The Indian media, especially its high-wattage broadcast news industry, is used to being decried for its verbose, subjective and often shrill reporting. While that's true more than just every now and then, there are times when all of us must be thankful for the media we are blessed with.
Over the last ten days, our news anchors and the much-watched bulletins they produce have ensured the spotlight is on two critical issues—the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, and the unfortunate death of a young schoolboy in Kolkata who allegedly committed suicide because he was being traumatised in his school, La Marteniere (a hugely respected Kolkata institution that gets top ranking in most national school surveys).
Corporal punishment has been banned in India, but schools, especially in smaller towns and villages, are often found to be liberally using the stick to discipline students. That this was happening in one of the country's best schools has come as a shock, and the tragic event will hopefully ignite introspection and debate amongst our educationists.
Both of these stories have become movements because of the airtime editors have devoted to them. So many news networks, government agencies and authorities, finding it difficult to stay inert, are forced to respond to the din. And, just for that, we need to extend our gratitude to our media, even if they can slip back into being insular, elitist and shallow on other days.