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The Thrilling Touchdown

by:Aasika

On the bustling dawn of June 24, 1982, the magnificent British airways flight 9 bearing 247 lives set off for its long journey piercing through several time zones from Heathrow, London to Auckland, New Zealand. Akin any other day, as the flight picked its customary route devoid of menace to Auckland, it was expected to perform halts at Bombay, Madras, Kuala Lumpur, Perth, Melbourne to unload and load passengers before finally arriving in Auckland.

Moments after the plane landed in Kuala Lumpur, the aircraft fuelers barged into the runway and emptied 100 tons of fuel into its tank and the weary flight crew was relieved by the consummate captain Eric Moody, the avid first officer Roger Greaves, and a new cabin crew before it took off again to resume to Auckland. The passengers were experiencing a smooth flight and relishing the cozy inflight services. After ensuring that the midnight sky is lucid and the weather conditions are pleasant, Eric showed himself out of the cockpit to spend a penny.

The captain’s run to the comfort room was intruded on when the first officer called him out. Sensing the seriousness in Roger’s tone, Eric strode towards the cockpit. On his way back, the first red flag arose. Eric espied patterns of fumes escaping the ventilation duct. Given that the crew members were permitted to smoke in the plane until the late 1980s, the captain initially disregarded the smoke. Seconds later, the intensity of the smoke made it challenging for the captain to ignore it like a cigar corollary. The pilot slid the cockpit door open, still perplexed from trying to discover the source of the smoke.

As Eric entered the cockpit, he was hustled out of his thoughts as he witnessed the concerned first officer’s fixated look on the windshield of the plane which was now being ambushed by flashes of light. The captain calmed the perturbed first officer by explaining that the flashes are a resultant of the “Elmo’s fire” phenomenon which is caused by the thunder clouds producing static electricity and dismisses the arisen second red flag as well. When the metal surface of an aircraft comes in contact with the static electricity created by the thunder clouds, Elmo’s fire phenomenon occurs.

The pilots then cautiously checked the radar in anticipation of spotting the thunder cloud liable for this but to their astonishment, no such cloud was found anywhere around the airplane’s vicinity. This added up to the captain’s perplexity as now he hasn’t the faintest notion of what causes the light flashes. After exchanging glances of bafflement and letting out sighs of exasperation, the duo took a beat to process whatever had happened till now but certainly, they were not mentally prepared to process the series of events that’s about to transpire in the next few minutes.

The plane was approaching Jakarta and it was 8:40 PM in Jakarta now, and the amount of smoke entering the cabin was swiftly increasing. This issue started to create fret and panic among the passengers. The temperature in the cabin began augmenting exponentially and the people in the plane started sweating profusely and experienced breathing discomforts. Furthermore, the passengers seated beside the window witnessed weird sparks in the wings. All of this happened in a span of two minutes only and put the cabin in complete chaos and the attendants attempted their best to comfort the passengers.

At 8:42 PM, the captain received an alert call from the first engineer officer who stated that the plane’s fourth engine was on fire and instructed to shut it down immediately. Only now did the captain fathom the predicament their flight is in. It was 8:43 PM and the captain received another warning call stating that their second engine had failed as well. Taken aback by the instantaneous turn of events, before he could even have a moment to loosen up and clear his head, he received a couple more warning calls stating that the airplane’s first and third engine had failed as well.

Several thousand feet above the ground, the flight was now levitating with no functioning engines, or, the flight was now gradually falling. The first officer quickly garnered the facts, did the math, and eventually concluded that the plane can fly for another 23 minutes and that it is capable of covering only 168 kilometers more and the pilots hoped to find an airport to land in that range. The Jakarta airport happened to be the closest.

The captain contacted the Jakarta airport immediately and explained the criticality of their situation. The air traffic controllers meticulously listened and also enlightened him that currently, they were hovering over the Java Island area which is comprised of a multitude of mountains, and insinuated that they fly at least 11,500 ft above sea level to prevent collisions and reach the airport. Haplessly, the current rate of descent which the plane is undergoing makes it improbable to fly the plane at the required altitude and make the cut.  

