Friday, August 31, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Changing colours of media: is Press freedom for India-bashing?

Apropos “Changing colours of the media” by Mr Hari Jaisingh (August 24), the Indian media, except during the Emergency, has always enjoyed ample freedom. But it has not shown independence of thought, maturity and national concern to the measure it was expected to do. While some of the mediapersons have fallen prey to consumerism, others have shown such anti-national sentiments as characterise pervert mind.

Some of our hacks have left no stone unturned to malign the security forces so valiantly performing their arduous task in the Kashmir valley. In the name of human rights, these pen-pushers have pleaded for the right of the terrorist to slay the innocent people in the valley.

What these scribes get, besides honours abroad, for the services rendered is anybody's guess. But the fact remains that the print media has been dishing out potboilers by making a mountain of a molehill as on the death of a miniscule number of Christians in their personal feuds.

The English media has betrayed such a mental servitude to the West that virtually non-issues like Diana’s life, her sexual escapades etc have hogged their headlines.

While scribes have been so eager to take on the nationalist and patriotic forces, they have also shown no qualms of conscience in lapping up crumbs thrown by the likes of Mulayam Singh. Corruption in the form of a lavish spread at press conferences, gifts, foreign tours, government and corporate freebies etc is merely a tip of the iceberg. One wishes Tarun Tejpal had done a piece on fellow newsmen before pouncing upon the men in olive.



Yellow journalism: Information flow to the media should be free from aberrations and distortions. Half-baked information spreads lies and half-truths. The media is bound to lose its credibility if this trend goes unchecked.

There is need to curb yellow journalism. It would be wrong to presume that readers have become used to it. Private TV channels beam highly vulgar and sex-oriented programmes. This tendency needs to be bridled.

IQBAL SINGH, Bijhari (Hamirpur)

Press freedom: The Press must feel obliged to follow even more exacting standards of conduct than any code would prescribe. This can be done by pursuing a standard of integrity commensurate with its singular obligation to the society by reporting and interpreting news and making comments with scrupulous honesty and by not exploiting its professional status for personal ends. But it should not compromise its right and duty to expose in the public interest the wrong-doings of public men and other influential people.


Journalism — then and now: I was a student of Class X when I glanced through an Urdu magazine Humayun for the first time. It was brought out by Barrister Bashir Ahmad in memory of his father, Justice Shah Din Humayun, in 1922. It contained only informative, educative didactic and literary articles couched in a decent and dignified language. No couplet, containing the word “vasl” (intercourse) found a place in it. Likewise, no advertisement or picture of a woman ever appeared in it.

Now I am shocked to see that newspapers and magazines carry indecent advertisements, plebeian articles and photos of young women wearing scanty dress in objectionable poses.

Recently Justice P.B. Sawant ruefully remarked that most of the larger newspaper houses were printing nude and semi-nude photographs, obsence advertisements and salacious reading material.

It is a pity that unmindful of their social obligations and responsibilities they are bent upon increasing their circulation and profit in an undesirable way. Old values in journalism of social responsibilities have vanished.

It is high time that the journalists and others associated with the print medium avoided publication of news reports, articles, advertisements and photos that are ruinous to character and only pander to the lower passions of the people.


Militancy and amnesty

The editorial “Militancy and amnesty” (Aug 21) is timely and a treasure of true events in Punjab. During the height of militancy there was no trace of people’s representatives, politicians, court officials, civilian officers, public intrerest litigants and the so-called human rights.

Only the will of the militants prevailed. Many police officers, using their political influence, managed to get transfers to safe shelters for fear of militants.

In the process of protecting the integrity of Punjab, more than 1,424 security personnel lost their lives. But the restoration of law and order in Punjab cost these brave officers their best part of life behind the bars. Mir Taaqi Mir wrote a verse in 1810 and inscribed it on the grave of a brave person used to get any information whether it was money or sex is not a violation of any journalism code of conduct. I would like to tell Tarun Tejpal that we are with you in the battle against this corrupt and bureaucratic system.

JASVIR, San Francisco

The unemployed

No fee or expenses of any kind be charged with job applications from unemployed youth. Only those candidates should be charged the requisite fee whose names appear in the selection list.

Till selected, a candidate should be kept on the waiting list so that he doesn’t have to apply for the same post time and again.

Those candidates should be given preference none of whose family member is in government service.

The period of unemployment and his/her upper age limit may also be kept in view at the interview.

The benefit of reservation should be given to only those candidates none of whose family members has availed this benefit.


PU campus

The Panjab University campus needs to be given uninterrupted supply of electricity and water. The blind curves due to unnecessarily high hedges and encroachments indulged in by the high and mighty of the university in the residential areas are great traffic hazards. The path leading to the SBI branch is in bad shape. There is no check on the speed of vehicles moving in the academic and residential areas of the campus. The entry of trespassers and loiterers must be checked for making the campus a safe place.

I. M. JOSHI, Chandigarh

Nursing homes

Private hospitals and nursing homes which have come up all over Punjab are charging exhorbitantly, engaging unqualified or under-qualified technical staff on nominal salaries and luring patients through agents.

Under the circumstances, the proposed Punjab Nursing Homes Act may regulate these institutions, provided strict enforcement is ensured.

Dr S S. SOOCH, Jalandhar


A man found that in his wife’s passport, the column of “sex” was wrongly ticked as “male”. He rushed to the Passport Officer who asked: “what can I do for you?”

The man hurriedly said “Sir, kindly get my wife’s ‘sex’, changed”. The officer calmly said: “You should consult a good doctor”.

S. K. HANS, JalandharTop

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |