Covering Bihars wedding of the year.

BY Ajai Kumar| IN Media Practice | 06/06/2002
Covering Bihars wedding of the year

Covering Bihars wedding of the year.


The focus of all these newspapers were the costly pandal, delicious foods and the cooks brought from different cities. They were less concerned about the expenditure incurred by this gala event.


Ajay Kumar, Bihar Times


"I haven`t seen any newspaper in my life time carrying such an insignificant news report as the headlines. so what if Laloo`s daughter gets married? So what`s great in that. I can`t understand the logic behind making this news report an important item. Because of these kinds of publicity people like Laloo show off. Shame on you, Editor, who ever you are.."


This was one of the comments posted on The Times of India website and there were more of the same kind. . It was really very difficult to digest the kind of news selected for the headlines in a prestigious daily. When the danger of war was looming over the country, how can any responsible media afford to spare its valuable space for describing the quality of food served at the wedding dinner, or to describe the political who`s-who who graced this occasion, along with a bunch of film stars. The Times of India took the lead in posting a lot of stories related to the wedding of Rohini Achraya, daughter of Chief Minister Rabri Devi and Laloo Yadav.

The media hype created by the Times of India was comparable to some local Hindi newspapers published from Patna such as the Hindustan and Dainik Jagran which virtually turned over their front pages for days to this event. The focus of all these newspapers were the costly pandal, delicious foods and the cooks brought from different cities. Some newspapers went to describe this marriage as a royal marriage, comparable to that of any princess. The newspapers were full of coloured photographs right from haldi kalash to Bidai. Stories were also published on the landau(buggy) that was donated to Bihar police by the Maharaja of the Dumraon estate.

They were less concerned about the expenditure incurred by this gala event. Even a rough estimate would indicate that it would have been in the range of Rs 10 to 15 crores. Who paid for the special chartered plane for politicians from almost every political party to attend this function? Though some newspapers did stories on how politicians forceably took away more than 60 brand new cars of latest model of Maruti, Hyundai or Indica, A lot more questions could have been asked.

Laloo Yadav is a master politician who knows the art of remaining in the media limelight for whatever reason. It has to be decided by the media that governance and polity is a serious thing. It`s not a street chhap nautanki show to entertain people. Unfortunately some section of the media have made Laloo a saleable commodity. Recently, in a seminar on the role of media in Patna, the resident editor of the Times of India publicly claimed that Laloo is his necessity. He cannot afford to ignore him otherwise his news paper will be treated like "EPW(Economic and Political Weekly) or Mainstream." (Serious academic journals).

Certainly the media has to look beyond Laloo. It is s not true that only Laloo makes news in Bihar. The state is very vibrant, culturally rich and a lot of social churning is taking place. Many new experiments are taking

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