The media has been the favourite whipping boy of people in public life. Whether it is the government facing tough questions on policy, reform, monsoon or famine, a politician who has been the subject of a sting operation, a controversy on a provocative comment by a celebrity or fixing accountability, they all resort to the age-old tradition – shoot the messenger. To be fair, media is not blameless but it doesn’t warrant throwing away the baby with the bath water.
So, not surprisingly the movie ‘Sanju’ attributes most of the problems in the protagonist’s life to the media, very subtly but surely. Be it drugs, arms and ammunition or love life, it seems as if the media was busy trying to nudge the superstar’s life in a premeditated direction.
Noble Laureate Amartya Sen famously said “terrible famines of the kind experienced during British rule were unlikely to occur in independent India because a free press would ensure that governments took timely action”. Though there are contrarian views to his theory, the fact remains that media, especially that which is historically fair and unbiased, is not only a chronicler of events but is also a watchdog hammering away at the raw facts and figures, holding institutions and individuals accountable.
Should potshots be taken at it, when a scapegoat is needed? We feel not. Let the media do its job. And if everyone did theirs well, who knows, media’s role would be significantly different.