Cheap Popularity Gimmicks in Media Overshadow Basic Human Qualities

By Shobha Shukla, is the Editor of Citizen News Service (CNS)

Two events, occurring in quick succession in the recent past, have been very disturbing. One is the sounding of death knell by Mark Thompson, director general of British Broadcasting Corporation, of the Hindi radio service of BBC. And the other is an unabashed reality show doing its rounds on a popular FM Radio channel for the selection of the biggest lout of the city of Lucknow.

These days, the city of Lucknow, once famous for its etiquette and grace, is the scene of a new search for the ‘city ke kaminey,’ which is being sponsored and aired by a popular FM radio channel. Yes, the quest is on for the biggest scoundrel of the city. Young boys and girls are plunging to unimaginably degrading depths in order to grab the prize money and the title of ‘city ka sabse bada kameena’ (scoundrel of the highest order). The more repugnant their lies, the filthier the abuses they can mouth. The nastier their demeanour towards their friends, parents and relatives, the closer they get to the crown. The announcer of the show proudly states that ‘the rule of the game is that there are no rules.’

The whole show is a repulsive commentary on our times and lives where the desire for cheap popularity and revenue overshadows basic human qualities. It has suddenly become fashionable to be brash and indecent in behaviour.

A total disregard for the finer points of life and a blatant show of consumerism from early childhood, is robbing us away from the human desirable traits. The age of promiscuity seems to have decreased in the same proportion in which brutal sexual assaults on disabled and adolescents, have increased.

A horrifying increase in incidents of violence points to the fragile mental status of our society. Our youngsters do not think twice before taking away a life – be it their own or someone else’s. We are becoming more and more intolerant. We refuse to accept failure or take a ‘No’ for an answer.

Chivalry has been replaced by sycophancy. Rights are gaining precedence over responsibilities. The youth of today is a confused. The only role models we can offer to our children these days are scamsters, corrupt officials, scandalous reality shows on TV and radio. We are instilling in them an insatiable desire to get rich and famous.

This is a wake up call for all of us parents, teachers and guardians. Let us not give our kids too much too soon. Let the lust for money not override the quest for love and tolerance. Let us spend quality time with them and cater to their psychological needs as well, rather than go overboard in fulfilling their material needs. (CNS)