The pilots looked around in hopes to sight an acreage to safely land the plane and the Indian Ocean turns out to be their only option. The pilots geared up to perform the intentional water touchdown right after the captain performed one more futile attempt to restart their engines. Even though the captain’s landing announcement rendered momentary solace for the passengers, their apprehension returned when they saw the flight’s engines on fire through the windows.

Individual apprehension transformed into mass hysteria in the cabin and the passengers were having a hard time pulling themselves together. Families snuggled together, the parents protectively embraced their children, youngsters supportively held the arms of their paramours, the elderly faithfully chanted prayers and the others in utter despair started writing for their loved ones.

Just when the passengers were dwelling in the presumption that their circumstance couldn’t deteriorate any further, the cabin started depressurizing and the lights in the cabin started flickering. Next, the oxygen level in the cabin instantly dropped and commenced another commotion as the passengers jostled to grab themselves an oxygen mask. However, the depressurization formed in the cabin was so high that not even the masks could avail the asphyxiation experienced by the members in the plane.

Acknowledging the jeopardy caused by the depressurization, the captain performs a nosedive by motioning the plane perpendicularly down and descends to an altitude of 13,500 ft now. Only now did the oxygen level in the cabin normalize and the passengers in the plane were able to breathe properly. Around 8:56 PM, the captain made one last attempt to start the fourth engine and to his surprise, the fourth engine started and miraculously so did the other three engines.

The captain’s ecstasy at that moment was inexplicable. At the current low-end altitude at which the plane was flying, the mountains were still a peril. So, the captain deftly lifted the plane to a decent sea level to elude the mountains. Minutes after the lift, Elmo’s fire phenomenon recurred and the second engine failed again. Not desiring the other obnoxious series of events to repeat and before the other three engines could fail, he steered back the plane to a lower altitude of 12,000 ft. 

After tackling several other hindrances, the flight finally approached the Jakarta airport. The fact that Elmo’s fire obfuscated the windshield and the landing wheels weren’t functioning perfectly didn’t make their landing any easier but the pilot succeeded in making a not-so-smooth yet safe touchdown. Thrilled by the successful landing the crew members let out sighs of relief and giggles of happiness and the passengers safely exited the plane with no major injuries.

Later, the investigators came up with plausible theories to explain the weird behavior of the aircraft. The airplane happened to have flown right over the Mount Galuggung Volcano. The ashes from this Volcano had formed a cloud at that particular altitude in the atmosphere where the plane was flying. Since the ashes were dry, the layer was invisible on the radar and the pilots were ignorant of the existent threat. The ashes of this Volcano, when it encompassed the aircraft, was liable for all the factors from Elmo’s fire to the engine failures. 

This route to Auckland was shut down for a while after this incident. A couple of days later, after a Singapore airlines flight encountered the same issue while flying over java island, this route has been permanently banned and an alternative has been provided for the pilots to fly.

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change conspiracy culture death Efforts Family feelings Government History India Justice Lessons life News social society

Crack of Dawn

by:Siddaarth

National Anti-Terrorism Day is remembered on the 21st of May and gives us all a chance to stand together as one united front against the evil force of terrorism and tells us to salute every single life. It is also a day where we remember all those soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the protection of the Nation. 

The message of humanity and harmony must be spread widely and the Indian Government took this initiative to spread these messages across the people to emphasize the importance of combating terrorist activities. The objective of the  National Anti-Terrorism Day is to help spread the feeling of harmony, peace and unity amongst the people.

The National Anti-Terrorism Day is remembered on the 21st of May to commemorate the assassination of India’s former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi that occurred on the 21st of May 1991 at an election rally in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. During the campaign, a lady who was a suicide bomber and was a part of the terrorist organization Liberation of Tamil Tigers Eelam (LTTE), had approached him. The lady had explosives under her clothes and approached Rajiv Gandhi with a garland and then touched his feet. She denoted the bomb as soon as she approached him and touched his feet. Around 25 people were killed along with the youngest Prime Minister in Indian history was assassinated on this day. Ever since then, the National Anti-Terrorism Day is commemorated every year to ensure that no innocent soul would be killed from any sort of terrorist activities. 

