You don’t have to go really far from your home to discover the kind of idiocy that pervades India these days. One wrong flip of the channel, I suddenly land inside a new world – which happens to be the world most Indians are living in. Indian news channels, especially in the Indian regional languages, can be quite crappy, and give you an insight into the kind of drivel Indians are being fed on a daily basis.
In addition to the news, which is posited as facts, and hence undeniable truths, these channels also indoctrinate Indians with superstition, blind belief and orthodoxy on a daily basis, as if it is coming from an authoritative source. The whole charade should not be dismissed as harmless. It is carefully constructed, arranged and engineered to make people dumb.
Most of us are familiar with how the real news is relayed to us by someone sitting behind a desk who is peering into a computer or another document talking in an authoritative voice. Most viewers take news pretty seriously. If the news says, there is a bomb blast in Kanpur then there is a bomb blast in Kanpur. Nobody questions if it actually happened or if it was just a hoax being telecasted by this TV channel. If they said that Prime Minister resigned, then PM resigned. They don’t question it. The stock markets tumble accordingly based on such news. The stock brokers don’t wait and ask themselves – ‘hey may be, this TV channel guys are just kidding’.
So, when these TV channels talk about astrology, there are quite a good number of viewers who take it pretty seriously. One such wrong flip landed me into such Hindi News Channel (Star News or something like that). An astrologer who looked more like a college professor was sitting behind a laptop. The viewer would dial in and give details of their birth – the date, the time and the place of birth. This astrologer would type in the details into his computer. The viewer would then relate his/her problem.
Here are some of the problems. A lady called to say that her family is losing money in all the investments they have made and looks like there is no way of recovering them. The astrologer looked into computer and answered her. It seems a Rahu or Ketu or one of those goddamned planets is in some wrong house. And therefore she will see this happening for the next few months. He even asked her not to invest her husband’s money directly or indirectly during the next 45 days or so. He then gave the solution to get over the problem. He asked her to visit the temple for the next 45 days and donate jaggery and ghee. He asked her to feed crows, and also get rid of old coins and coal from the home.
The other caller told him that her health is not good and she is constantly worried about the job promotion. The astrologer solved it for her. He told her that Shani is now in a different house. She should put some paste on her head everyday and put black powder on two animals which have two different colors, bury some ingredients in the home and do some puja on daily basis.
No wonder India continues to remain superstitious and blinded.
Not only this, most viewers don’t seem to object to the crass TV shows. There is a TV ad from Reliance. A wife is talking to her husband on the phone. The wife is at her home. The guy is traveling in a posh car somewhere on a hillside close to Simla. They are talking about their old memories. The guy walks to an old monument. He says everything is the same. He looks at an etching on the monument – Raj loves Sneha – something like that. Both of them dolefully remember the great old moments. Indian audience completely identifies with that moment and gets swooned.
Nobody bothers to ask a simple question – isn’t writing on old monuments, etching on them, vandalizing, etc, a habit we want Indians to refrain from?