an entirely different audience.

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