Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Passive role of media during the Holocaust

( An e-mail to a US Journalist and academician Laurel Leff, who had conducted a study on media role during the Holocaust )

Dear Laurel Leff,

It suddenly occurred to me to check what was media role in reporting the Holocaust. I was lucky to find about you, and your valued study !( http://www.dailyorange.com/2.8691/journalist-claims-media-covered-up-holocaust-1.1237448#.T07yDYcgcR8)It was an eye opening study. Holocaust was the most heinous crime of the modern age against humanity. If media hadn't  found it worth reporting to the world with the DESERVING importance, there is really something very seriously WRONG with this profession!

 The above referred link says: 

'American newspapers knew about the genocide occurring in 1940s Europe. They just didn't think it was front-page material. Although the newspaper founder, publisher and several staff members at The Times were practicing Jews of German heritage, they did not cover the events of the Holocaust with the right level of urgency'. It turns out that during those years, The Times published more than 1,000 stories about the death camps and murders happening in Europe. However, they were always on the inside of the paper, never the front page.

The consequences of not drawing attention to the Holocaust are profound ( you said)"It was never on the public agenda in a way that would pressure the government to do something"

Another Blogger Jessica writes on the same subject matter of your study:' Newspapers simply did not portray the news to the American public so that they could understand the full effect of the Holocaust. Perhaps, if the media had done their job and truly informed Americans, millions of Jews may not have been completely wiped from the earth'. 

My disillusionment about media's role in important world events was complete. During the slave trade period in early US, the earliest predecessors of media institution were partnering the evil practice. 
I have a newspaper clipping of an 18th century news paper from US  that carried a few classified advertisement for the sale of Negro Slaves. I understand that it was usual for newspapers of that period to carry such advertisements routinely !

The incident of media not adequately reporting about Holocaust, and their carrying advertisements for the sale of Negro slaves has close similarity - -it shows the clear face of the media profession. It does not exist for achieving any pious human goal. Their job ends in describing it, with all the subjectivity and prejudices of their world view. It is their subjective world that we are made to live with !

You have rightly mentioned:   "a fundamental of journalism is to get people to care. If you don't want to do that, don't be a journalist."

Media occupy a great slot in the world, but they are not really what the world think think of them. People build-up their 'selves' by developing a certain 'belongingness' to the world. Quality of the self of man is depended upon the quality of the world that media present. The job of world making is a job of central importance. 

Hence, there is a need for waking up the world about the great danger in keeping its blind faith in the media. Either the world should succeed in getting them to wake up, or at least a third party agency has to warn the world about the danger. Unfortunately, media has the monopoly over the mainstream world, and finding an equally effective agency to counter them is difficult. It makes the danger more severe !

Would want you to continue your good work in reinventing the media profession, by instilling greater values among its men. 

I am sure you would be interested in sharing my blogs on the theme of REINVENTING MEDIA, and my above mentioned communications with the media leaders. They are : http://mediaandcontentrelevance.blogspot.com/

Abraham J.Palakudy

A philosophic seeker and Researcher in the fields of Mind and Reason, Faculty of Reason, Polity, Media and Spirituality
contact : ajoseph1@rediffmail.com
Twitter: Voice of philosophy@jopan1

His profile and other blogs: https://www.blogger.com/profile/14249415589712707293

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Media's role as passive EDUCATORS of the world

(This was a mail sent to CNN IBN news channel, about an article Sagarika has written in Hindustan Times, analyzing the result of a youth survey held in India)

Dear Sagarika,

Excellent analysis ! Congrats.

But if Indian Media place a mirror before them,they will see a picture resembling their own world view in general !  

Our youth have learned and internalized a world, priorities and values that the media have projected. Hope you will agree with us that the role of media as passive EDUCATORS of the world is undisputed.

Definitely the breed of poets,rebels,intellectuals,dissenters,freethinkers and adventurers would vanish from the world ! Will media project any icons in the world other than achievers in sports,cinema,politics,or the underworld ? Then how can our youth grow up admiring poets,intellectuals or free thinkers ? 

I was writing to the print media leadership from late 1980s ( electronic media was absent in those days, as you know ) that, if news items like the one that has appeared beneath your article in the HT middle page today - 'Das ist innovation' - by Thomas Matussek, on Indo-German science co- operation, had appeared as' Head line items' on the front page of news papers, shifting the usual political news to the inside pages for about 6 months on trial basis, the world would have internalized a PRIORITY SHIFT in the theme of life. Your priorities are what men in the world, especially its youth, internalize as their priorities in life !

