Friday, 10 February 2012

Question to Rashtriya Sahara: Is It necessary to mention 'Iklauta Putr' in your Reports

Written by Anil Singh

Want to register my great displeasure at the quality of journalism displayed by some of the reporters/journalists of Rashtriya Sahara Daily -- published from Dehradun.

I have observed that, whenever a boy dies in some road accident, the news report without fail, mentions that the "Boy was the Only Son of his parents" Or in hindi "mritak apne maata pita ka iklauta putr tha". Sometimes such articles do read like, "The boy was the only brother of two sisters" OR in hindi "mritak do bahnon ka iklauta bhai tha". Other versions of this kind of reporting are, the "diseased is the Only Lamp of his house" OR "Mritak apne ghar ka iklauta chirag tha".

In one article, published more than a month ago, wherein, a five year old boy was trampled to death by a speeding truck, in Patel Nagar, Dehradun; the article read, the boy was returning from a private tution, along with his eight year old sister; the boy was "his parents' only son". Whosoever writes such news reports, should be asked one question: Isn't the Girl the Only daughter of her parents?

On contrary, whenever a Girl dies in some accident, the reports never mention such "supplementary information".

To be honest, this is NOT unnecessary nit-picking (Baat ka batangad banana) on my part. There are serious objections to such kind of reporting. There are serious implications of such irresponsible journalism as well.

First of all, such kind of reports in newspapers, which are believed to be the flag bearers in making public mindset and opinion, underestimate the value of Girl Child.

Secondly, they project a picture among readers, that the value of human life depends on gender. It paints a picture on the minds of readers, which shouts: Death of a male human is more sad than a female.

Thirdly, it doesn't look good to hear such biased notions from society's most intellectual people, the journalists. As irrespective of its gender: A child gives equal parental satisfaction to the parents.

Implications of such irresponsible reporting:

Girls and women, who are in no way inferior to Boys and Men, in modern world; have to suffer serious setback by such irresponsible statements; more so if they are published in esteemed dailies/magazines. Such irresponsible statements bring out the Girl-Boy Bias (Putr-Putri mein behdbhav) believed to be present in the closed confines of countless Indian homes to the public arena. This results in a situation, where Girls are not only treated in a LESSER MANNER at their homes, but also in the public. If intellectuals, like journalists, in a society don't act and represent themselves responsibly; then this skewed mindset towards female gender, results in atrocities towards women & girls in public.

I would like to believe:

I would like to believe that, the highly irresponsible journalism, the example of which I mentioned in this article; is still not in the knowledge of the Editor of Rashtriya Sahara Dehradun; and, the reports mentioned here are written by some skewed individual, who was brought up in a family where 'Brothers are treated differently than sisters'. I would like to believe, the reporting of such quality, is not guided by "memos from Editor", keeping in mind the "How can I increase the Readership" mindset.

I hope, the people responsible will take immediate action on this serious objection; otherwise how will anyone have the moral courage to question "Female foeticide" in Uttarakhand and in the country.

NOTE: Also sending the link of this write-up to the Editor of Rashtriya Sahara Dehradun.

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