Saturday, September 09, 2006
Recently Arjun Singh was at IIT to inaugurate a new hostel block. But being the villain in the reservation saga, students conducted a 'spontaneous', 'flash' protest. Promptly the media was called. (Protests, dharnas, fasts and demonstrations these days seem to take place only inside a frame.) The frantic calls by a few students forced me and a cameraman into the car heading towards IIT. Three students received us at the gate and called their mates to tell them we had arrived and to be "ready".
That pissed me off. But I said nothing. Then when we reached the venue of the "protest", much to my chagrin, the students started asking me what to do. "Should we sit or should we stand? Should we march or should we stay here? Should we call more students or is this enough? Should we burn the banner or shouldnt we?"
Thats it! Stop! I lost my cool. I blame the media as much as I blame the students for asking me these questions. There are lots of unethical practices that go entirely unquestioned these days, starting with making people shout slogans for the camera, or directing them to do things they would not have otherwise done. Its pardonable if its a feature story and sometimes you need to 'direct' people into doing certain things - like make an author read his book while shots of him are taken, or make a chef toss up the noodles for the camera. Thats allowed. But if its news, its simply unpardonable. These students obviously dont know any better either. I said, "This is not a film and i'm not a director. Do what you have to do or don't do anything at all. I frankly don't care."
Then to make matters worse and ruin my mood further, the students turned out to be a divided house with some overenthusiastic ones getting carried away with the idea a protest and others warning them of dire consequences. It was the last straw. There was no way this lie was ever going to be on air. But just to say, televised protests are very often done like this.
Posted by Alaphia Zoyab at Saturday, September 09, 2006