Sagarika, I was practicing free lance hypnotism from my college days. Under hypnosis, even the sense of taste and  smell get altered with the power of SUGGESTIONS ! Media is like a giant black board fitted over head of the world.What ever is displayed on the board gets converted into peoples priorities, likes and dislikes and values. It acts like hypnotic suggestions on peoples mind.

You may say that the number of men who read news papers, and watch TV does not form the majority of our population, but this minority consumers of media's world view are the ones who control the lives of the majority, as bosses at offices and work places, or as teachers at schools and colleges etc. etc. Hence the  effect is complete in society.

Do you remember how Arundhati Roy and her likes were treated by the Media upon her frank utterances over  Kashmir and Naxal issues? How can our youngsters then turn liberal ?

Media is torn between the demands of multiple masters - - -while the moral obligation the professional vows of 'objective reporting of news' act as the first MASTER,the second is the inner pull of their own consciences about the TRUTH VALUE of the 'reported content' of the so called news, and its relevance for people, and the last is that of the demands of the masters of business and politics, with whose money and favour that the Media industry run. The last class can never tolerate liberalism. The first master can never accept the demands of naked TRUTH. Hence, they end up manufacturing this neutral gender world, where nothing better than the generation of youngsters that you have described in the article could come up to occupy the future !

People could reinvent their lives for better only if Media could reinvent their priorities and values ! No other agency could save mankind, because they only could create and spread changes non-violently. 

I know, you will not get time to go though our blog posts that depicts how severely capitalistic values have intruded into the domain of democracy, and how 'sense of reason' perils in our modern day organizations that thrive under capitalistic values. If you can, please visit links : http://influxofcapitalisticvalues.blogspot.com/http://perilofreason.blogspot.com/

We once again request you to depute a young team under you to study the net essence of our various blogs, and then create a 30 minutes documentary on 'what democracy was intended to be' etc. It will definitely enhance the reach and depth of your channel.


Abraham Joseph 
Founder secretary
Conscience of the society- a non-profit for philosophic initiatives into causes of Reason,Fraternity and more centrally, reinventing democracy .

Friday, January 21, 2011

Two basic causes of human violence

Mr.Arnab Goswami
Timesnow TV

Dear Arnab,

We just finished watching your debate section on 10PM news. (4.3.2010)Subject was Maoist violence, and its support base amongst intellectuals.

You, we are sad to say, acted like a typical rightist loyalist, unable to open up your mind towards anything other than the state's authoritarian ways ! We understand that Media traditionally are expected to be at the side of the establishment.  But Viewers saw you cutting a sorry figure of yourself in front of the non-stopping professors, ( representatives of the intellectual class ) unable to side with the voice of sanity aired by them !

Arnab, there are only two kinds of root violence in the world - - -a powerful man's aggression over the less powerful in order to eliminate him, and attain PEACE for ever, and the other, the counter aggression by the victim, who is less powerful than the aggressor, unable to resist his  cosmic compulsion to safeguard his selfdom, that could be lost forever if he do not retaliate. From the very inception of human history, any violence could be classified and explained into one of these categories. Thus, the phenomenon of human violence could be tackled working on these two simple clues.

Though democracy took birth in human society with the sole intention of giving man his ever elusive dignified self identity and equality of status, and end this phase of violence, the purpose stands unaccomplished even today. Democracy has degenerated and disfigured into a clandestine struggle among the power aspirants, to occupy those seats of state authority once abandoned by late Kings and Foreign rulers. Real rule of the free will, and the collective wisdom of the people is still a dream to be achieved in the world.

Hence the first kind of violence is rampant here. So, the 2nd kind of violence happens routinely everywhere, as a natural reaction. The so called Maoists are a mentally troubled lot, like any victim under crippling kind of authority. Authority cripples, we repeat, just cripple the entities under it. Like an atom with its nucleus removed gets into an agitated state, the self deprived individual under any crippling authority acts like this abnormal atom. Then, they are not under the control of their sense of Reason.

You rightly stood for the cause of the state as we too would have done from a public platform, but as you belong  to the  most enlightened strata in the society- the media- it was your duty towards mankind to realize the gravity of the above human condition, and expose all the aspects of this central human problem to the world, so that its Reason seek suitable remedies. 

Media must represent the collective sense of Reason of mankind,in a collective act of redefining of its role and priorities in the world ! 

You and your class only can do it, not we, or the professors, or the Maoists! No one else has the kind of weapon that media possess, something that could change the world in few months once they undertake the redefining act mentioned above.

