You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of democracy, social justice and the equality of mankind in your own native soil. [Mohammed Ali Jinnah]

Monday, December 8, 2008

Processing news into movies

THE Indian film industry is said to be the biggest in the world in terms of annual output of movies. It churns out 900 films each year. An international Bollywood research study on the preferences of an average Indian moviegoer was recently conducted by Amanda Sodhi of Maryland University.

It revealed that an Indian watches a minimum of three to four new movies every month. No doubt an average Indian looks for drama in every aspect of life. And to cater to that insatiable palate for sensationalism, the Indian news media, especially TV, twists any noteworthy item into a short fiction film to keep that quasi-reality intact.

The Mumbai terror attacks were played out like a movie to the people who sat glued to the tube to witness the unfolding drama. Twists and turns abound, the short film became an epic saga with a running time of 60 hours. Of course you cannot discount the stellar cast lead by the Indian security agencies, namely the National Security Guards that wanted to enjoy its debut starring role and did everything possible to prolong the dramatics even if it meant hostages losing lives!

They wouldn’t let go of their moment of glory for nothing. Have you ever seen commanders of different units coming on TV and giving comments on an ongoing operation? The commander of the Black Cats crack unit couldn’t be discouraged as he appeared in full garb, with a black beret on top, dark shades, and a sinister black bandana to cover most of his face.

He spoke to the media in elaborate detail. The NSG commander followed the spotlight as soon it came on! And he wouldn’t leave it alone for three days and three nights. Oh! How I wished the Indian authorities would send in Sunny Deol…..he would have annihilated the ‘ghus-baithiyas’ in a matter of minutes…. 90 minutes at the most, with some songs thrown in as well.


DAWN - Letters; December 08, 2008

a very interesting letter :)

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