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Moralism about voyuerism

Sunny Leone in a very short time became the media’s favourite “actor”. At one time, “sunny leone” was the top search phrase on Google. Even kids were searching for Sunny Leone’s videos online, prompted by the massive publicity she got, not just thanks to the ToI or IBNLive, but almost all major newspapers and channels all over India.

‘Censored’ photo of Rakhi Sawant ‘grabbed’ from ibnlive.com

Do you know Savita Bhabhi? Sunny Leone? And, before that, Rakhi Sawant?

Yes, everyone who regularly reads The Times of India or goes through IBNLive.com will definitely know them.

They are — at least the last two — the Goddesses of Page 3. And they are the stars who make the big bucks.

Well, you may ask me who is this Savita Bhabhi? Some next-door kind lady who always helps you with your request for “two spoons of tea powder”…

IBNLive.com introduced to Savita Bhabhi to me a few years back. I did not know anything about her before that. She was a cartoon porn star.

Sunny Leone, in flesh and blood, entered the scene just a couple of years ago and again, the first place I read about her was IBNLive.

Sunny Leone in a very short time became the media’s favourite “actor”.

At one time, “sunny leone” was the top search phrase on Google.

Even kids were searching for Sunny Leone’s videos, prompted by the massive publicity she got, not just thanks to the ToI or IBNLive, but almost all major newspapers and channels all over India.

She was not a celebrity from where she came from, Canada, but was known only by subscribers to adult films.

Now every school going child in India with access to the Internet knows about Sunny Leone. This is “general knowledge” and I am not sure if popular quiz shows or school -level GK competitions feature this question: Name top 10 films starring Sunny Leone?”

My problem is when TV anchors talk about morality. Their sense of morality is different when it comes to showing a Sharad Yadav talking in Parliament about wooing a girl and labelling it as being supportive of stalking.

And when the discussion on the rape cases come to morality, anchors like Rajdeep Sardesai take the cake.

They toss around words like “moral” and “voyeurism” with such ease that makes me cringe when you look at their actions elsewhere.

Come on, don’t tell me you report honestly about the “actor” and her stellar talents rather than excite people’s passions, and leave viewers/readers drooling for more.

Such “items” boost the TRPs and you make tons of money over a porn star. What do you call a person who makes money over women in Kamathipura street language?

Now, there are many examples of how these “moral custodians” operate. “Lifestyle and Entertainment” stories are meant to excite, and today’s story on IBNLive was “eye-popping”.

The headline was: “Snapshot: Good god! Did Rakhi Sawant forget to wear underwear?

The one-line story read “Rakhi Sawant was spotted at the music launch of the film ‘Pyar Jukta Nahi’ wearing pants so tight, that it clearly outlined her privates”.

Then it goes on to show Rakhi’s wardrobe close up after the first initial shot of her in a group.

Was this not voyeurism by IBNLive in the first place? Was this item not meant to titillate and excite the readers, dear Rajdeep Sardesai? Come on, tell me, what is the news value of this item? What would be the consequences if such a mischievous picture of some college girl or your sister is posted on Facebook?

Informative & educative. Read more on Toi!

Informative & educative. Read more on Toi!

Now, coming to The Times of India. On http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style, see some of the stories listed for reading:

  • 6 sex positions that are also a great workout
  • Oral sex good for women’s health
  • Women admit sex with exes always better
  • 7 telltale signs of cheating wife

This is the lifestyle being promoted in India’s leading newspaper.

But the ToI and IBNLive are not alone in promoting this kind of lifetyle in India. There are many more such “news websites and portals” offering this kind of stuff.

And the snaps that go along with the stories. Are they adding value to the story or are they to titillate?

Per se, I am not against porn or “lifestyle” stories but their educational or news value is suspect when used to boost TRPs or increase readership. It only helps in voyeurism that journalists like Rajdeep keeps keep on talking about with a moral halo around them.

Post Script: On Twitter the following snapshot was trending today. Tweeple were pointing out to something that was more obnoxious than anything else: hypocrisy. Judge yourself: (A little help: Asaram Bapu, Network 18, Colors TV, read about hypocrisy here).

CNN-IBN is carrying out a campaign against the man-made drought in Maharashtra. They flayed Asaram Bapu. Who will bless the cat for Sagarika?

CNN-IBN is carrying out a campaign against the man-made drought in Maharashtra. They flayed Asaram Bapu. Who will bless the cat for Sagarika?

Hypocrisy?

Hypocrisy?

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