Monday March 19, 2018
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Durga Puja: No newspaper in Kolkata


By Arnab Mitra

Kolkata: Press is said to be the third eye of the society and fourth pillar of democracy. However, during the four days of Durga Puja, in a very consorted manner, all the newspapers in Bengal suspended their publications.

Earlier, the publications were shut only on dashami (the last day of Durga Puja), but since 2011, newspaper houses have been suspending their publications for four days on the pretext of the lack of availability of distributors during this time.

However, distributors are working on a temporary basis, and are in a state of severe unemployment. If offered, many would happily do this job with the minimum wage.

Shib Mukherjee, editor of Natyomukhopatro said, “Distributor is not the problem. Today, the newspapers contain less news but more advertisement, and as from saptami to dashami all the markets and businesses are shut down in Kolkata, so they do not get any advertisement from the leading business houses. That makes newspapers to stop their publications during Puja”.

To read the mind of Kolkatans, NewsGram interacted with various people and they gave different views:

65 year old Hiralal Muherjee, a central government employee, said, “During our time, the people had huge respect for newspapers. They took a bold step during the time of independence and emergency. People still remember the role of Harish Mukherjee and Barun Sengupta for their dedication to the society. But today, newspapers act as a medium for the publicity of business houses. It is a warning sign for democracy”.

21 year old engineering student Arkoprava Ganguly had a different view as he said that in the age of apps, the relevance of these print papers was gone. He remarked, “Every newspaper has their app, and we are updated every second. People hardly care about newspaper as there is nothing new to read and see except the nude pictures and outsized advertisements”.

35 year old businessman Nitin Chomal said, “I hardly get time to read newspaper but I watch television news and also follow the online news portal to keep myself updated”.

Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay, noted Bengali writer, spoke about the responsibility of media as he remarked, “The media giants should understand that their work is to inform people, so they cannot sleep in their home and enjoy the puja holidays.” 

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State Honor To Bollywood Stars May Take A Vulgar Turn

Are we not deeply concerned that this beautiful earth and its beautiful people are being ceaselessly troubled by evil acts of a few inhumane bigots?

Sridevi's family along with the nation is distraught at her death.
Sridevi's family along with the nation is distraught at her death.

– SALIL GEWALI, Shillong

Obscenity and immorality will have the last laugh

What if a mother continuously makes her child eat more and more pudding only? Will he not vomit? This might even make the child suffer from dysentery and other sicknesses? Exactly the same was done to us by the media for 4/5 days immediately after the sudden demise of the Bollywood film star Sridevi in a Dubai Hotel room. The TV audience has been forced to shed tears on and on for the actress. Many have felt it intensely irritating. There was practically minuscule coverage on the election in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura by the media. I guess the gossip of a film star is more important than the citizens exercising the democratic right and other major events across the country.

Is it right to cover the death of a Bollywood star this much?

                      What is not less disgusting is the mindset and the taste of the media these days.  It literally does not let an individual gaze “upwards” and think higher. Thoughts, opinions and commendation expressed about the departed soul may sound poetic but they all border on the “frivolity and actress’s titbits. One fails to understand what good it does to us by knowing the idle gossip of a film actor whose lives are less inspirational. I’m afraid, to the media and its type, the film stars are the “only” inspirational, and all others’ controversial, lol! It seems the Maharashtra government has gone overboard by arranging the cremation of the Bollywood star with the full state honour. Is it wanting to swim with the media tide? Phew, this unprecedented trend might take a very vulgar turn. Obscenity and immorality will have the last laugh!

Also Read: State Honours For Sridevi’s Funeral, Procession Is Among Largest Recorded In Mumbai

Is the death of  Jagadguru Jayendra Saraswathi not a great loss for the nation who passed away in the same period? His demise did not merit a mention even as a news. Is this not the dangerous trend being set in which even the government is hand in gloves with the media?

               Well, no media brings to light how some female actors lead the life after a certain age. Mostly, their later lives are less enviable. With the waning of the youthful glamour, the media ignores them. During the heyday, many of the single actresses usually get heavily drunk in the glitz of materialism which later makes them stagger and subsequently fall into the sea of frustration and aloofness. In their twilight years, they just struggle hard to make peace with the chaotic thought and unfulfilled expectations.

                        One of my witty nieces yesterday remarked, ‘the media usually wastes the precious time of the people who themselves cannot decide how to be more productive in life. They usually end up looking upon the wrong people as their role models and consequently take the wrong steps. This is very disastrous to the individual and also to the society at large’.  I am sure my niece is cent percent correct.

Sridevi was a legend who deserves our respects and her own privacy.

                      Of course, such occurrence of death of a celebrity could be widely used as a means to inform and wise up the people about how inescapable the death is. This death at any moment can devour each of us. Our mission, our ambition, our vanity and our entire materialistic possessions just fall to pieces when the death snatches our precious body. Before the jaws of death, a successful celebrity and a street bigger are same. It is the biggest leveller. Why does our media not use such facts of the life sensibly and put a little effort to make the citizen more enlightened and more “humane”? This can be done very easily.

Also Read: India Stunned By The Death Of Veteran Actress Sridevi

                       Are we not deeply concerned that this beautiful earth and its beautiful people are being ceaselessly troubled by evil acts of a few inhumane bigots? If ever the knowledge of the “impermanence” of the life and the inevitability of death was harped on and instilled into everyone’s mind, as the entertainment items, the major problem on this earth would have been just solved. People would not have gone mindlessly berserk being the cause of anxiety to others. Most of the problems, difficulties and worries that we have now are only because of the total “ignorance” of the hard facts about the life and death which might attack any of us at any time. Every moment we rejoice and every moment we grieve only pushes us towards the graveyard. I believe, this clear knowledge of “graveyard” and the unpredictably temporary nature of life on earth itself can effectively guard us against a host of wrong thoughts and a host of wrong acts.