Sunday, November 29, 2015

The 'False'man Show

The Truman Show has been a recurring theme here, and here. The movie is a well known one -  with the whole story revolving around one man whose life is made up in order to create a TV show.

From the wiki entry,

To prevent Truman from discovering his false reality, Christof has invented means of dissuading his sense of exploration, the most drastic of which was "killing" his father in a storm while on a fishing trip to instill in him a fear of the water. Christof also floods the channels with news reports and commercials about the dangers of traveling, and television shows about how good it is to stay at home. The actor that played Truman's deceased father sneaks back onto the set as a homeless man, but is whisked away as soon as Truman notices him. Despite Christof's control, Truman has managed to behave in unexpected ways, in particular by falling in love with an extra, Sylvia, known to Truman as Lauren, instead of Meryl, the character intended to be his wife. Though Sylvia is quickly removed from the set and Truman marries Meryl, he continues to secretly pine for 'Lauren'. Sylvia becomes part of a "Free Truman" campaign that fights to free him from the show and to reveal his identity.

This is how media controls our life.

Or controlled it - until the internet and social media. They showed us the 'right' kind of news,  kept us away from the news that may hurt their narrative, created a set of intellectuals we would admire, demonised another set of intellectuals who were challenging the system. There is a larger story there, by virtue of our education have been colonized, history sanitized and perhaps even the actual story of the freedom struggle narrowed down to one set of people with the other set being reduced to side characters.

So, in their narrative, the majority Hindu religion of the country is a bad religion - that often puts its minorities into trouble. Any news that adds up to this is trumpeted and any news that does not (and these days most of the news does not) is suppressed. So, Hindu godmen are bad. Christian and Muslim fathers and imams are perfect. Hindu festivals have campaigns against them - either they are patriarchal (Karva Chauth) or polluting (Diwali, Holi, Ganesha) or both. Some of the customs are sought to be ridiculed - actually most are. There is never a word on any religions festivals in a bad light.

All riots are caused by Hindu majority - and even when there is evidence to the contrary, this is not brought out. Recently, in the last few years, there have been so many communal incidents of the 'secular' kind and our media has kindly kept them away from us. In Kashmir - which honestly, is the only incident in the country where the majority (guess who) has ensured that the minority has been terrorized into leaving their homes - is never highlighted to push their narrative forward.

They created a set of intellectuals who we were supposed to admire - while the others like Subramaniam Swamy, Gurumurthy, Bhyrappa were supposed to communal. Why, many of our reporters,  writers, Bollywood actors (only those who sell the snake oil of communal Hindus) are supposed to be intellectuals.

The common factor was that all these subscribe to leftist belief systems - among other things. Even our history has been slanted to further this narrative.

I can go on and on.

Except that social media has been successful in breaking the monopoly of this narrative.

The current intolerance debate - a manufactured one at that - which everyone in the room is able to see - mainly thanks to social media is one such example.

Every video that the media puts out (selectively edited) has been countered by an unedited clip which shows how the media lies. Every tweet that the media puts out - is countered by a response by the same media when the tables are turned (for example, when they threaten to sue bloggers that is freedom of speech, but when someone counters them they are trolls or bullies). And so on.

So, well, media, the days of your 'False'man show have ended. Social media will challenge you at every step. Get used to it...

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