No time for
Punjabi television featured interesting discussions on such
topics as cyber crime (Masle, PTC News), the multi-media
culture’s effect on children, and materialism’s impact on
human relationships (both on Khabarsaar, Zee Punjabi).
Most of us are
familiar with such alluring deceptions as the "Prize Money
Emails" and the "Nigerian Syndrome," to which
quite a few educated persons in the region have fallen victims.
Presently, the menace of cloned ATM cards is on. A resident of
Mohali, who had lost hefty sums to theft through cloned ATM
cards, described on the sets of Masle how he watched
helplessly as his bank account was being pilfered. By the time
the police could take action, it was quite late.
An expert on the
show gave tips on how to protect one’s bank account.
Obviously, the relevant technologies ought to be upgraded, and a
very alert and efficient detective set-up is needed for
preventing/solving such crimes. More obviously, our laws should
be amended and enforced in such a manner as to deter this white
Grandmothers have become redundant, and parents and children are hooked on to soap operas and cyber networking
There was a time
when parents actively participated in their children’s
education — be it revision of various lessons or doing
homework. Grannies/mothers would narrate bedtime
stories/parables from folklore and mythologies to kids. This
provided children with a healthy value-based entertainment. More
importantly, since the family stayed connected, the parents
could monitor their curricular as well as extra-curricular
With the advent of
television, out went the traditional story-telling sessions.
Grannies became redundant, and parents and children got beholden
to soap operas and cyber networking. Insidiously, alien thought
processes replaced traditional values. Internet has made it
possible to access academic as well as other information easily;
the traditional method of writing your own notes by referring to
textbooks and source books has become defunct.
All this was
discussed on Khabarsaar which, in a subsequent episode,
also dwelt upon the manner in which materialism is destroying
traditional relationships — a discussion that was riddled with
quite a few controversial observations. For example, SP Singh
frequently referred to the "IMF-World Bank culture"
having damaged human relationships in Punjab.
This equating of
two international institutions with crass materialism existing
in our society is an escapist’s attempt at finding alibis. We
were never innocent of mercantile instincts, albeit tempered
with socio-religious values. Therefore, avarice was never
allowed to dictate one’s obligations towards family and the
society at large in the days of yore. Today, we — without any
prompting from outside — have discarded our traditional
values. It is absurd to hold IMF-World Bank culpable for the
changing socio-economic-cultural paradigms.
and Khabarsaar had dealt with environmental degradation.
Although most of our experts are quite good at conducting
postmortems, they are hardly ever able to foretell the
consequences of a developmental effort.
The poisoning of
Punjab’s water, soil and air had begun with the onset of Green
Revolution, we are being told now. Why could no expert at that
time foresee the disaster potential of the unbridled use of
chemical fertilisers, insecticides, fungicides etc, not to
mention the injudicious exploitation of precious water
resources? Now that the damage has been done — immense though
it is — what remedial actions are being taken, pray?
Politicking. Diseases like cancer, tuberculosis, hepatitis etc
are fast spreading both in the urban as well as rural areas,
thanks to the all-pervading pollution.