Even after the tragic assassination of Mr Rajiv Gandhi, many terrorists have tried to attack India, its various sights and its people. But we as Indians have always shown a sense of pride, belonging and a feeling of bouncing back from any sort of difficult situation. After the 1991 assassination, India faced many such acts of terrorism on its soil like the 1993 blasts in Bombay in which 13 locations across Bombay were bombed and around 260 people were killed. The terrorist groups known as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed attacked the Indian Parliament building on the 13th of November 2001 in which many police officers and parliament workers were killed. Three other terrorist attacks have occurred after these, namely the blasts on the Mumbai suburban railways, the 26/11 attacks and the Pulwama attack. 

Even after this, India has truly bounced back from these heavy scars on our nation. Though India follows the policy of forgiving but not forgetting, though in the case of terrorism India would never forgive the perpetrators and would never forget about the wounds. To conclude, I would want to quote the Indian Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi who stated the following: 

So many nations have suffered due to terrorism. Terrorism is not a challenge to a nation, it’s a challenge to humanity.

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change culture Efforts Environment Government Justice language Lessons life News Opinion personal press social society World

The Black bird of social media

by:Anshuman

Now this is going to be a long one, bear with me. Twitter, one of the most popular social media sites out there, having an enormous user base, has its fair share of problems. It’s often regarded these days as a “toxic” place and such a label isn’t unwarranted in the slightest, in my opinion of course. 

Let’s go right to the root of the problem, it’s character limit. With 280 being the maximum character limit, there isn’t much scope for an actual substantial discussion in the first place. Twitter is at its best when the user base makes use of the character limit to come up with creative jokes, sharing stories or thoughts that may cross their mind, with people responding to it in a fun healthy discourse. The main problem arises when people use the site to address significant and debatable issues because usually the character limit isn’t enough to give it justice or credence, especially when in a discourse with someone else. The ideals behind the original point become muddied when you don’t have enough space to actually explain the nuances of your statements and put it forward in a more precise and detailed manner. Such an issue becomes abhorrent when combined with the major issue that is performative activism and virtue signalling, which Twitter loves to participate in. 

Sharing posts about issues going around in the world isn’t wrong in the slightest, it helps bring attention to them and could actually cause pressure for the concerned authorities to take action and rectify the issues to the best of their capabilities. The problem is when it’s used as a tool to promote themselves. In many instances you see internet celebrities dodging criticism by putting out a tweet speaking vaguely about how they respect and support oppressed communities and see them as equals, literally the bare minimum, to earn praise and virtue points. They don’t care about hopefully bringing attention to the issue at hand. They do it to save face, earn praise for doing the bare minimum, increase their following and earn more clout and internet points. It becomes a selfish desire rather than a selfless act. These people use the plight of oppressed communites such as other races, people of different sexualities, transgender and non binary people, people with disabilities etc. for their own gain and clout by treating them with the barest minimum of respect. These less privileged people’s lives aren’t made for one’s own inspiration story!  They are normal people as well! One isn’t a superhero for treating them as such and shouldn’t be rewarded with undying love and loyalty for doing the bare minimum. You might be wondering that even though one may have scummy ideals, atleast they are doing a good act and inadvertently helping, so why do I care so much. The reason I do ties into the next problem I have which is the “Stan” culture. 

Being a fan of something/someone is completely normal and human. When I talk about Stan culture, I talk about the obsessive fan culture that not only significantly harms the mental health of the person who they are obsessing over, but even themselves. To get too obsessed towards a certain thing is never healthy, especially when the Stan culture is over a person. This leads to the dangerous phenomena of parasocial relationships as well where the fan convinces themself they actually have a relationship with this person who they know nothing about, all they know is the online persona a person has created. This can severely impact the mental health of both parties involved. The major problem with this is that most of the time it’s minors who get involved in such stuff. This leads to predators with a significant fan following having a platform to be able to groom their minor fans thanks to parasocial relationships, preying on them and taking advantage of them in disgusting ways. Stan culture is an obsessive thing that is very prevalent on Twitter, trending everyday in some sort of hashtag. Such fan culture shouldn’t be promoted. By allowing stans of a person to exist, who elevate a person to such a superior status for doing the bare minimum, we strip away the concept of accountability from them. 

