Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Shame On You"

"Shame on you" were the very words confronting me from a news channel when I switched on my TV set this morning. The words were coming from a devastated father whose young son had committed suicide a few months ago in the aftermath of caning by teachers/principal in his school. The words coming from a man who had faced one of the worst tragedies of life was understandable but still I felt bewildered. For this broadcast the channel had to have supported and approved it and this puzzled me. The day before same and other channels were broadcasting how proud a country we were on having successfully executed and showcased the best opening ceremony ever for the XIX th Common Wealth Games, the organisation of which had been a public lesson in blatant corruption and incompetence. I couldn't understand whether I was supposed to feel proud or ashamed as an Indian.

What puzzled me most was while I was being asked to feel ashamed for this single act of injustice to a citizen, why I was never told "Shame on you" by this powerful media house or other media houses when news came of thousands languishing in our jails without a trial for years. When the news came of thousands of children in the country dying of starvation, when these powerful people came across kids begging on city streets and traffic junctions. When blatant leakage of public money is reported in the media and everyone becomes silent spectator to victimization of one who dared to bring that leakage to light, the leakage still continuing. Why do our sensibilities get aroused for the dead but not for the living human beings, millions of whom face injustice and raw-deal day in and day out of their existence? Only if our leaders (in all walks) could ever harbour that feeling called shame!

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