Thursday, February 26, 2009

Right to watch. This is too much.

Each hours in the morning these days we are bound to watch the leering photographs of our astute politicians. These photographs are given in almost all the leading newspapers of the country. They do not contain any news, neither they are shown along any news material. These photographs are sheer advertisements for the party before the general election,sponsored by different Ministries/Departments of the Government. In today's newspaper (TOI) only, there are as many as 15  advertisements which carry the photographs of these politicians along with their self-narrated accomplishments. To add to our woes, there are seven full pages and two half pages amongst the total of 32 pages, which occupy these advertisements.

In democracy, there is every right to propagate one's views in a civilised manner. Therefore, just before the election, all political parties have their freedom of expression through every mean. But how far is it ethical that one is forced to look at them just when he is opening his eyes for the day? It is debatable whether these photographs and advertisements create soothe to the eyes of the supporters of those parties, but the simple truth is that these contents and photographs are eyesores to the common readers of the newspapers. Why should anyone watch the photos of Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Mayawati etc. day after day, only because he has bought a newspaper? Unlike in television or radio, where there is an option of altering the channels, the newspapers compel its readers to give a glance to its sponsors. This is unacceptable to the educated class of India. The real democracy demands the right to watch.  This is too much for a reader who pays for each page.

It seems that there should be a parameter in all the national newspapers that the political parties or the Government departments may air a report that promotes party interests once in a week only. Recently, the central government has brought a bill which has prevented the media from covering pre-poll analysis or Exit-poll before the election, which the party in power fears that this could sink their ship. Considering the interests of its esteemed readers, the newspapers must come together now and issue a rule that abrogate the political parties from beating the drum before the election.

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