On the other end of the spectrum however, is the issue of “cancel” culture. The funniest thing to me about this is that people in fiction love redemption stories, stories where people realize their mistakes and improve on them slowly and gradually to become a better version of themselves. However when it comes to real life, Twitter for some reason forgoes the concept of redemption. Any mistake a person has ever made is held against them throughout their lives, even when they have shown regret for that mistake, apologized for it and have improved themselves and changed their behaviour. It’s good to hold people accountable for bad stuff they might do, but it’s obnoxious to never give them an opportunity to change, to approach them with hate instead of trying to educate them. No one is perfect, all of us have made mistakes we regret in our lifespan. Not everyone should be “cancelled” and have everything taken away from them for a mistake they made in the past, especially when they have shown progress and change. Forgiveness is a trait that’s completely forgotten when it comes to Twitter. 

Another major issue is that dissenting opinions are seen distastefully. It’s like people there want a collective hivemind of thoughts and emotions and any differing opinion must be silenced and banished. People there have a problem of treating their opinions as facts and facts as opinions. Differing views and ideals should be encouraged to force an open dialogue and discussions. People with differing opinions are just blocked. For the record, blocking someone isn’t a sign of weakness or something you should avoid if they are actually troubling you and spamming you. But when you start blocking people with a differing opinion than you, even on harmless topics, you’re just creating an echo chamber for yourself which is detrimental to discussions and debates as a whole. To combat bigotry, there needs to be a dialogue. To reconcile and unite, there needs to be an acceptance of differing thoughts and ideals and finding a common ground should be encouraged. Battling hate with hate is a recipe for disaster. Being mean and rude for no reason shouldn’t be celebrated as a positive trait. Some people would prefer to be praised as a villain rather than be obscure. This is just harmful and detrimental on every front.

To conclude, I do not in any way mean to generalise every user there as having these problems. But there is a big audience which causes these issues. A large part of Twitter has these problems which makes the atmosphere overall “toxic”. This piece is for addressing those parts of Twitter.

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Government India News Republic Day social

Current Political Scenario of India

This isn’t a political opinion but a commentary on the current scenario of India. So it should be treated as an account of my observation and not opinion. 

It is no revelation that agriculture is the largest contributor to the Indian economy. Since its inception, the Indian government used to guarantee MSP for certain crops, hence, providing financial security to the farmers. While the new laws claim to give them more freedom to buy and sell directly indicating the privatisation of the whole economy, they are contentious and might leave farmers worse off conversely. So, essentially, a major portion of the vote bank of India is on roads, protesting against these laws since November. Needless to say, protests are never absolutely peaceful amidst the irony of a “democratic” set-up. Negotiations haven’t led the situation anywhere but a deadlock. In fact, the mediation committee formed by the Supreme Court has also faced disappointment and rejection by the unions and parties. On top of that, around 18 parties have boycotted the President’s address to express solidarity with the protesting farmers.

Not long ago, on the occasion of Republic Day, protesters broke barriers, clashed with the police and entered into Delhi. Thousands of tractors driven by protesters thrashed their way into the parade. A group of protesters then marched towards the Red Fort and hoisted a religious flag a few hours after the ceremony. Some unions have been accused of conspiring this whole menace. Handful of leaders have taken responsibility while the others have either accused the other leaders of sabotaging the agitation or have distanced themselves. Tear gas, flashbangs, sticks and fatalities were seen on both sides of the protest. The count of injuries and lawsuits is astonishing. 

Now, the image of the Nishaan Sahib flag fluttering higher than the Tiranga was sacrilege to every Indian irrespective of their economic inclination or political affiliations. I can’t deny that the detour could have been planned and conspired in order to discredit the “peaceful” protest guaranteed by the leaders but the consequences were disastrous. Nonetheless, the protest received a massive blow and lost the citizenry’s support to a great extent. 

My question is- Was it required? And what did it prove? Except insulting the national holiday. 

