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Monday, November 16, 2009

Terror Recruitment - Rana And Headley - Media to Blame

The news doing the rounds now is that Tahawwur Rana and David Coleman Headley were actually on a terror recruitment drive across India and that the duo was using the advertising mechanism to liaise with their other operatives. Guess who is shouting from the rooftops about these new developments. The media itself which carried those ads without any verifications.

This issue is the most important and the least discussed in the media, for obvious reasons. No one in their sane minds bites the hands which feed them.

The media gets away by making a simple disclaimer statement about not having to do anything with the ads that they run. They do take the money but won't take the responsibility of the veracity and the genuineness of the advertisement they are carrying. They put that responsibility on the reader. Now what do you do if terrorists are using those very ads to communicate with their ilk or to recruit more people into their clan. The media will not take any responsibility still. After all they do have the disclaimer clause. Even now no one seems to be bothered. The money-hungry mafia.. ooops, media will continue to carry the ads.

In this case for a few hundred Rupees the media has provided a channel of communication to terrorists and I wonder why no one is holding them responsible for terror links or as accomplices.

There are so many people who are reading the newspapers and using the ads they display to make informed decisions considering, by default, that the ads are authentic. So many people must be wasting money on those stupid, "Make money from home" ads. If that was not enough to get eyeballs rolling, now comes this case where terrorists have used the media for their nefarious activities. What will it take for some one to wake up and put in some kind of regulatory mechanism by which such things can be stopped?

The media Print as well as electronic should verify the ads before they print or air them. The whole idea of advertisement is to allow people to make informed decisions. Unfortunately the unscrupulous as well as some of the esteemed lot makes use of the media to mislead people. Even the recent case of a doctor/quack/scientist, Munir Khan, who claimed to treat cancer, heart blockages etc has not prompted any action. The man was actually using celebrities to endorse his product and the media was happily carrying it. He has been arrested and will probably be convicted. But what of the media and the celebrities who promoted his products. Oh No! They only take money for providing subsidized news.

But again these and all those massage parlor ads are minor issues compared to being used as a medium for anti-national activities. High time the sector got organized where issues can be prevented rather than only being covered as breaking news.

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