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News hype surrounding Baby B

I believe that these days Indian journalists are struggling to find better work. Is it the recession or have they decided to make non-news items news worthy? Even in the remotest of sense, I was not interested in reading about or watching Aishwarya Rai deliver her first baby. Why then was the media so hell bent upon thrusting this news on its audience. Can we blame the media alone or are we the audiences to blame as well? I was of the view that it is the media that is responsible for giving us this sort of content. But no, after reading some articles on the other side of the coin, I was convinced that it is we the audience who is equally responsible for the poor media content that is being offered to us. Many TV news channels covered the news (I strongly feel that this is not news!) and many tabloids had it on the front page. At first, there was this anxiety about when the delivery is going to take place? Then when the baby was delivered, a leading Indian newspaper had a front page story about the actress delivering naturally. Most households, I am sure would have been glued to this news and women might have made it a topic for discussion in their daily gossip.

There was even the news going around about the betting sector ... a bet on whether Ash and Abhi's child will be a baby girl or a bay boy or twins. (It leaves me completely aghast that ours is a society that is obsessed with the private lives or celebrities and our media chooses to endorse this!). Such intimate details of a couple's life were being revealed in the mainstream media and people seemed to be enjoying reading such stuff. Why then the angst against Justice Markandey Katju who has remarked that the Indian media is of low intellectual level. He is so right and his views are completely bang on. I was so appalled at the use of the term 'Baby B' or 'Beti B' by the media. The former was a tag used to describe Abhishek Bachchan at the start of his career. I mean, the poor baby who has just landed into the world has already received so much media limelight and been given names by the media. Let her be people ..that little soul who doesn't know a thing about media and films right now.

Another hilarious and exaggerated argument provided by the media was that Baby B will provide a boost to the status of the girl child in the country. I mean, is there any sort of logic to this argument? How can Ash giving birth to a girl child improve the status of the female child in India? This is such a far-fetched argument and it feels that because the media doesn't have any stuff to provide, it keeps coming up with these inane conclusions. The status of the girl child in India will not elevate just because a former Miss World has given birth to a girl...it needs social and policy reforms to actually bring her up... we need to treat the girl child as special, educate her and make her financially independent and tell her that being a girl is no crime and that she can pursue her dreams in the same way her brother can. How many families in India do this?

Earlier the media was busy covering the God-bharai of Ash and I am sure the next on lines is the 'naming' ceremony of the child. I am also critical of the use of social networking sites and blogs by the Bachchan family to declare the birth of their child. For once, celebrities should not provide fodder to the media and invite them to write on private moments like these. We certainly know how to ape Hollywood. There celebrities are known to sell the exclusive pictures of their marriage ceremony and their kids to the media. Now, after Ash's delivery, the media is hounding after the Bachchan family for exclusive pics of the baby. To what level can the media stoop.

Of course, the fault lies not just with the media but also with us ... as audiences we are too much after page 3 news ... and also celebrities who cannot quench their desire for media bytes! It is a whole circle of players who are to be blamed.

Seriously, the media is incapable of covering in-depth stories today...it wants to rely on sensation and present everything under the sun as news. It is governed by money not by ethics. It is a business and not a mission as it was during the freedom struggle. It is the darkest hour of the media and may be it requires a 'Katju' to bring about a renaissance. God save the media and help us poor consumers of it!




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