Sighs

Drastically low in magnitude as compared to the Republic Day incident, still terrible, another controversy has surfaced recently. 

Among the ongoing media uproar, when some “celebrities” decided to step in and give their two cents on the issue, they took Twitter by a storm. The most prominent personality to bear the brunt of constant bashing was pop star icon Rihanna who tweeted about internet shutdowns in Delhi post the riots on 26th January. Well, Human rights violation is incomprehensible except in the Indian context, of course. 

Swedish child environmentalist Greta Thunberg followed the suit by tweeting about the protests and uploading a ‘toolkit’ about how people can join the protests. The document had several resources to mobilise people against farm laws. It also contained a detailed plan about hashtags like #askindiawhy, #farmersprotest, and #worldiswatching with specific dates where they trended and would trend. A lot of people are being seen ridiculing Delhi Police for filing a case against Greta Thunberg which is simply not true. The Police have clarified that they’ve registered a case against the makers of the document and not Greta. While she deleted the tweet later, she responded to the Twitter bashing by saying that she is “still” supporting the farmers and “no amount of threats” will change that. This, however, begs the question as to why Greta deleted the previous tweet at all. Both sides are so strong (weak rather) that one verdict just doesn’t seem plausible enough.

Even the former adult film star Mia Khalifa tweeted about the protests, questioning internet shutdowns. As this war continued to rage, The Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement saying, “the temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible”, which makes absolute sense. I wonder if these international celebrities know the ground reality or even the exact reason behind the protests. I am pretty sure that they have no idea about 11 rounds of talks that the government has held with the leaders of the farmers’ unions, along with its decision to suspend the farm laws for 18 months and hold talks with farmers to tweak the laws as per their convenience. But I also wonder as to who gave the authority to the propagandists to question their opinions. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

It is surprising how the largest democracy in the world is being desecrated by illusionists and anti-social elements fueling controversies instead of solutions. I do not condone the mindlessness and misinformed opinions on sensitive issues such as this. It seems only logical that people must ascertain the facts properly and try to understand the issue at hand before rushing to make comments.

People have taken “ignorance is bliss” too seriously. The need of the hour is research, negotiation, and settlement, and not publicity stunts. 

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News Technology Uncategorised

The Digital Divide

Author: Prajjwal R T

With the opulent 10% of Indians owning 80.7% of the country’s wealth, the raging pandemic is widening the wealth gap between the rich and the poor. The persistent unequal distribution of wealth in India has augmented the employment crisis, with only the affluent ones gaining access to control the entire wealth of the nation. Thomas Piketty, in his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2014) cites a prototype that supports his central thesis that ‘the owners of capital accumulate wealth more quickly than those who provide labor’, an idea that revolves around an aphorism: “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer”

Nevertheless, the death by suicide of an LSR college(New Delhi) student- Aishwarya Reddy calls for a reckoning.

Aishwarya, in her distressing suicide note, wrote about how she was a burden to her family because of her education and stated that the family struggled to keep up with the digital world. The family had to mortgage their home in Telangana while her sister had to discontinue her studies, even after sending several requests to the college for financial assistance. This incidence, termed to be ‘an institutional murder’, has also sparked off the ‘digital divide’ in India. The 19-year-old who wrote “If I can’t study, I can’t live”, should be a grim reminder to society about the psychological tolls faced by the students amidst the global chaos.

The lack of devices and good internet connection has often drawn a fine line between the haves and the have-nots. The pandemic wave has proved to be a catastrophe for the students to cope-up with online education, be it the learning methods or the workload burdened upon them. While the government promises to bridge the gap by providing students with the necessary gadgets to encourage their studies, it has not yet swayed its hands over the weaker sections of the society, calling for surveillance on the working of its policies. While the privileged ones had a smooth transition, people living in remote areas have a different story to tell. As a student myself, there were various occasions where I encountered issues regarding an unstable internet connection, despite residing in a city claimed to be known as Silicon Valley of India. 

With classrooms and social hubs where one could meet and share their little experiences with their peers being cordoned off, it has not only been tough for the students but, for the faculty and staff members as well. Online classes have become a tool to harass teachers, thus making the advantaged look flagrant, despite having access to all the privileges. Something which we believe to be meager can prove to be dear to others.

