I have been an avid news genre freak and been brought up on a staple diet of reading newspapers, novels, and The World This Week capsule hosted by Dr. Prannoy Roy.
I admire the power of news channels to help one frame opinion, understand, appreciate point(s) of view, allow people to express dissent and still work towards progress. Sheer diversity of speakers, stories, opinions and counter opinions make one a better informed individual.
Another important contribution of news channels is the power to people of being heard and share genuine concerns to a larger audience who may be going through a similar plight/concerns.
Citizen journalist is one such platform which empowers common man to express his/her concerns and possibly seek a resolution to problems which could not be resolved through regular efforts. To me it is a reason enough got you not to remain mere – Arm Chair Critic.
I was privileged to have won a CJ award on March 02’2013 at hands of Shri Anna Hazare and other eminent personalities including – Rajdeep Sardesai, Anubha Bhonsale from CNN-IBN, Ashutosh from IBN-7 ,and Nikhil Wagle from IBN-Lokmat. While my effort was a small initiative – I was completely floored by two key observations around the CJ award night.
Fighting spirit and Good Fellows in our Society
The fighting spirit of middle India to stop being a helpless victim. At least 4-5 winners were girls primarily in sub 20 age group and most of them from not so affluent society. The sheer courage and determination of these girls to fight for their right – in a very democratic and peaceful manner was commendable.
A candid comment by Rajdeep Sardesai and Ashutosh that IBN network was just a facilitator for amplifying such initiatives and the entire credit goes to the young harbingers of change was a very apt description of the reason for CJ to be successful.
I salute all such young minds who were fearless, selfless and upright in their fight for justice and I also salute IBN network for the sheer selfless approach in amplifying it and to stand by it. A special appreciation for corporate like Idea Cellular to support it for 6 years at a stretch. Perhaps a lesson for many marketers to learn from such sustained sponsorship effort.
The inclusiveness of Elite in mainstream.
Polarization of elite and poor is often the reason for societies to create dissent. I saw many people including Gul Panag, Kabir Bedi, Anup Soni (Crime Patrol Fame) to lend their support to such a platform. If celebrities and elite from all walks of life support a common man, there is no reason for administration and law enforcers not to take cognizance of complaints from a common man.
Gul made a passionate plea as to how a page 3 celebrity can help push things further for a common man. Fact that India is a celebrity struck society, it is a reason enough for law enforcers and administration to register valid complaints.
In many ways it is creating a large support system which if comes alive is strong enough to suppress every single act of lawlessness and create a intolerant society for all.
Nikhil Wagle and Rajdeep echoed the fact that the elite cannot remain cocooned in their comfort zone and act now because soon enough the anarchy will hit them too in some way or other.
I believe these are clear signs of a change which has a potential to change India.
I also believe that people like me – who are neither elite, nor the repressed have to take sides, and stop being resilient/cocooned/arm chair critic and raise our voice for something which we feel is wrong, against the law and should be stopped.
To sum up I am glad that the fourth pillar of our democracy is working for betterment of India. While IBN network stands for Citizen Journalism, I am happy to see Headlines Today with initiatives like – Right to be Heard, News hour on Times Now and many other on regional networks like – ABP news in Maharashtra etc.
Dissent needs to have a voice and what better then the news media ? Look forward to contribute to many more such platforms and urge all of you reading this blog to come forward and stop being an arm chair critic or resilient.