The Language of Our “Times”
After a rather long hibernation (one that wasn’t without reason), its time to update this space with some more ramblings. So be cautioned that unless you are interested in something serious, do not venture further, for this ain’t gonna be one fun ride this time!
ISSUE: The decision by the Karnataka Govt. to withdraw recognition to nearly 1,400 schools which have flouted the directive by the government ordering the medium of instruction in primary schools to be in the mother tongue.
The history of this problem is not new found. Infact these schools have been flourishing since 12 years inspite of blatantly violating the directives by the government. There are two facets to look into this issue. First of all is the audacity of the management of the schools which procured recognition from the Government under the pretext that they will provide the primary school instruction in Kannada, and secondly the apathy of the Governments that were in power all these years but yet turned a blind eye towards such defaulters. But these are a matter of another discussion.
Times of India that blows its horns as being a “peoples’ newspaper”- what with a huge circulation, promptly scandalized the issue making it a front page material and wrote elaborately about the “harmful” decision made by the Education Minister. Not only that, they very meticulously showcased the comments of several students who complained about the injustice being meted out to them, and the importance of English in the global market, and how the decision of the government is detrimental to their futures. What was even more ridiculous was the comments by previous Education ministers who mentioned all the “awarding” actions done under them, and made it a point to mention that, had they been allowed to continue in power, how they would have helped the students. There is no need for any special mention herein as to the underlying motive behind those comments.
Things apart, the rather ironic fact is, “Times of India” that took up verbal arms mocking the decision by the Goverment while at the same time thumping upon the importance of English, has NEVER in my memory, EVER raised its voice about the deteriorating position of Kannada in Bangalore. The sheer hypocrism of this media figure was visible in the way it showcased for the cause of English. The fact that Kannada is becoming a forgotten language in Bangalore, where even kannadigas are shying away from Kannada, is a long established fact. Several years have been passed with a small group of patrons urging the locals constantly to not give up their linguistic identity. But alarmingly enough the deterioration of Kannada has only increased exponentially. Why is it that the TOI group doesn’t seem to hear their cries?
The sheer commercial nature of this paper is outpouring in its sheets visibly. Can much sense by attributed to this media icon that finds even the boot-dirt of Karan Johar and Shahrukh Khan worthy of admiration? Their nauseating boot-licking policies not only leave me aghast and gaping for air, but also infuriated enough to write such hard hitting columns. The most important attribute of a mass media should be one of unbiased, detached, and analytic view of any given situation. TOI fails miserably in this scale. When it comes to glitz, glamour and oomph, it oozes out of its pages and the hollow, materialistic columns that the glossy weekend issues portray.
Coming back to the talk at hand, while it is absolutely unarguable that the children studying in these schools are being put through unwanted misery, the newspaper flaunted only the administrative mistakes while drawing curtains over the glaring deeds related to the school management’s unholy activities, and the concern over the deteriorating local language. They have never failed to take out a procession on the deeds they are doing to give a cosmopolitan image to Bangalore at the cost of destroying the local culture and aura. It is apalling to realize that with such a vast readership, they are capable of meting out deadly blows to the minds of the readers and more so the younger generation.
The present generation if anything, is losing its ability to think independently. Mass hysteria of imitating foreign behaviors without distinctly understanding the societal and cultural aspects behind them is growing unhindered – thanks to the fueling works of such detrimental mediums. I am hoping for a revolution to happen in the management of the Times Group, one that would remove the scum present currently and bring the worthy to the forefront. The answer for this prayer is but hidden in the depths of time, meanwhile, I guess the bollywood actors and actresses may get a brief respite while my attention is turned towards other forms of media. What Say Thou?