Speaking of this topic, I would recommend you all to watch Rora Kennedy’s documentary  ‘Without a Net’ which explores the digital split in America, highlighting how the economically deprived sections tackled it and the measures which were taken to provide parity to one and all. In the wake of the pandemic, the digital divide has brought all underdeveloped areas of society in the field of education to a standstill and in-turn, reducing the opportunities to shape their careers. Even though the Digital India campaign launched by PM Modi in the year 2015 focuses on busting digital inequality, the main motive of the program is still striving hard to cater to the needs of everyone.

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change cricket News

The Cash Premier League

Author: Aaditya

The Indian Premier League just ended this week, with Royal Challengers Bangalore finally winning their first title. Now, there is nothing left for the world to see, and the BCCI has decided to discontinue the Indian Premier League. (Read: Virat Kohli announces IPL retirement.)

However, the Board did acknowledge that the absence of the IPL would leave a huge crater in the cricketing calendar, and will render many cricketers jobless. To avoid that, the BCCI has announced the possibility of the Cash Premier League (CPL). 

This is just a tentative idea, and the rules and format are still a little unclear, but it is rumoured that this event is extremely simple to follow.

The following was tweeted by the Board president, with respect to the event: “Think you’re rich? Invest in the Cash Premier League.” This has increased confusion among fans and prospective investors, because the IPL was also announced by a similar tweet: “Have money to waste? Buy Royal Challengers Bangalore.”

More details regarding this event are expected by the end of this year, but will most likely be announced earlier – knowing Indians and their punctuality track record. 

Expert cricket analyst and revolutionary politician, Gautam Gambhir has speculated that the event would involve people stacking cash in piles to no particular end, and Mukesh Ambani getting richer. “It’s a mind blowing idea,” commented Gambhir. 

Well of course, there will be more to come and more to witness in the coming times.

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News society Thoughts

Time’s Up

Author: Atulya Subhash

Apologies in advance for the forthcoming rant. Apologies in advance that you have to put yourself through this for the millionth time. Apologies for reminding you of disturbing events that most of us are collectively trying so hard to forget about. 

But I’m not going to apologise for the rage I feel inside every waking second. I’m not going to apologise for wanting to be safe. Not going to apologise for wanting justice.

The Hathras tragedy had left the nation appalled. 

 This is not the first time such a gruesome act has come to light, and what’s sadder is that it may not be the last time too. 

However, what’s more disturbing than the crime itself, is how people politicised the incident.  It seems to me that a lot of people are more concerned about the image of a state and a political party being tarnished, than the incident itself.

Everyone is free to have their own political views and support any political party they wish to. However, blatantly refusing to see some of the limitations in our leaders, be it any party, is a lapse on our moral responsibility as a citizen of this country.

Something we all should acknowledge is that some states of India have always been the flagbearers of atrocities against women. It is not a political issue. It is about no government in the political history of India, being able to tackle this issue, or may I say, not being bothered enough to bring about any changes, as long as they are in the good books of their vote banks.

This incident also brought to light, how deeply engraved casteism is, in our country. We could blame every political party, every state but that’s not the point.  The onus to bring about any change is on us and the first step to do that, is accepting that we as a country are backward in many ways. 

 We should accept that patriarchy and other social evils like casteism run deep in our culture, no matter how liberal we look on the outside. We have all come across sexist comments in our own family, from distant relatives or from our neighbours. We tend to ignore it, because that’s what most of us have been taught to do. For the longest time I thought to myself, as long as it does not affect me or my freedom directly, why should I take the pains of correcting someone older to me. But I am ashamed of it more than ever now.

The next time you hear someone telling a girl to ‘not invite danger upon herself by being herself’/’to look prettier by the standards of society’/’to stop going out’ etc;  the next time you hear someone telling a guy ‘not to behave like a girl’/’not to cry’/’to man up and be physically stronger’ etc. please do the world a favour and try your best to educate them.

We cannot change the world in a day but if we try and do our part, we can slowly but surely make the world a better place.

