Thursday, April 14, 2016

Why TV channels are against goodwill, confidence building measures between India-Pakistan that can help secure release of prisoners?

There are hundreds of Indians in Pakistani jails & similarly many Pakistanis lodged in Indian prisons.

They include people who mistakenly walk to other side of border, those caught on suspicion of being spies, some caught for lack of proper documents, fishermen etc.

Everyone should be able to understand the plight of the families who await the release of their kin.

When 86 Indians in Pakistani jails were released last month, no TV channel [or even newspapers] bothered to show the news, prominently.

This was just a few months after 40 prisoners were released from Karachi jail. Either it doesn't make good news or less TRP [who decides?] or because of the socio-economic background of the prisoners!

If one prisoner dies in jail, there is outrage and war cries on TV (hundreds of Indians die in Indian prisoners every year, do we seen any outrage). But when dozens of prisoners are released, there is no live coverage of their coming to India or even welcome, their reaching their homes--something TV journos otherwise love most.

If you see the condition of the families, you will feel the need for confidence building measures. Reports of  Budh Ram and Jitendra Arjunwar's being lodged in Pakistan jail, led to former's release and latter's release is under process.

But unlike print media, TV channels never focus on proper reporting that would bring the larger issue before the public and help society understand the problems. It just loves 'war-mongering' which helps none.

It is saddening to say but one feels that Kripal Singh may have been alive, had media allowed India, Pakistan to come close to the table. While political parties--BJP and Congress must equally share the blame for raising the pitch, media has failed in its duty.

I still remember in 203, 311 Indian fishermen were released by Pakistan, but the news was nowhere in our media, though internationally, it got wide coverage. Blacking out such stories is absolutely wrong and unethical.

Goodwill gestures, confidence building measures need to be shown on TV, not blacked out

If such incidents are reported, there will be goodwill, people will also realise that something good is happening, the anger-hate level will come down. But perhaps, that's not the agenda.

One sided picture is presented on TV channels, a situation where people just get to see the 'other' as enemy and in black. India too keeps releasing Pakistani prisoners off and on. Is it shown on Pak TV channels?

I have no idea. However, the war-mongering for TRP takes us nowhere. It clouds the vision of the society. It makes us all dumber and it is an unethical act if media fails in its duty to inform, and rather goes misinforming us.

This is extremely dangerous as it has reached a situation where people are shown just the negative, and any amount of goodwill measures just go meaningless. It isn't patriotic or nationalistic either.

The number of deaths of prisoners in Indian jails is an astonishing figure, 1,700 deaths in the year 2014, mostly because of justice denied, delay in charge-sheet or trial & lack of medical facilities.

[Photo shows released Indian prisoners coming back to the country, at Wagah border. Picture courtesy Indian Express-PTI link]

READ: Media injecting hate in society, Sarabjeet's death, Surjeet's release