Insipid, hypocritical and blasphemous

Yes there is a media war on in Mumbai. The grand old lady of Boribunder is under threat and this is as exciting a time as any if you are a journo or in any way connected to the print media.
As one would expect, therefore, there is a major war being waged for eyeball space in the city and the number of hoardings related to newspaper ads are beating the shampoos and the soaps and the cars hollow!
One particular campaign that has caught the fancy of the city (and the media world) is the 'Speak Up' campaign by Zee-Dainik Bhaskar's soon-to-be-launched daily, DNA. Yes, they were ambushed and not just once, but twice (by BCCL and the Indian Express Group) but my point is the hypocritical and the blasphemous nature of their ads.

Here are some of the ads and tag lines:
a) "Maybe women should wear armour to protect themselves" (Sarcastic or are you serious?)
b) "Maybe I could educate the education system" (What have you been doing so far?)
c) "There should be a rate card for bribes" (And maybe a bulk discount?)
d) "Why should I care who's wearing what at Cannes?" (Stop ogling at the TV, then!)
e) "Mr Chidambaram, I am sorry I am succesful" (So am I, but pay your taxes, anyway)
f) "I work in Mumbai but my taxes work for Delhi" (Get out!)
g) "I am a Mumbaikar from Meghalaya, any problems?" (Yes. read on to find out!)
h) "What's the BMC digging for? Gold? Oil? Fun?" (That's 'coz your taxes work for Delhi)
i) "Sourav should play at No. 12" (Okay by me… but is it that important?)
j) "Duh" (You said it?)
k) "Borders have no meaning" (Yash Chopra… and we don't need celebs to endorse, because…)
l) "Mumbai should come out of New York's shadow" (Dolly Thakore of the 'Page 3 sucks' fame)

Attractive as these may have been, I have some fundamental questions:
1. They are questioning everything in the system. So what exactly do they stand for?
2. Are they encouraging the kind of immigration that the guys in ads (f) and (g) say? Why?
3. Are they justifying the immigration and lack of committment or interest in the city's welfare from immigrants?
4. Who are they to say this?
5. Why are they roping in celebs if that's the very thing they say they don't want?
6. What of the people that have joined to work for them? These are mainly from TOI and if changing all they say they want to, aren't they being hypocritical? Aren't these the guys that made these 'ideas' click?
7.So, now why do they think these 'ideas' they introduced are wrong?

I have specific grudges against two ads: (f) and (g).
You are a Mumbaikar from Meghalaya and I have no problem with it so long as you are ready to live here as a Mumbaikar and not as an immigrant who cares two hoots about the city. This city has been ravaged enough and we don't need more people to do that. Mumbai has been prostitutionalised to the extent that anyone who wants to make money comes here, does that and goes away. What did the city get? Nada.
And sir, if you are proud of the fact that you work in Mumbai but your taxes work for Delhi, I take strong objection to that. Why should I, as a taxpayer, pay for your roads and water when you are paying for someone elses? You are yourself at a loss, but my loss is bigger. I will be here forever… you will not.
Are these the thoughts the paper is propogating? Is this 'Mumbai's own newspaper'? I think not.
Given this campaign, I would also like to risk speculating the nature of the paper… If Zee News is anything to go by, and given this campaign, the editorial policies could well be along the same lines—of investigative journalism and sensalitionism.
Yes, TOI is is fence-sitter but do we need undercover journalists? Maybe in some cases… if your policy is to be against everything, how can I survive being with you? I have to live in this system whether you like it or not.
Hindustan Times is on another tangent altogether and are as yet not disclosing any edit policies… TOI is busy telling the world thier paper is full colour now (which it is not) and MId-Day is too tied up promoting some damn quiz. Does IE still have a Mumbai edition? I wonder.
Blasphemy from the media houses. Insipid advertising that is also irresponsible and entirely hypocritical, if you ask me.
God save us—the reader.

Also published here on C***S***F.

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