No More Common Man

May 22, 2015

If media is all about celebrities and high profile leaders, about lionizing them, and highlighting their daily trivialities, then it is with the collusion of the public. Only those with no self-respect will, with open mouthed admiration, devour the Page 3 news, rush to a public rally to cheer a corrupt politician, even knowing he is corrupt, elbow through the crowd to touch a film star, and buy into public perception mindlessly without questioning it. Because those are the things to do and everyone is doing it.

Log kehte hai” and “duniya kya kahega” are the two things we have to purge from our systems.

How are most celebrities created these days? Because the media creates them. They need to fill up those blank spaces when they don’t get ads. Because they need the TRP’s. Who gives them the TRP’s? WE do. It’s a vicious circle.

In the semi permeable fabric of media,all the things that fall through unnoticed, are the things that are of burning importance to our daily lives. No reporter is going to write about the open manhole in your area where some child has fallen and died. No one will bother about the fact that the local stations do not have ramps for the elderly and infirm. No one cares about the new ATM rules and how the banks rob you, bleeding you in tiny cuts.

In the Salman Khan affair, no one reported on the victims. These and so many other things. When Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination day is remembered no one realizes that 14 other people died too, along with him. We sublimate ourselves to public personalities because we think so little of ourselves.

It is always the big rocks that fall on the fabric that decide the center of gravity. It is always about “who” and not about “what”. Like shameless fools we have pushed the interests of others ahead of us because of our adulation of personalities and “first” families of this and that, in politics, in the arts and every sphere of life.

The only way to dictate to the market, the media and branding in general, and not be dictated by them, is to be selective in our consumption of it. The only way to break our awe of some prancing windbag of a leader who knows how to push our emotional buttons, is to tell ourselves constantly, I am bigger than he/ she is. I always will be. I am the master. That is my appointed servant.

For a start — that would be good.

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