PERSPECTIVE

Monthly Archives: FEBRUARY 2019


THE PILOT CAPTURE VIDEO - IT'S ABOUT US
Bloodied pilot is page one material for some, not so for others
27.02.19 - S Pal
Bloodied pilot is page one material for some, not so for others



WHILE LEADING INDIAN newspapers and news television channels, including The Times of India and NDTV, consciously decided and declared that they will not be using videos and images from the videos of the Indian pilot now in Pakistan custody, some other media houses went ahead splashing the pictures of the bloodied pilot on their front pages and television screens.

Clearly, Indian media has trouble in coming to a more evolved understanding of ethics in use of imagery and visuals even in cases that are blatant and where there are no two sides to the argument.

The world has not seen images of thousands of men, women and children killed in the 9/11 attacks in the United States, but Indians must have a massive appetite for seeing the images of a bloodied pilot. At least, that's the rationale that has emerged from the front pages of a section of the media.

The Times of India took care to splash a front page story on the videos but remained restrained, even declaring that the "TOI has consciously decided not to use any images from the videos." The NDTV made a similar announcement. The Hindustan Times, if it applied its mind to the issue, did not talk about it, but the gory pictures were there on page one.

Mass-circulation multi-edition Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar actually made a sketch based on the video and then embedded a software, asking readers to scan the image and watch the video. Punjab’s Ajit newspaper had no compunction in using the images. English-language The Tribune and its Punjabi sister publication, Punjabi Tribune, consciously decided not to yield to the temptation of using sensational images. Readers can check their own newspapers to see where they stand on the ethical scale.
 

The fact is that occasions like these can be used by the media to expose the general public to the complex, layered idea of ethics in public communication. People think because they have found a particular video informative — see, this is how bad Paksiatnis have dealt with a bahadur Indian pilot? — therefore, they are fully within their right to forward it to other friends who, too, must educate themselves about bad Pakistanis.

On the other side of the border, the argument can't be very different. They must have made videos and circulated the same to show how a bunch of Pakistanis captured an aggressor Indian pilot. 

Just think if a Pakistani pilot had crashed and captured outside an Indian village, would our people have treated him any different?
 
There are details available about how the pilot descended with the help of a parachute after his plane caught fire and crashed, how the local social and political activist Mohd Razzaq Chowdhary of Horra’n village about 7 kms from the LoC asked local Pakistani youngsters not to go near the wreckage and instead try and catch the pilot, the claims by locals that the pilot ran for some distance and fired shots in the air to keep the angry crowd at bay and his later capture by Pakistani army personnel, but the point is not to divulge more.

Our focus must remain on the aspect that wars have human faces.

Of course, Pakistan must deal with the situation and respect the Third Treaty of the 1949 Geneva Convention. It can actually do more. It can treat the pilot in a manner most humane, assure the world, and primarily India, that no harm would come to him and he will be sent back as soon as possible. The pilot, in fact, can become a ruse to trigger peace in a volatile war like situation.

The pilot in Pakistan is a reminder that wars involve human beings, human beings who are trained and motivated to go and kill to keep our own selves safe. Wars have a huge human cost. Even the first steps towards a conflict can extract a massive cost. Are we ready to pay this because we are actually not ready to pay the larger cost for peace, a quest that involves a long haul?

Surprisingly, many leading Pakistani newspapers did not use the images from the pilot capture videos. The Dawn, a leading heavy-weight voice, editorially commented that "from here, the distance towards unthinkable conflict and destruction could be shorter than war strategists, planners and decision-makers in either country recognise.”

Indian politicians are, by and large, conducting themselves far better than the Indian media that regularly pillories them. The inane war-mongering on the screen is now uncouth, vulgar and downright unethical. By pushing the 'send' button on many a videos dripping with hate, we could be missing the peace bus. Not just peace between nations, but one with our inner selves.

That's no one's political agenda, but why is it not yours? 

How you watch a video, what do you say about it, what do you tell your daughters and sons about it, and the kind of discussion you have with your children and family and friends is the stuff we are made of. It applies to Pakistanis, too. That’s the logic of war, and of peace.
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:
 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder Singh, the coup in the CBI & the ED case: Headline is missing, so please read it between the lines

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

SARKAR IN MANALI: From Shahkot to Mohali Court, Sara Alam Bigrra Jaye

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties 
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL

 

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT




[home] 1-2 of 2


Comment

your name*

email address*

comments*
You may use these HTML tags:<p> <u> <i> <b> <strong> <del> <code> <hr> <em> <ul> <li> <ol> <span> <div>

verification code*
 



KISANI DA SANKAT – The Farm Crisis – When An Editor Gives Them Those Ones
11.02.19 -
KISANI DA SANKAT – The Farm Crisis – When An Editor Gives Them Those Ones



Swaraj Bir Singh & Swarajbir. Can one individual have two names, two personae? But then, he has always had it good, twice over. For someone deeply interested in poetry, not just reading other people's verses but penning his own, he went and studied medicine, and became a doctor. And then went on to become an IPS officer. But when was he to be content with living as one individual, dedicated to his field?
 
He found ways to live a life outside his uniform, and penned some of the greatest contemporary plays in Punjabi literature. During his years in uniform, he was known as Dr S.B. Singh, short for Dr. Swaraj Bir Singh. His books used to spell his name as Swarajbir. He honed the art of not living as two different personae, but instead married both. Having retired as Director General of Police of Meghalaya, he is now the Editor of Punjabi Tribune, bringing to the newspaper a breath of fresh air. Under the good doctor, cop, writer, poet editor, we are dealing with Punjabi journalism par excellence. 

