Blood was all over the floor and so was he. There was a deep cut on his forehead which became more visible as he pulled himself up. As he took his bag in his hand and started walking ahead, his imbalanced walk said he was drunk. As i was telling myself “May be also due to loss of blood he must be feeling weak so he is not able to control his footsteps,” he lost control of himself and hit the wall first and then collapsed on the floor. Unfortunately the same part of his forhead hit the floor to deepen the wound.
As this happened everyone in the busstand, including me, watched it as if it were a street play on alcoholism. I could see a police outside the busstand and went to him to inform. The police pointed out another police inside the busstand whom i had not seen and took me to him. As we aproached the police inside the busstand, he knew why i was going to him and before i could say anything he asked me “Who is responsible for his condition?” Even before i could answer him he asked me if i was aware that the wounded man was drunk. I lost my temper and said loudly “The point is not as to who is responsible or not and whether he is drunk or not. The point is that he is hurt and he is bleeding and we need to attend.” His ego was hurt and he too raised his voice to say “You keep your eyes open and see for yourself the reality. He is drunk and he has hurt himself,” almost to mean he himself should go to the hospital as he himself is the reason for his wound. This was unbelievable. A police on duty was speaking so irresponsibly and illogically and more importantly so inhumanely!
Realising that raising voice will lead to nothing i slowed down and said “Sir kindly call the doctor,” and it looked like it worked for he walked towards the coin booth to dial 108. As he was trying to call the ambulance i went near the wounded man and as i stood next to him some more people stood my me and started staring at the man. The policeman started shouting and screaming at the crowd asking them to “make an issue” and vacate the place. This was sheer arrogance and i couldnt take it anymore and called the SP who spoke to the policeman and ensured that he would call the ambualance and the injured man is taken to the hospital.
As i was walking back home after the injured man was taken to the hospital, i was thinking about the line of thinking of the policeman. His focus point was the fact that the ijnured man was drunk and he himself had caused injury to himself and not that a man is injured who needs to be attended. I felt very irritated. If i were not to be a journalist who could feel confidant enough to raise voice against the police and also call the SP when required and thus ensure that the injured man is attended, i am sure the policeman would have not taken any action because of his mis-focused thinking pattern, which could have lead to something very serious.
This thinking pattern which has lost focus if enters the dominant discourses, then it would create extremely negative ripples in the society, i told myself as i rested my head on the pillow. It was then that all the incidents reflecting the mis-focused thinking pattern of the peopple who create public opinion started surfacing in my mind. Here i collect a few:
~ Janardhan Poojary had arranged for a press meeting to condemn the pub attack in Mangalore. Mr. Poojary in his usual theatrical style condemned the attack on pub saying it was an attack on women and set the floor open for us the journalists to ask questions. One among us broke the silence to say “They (the girls) went to the pub and not to the temple. Can you call the girls who go to the pub as girls? are they girls?”
When the question to be asked was “how correct was it on the part of the Sri Ram Sene people to take law into their hands?” but the entire debate and focus of the matter was shifted to if pub culture was right or wrong and if it was right on the part of girls going to the pub, which further victimized the already victimized.
~ Anand Bhai (Patwardhan) had come to Manipal and created a mini revolution in the minds of the students. This made the “youngest” and popular journalist very very uncomfortable. The “youngest” journalist kept repeating the same story saying “Anand Patwardhan has made a film on Gujarat where he has shown a pregnant women’s stomach being slit,” and would further ask “Is that ethics?,” and continue to say “When someone is slitting the stomach of a pregnant women he is standing and filming it. Is that ethics?”
I (and many) tried to make this “youngest” journalist understand that Anand Bhai had made no film on Gujarat and it was Rakesh Sharma who did and also that even the film which Rakesh Sharma made had no scene of a pregnant women’s stomach being slit. But the “youngest” man would not listen to the truth.
This story and sounter argument episode must have taken place for atleast a fifty times in fifteen days and not even once did the “youngest” journalist ask himself or ask anyone as to how morally and ethically correct was it to slit open the stomach of a pregnant women with a trishul! The “youngest” journalsit’s argument accepted that a pregnant women’s stomach was cut ripped apart but his ethical question was about someone hypothetically filming the incident and not about the very incident itself.
When we have such creators of public opinion and shapers of public mind and discourse, i think the policeman is only partially responsible for his mis-foused thinking. That is why i keep repeating to while speaking to my student friends “Media is all about persepective.”
31 May 2009