Not Vaidik or Hafiz, the real issue is Indian media's frustration

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Vaidik: A target of frustrated media
Ved Pratap Vaidik's meeting with Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan has stirred a massive controversy in India. Don't really know why there is so much noise about this meeting. While the Opposition is disrupting the day-to-day business in the legislature by attacking the Narendra Modi government during the day, the media is wasting the entire evening ranting about this episode.

Jounalist active or passive? What judgement is that?

The editor-in-chief of one channel was seen blasting Vaidik in a prime time programme, mocking the latter as a 'non-active' journalist while boasting about himself as one. On what ground can journalism be categorised as active and passive?

The Indian media has failed to sensationalise at will in the Modi era

The Ved Pratap Vaidik episode has put forth a simple fact and that is: The mainstream Indian media has been completely fooled by the new government in its mission of revealing everyday sensation as 'breaking news'. The fodder was aplenty during the previous government which lacked a leader and discipline to rein in loose statements. In the new government which came to office in May, the scenario is completely opposite and the media is really, really struggling to find an opening and make a big fuss.

The fading of Arvind Kejriwal after the big battle of 2014 has also left the media wondering on how to get the next big thing. It was in this situation that the Vaidik episode unfolded and it was a meatball for the hungry media. The editor-in-chief we talked about earlier made it a point to revive his 'patriotic' self and slammed Vaidik in his prime time debate.

We though don't know the reason for what Vaidik participated in the programme for he surely would have known how it feels to be at the receiving end of that so-called debate telecast. May be he, too, wanted some quick publicity as he sought by making unnecessary statements that Kashmir can be made independent after his controversial meeting with the 26/11 mastermind.

Media's hyper-patriotism has hit nation's interest

But even if Vaidik has tried to ride the media wave even at the expense of his own dignity, it is the hyper-active Indian media which is responsible for ruining their habits. The Indian media loves to exhibit its hyper-patriotism at the drop of a hat and Vaidik was another reason for the muscle-flexing. But all this drama has made us look fools at the end of the day and has only allowed some precious moments in governance go waste.

The Indian media loves to celebrate stubborn borders with neighbours: This shows India to be intolerant

The mainstream Indian media loves to celebrate borders with neighbouring states to highlight its pesudo-nationalism but in its over-excitement in doing so, it could ruin all the hard work the accountable establishment does to improve its image in the vicinity. If India aims to address the 26/11 terror attack meangingfully, it can do so only by engaging more with Pakistan and not by reducing itself into a laughing stock just by feeding the false ego of some studio-bound journalists.

Media's patriotism will vanish the moment India win a cricket match or a rape happens in a big city

If the Indian news channels feel at home by pampering the sentiments of a booming feel-happy middle class, it can give up dealing with news content and just cover consumerism and entertainment. But it is absolutely sinister to put the country's foreign policy in trouble by creating a nonsense on the television. The point is all this 'patriotic' ranting will vanish the moment India win another cricket match or another rape takes place in a big city. For our media, patriotism, cricket, rape are all commodities for the middle-class's consumption.

If Vaidik has spoken to Saeed Hafiz, what's the matter? Journalists, after all, bridge the divide

If Vaidik has met Saeed in the capacity of a journalist or a whether he was sent by the government of whether he is trying to prove his competence to become a government emissary is absolutely irrelevant. If he has met Saeed to engage him in talks, it makes perfect sense. A lot of journalists meet Maoist leaders in deep jungles for exclusive stories. Are they all terrorists?

If Vaidik is an issue, a bigger issue is: What India's security apparatus was doing when Kasab's gang entered Mumbai?

If Hafiz Saeed managed to kill several people in Mumbai on that fateful night of November 26, 2008, a bigger question can be asked: What was India's security apparatus doing on that night as Ajmal Kasab and his men managed to enter the country through the Maximum City and not any remote border village?

All noise leads to a big zero

India has only thumped its chest so far on the issue of catching hold of Hafiz Saeed while the media has generated a lot of noise in the domestic circles. The end result has been a big zero. If unconventional ways can bring a positive result, why dislike it?

If India's political establishment is hoping to turn things around under a new leadership, the media also needs to get its act right. Staging drama in the name of journalism can prove to be self-defeating in a big way.

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