Saturday 5 May 2012

Why Media doesn't say Common Man is corrupt?

Written by Anil Singh

Media -- both print and electronic -- doesn't say the Common Man is dishonest or corrupt.

But, that doesn't mean, as a common man any of us should see ourselves as Angles or 'Harish Chandras'.

The Media, not only in this country, but in any nation; seldom does programmes or reports which bring to fore the dishonesty of the common man. And there's a reason why they don't do so.

The reasons is:

Journalists, essentially raise only those issues which affect the interests of the public (or the common man). And not the other way round.

Hence if a corrupt politician or Officer misappropriates the money, which he/she is required to spend on the public, OR takes a bribe; a journalist (and the media he represents) sees the incident as a NEWS. But when a common man evades a tax, or a duty; the incident is NOT A NEWS.

In short, the thumb rule journos follow is the 'Public interest'.

Let I give you an example.

Every day, we -- the public, buy and sell properties (land, apartments, etc.). In most cases, we in collusion with the Treasury employees and the lawyers; show our buys and sells lower than their real value. Here, our aim is to save thousands of rupees in stamp duty and tax. To attain this objective, people happily give a few thousand Rupees as bribe. No one complains, no one gives a damn.

This is exactly what happened, when Team Anna member  Prashant Bhushan's father, Mr. Shanti Bhushan, was found guilty of stamp duty evasion, by the Allahabad court.

There are many such examples, where a common man engages in dishonesty -- Tampering of electric meters, getting oneself a BPL ration card, when one doesn't fulfill the eligibility criteria are some examples.

The country has reached to such a bizarre situation, where in "every one is blaming the other of dishonesty".

When the essence of the situation is: We as a society give a damn to honesty; and the people we choose as our representatives (our MPs, MLAs) simply reflect our core beliefs.

Just imagine how much respect we have for honesty, when people like Ramdev, are shouting all day on corruption; when fine investigative journalism by newspaper Tribune, claimed that the Yoga Guru not only encroached on farmer's land in Haridwar; but is also found to be allotted in 2007, large tracts of land at throwaway prices by the BC Khaduri Government in Uttarakhand.

Similarly, take Kiran Bedi's conduct for instance. The ex IPS officer, claimed the Business Class Flight Ticket Travelling Allowance from an NGO, who's function she attended as a keynote speaker; but traveled Economy Class. The money she saved, enriched her bank account.

Former IRS Officer, Arvind Kejriwal campaigned in Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections, telling the voters to vote for clean politicians; but on the day of voting he didn't vote. On the voting day, he had to take the 10:00 AM flight to Goa.

Some of us, will see these incidents as "petty compared to the corruption of the politicians"; but still as a class, don't we, the citizens of India, are duty bound to question our own conduct.

To sum up the point made in this article, let I share with you a story.

Noted Saint and Social reformer, Ram Krishna Param Hamsa, used to meet his followers and common folk every day. Once a lady came to the saint. She was accompanied by her 5 year old son.

The woman told Ram Krishna, that her son keeps eating jaggery (in Hindi, called 'Gud'). And no matter how much she tells her not to, the boy just doesn't obey.

Ram Krishna didn't say any thing; and simply told the lady to come after a week.

The woman came with her son, after a week.

Ram Krishna again told her to come after a week.

This continued for two months.

Finally, when the woman came with her son the next week; Ram Krishna, looked the boy in face, and strictly told him "Not to eat too much jaggery; and obey her mother, when she orders him not to eat jaggery".

Much to the mother's delight and surprise; the boy appeared as if he understood the instruction well.

The woman was surprised for one reason -- if the Saint had to say that much to the kid; then why did he not instruct the kid, on her very first visit.

When she asked Ram Krishna for the reason; Ram Krishna simply smiled and said: When she first came to him, he himself ate a lot of jaggery; and it took him all this time to "get rid of the habit".

How could he preach to the little boy on a habit; he himself hadn't conquered.

Hope, you understood the moral of the Story.

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