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News society Uncategorised

Media Circus

Author: Aaditya

Getting bored at home, after exhausting the libraries of every streaming service? Read all the books available at home? Looking for a cheap source of entertainment while staying at home?

Like many other things these days, I suggest we go retro, and enjoy the amazing art of the Circus.

Now, there would be many questions in your mind. Circus? At home?

After nearly seventy-five years of meticulous research and development, the scientists at ISRO have brought to you circus at the comfort of your home.

The circus, like every other art form, has changed and evolved over the years. It started with stunts and acrobats, then had animals doing stunts and acrobats and now, people partaking in stunts and acrobatics verbally. With this evolution, the flaws, unfortunately, have also manifested themselves in different forms. Circuses used to exploit and mistreat animals, it now mistreats the society, and the people watching it.

Despite that, it’s still a good idea to watch it, albeit not for too long.

And here’s how you do it, in just three simple steps.

Step 1: Switch on your television. That thing in your living room that you used to watch as a kid. Wipe off the dust, you’ll find it then. Yes, that’s the one.

Step 2: Take the remote. That thing that looks like a very old phone, but doesn’t have a screen. Smack a it a few times on your palm. Now you’ve, umm, calibrated the device.

Step 3: The final step. Put on an Indian news channel on the television. I recommend a channel with famous circus-performers, like Arnab, but any channel would provide you with great entertainment.

Now get some popcorn, and enjoy!

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News Opinion Thoughts Uncategorised

Funny Comedy Is Not Allowed

Author: Vrushali Deshmukh

YouTubing has become a business these days. And people have become really desperate to do anything to be in the headlines. Creativity has been hyped up but is non-existent and creators have become senseless. Popularity is all that people aspire for, irrespective of the kind of content they are showing. TikTok too recently faced backlash in India for its cringe content. But this isn’t enough. YouTube is also seen promoting content which is offensive in many aspects.

Recently, a comedian had to apologise for cracking a harmless joke in her stand up. The stand-up was about the proposed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s statue’s Quora answers. She ended up being at the receiving end of a lot of online flak because of these bogus claims, completely nonsensical and moronic. Chhatrapati is certainly an ideal to everyone, but the joke wasn’t offensive at all. It was sheer sarcasm that went bouncer off the hollow heads of some pseudo-nationalists. This raised a very important question as to what exactly is a comic’s job. Are we so ignorant to the happenings in the world that we give this issue our crucial time and attention? Aren’t we civilised enough to acknowledge stand-ups in a light-hearted manner? We are in the middle of a pandemic and all we are left with is to make a controversy about something that happened a year ago? Why does everything have to turn so political in our country?

But this isn’t the end of this topic.

A YouTuber, with over 227K following, hurled abuses at the comedian discussing the gory details of how he would rape her, all this in the name of voicing the truth (“hosala buland”) that offended some biggies because of her previous video. He, in the name of content creation, has been passing crude remarks on people. He is seen targeting people and racially abusing them, threatening them, harassing and bullying them, gay-shaming and humiliating them, all the while lauding and mimicking his ideal creator who has over 798K subscribers.

These people call themselves nationalists and have a whopping fanbase, thanks to their distinctive art of passing derogatory and crass remarks. The details he used were disturbing and mentally traumatising. These men ironically “respect” women. This shook me to the core of the issue of women’s safety. If they can so blatantly threaten to rape women in public, what would stop them from doing so in private, if they are allowed to roam in the society freely? His arrest was a “nice” lesson but not enough in front of the pain inflicted on the ears of the audience, which was just unbearable. The matter doesn’t end here though.

Another YouTuber, with a much lesser following, but promoted by the “ideal” creator, crossed all such lines. Fortunately for him, his unpopularity saved him from the backlash. But his video on the comic was mentally harassing for every woman, every man, every living entity who was subjected to hear him. He vented out his anger by amplifying graphic details of how he would rape her and her mother, how he would assault her, how she should be video graphed in porn, what kind of clothes should she be wearing and how he would not let her walk out of her home. His apology seemed more like a justification as to why he was right and whatever he did wasn’t that big a deal.

