5 Words

If someone asked me to give 5 words on my mind this past week, I’d probably have to say Olympics, Chetan Bhagat, Photography and Media & stuff.

They are not really all related. Olympics is a topic that is on everyone’s mind and I’m not particularly sure if there is a whole new interest for Olympics or it is just in the circles I run around in. Did we win more medals than ever this time around or is it the same kind of count but more excitement?

Chetan Bhagat… here’s a man that has been on the peripheries of my consciousness of Indian literature but is somehow trying to force his way into the biggies. Infact, he already believes that he is big. I perhaps blame the organizes of Jaipur Literature Fest for this. For the first few years of the festival, I believed that this was a platform for serious writers. I don’t mean the kind who write about the probable reasons behind the next world war or things like that… but good fiction writers. Chetan Bhagat, for all his popularity, and xx  million of copies sold, remains a guy whose books are more popular at the train station book store and are often discarded in the train once the journey is over.

I did like him for the fact that he had introduced Indian English train fiction, (as i call it). I have read only 3 of his books, of which two have been on various journeys. His books, nominally priced at (Bata price) INR 99.00, are quite a cheap investment for entertainment.

But when did the man begin to think that this entitles him, or makes him an authority to comment on what India should spend its defence budget on? The first annoying buzz of a mosquito was heard when I noted an article in Tehelka where the man was quoted on saying that we should outsource our defense and border patrolling to the US, cuz well you see spending on defence doesn’t really bring us any benefits.

Even forgetting the fact that he reeks of a sheer lack of patriotism, shouldn’t common sense kick in? Does he know a little bit of history? Like what happened when the Afghans invited the US to handle some of their problems? Or why no other country in the world would ever invite anybody, particularly the US (which might be a great country and all, but politically, they are also the most selfish nation) to guard their borders.

What makes this guy even relevant of media space?

Why would the media give people like this space and miles of precious paper?

The top trending articles this week have been about him (in a few magazines), Why Jism 2 represents such awesomeness and progress and such. Is the media really so bereft of news that we have to resort to repeating cliches?

That we have moved on from staging ‘sting’ operations on celebrities to haunting the public in the name of morality?

A friend said I should not use the word ‘moral police’ when talking about incidents like Guwahati and Mangalore. This term actually lends them some credibility and authority and gets people to support them.

After much thinking and several attempts to wrap my head around how this could happen, I figure this is true. Many people in our country still have a reserved faith in ‘police’. They believe despite all the corruption, the law will stand up. They believe in authority backed with a lathi. And people who believe that our culture is being destroyed would be quite happy to see some ‘protectors’ for it, as sad as it may seem. And the media will do nothing to tear that opinion down as long as its TRPs keep heading up.

Is it any wonder we are all depressed most of the time?

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