At Punjab Today, we take due note of these developments. His signed editorials on Sunday are something to look forward to. We bring you an English translation of his editorial comment published in the February 11, 2019, Monday edition.
– Editor, Punjab Today
 

The Farm Crisis 
Swarajbir

The suicide of a leader of Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), farmer Manjit Singh, has once again brought the focus on the agrarian crisis in Punjab. Death is the supreme truth of our lives. Our individual existence is not eternal. 

While death is inevitable, the one due to suicide is more painful because not only does it bring sorrow to the family of the deceased but actually creates a psychological atmosphere for the surviving kin and friends for whom life seems even more difficult.

The suicide of this particular farmer of village Bhucho Khurd of district Bathinda came as a jolt because he wasn't one who did not know the crisis-riven reality of agriculture. In fact, he was endowed with political consciousness and used to enthusiastically participate in the struggle waged by his kisan unions.

In the past, various kisan sabhas and unions have been waging a consistent struggle to ignite political consciousness among the populace. Many a farmer have committed suicide in the last few days. Sukhdev Singh of village Vandar Jatana in Faridkot set himself afire while Beant Singh of village Chak Fatehsingh Wala of Bathinda hung himself to death. In Rampur Chhanna of District Sangrur, a young man named Jagvinder Singh consumed a poisonous substance. Saturday was a most heartbreaking day for the farmers in Punjab.

Apart from debt, the issue of farmer suicides is connected to several other economic and social issues. Statistics show that while farmers with larger land holdings have maximum debt, the instance of suicide was much higher among those with smaller land holdings. 

Most suicides have been reported from the districts of Malwa, such as Sangrur, Mansa, Bathinda, Muktsar and Faridkot. Surveys carried out by experts have shown that between 2002 and 2015, a total of 16,606 farmers and farm labourers in Punjab committed suicide. This amounts to more than 1,034 suicides a year. Three farmers or farm labourers kill themselves every single day.

Statistics also show that in one third of such cases, the deceased was the lone earning hand in the family. We need to step back and think about the fate of such families which could not cope with harsh reality of life when their earning member was alive. How will they cope after his death?

Traditionally, it is believed that the farmer enjoys a certain stature in society owing to his ownership of a land parcel. Once the debt-ridden farmer starts feeling that his land will erode away because of the debt, an inferiority complex takes over. He thinks that his social standing and reputation are on the wane. 

Alongside all this is the ugly reality of the state progressively withdrawing from health and education, thus leading to increased out of pocket expenditure. The farmer finds it difficult to shoulder the burden of educating his children, looking after his parents and ensuring good health of his family while bearing the unavoidable day to day expenses. Things have been plunging south when it comes to spread of cancer, hepatitis C, arthritis, dental problems and other diseases. Other social changes also impact his life. The increasingly expensive weddings and a culture of drugs also exert mental pressure. He is now a victim of unemployment, corruption and state apathy, all leading towards a serious inferiority complex.

With nepotism in politics, the hijacking of the state structures by the louts leaves him with little hope for a better future in Punjab. If no family member of a farmer, particularly one with smaller land holding, has gone abroad or has failed in such endeavour, then the family thinks it has no future left in Punjab. The biggest debt that Punjabis bear today is the burden of hopelessness about their future. 

Why does a person commit suicide? Obviously, he takes such a step only when he thinks no one will help him, no one will listen to him. He is convinced that neither the government nor society, nor family cares about him. Contemporary politics, economics and the psychological paradigm of society besides unmitigated social circumstances and power equations push a man towards suicide.

The farmer of Punjab is the inheritor of a legacy of struggle. He has a history of standing up to the aggressors and the cruel. Imbued with the strength that Sikhism brought to the table, he could stand up to the aggressors during mediaeval times, and he became a ruler in this region. He made great sacrifices during the freedom struggle and continued to wage a struggle for his own rights even after winning independence. Farmers of Punjab went to other states of India and even abroad where they were able to carve a respectable position for themselves, thanks to their legendary hard work. Then why is the same farmer finding himself in a quagmire of such helplessness that he is opting for suicide, something he had never even considered in the past when things were so bad?

Bereft of a vision about the future, the politicians of Punjab neither have any considered idea about resolving the immediate problems, nor do they have any commitment. The same is true of the bureaucracy in the state. Disappointed and disgusted with the government and its various institutions, people have lost further hope. The market has taken over the soul of Punjab. Farmers, particularly those with small land holdings, no more believe in their land. Politicians have contributed little except nepotism, corruption and increasing proliferation of drugs, and have done precious little that could benefit Punjab. They have failed to transcend vested interests and have used the political structures for maintaining a vice-like grip on power. They are least bothered with the fact that our farmers are committing suicide, our youth are dying due to drug overdose, our students are looking for ways to leave this country. It just does not affect them. Most of Punjab's politicians are no more loyal towards Punjab. They are neither bothered about Punjabi language nor Punjabi culture, and neither do they care about our farmers, farm labourers, dalits. While some are reposing their faith in the incumbent party in power, some in the youthful leaders challenging the ruling party. Who will think about Punjab?

To read the original editorial in Punjabi, please click here.
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:
 

Three Women of 1984  

FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder Singh, the coup in the CBI & the ED case: Headline is missing, so please read it between the lines

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

SARKAR IN MANALI: From Shahkot to Mohali Court, Sara Alam Bigrra Jaye

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties 
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL 

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT





[home] 1-2 of 2


Comment

your name*

email address*

comments*
You may use these HTML tags:<p> <u> <i> <b> <strong> <del> <code> <hr> <em> <ul> <li> <ol> <span> <div>

verification code*
 







MOST VISITED
YOU MAY LIKE

TOPIC CLOUD

TAGS CLOUD

ARCHIVE



Copyright © 2016-2017







NEWS LETTER