As an institution, media can rethink on their role in society, as no other strata exists in the world today to look into these vital aspects of the human condition.

Fact is that, those professors were  simply trying to tell you the above truth. But you wanted them to stand with you, or against you, the only two options understood by the rightist society. For you, those who do not stand with you were your enemies ! Truth is that those poor professors were sympathizers of the said human condition, not Maoist sympathisers as you had pressurised  them to agree !

Lasting peace on earth would be feasible only when the state, or the ideal of democracy become the true agents of Human Reason and wisdom, instead of carriers of the old state weapons of coercion, fear and authority.

Kindly read our blog 'a different story on origin of establishment' to know more about the true background principles of today's world.

Help democracy to emerge as a pure managerial exercise to run the state

Letter to media leaders-9 (Democracy as a managerial exercise, ending its tenure as political drama)

Why should our enlightened age carry on democracy as a political drama instead of utilizing it as a plain tool for managing man’s collective affairs?  Why can not we get rid of its rhetoric and  propagandist deceptions ? Why can’t we bring an end its image as a fight among political parties for government formation? All the rest priorities of nation  falling secondary to the above prime subject matter!

We have a well documented policy document to run the country in the form of our constitution. What are the philosophical, political, psychological and historical needs of a people also stand well documented in the constitution.

What we need is a team to run the country with the best of managerial expertise like  corporate houses run its business, or like constructing a building according to its blue-print plan.  Targets for achievement of each ministry should be prepared with the help of organizations like FICCI or CII, or any of the top management schools in the country. Inexperienced ministers could be trained in the art of delegating responsibilities to his subordinates and bureaucrats. Thus every bureaucrat and minister will have his/her well documented, transparent target for each year. His/her performance could be assessed by the same agencies and monetary incentives could be provided for achievers and punishments for losers.

When administration of the state becomes a managerial exercise, with its responsibilities and pains, its existing glamour quotient will naturally come down. Media persons must stop following them day and night with cameras. This media act was chiefly instrumental in converting country administration into the glamour business of politics. It also has converted these purely managerial  occupations of country governance into a fantastic, parallel world of glitz and glamour, which was  totally unmatched to democratic values  and traditions.

At the end of the term of a government, people will be able to judge the better performers easily when their votes are asked for selecting the new team.

Media also will be able to concentrate more on meaningful social themes when they get free from the routine act of following leaders day and night. Media’s absence will itself distract many leaders from  running after political career. Thus, the wasteful exercise of politics could be slowly eliminated from the scene of country administration.    

Such a shift of priorities will get democracy reinvented into a rational, no non-sense managerial exercise, the sacred purpose for which it was intended for.  

Friday, December 17, 2010

Our communication with the Media leadership for the cause of reinventing democracy

Kind attn: Mr.N. Ram
The HINDU Newspaper, Chennai

Dear Mr.N.Ram,

Warm Greetings from 'CONSCIENCE OF THE SOCIETY', an NGO based in Delhi that stands for philosophic initiatives into CAUSES of Reason, Fraternity, and more centrally, REINVENTING DEMOCRACY !

This desperate note to you is not as a reaction to the current media scam gate, though it is the reason for my taking this opportunity now to write to you as my note may appear more relevant at this juncture.

The scam was bound to happen. I was individually attempting to wake up the media on their central role in 'world making', since 1990s, as my inner philosophic call was there from my child hood. From my single man office at GK-1 during the early 1990s, I used to fax almost daily to all the leading newspaper editors about their said role. It was a heightened stage of my creativity. Indian council of philosophic research awarded me a Residential Fellowship for completing my work,' advaita metaphysics'. Many of my philosophical articles were published in the Malayalam weekly called 'New Delhi today' during this period.

Last year, I formed this NGO named 'Conscience of the society' to fomalize my efforts. I discovered that the task of reinventing media is not possible before the greater evil is attended first, ie. our badly deformed and disfigured DEMOCRACY. I configured 'reinventing democracy' as the central cause of this NGO and started communicating with almost all leaders in the media, except you. This week, when I saw you at Headlines Today TV debate, I realized my folly. My efforts must have started from you, as I found people treating you as one of the elderly leaders of Indian media.

Mr.Ram, none of the mails sent in this respect to Mr.Vir Sanghvi was accepted by his 'counter point' (HT)mail box! It always bounced for some reason. Though Barkha Dutt's mails went ahead. She never ever cared to even acknowledge our mails ! Can I take the liberty to attach few of my said mails here?

