Cabaret Dance at the Time of Dance Macabre

When the dance macabre was being enacted in Mumbai between November 26 and 28 we, as a nation, was condemning and denouncing it – and we will continue to do so in the future. In fact, no word is enough to lambaste the naked barbarity of the terrorists,

Written by

SOROOR AHMED

Published on

When the dance macabre was being enacted in Mumbai between November 26 and 28 we, as a nation, was condemning and denouncing it – and we will continue to do so in the future. In fact, no word is enough to lambaste the naked barbarity of the terrorists, who took so many innocent lives. Attacking a non-combatant target for no reason whatsoever is simply reprehensible – it does not matter whosoever is the perpetrators of this crime.

When even the hardest soul melted and people were shocked and dismayed there was one section of society, which appeared totally insensitive towards the killings in Mumbai. And the tragedy is that none in India has ever questioned their behaviour. This section often sounds too didactic and criticises and sermonises the government at the drop of a hat.

But never in these 60 hours of ordeal did our entertainment channels ever deem it fit to mourn the loss of so many precious souls. They preach the government but who will teach them that there is something called sensitivity. You cannot go on showing nude dances, cinemas and organise cat walks, fashion shows, etc. on your screens when so many countrymen and women were dying at the hands of the enemies. You cannot celebrate and enjoy when you lose brave men like Hemant Karkare and many others. You cannot do so when your country is under attack. You cannot laugh at the time of weeping.

The entertainment industry, as a policy, does not condole the death of anyone of our leaders – President, former President, Prime Minister, former Prime Minister etc. So when the former Premier, VP Singh, breathed his last on November 27 they did not bother – so was the case when Giani Zail Singh, Charan Singh, Chandrashekar, etc. died.

They can justify their policy by saying that they cannot go on suspending their programme on the regular death of the leaders. But should they go on doing the same when the entire nation was kept as hostage. When the reporters of the news channels owned by the same group were risking their lives outside Taj Mahal, Oberoi Hotels or Nariman House and the anchors were repeatedly reminding the citizens to stand as one, the entertainment channels were busy propagating the philosophy of eat, drink and be merry.

When for some hours the administration in Mumbai deemed it appropriate to block the telecast of the live news channel at the time of operation, an anchor strongly criticised the move and said that he had never heard about such action by any democratic government. He may be right, but in the emergency situation the government has right to do so as the terrorists were getting help from these telecasts.

But isn’t it the time for the media barons to look within? Our public opinion-makers are quick to flay the ‘corrupt’ politicians, ‘inefficient’ police and intelligence and ‘indifferent’ civil society. But may one ask what are they doing? They remain busy minting money and never bother for the country. They get money from the entertainment, therefore, they would not put off the programmes. They get money, therefore, they would not drop the nasty and vulgar advertisements coming just after the tragic news of the massacre of innocent civilians.

The truth is that even if they telecast news, they do not do so for some noble purpose, but they simply treat them as products. These media magnates have their own weird argument. They are quick to argue that they do not want to create panic by suspending their entertainment programmes. They want to send the message that everything is as usual and the nation is in the command of the situation. Yes the country is very much in the command.

But who will lecture them about the sense of timing. They are the champion of crass materialism.