April 29th, 2009 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Political   Comments Off on THE NEWSPAPER – THEN AND NOW
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The first thing you would want to see in the morning, besides your cup of tea, is the newspaper. The eyes are glued to the gate waiting for the newspaper-wallah to throw the paper and off you go to pick it up. This is a matter of habit which develops by itself over the passage of time provided you have an inkling towards world news, national news sports etc.

I still remember almost four decades ago, I was studying in Std 8th and had to leave home by 7.30 am and at that time my father used to sit in the verandah and read the newspaper. I used to wonder how he manages to hold such a large sized piece of paper comprising sixteen pages. He didn’t even get tired even after holding it for more than an hour. I think I was doing post grad and then I could spare time to read the newspaper. And since then it has become a habit and I am every morning craving for its arrival. I remember a quotation from a learned person who had said that “A man is he who reads the newspaper daily, shaves daily and polishes his shoes daily“. How correctly put.

There is a remarkable change in the contents of the newspaper over the last four decades. In my view there are three main national daily’s TOI – HT -and IE.  There may be more but these three are the most widely circulated. Who reads which – is a purely personal choice and is not debatable?  Four decades ago there were news about all round development – the Bhilai Steel  Plant , erected with the help and guidance of Russian engineers,  which became  the country’s largest steel manufacturing unit- the Bhakra Nangal dam which generated electricity and provided irrigation via canals to hundreds of villages and towns. It used to report about the Nehru -Tito-Krushchev friendship. John F. Kennedy the President of United States of America a decent peace loving personality, was always in the news  trying to suppress the gun running lobby within USA  for which he was murdered in Dallas. All the articles published those days were a pointer to the direction of progress education and industrialization. It was fun to read about peace, harmony and progress.

Now things are very different. The first page tells us about the political parties i.e.  A won’t support B: B won’t support C: C won’t support D and so on. Everyone is vying for his own selfish interest and cares less for the national interest at large. Please look at this political stalwart who does not want a Car manufacturing factory on the land of her State. Industrialization is the key to the progress of any State.  Now read what Arun Jaitley had to say in conversation with Rajdeep Sardesai. This discussion took place after the 26/11 terrorist attack in Bombay. The question put forth by Rajdeep Sardesai to Arun Jaitley is – “Bombay and India are shaken by this terror attack – why are you still blaming the Government instead of helping it in this hour of crises”? Arun Jaitley replies “Our party does not permit us to support the Government whatever happens”. Now please see the magnitude of this problem – the country is at war with about a dozen hoodlums who have managed to kill about 173 people and wounding at least 308 people and see for yourself what this representative of 2 million people had to say. WOW! What a party and how dedicated this gentleman is towards the welfare of the country.
Listen to what  another gentleman has to say – Chief Minister of Kerala VS.Atchtanandan’s unsavoury remarks about the slain Major Unnikrishnan – a martyr who gave his life  on  26/11  shoot out so that Bombayites might live to see the morning’s sun  next day – “would he be not a Major or Martyr, not even a dog will visit his house.” He still has no remorse and didn’t even apologize for quite some time.

 By the time you enjoy your cup of tea – finish reading page one and turn to page three it will spoil the taste in your mouth. Page three contains horrific news about murders, eve teasing, molestation, looting, accidents and all disturbing news.. So what does one do? Pick and choose what to read and the best course is to read the centre page and then the sports page.

I for one would like to read more news about peace, progress, development and a helpful attitude by one for another.

Ravi Matah

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  1. Rajnish Says:

    Liked your observations.Your pain and anger are very similar to mine.Politics and Media are getting murkier by the minute and the one things that is at stake is credibility.
    When money talks then bullshit walks.
    So my advice is that you read the newspaper at night before going to sleep and if you don’t get nightmares it can be a good habit.At least it will save your day !

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