WHEREAS, the ideal YouTuber has remained mum on this matter. 

The issue was brought to light on Instagram and Twitter by various celebrities and influencers. Netizens were enraged and baffled. But later the thread turned towards dissecting the comedian’s character certificate. Her tweets were shown out of context where she, being a comedian, is using sarcasm to answer the people with low IQ. People couldn’t comprehend her jokes at all. What is the actual problem? People not understanding jokes? People understanding jokes in the wrong manner? People taking jokes too seriously? Comedians doing comedy? Sarcasm? People liking jokes? People not liking jokes? People taking jokes to the heart? People laughing on jokes? Happiness? Relaxation? Recreation?

The incident raises many such questions. Where did this ideology emanate from? How far have they gone in the name of insults and calling out? Who are these people idealising? Who are the people being put on the pedestal? What has gained them so much popularity? Who are the people following them? Why are people following them? Does the fan base resonate with similar thoughts? Why hasn’t YouTube censored such content? Is this what you get in return of sarcasm, a rape threat? Why is rape such an easy word to iterate over and over again? Why is it being glorified everywhere? Who are the people enjoying such offensive language? Are we as an audience responsible for it?

Too many questions, but all remain unanswered. The fact of the matter is that these questions are empty rhetoric and this is disappointing.

Under the pretext of nationalism and “protecting their religion”, comedy is being massacred and logic is being dug deep into the earth. The essence of content remains nullified.

And so, if you’re looking for a career as a comedian, try to not be funny, please.

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Banality of Mainstream Media

Author: Prajjwal RT

It is 2020 and broadcast journalism in India has stooped down to all levels of mediocrity. The prime time discussions and newsroom debates have no scaffolding and are merely preaching about assumptions and deviations. Broadcast journalism is a powerful tool to unleash the reforms and changes we wish to happen in our DEMOCRATIC nation. Yet, it is perplexing to learn about the brutal reality as we unravel the dark secrets behind the lens.

However, people fall prey to a few of their half-baked stories, which bolsters no facts and evidence, thus misleading the public to believe it to be the Gospel truth. Ironically, they do help in scrutinizing the amendments and keeping a check on the government’s bureaucracy, yet fail to correct their own facts they present. The mainstream media today focuses only on curating the contents accordingly, which attracts a broader audience. Thus, one out of several other reports is chosen to be broadcasted, while they shut eyes on stories they think are ‘not intriguing.’

Although it is exceptionally strenuous to report from ground zero where there is no access to reporters, they make matters worse when they have the urge to live telecast sensitive issues. For example, the live streaming of the 26/11 terror attacks was a huge privilege for the terrorists to plan their response. It is not surprising, how eventually everything cognates to respective channels boasting about themselves for breaking the headlines first. No wonder they even scavenge on the grief and mourning of people during unprecedented situations.

They have mastered the prowess of smear campaigns and making a mountain out of a molehill. 

They hold an ingenious knack of creation and destruction of opinions, facts, and sentimentality. The game becomes eerier when the government plays the media accordingly when elections are just around the corner. Sadly there is more room for ads and promotions than cases that require utmost heed and support.

It is so surprising to witness the news channel pronouncing a eulogy of a person/government who once had criticized and condemned the same subject. They become mere puppets when tempted with copious notes under the table. Debates no longer hold sense, as the journalist interrupts the panelists relentlessly. It is then that ‘the nation wouldn’t want to know’ the idiocy of a jingoistic journalist turning every instance into heated filthy arguments. Sometimes even the usage of their terminologies too has no nexus with ongoing topics.

Newsroom is a stage where a journalist plays his part. And when the play isn’t going according to the director’s choice, they do have a well equipped back-up system to cover up the mess. Checkmate! The journalist has to venture out on a new way to earn his bread and butter while the banality stays within the four walls of the stage. Anyone who goes against the media too has to face the repercussions.

It is indeed distressing to see the fall of an empire, which once held a very high proficiency and originality. The ripples of broadcast news channels and media, demands stringent actions to shun the politics and fallacies involved in the field. Apparently, the news is turning to become a marketplace which guides us in a direction except for REALITY.