The media (read electronic media) in India considers itself intelligent and on many occasions it tries to be the real brooding brain of the society. On many occasions, they will make you feel that it is only they who are equipped with the grey matter to understand the moral nitty- gritty of the complex Indian society. They will always ask blaring through your T.Vs: “What are you doing?” Many a times, they will make you individually feel responsible for all the chaos of the country.
But can you ask them any questions? No because you don’t have that mic and that glamorous channel. You are there to listen only!
But you might be wondering that why I am blabbering all this about media. The reason is related to one incident that took place yesterday.
Yesterday, there was a piece of news doing rounds in the media about students of the tenth board cheating in Bihar. While I don’t want to go into the niceties of whether the cheating in exams as an act is morally right or wrong, I would surely try to go into the body language that the media persons across the channels had while reporting this cheating incident.
The media persons across various channels seemed to take a sadistic pleasure in the cheating episode of Bihar. They smirked, they derided, and they questioned the state of affairs about education in Bihar.
What is wrong in unearthing the rotten layer of a social life of the country? You might argue.
Now consider this, the same media applauds the efforts of a coaching institute in the capital of Bihar (that is Patna) for churning out IITians with its magical potion that it provides to some thirty students in a year.
Now here is the devilish dichotomy, you cannot at the same time make fun of the education system of Bihar for cheating and glorify somebody for coaching. The catch is that the coaching of IITs (or medicals or for any other prestigious profession for that matter) flourishes because we don’t have the rudiments of learning placed well in the schools and that is why we have to hanker after coaching centers. If we are given the right potion of education in schools then do we need to go to the coaching centers?
So, in a way, in the eulogy of coaching institutes lurks the dilapidated condition of the education systems in Bihar.
We have become a society that takes pride in KOTA(Rajsthan), Super Thirty(Bihar) and have tried our best to forget the roles that schools have to play, the roles the schools can play, the roles the schools must play.
So, showing repulsion through facial expressions on T.V channels is not going to make the situation any more serious, it is already serious and people who were taking part in the cheating subconsciously know that very well.
The people of Bihar know it subconsciously that their situation has deteriorated from being the proud custodians of Nalanda University to hapless champions of cheating. They know that how they got reduced to Bihar from Vihar. They know how the quality of their kings plummeted from King Ashoka to the present day care takers of the state. But they cannot change the situation that has to be changed by the force of the state. The education is a matter that is directly dependent on the endeavors of the state. If you are not lucky enough to go to the private schools then only Govt. is your care taker.
Anyways, now what I feel is that when a society is subjected to depravity (of all kinds like thoughts and actions) for so long it loses its power to cogitate and therefore even wrongs seem right to it and that is what has happened in this case. Students of Bihar consider the cheating a normal exercise. Why? Because they have seen people flourish in their state through cheating. So, it is ingrained in their mind that to progress in this state or for that matter in this country, cheating is the only recourse. Their mind is impressionable, so what they see is what they learn.
But what happened to the erudite people of media, why could they not act responsibly while reporting the cheating incident? Why did they not blur the faces of the students (mostly were girls)? Even today you can find the videos of students without blurred faces. I think that by not blurring the faces of students they have also cheated the ethos of journalism.
In the precipitancy to uncover the stink of education system of Bihar, they have bared their greed for a piece of news. If the media houses are so worried about the cheating in Bihar, why didn’t they care to an extent where the regular reports were made about the ground realities of the schools in Bihar?
Only making one off reports that teachers in Bihar can’t spell the names of English Fruits or English Months doesn’t absolve them off of their serious responsibilities and give them license to make fun of the state of affairs of Bihar.
So, in this case of cheating, if anyone had to be belittled or embarrassed then it had to be the political process that has spawned spineless characters in political arena, not the children who were taking the exams. They are mere victims of the policymakers of their state.
Media might argue that they are only mirrors; their job is only to show. Then why this mirror refuses to show the defiled patterns that breathe under its own sleeves. There are many politics, much discrimination, and many games that make rounds in these glamorous media houses but they would always act as if everything is hunky- dory within them.
If they are really honest about problems of the country then they should take steps that provide the solutions for a problematic situation, otherwise they should not read news in the super animated style that gives us a sense that given a chance they will eradicate all the problems of the country at one go.
For media, reporting about the dearth of elimination facilities in India is only a source to win big and prestigious awards, reports of cheating in exams are just a source of promotion in the hierarchy, they don’t have anything to do with the future of the problem, they have only one thing to do with and that is the ‘present’ of the problem. The ‘present’ of the problem is good for TRPs, we are made fools by animated body language of media anchors that shows that they are harbingers of change and that they are seriously desperate for change.
It is high time Indian media got out of grandiose gibber and focused on the substance rather than spice!
P.S: I have nothing against the coaching centers, it just perplexes me that why the brilliant brains that can shape the minds in coaching centers are kept aloof from making school curriculums that could make the learning as a process easy and graspable instead of intricate and unfathomable.