Wednesday, July 13, 2011

U R the real Terrorist

And there you have one more blast in Mumbai!

Now that the terrorists are done with terrorism – it’s time for us to engage in the business of “being terrorized”. Ironically “being terrorized” is a far bigger enterprise than the terrorism itself. The “being terrorized” industry includes the reporters, the news anchors, the programming crew, the print media, the advertisers who pay for it and YOU the viewer. On the other hand “the industry of terrorism” itself is a small fly by night operation which involves a obscure unfed, unkempt, underpaid resource trying his hand with exploding a bomb or two in the most unguarded territories with no skill and courage whatsoever !

Its spookey that i wrote about a similar incident 18 months back

Here are some plain facts

  • Terrorism feeds on the fear of the one who is being terrorized

  • It depends greatly on media coverage and the eyeballs who watch it and the advertisers who pay for it

  • It is not even top 10 causes of deaths worldwide

In media they say – it (the story) leads if it bleeds. Media loves the high octane human drama involving blood, pain and the saga of human suffering. They are not in it for the high of dramatic reporting – but for the lure of advertising bucks. Shame shame.

But then it gets murkier – there’s someone who is buying this stuff – glued to the TV screen in comforts of the living room– knowing fully well that the likelihood of this happening to him is close to zero… - face it –You are the porn buyer, YOU are the child molester, YOU ARE THE TERRORIST.

The real face behind this ghastly game is YOU.

Think - who is ultimately paying for the non-stop media reporting of terrorist acts via the advertisers? And what could the terrorist achieve without the media coverage – which YOU are indirectly financing? If YOU switch off the TV and stop overreacting to the terrorist threats (remember its not even in top 10 causes of death) the game stops. Yes your heard it right – THE BLOODY GAME STOPS FOR GOOD! Simple huh!

Now we know why terrorists are appearing to be winning in Kashmir – how the struggle continues for 20 years. Who the invisible hands belong to? We ourselves are feeding it via media, advertisers and by being terrorized. We stop and they stop – its as simple.

It’s time we understand that terrorists are using media (and therefore us) as weapons. A random round of gunshot, in some random town which kills less than 0.00001% (less than 100?) of population is not enough to shake the confidence of one billion people unless we contribute to it. And we are.

We must stop unintentionally aiding the terrorist – NOW.

I propose a few things

  • Complete private channel blackout of terrorism coverage. State media – like DD – is generally responsible, slow and dull enough to take hype out of the equation. And such coverage will also protect our right to information

  • If the above amounts to subversion of media then the private media should be allowed on one condition - no advertiser slots during the terrorist attack coverage. This will force media to avoid giving undue importance to such attacks – and more importantly will avoid reruns of stale images. (Terrorists watching this coverage must be relishing such star status – Additionally such coverage serves as the best recruitment advertisements for terrorist organization. Lets stop that as well.)

  • As responsible citizens let’s switch off the TV sets and SHOW repelling behavior towards media which over covers it. They will automatically smell the coffee.

  • I advocate strong web / internet filtering of terrorist messages.

  • Most importantly public awareness campaign on tv and mass media making citizens aware about how terrorists are using media and mass terror through it to their advantage in this 21st century war.

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