Even during the heated debate in Headlines Today, or any other channel on this subject, none of the participants mentioned the dire need of attending the greater problem, the root problem, that of our political system based on democracy. As our NGO was researching on the theme of reinventing democracy for many years, will you look at your blog spot for many write-ups depicting the theme at various angles at Link:


There are few blogs specifically depicting various aspect of this issue, especially ' WHY REINVENTING DEMOCRACY A DIRE NEED OF OUR AGE' (this was basically our circular mail intended for our MPs,now reshaped as a blog) 'INFLUX OF CAPITALISTIC VALUES INTO DEMOCRACY' etc.

In Democracy, fundamentally we are all people first - -the leaders, journalists (4th estate in general) and the common citizens. The term 'estates' was relevant only during the reign of Kings. Now the distinction and separation was supposed to end. The boarder lines was expected to totally blur. The fundamental problem with journalism is that, like the leader class and the politicians, media men too have opted to separate themselves into a niche class themselves, a different ESTATE from common citizens.

This fact is very evident from today's HT article by Rajdeep Sardesai, 'A STING IN THE TALE'. He says 'in the classical mould, a journalist should be the guerrilla in the system', looking at expose and investigate...but he has co-opted into the power elite, when he should really be the quintessential outsider'. In the role of guerrilla, or the quintessential outsider, when their central activity is to report political news, the reality of politics with its all the sins, dirt and irrationality gets indirectly legitimized and highly institutionalized.

A is needed for B to gain its identity by the principle of existence by association. By their silly act of following the politician even till his bathroom, that segment has gained a distinct and permanent entity in the system, though they were supposed be only people like us in democracy with 'CUSTODIAN-SHIP' of assigned responsibilities. Now, both the segments created and legitimized their roles in the system, ISOLATING THE COMMON CITIZEN into the most  powerless lobby. He has left with the old King-Time like status of 'powerless' state subject.

Media men, if remained the real symbol of peoples voice, and society's conscience, democracy would not have become so deformed and twisted from its destined spirit and meaning. Now there is no 'outsider' to act as 'guerrillas' against the system except the ever agitating maoists and naxalists, or the hardcore terrorists! Even society's  true intellectuals(Arundhati Roy etc) are stamped as 'non-patriots'  by the Media and state, as the former two segments only form the SYSTEM. I request you to read my blog ' a different story on the origin of establishment' that throws some light into the root of this calamity.

Media, unlike the political leadership, always enjoyed the confidence of the people as 'watch dogs' in the system. With the recent scam, this confidence also has been damaged as the truth has, at least partially, come out open. It was like raping a daughter by her father, who had the traditional role in protecting her!

Mr.Ram, the call for reinventing democracy need not a call for any revolution. It is not a call by any segment against any other segment, or ESTATE in the system. A series of EDITORIALS from people like you, followed by related articles, seminars, tv debates at the behest of the traditional WATCH-DOGS of the system, the MEDIA, will do the trick. It is a call involving the open minded political men, and nothing against them. It is the need of our age. It will only show our age in good light by our future generations. It will only make India its intellectual leaders in the democratic world.

I am sure you are aware of the similar, or heightened distrust and dissatisfaction of public in USA about their democracy and mainstream media. Most of my US citizens Facebook friends take refuge in non-mainstream internet sources like DEMOCRACYNOW.com,FREEPRESS.com, Grittv.com etc. for objective news. The latest exposure of CANADIAN PM's financial collaboration with Rupert Murdoch for mainstream media ventures has eroded the trust of the public further.

Hence, we humbly request HINDU, and you personally to step-in to do something in the direction of reinventing our democracy. It would only show you and Hindu in good stead by the world. So far, our many 'mails to letters@thehindu' never had any response. I am sure this time it won't be the story!

Our web site(www.conscienceofthesociety.com) is not so brilliantly made, as I am the sole soldier available for the struggle. Only a tiny minority like you are available in the country to realize the relevance, and great importance of the CAUSE that we try to highlight. Hence kindly take the cause of 'reinventing democracy' yourself and the entire media leadership. This exercise will definitely see the other segment also re-defined, your own media.

Sorry for the sheer length of the text !

Warm Regards,
Founder secretary

Conscience of the society-an NGO that stands for philosophic initiatives into causes of Reason, Fraternity and reinventing democracy.

(Note: This is the text of the mail sent to Mr.N.Ram, the prominent media leader in the country during December 2010)