Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Month of Scams

Last month kept us all busy tracking various scams. No sector is left wanting as far as scams are concerned. It all started with the 2G Scam of the Telecom Ministry. Commonwealth Games scams are also slowly being unearthed. Prasar Bharti's HD Broadcast scam with the alleged involvement of its CEO B S Lalli has put the PMO and the I&B Ministry at loggerheads. Now the telephone tapping of Ms Radia's conversations are making many skeletons tumble out of the closet. Mr Rattan Tata whose conversation was also tapped has gone to the Supreme Court to protect his privacy. Two senior journalists Barkha Dutt and Veer Sanghvi have also been accused of helping the telecom deals who are now on a spate of giving explanations in every which way. Parliament is already on a boil due to these scams. Various land scams like the one involving the Karnataka CM and the other of the Adarsh Society of Mumbai involving the Maharashtra politicians are putting the whole country to shame. And to top it all now we have the accusation that the Telecom Minister gave WiMax license to two companies who never existed. The whole scenario is so polluted that one wonders if any thing is going right these days. 
Even on the international front USA is facing the wrath of rest of the World for the WikiLeaks. In all this scandalous time role of Media is being questioned. Debates are on about what is important, private interest or the public interest. Are our journalists following the ethics? TV channels are having a whale of a time disclosing every scam in a dramatic exclusive exposure. One wonders if there is anything called self regulation which the TV broadcasters have been shouting hoarse whenever the government comes on them with a heavy hand. Indian television media has become so diversified, big and powerful that it is almost impossible for the government to control it. Sad part is that the consumers who make this gigantic industry survive are the biggest sufferers. For the sake of TRPs broadcasters pass on all sorts of trash to the consumers stating that the consumers demand all this. It again puts the focus on doubtful TRP system but the government is so weak in front of these power houses that it just keeps mum. Recent case of Bigg Boss, Rakhi Ka Insaf and SS Music channel are the glaring examples of the spineless government that we have that its stern action against such undesired content does not stand the test of the law in the courts. This also indicates our half hearted regulations. The above attitude is also reflected in government's efforts in digitising the Cable Television industry where umpteen number of times the sun-set dates have been recommended by many committees but no notification from the government is coming out. One wonders if the government is clean in its intentions or again some conspiracy is being hatched, to let the cable TV industry down in its competition with DTH and the IPTV . 
Notwithstanding the above, the industry is bent upon going forward with digitisation on its own and the year to come may prove a turning point. 

—— Lt. Col. (Retd.) K K Sharma



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