Friday, September 23, 2005

Rita? Oh head up one of the freeways quick. Pyaar? Whats that!!

I want the title to say it all. There has been a lot of noise over the movement of people from Texas fearing Rita. True, they have little else to do for safety. This article is not about their act, but to criticize the un-justified media publicity to a major 5 hurricane hitting the US (once in many years), where the whole world is informed in advance. Also, to criticize the un-justified amount of sentiment given to the world's most developed nation, where people have got fast cars, express-ways and all the support and money to save themselves. They call this a major catastrophe huh?!

Now, come to Pyaar. Its a cyclone thats in the process of devastating Andhra Pradesh and adjoining states in India. Nothing new. Just a familiar story, as regular as the monsoons in India. As of this writing, more than 150,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. Only about 60 dead so far! And they got no cars, no freeways, no phones, nothing! And they have to save themselves from highly in-accessible regions far from the luxuries of hostpitals and food. These are people going about with events in their life without any noise. Yearly 5-6 major storms hit India. Thousands are affected by each storm. Many thousands of deaths are even not reported, as the coverage cannot get to their areas. Its a quarterly chaos for India in some state or other.

Watch any of the popular news channels of the world and their major headline is their coverage in multiple helicopters of the long snake lines of cars leaving Texas. I cannot help but laugh in disgust. First I think - is it such an amusing sight to see so many cars jam-packed? Or is it to show a major human catastrophe happening live? That catastrophe is at the max being to relocate to another state in the US in the cozy comfort of their cars?! Do these channels know what exactly they want to tell the world? Basically here is the case of a catastrophe avoided, thanks to the media publicity that bought it to the people too, and to this far as India, to me. So everbody in the world knows about Katrina and Rita, evoking high public sentiments. Does anyone know about Pyaar? This cyclone is ravaging the totally poor and ill-equipped people who didn't even know what was coming! Who is there for the poor villager in India whose name itself is unknown, to tell their story? If the global news channels pride themselves for their world-wide, un-biased coverage, why didn't we see enough about Pyaar in these channels?

Think World, think. Un-biasedly. Is there any point in telecasting an interview of the 'run to safety through the highly treacharous freeways' of a rescued Texan, now safe in some other state? Rather show the plight of the still sufferring people of Andhra Pradesh who have no roads to take them to safety. That would atleast bring rescue to that person. Any idea what a highly logistical operation the Indian Govt. is doing to airlift all the affected citizens? But many outside India do not know, due to the yet un-reached media coverage by the so called 'global' channels!

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