Off the media’s radar?

BY nagamallika| IN Opinion | 15/02/2007
One positive story on each day of the National games could have gone a long way in promoting that much needed assurance that Assam is part of India

 ¿The 33rd National Games kicked off to a colourful start on February 9, 2007¿, or so the headlines in all national dailies ought to have screamed. Forget the scream, there was not even a whimper of the prestigious Games  currently underway in Guwahati, Assam until the 18th of February. These provides the platform for the future young talent who can represent India for the Commonwealth games or any of the other international sports events that follow later this year. One was surprised to see the deafening silence that simply put the Games off the radar of all leading media, relegating it to Doordarshan Sports. Ofcourse, the exclusive telecast  rights are with Doordarshan, but did that prove to be a hurdle during any of the cricket matches in the last so many years?  Instead, one could see reams of print and footage being extensively used for the World Cup cricket team selection, with analyses, critiques, opinions and lamentations. There is absolutely no doubt of India¿s status of a cricket crazy nation, but does it mean that no grass can grow under the shade of this gigantic tree?

 It is absolutely deplorable that the media, that claim to champion the cause of many issues, some truly so while the others questionable, should resolutely remain silent on the aspirations of so many young talented, hardworking ambitious sportspersons, many of whom would benefit tremendously with the media exposure they receive in the form of sponsors and confidence. The egg-chick situation that is often the case when it comes to media and sponsors for such events cannot hold water as one finds the most trivial events being sponsored aggressively, if the media so wishes. Finally, it all boils down to the agenda that the media decides to set for the nation, telling us what to think about too!

 As a part of its efforts to promote North East, the central government chose Guwahati to host the games this year. However, this beautiful region, which could have been showcased for the people of India, was simply ignored, blacked out. The little that one could see on the television screen was a testimony to the hidden treasure that is Assam.  Instead, the only mention of Assam found in the prime time news on one national news channel was with reference to the ULFA activists who again attacked one region in the south of Assam. Although this is in no way irrelevant, the media tends to perpetuate the stereotype of Assam, where only bad news makes news! One positive story on each day of the National games could have gone a long way in promoting that much needed assurance that Assam is indeed India, very much an important part of our nation, where we deem fit to hold our national games, an honour that very few states in India received till date.

Nagamallika G

February 15, 2007

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