When the first printing press was used by Gutenberg in 1439, it was accompanied by a hope that this will lead the mankind into a new era. Out of the darkness into a time where nothing could be suppressed and everyone can reach the masses. The idea, that world would be a more connected place and that views of the oppressed could no longer remain unknown, was originated. People began to see news in a different light all together. They began to look up to it as something that will change their lives.
And it did fulfill those hopes and had a significant effect on the way the world history was shaped thereafter. Things, that would have been trashed away and all the injustice forgotten, would have remained that way had it not been for media.
But in the light of recent events I begin to wonder, has media lost its way? Does it still follow the principle of being the voice of the common man? Or has it given way to publicity more than relevance of what’s in print?
What happened earlier with Deepika Padukone and more recently with Shweta Basu has revealed yet another face of media. It makes us question are we even getting the correct information?
Or do the media simply use women to sell more?
The case when the famous Indian Newspaper Times of India tweeted
“OMG: Deepika Padukone’s cleavage show “
To which Deepika’s replied in a short and to the point statement saying
“YES!I am a Woman.I have breasts AND a cleavage! You got a problem!!??”
The statement was not only a bold one but also a sarcastic one. However the shocking thing was that the newspaper did not seem to get the sarcasm and went on a step further.
If a woman chooses to wear a certain kind of dress, it’s her choice because it’s her body. One though might say that what was so wrong about the newspapers comment. Well it’s not about the literal meaning of the line but its social interpretation, which eventually projected the actor in a negative light. Moreover the intent was quite clear when the newspaper did not apologize when actor made it clear that it was not a welcome remark.
Well, it’s not a newspaper article providing you with the details of the case; here I want to put forward the point that, a newspaper which is meant to bring to light the problems of those in distress and pain has turned out to the cause of it after all. They have begun targeting a woman’s sexuality and her body only to cause distress and make us think again is media actually a boon?
Do women, after struggling for their identity in their personal and professional lives, have another new demon to fight against? Till now women are suppose to think what my parents will say or what my husband will say, before they do or dress. Now do they have to think about the media too? Because media is always on the edge waiting for a slip and then hit when they see one?
I do not deny the role that media has played in uplifting the status of women in the society. But why has it now turned against them? How will women trust the media if they feel vulnerable to it? Will any women ever be able to go to a newspaper asking for help, to bring her story to light?
What happened with Shweta Basu, is yet another shock. Just because she was detained for 2 months after being caught in a hotel raid, the media inferred that she has been involved in a sex scandal? The newspapers must have at least verified the fact before bringing it in front of the public. The actor completely unaware of what’s happening around because she had no access to newspaper or television was shocked to know that such false news has been going around for two months. As a result an image was destroyed, a life turned upside down. The hardships she has to face now will never be known to the public. No newspaper will print that. Even if some did,no one would care to follow the news. People read what interests them and then gossip about it, they do not bother to dig deeper into the facts. Nobody has time for that and moreover nobody cares until the news does not concern them or anyone they love. We cannot change the way people read the news but we surely can be more careful while selecting what news to print.
Media has power and repeating the famous lines, “with great power comes greater responsibility”, I would say that after committing such blunders they should learn from their mistakes. In the end nobody, no matter how powerful or rich, has a right to objectify women and play around with her life or question her character.
All these events also bring to light the fact that to survive in today’s world a woman has to be strong. What the newspapers did was bad but what was worth appreciation is how the women reacted, this shows how women today can not only give men a tough competition but can also defend herself from the entire world. She can fight for herself, she does not need to a man to speak for her or to support her. This is something we can be proud of, to be independent is to be free and freedom is power.
I would end with a quote by Albert Camus that inspires me “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to be so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion”