Saturday, 6 January 2007

My Indian of The Year: Dr Prannoy Roy



The Indian news channels have been running silly contests on who would be the Indian of the year gone by, and some of the nominees mentioned range from the usual suspects to the ridiculous. So while there are the boring names like Amitabh Bachchan (what exactly has he done for the nation?), Nandan Nilekani (what exactly has he done for the city of Bangalore that’s gone to the dogs after the IT boom?) and Sachin Tendulkar (shouldn’t this ‘boy’ be contemplating gracious retirement?), there’s also Himmesh Reshammiya (are these guys thinking through their bloody noses?).
Ironically, the Indians of 2006, according to me, are the editors of our news channels, guys who preached AND practiced social activism like India has never seen before. And heading that list would be the good Dr Prannoy Roy of NDTV, the channel that led, catalysed and provoked public outrage against gross injustice. If Jessica and Priyadarshini found peace this year, it is mainly due to NDTV’s sustained campaign. I daresay if these guys had kept quiet, the files would still be collecting dust inside our hallowed courtrooms. They have demonstrated the power of the booming media and the burgeoning middle class in a new India that’s still mired in executive lethargy and corruption, and the way forward looks very encouraging.
People say the judiciary is the last hope of this country, I say it’s the media, led by people like Dr Roy.
My only hope for 2007 is that Dr Roy & Co stretch their energies and bandwidth to cover rural India as well, and recognise that the tragedy of a Priyanka Bhotmange is as significant as that of Jessica Lall. (Already witnesses of the Khairlanji murders are being threatened.)
I am planning on sending Dr Roy an e-mail congratulating him, and if you agree with me, leave your name in the comment box below, I will add it to the senders’ list.

Mumbai unsafe for women?
(Wrote this piece for the Mumbai Mirror, in case you missed it.)
The media has gone to town on the New Year night pics shot by a tabloid photographer. Those of a girl being molested at the Gateway. I think these Delhi-based channels have got yet another chance to trash the city as being totally unsafe for the ladies. This sort of story works for them… it’s their opportunity to scream, “Take that Mumbai, how dare you cast aspersions on sadi clean Dilli!” Well, here’s my take on the incident: Any woman who dares to hang around on city streets on a night like that, when, across the country, all the happening joints get taken over by extremely sloshed, sex starved taporis, is asking for trouble. These jerks are out to have a ‘good time’ outdoor (they can’t afford five star soirees), and some of them can, and will, take full advantage of heavy, yelling crowds. Which is why it’s perilous for ladies to be at Connaught Place in Delhi, or at Brigade Road in Bangalore, on December 31. And that’s the case too with the beaches and sea fronts of Mumbai. This is a known fact, which is why most of us keep away from these places as the year turns. Ergo, the reckless, bindaas babe who chose the Gateway to ring 2007 in, must take some responsibility for her foolhardy behaviour. Perhaps that’s the reason she still hasn’t come forth to file charges.

16 comments:

anoop said...

Dear Sir,
Please include my name in the sender list.
-Anoop

albert almeida said...

hey, count me in too!

radhika said...

i completely agree, NDTV surely is the face of a rising india....cheers to that and more years of courage, glamour and great news for Dr. Roy and his team.

regards
radhika kamat

ria sen said...

You can add my name, am a g8t fan of Dr roy anyways...

Meenakshi Lath said...

I second your choice!!!

rajdeep said...

please send on my behalf too

deepak joshi said...

Yes, i would like to nominate him. Thanks.

Rosemary Thomas said...

Pl add my name!

Melwyn said...

Add my name too, thanks.

Sonia M said...

Yes, I agree. Dr Roy rocks!

mwzd said...

Hi, Great to see you got your own blog. Was missing something on Sundays, till I realised you stopped writing one of my fav columns. Their loss, totally.

As for women being safe in India - are they safe anywhere? Even in the US the incidence of date rapes / public gropings / rock show maulings are rampant.

Wherever there are anonymous mobs there is bound to be mass hysteria and some people are going to try and get what they want, even if its just a 'free feel'.

anil said...

thanks guys, have sent the link to dr roy. don't think he would throw a party in the newsroom yet, we are no pulitzer jury, but all motivation helps. being a journalist myself, i should know.

Priya said...

Great to have the sunday reading back!

Ayesha said...

hi anil,
please count me in not only for mr roy as the Indian of the year but also for NDTV to take up Priyanka's case with the same passion as they took of Jessica.
thanks,

Renjith Nair said...

I would like to comment that, most of the Indian Media is politically biased, especially when it comes to BJP rules states they are surprisingly misleading the readers and viewers in this country. Infact, in my true knowledge BJP ruled states are doing well in all aspects compare to other states.We know that there is not a single news paper or visual media which is not run by a family in this country.If you consider CNN-IBN it is the most visibly biased visual media channel ever India have seen, so obsessed with Gandhi dynasty,Rajdeep and his Wife Sagarika is totally after Narendra Modi and BJP. If Modi sneezes it is a headline story in CNN-IBN!.if you consider NDTV prannoy roy is trying his best to be a pseudo-secularist. But if we closely watch each of their programs it is increasingly getting biased and a person with common sense can understand what is going on behind the scene.Prannoy Roy and Barkha Dutta believes they are the only intellectuals left in this country!.If you look at the news papers, we know the history of Indian express. What role Goenka played in Indian politics utilizing his family run news paper business.Vir Sanghvi of Hindustantimes ( Late KK Birla is a staunch congressman) is all the way praising Sonia Madam as if his career itself is pledged for that cause. A fair exemption can be made for Times of India ,I don’t know If I am correct.Otherwise there is a serious conspiracy going on this country by these new founded intellectual Pseudo Secularists.We must be able to differentiate what is right and what is wrong as these channels are targeting young urban population mixing news with bit of masalas. They are not aware that their credibility and neutrality is being lost infront of the masses.In India Media ethics is a neglected truth.It is the era of family run businesses for personal and political gains.Who care where this will lead the country to?????

Elvina said...

Well said.