A media channel, tons of reports and still the ones of the same genre are shown. Women being sexually abused or molested. Flip through the pages of any newspaper, and you’ll find a number of cases of sexual abuse.
Okay! I have no problem with this. It is no doubt the need of the hour but here is where the problem lies: Rather than taking it as an issue to be put forth people, we have taken this as a source of entertainment and something that provides masala to the media. Ever wondered, why are media channels flooded with all such news when there are more national or international issues of equal relevance?
Now, who is to be blamed for this? Media?
Undoubtedly, yes. But blaming media solely will not be a right thing. We, as viewers are also equally responsible. We cannot forget that even the media houses need money to run and so what sells is usually shown. Also, one should never hesitate in saying that a large population of ours have the habit of gossiping. We need gossips and masala on our television screens which bounds the media to present what we demand.
For example, Maut Ka Bathtub is given greater importance than the attacks in Kashmir. The same is the case with regard to the movement of ‘Feminism.’ Very few people understand and appreciate feminism. But, a large number of them admire the dramatic way of presentation of such issues on news channels. And since the women empowerment issues are leading to higher TRPs, therefore, the weightage given to other non-masala and non-dramatic equally relevant news is much less.
It’s high time that we pay attention to this issue because much late can create a situation of chaos since even in the present scenario it is creating a number of problems:
1. Women Empowerment as bait
The issue that feminism aims to present has been used cleverly in the political spheres. Listen to any of the election rallies speech, and I am sure that you’ll easily find the concerns of women being addressed. The intention may or may not be actually to sort out the issue but maybe to gain votes. After all, Women turnout during India’s 2014 parliamentary general elections was 65.63%, compared to 67.09% turnout for men. Let the society live under the umbrella of patriarchy, but our political leaders would never want for winning elections. Therefore, women empowerment becomes a bait for the voters which is played by the power seekers.
2. Oh! It’s a problem for Women Empowerment too
While going after trivial issues, the actual concerns of women are often left neglected. For instance:
- We’ll probably not talk about the pathetic conditions of women in the rural areas. Where they are not allowed to work outside the house or where ‘Baal-vivah’ is still in practice.
- We do not talk about the insufficient medical care for women during pregnancy in a large number of areas.
- There have been cases when women marriage brought in the question for dowry.
- There are places where education for girls is still considered as a burden.
But we do not talk about this at all! We just talk about a layer of feminism or empowerment. Therefore, it can be argued that excessive dramatic presentation of women empowerment is itself leading to a severe issue of sensationalisation of women concerns. For instance, #metoo campaign was given an extensive coverage especially when Indian actresses including Kangana Ranaut also took part but when in November 2017 a Lucknow case of a man pouring acid on wife’s private organs after she denied sex with him was left uncovered. Probably because it would not have attracted much of the traffic.
This is what we need to pay attention to:
Have you ever seen a news channel putting forth the case of a boy being raped or molested?
Why is there no proper coverage given to farmer’s strike in Maharashtra?
Are the pathetic conditions of those working in mines being neglected?
Why are the issues regarding caste not explicitly shown?
Reason for minimal coverage for the attacks in Kashmir?
As per a report of The Times of India dated December 2017, 1600 soldiers die every year in Kashmir without any war much because of road accidents and suicides. Alas, I have not seen any news channel mentioning this.
By no chance, I intend to say that women empowerment is not necessary. Obviously, it is. But what I wish to suggest is that we need to raise and talk about other equally significant national and international affairs.
We need to understand that, in our country, there are multiple coins. We need to examine the various faces of these coins rather than flipping the same coin time and again.
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