Last week, the editor of a TV channel took pains to explain that these channels are driven to focus on single scandal stories per day because of the tyranny of TRPs. Editors, these days are too busy taxing from seminar to seminar while their journalists are PR fed and feted and given handouts. TRPs he says rule the roost and decide the story and the TRPs reveal that people only want gossip about celebrities and little else. Obviously he was unable to explain why TRPs only reflected the tastes of selected households whose opinions were created to give legitimacy to the decisions taken by channel editors et all.
Does this channel preoccupation with celebrity gossip and the issues of the well heeled to the total exclusion of the Other India or Bharat as they tend to call it, not sound very much like India taking a steep downturn?
History is replete with examples of great cultures which are struck down soon as the ruling elites become too preoccupied with their pleasures, pastimes and luxuries to be bothered with the masses.
Look at the Roman orgies which preceded the invasions of the Barbarians. The demise of the French and the British empires. And in our times the total ruin of the USA which is now overrun with leisure industries and preoccupations rather than the needs of the silent majority.
Our finance minister too seemed more concerned about the share broker community and its bottom-line than the living conditions of the middle and lower classes in his budget.
Is this media driven preoccupation with the lives of films and cricket stars, netas and models and their life styles and its requirements, the IPL fantasias etc a sign of India taking the down turn even before it actually reached the top?