Sunday July 22, 2018
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1100 dead due to heatwave: Is the Indian media concerned?

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By Nishtha

With the extensive reportage of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal government’s completion of 100 days in Delhi or Modi sarkar’s one year report card, the mainstream media especially the English news channels have failed to report about the heatwave that has killed more than 1100 people across the country.

The media outlets are simply busy drawing comparison between Arvind Kejriwal and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, neglecting the hundreds of lives claimed by the heatwave.

The deaths were reported merely through tickers or short videos on news channels and the news remained unreported on the front page of leading newspapers as well.

Apart from Kejriwal and Modi, another politician J. Jayalalithaa, who was sworn in as the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister for the fifth time, dominated the news. The entire ceremony of her taking the office as the chief minister was telecasted on not only regional channels but on popular news channels as well.

Probably going with the flow of capturing popular news, The Economic Times, Hindustan Times and Indian Express carried a propaganda advertisement on the front page for J.Jayalalithaa on Tuesday.

In our country newspapers are still regarded as one of the trusted news sources. While the gradual shift towards online news is inevitable, people still prefer reading the newspapers. Featuring such an advertisement is not only unethical but it speaks volumes about the editorial policies and political inclination of the leading dailies.

It seems like the media does not serve the public anymore. With industrialists and political parties investing in media conglomerates, stories affecting the common man including the heat wave will continue to take a backseat.

We often engage in conversations about western influences and claim that our country’s identity is being destroyed by it. The bitter truth is that while the Indian media chose sides in the Kejriwal-Modi ‘battle’, the global media served as a watchdog for the heat wave story. International news agencies and media outlets followed up this news with #heatwave and #India on Twitter on Tuesday. After the global media reportage, the Indian media took up this issue on social media on Wednesday morning.

Hyderabad is the worst affected area in the country with maximum deaths. Other affected areas include Telangana, West Bengal, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi among others.

“As of now, we don’t predict any respite from the extreme heat wave for the next few days,” BP Yadav, spokesperson for India Meteorological Department told AFP, adding that the department had issued warning to states where temperatures were forecasted to go above 45 degree Celsius in the next few days.

Since the heatwave news has received international attention, it will be interesting to see if the Indian media continues to report consistently on this issue or they go back to reporting on the lines of ‘propaganda’, ‘mega rallies’ and ‘political gossip’.

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“I feel I give back less than what I receive, and this disturbs me”,Amitabh Bachchan

I do know, and am intelligent enough to know my present standing and what I deserve. But when it exceeds that, I feel a discomfort.

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Amitabh Bachchan
The veteran actor was also lost in nostalgia as he recounted the old times. Pixabay

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who is in Bulgaria to shoot “Brahmastra”, spared a thought about the care and concern he gets wherever he goes. But he finds it disturbing that he feels he gives back less than he gets.

In a blog post from Bulgaria, where he is enjoying the sun, Amitabh wrote: “Filmmaking from my times has undergone substantial change… Hundreds of unit and crew work assiduously on projects these days, every little detail of the making and production is looked at with such a degree of importance and a liberty it astonishes me.

“I feel guilty at times at what is on offer from the unit at times… Their care and concern, their efforts to make everything so comfortable and pleasant, all with such alacrity and love. I do know, and am intelligent enough to know my present standing and what I deserve. But when it exceeds that, I feel a discomfort.

“I feel I give back less than what I receive, and this disturbs me.”

Amitabh Bachchan
There were times in the past when prominence was shown in much the same manner. Wikimedia commons

The veteran actor was also lost in nostalgia as he recounted the old times.

“There were times in the past when prominence was shown in much the same manner. Well not to the extent it is nowadays, and I felt maybe it was justifiable. But now with diminished presence, I feel it not right. I try hard to skip past it but it catches up .. as does most things in life,” he added.

Also Read-Amitabh Bachchan Is All Set To His Compete With Actor Ranveer Singh According To His Instagram Caption

“Brahmastra” features Alia Bhatt an Ranbir Kapoor, with Nagarjuna cast in a special role. It is produced by Karan Johar and directed by Ayan Mukerji.

A trilogy, its first part will release on India’s Independence Day on August 15, 2019.(IANS)