Who is Kailash Satyarti? I was wondering while reading news about him being awarded the Nobel Price for Peace 2014. Most of my compatriots including journalists of national dailies did not have any idea of this man who devoted much of his life for children’s rights even braving bullets.We had to wait for Nobel peace price to know about him.Later I came to know that he was an Engineer who gave up job to work for child’s right and though, born as Brahmin (priestly class), he doesn’t believe in caste system thus, replaced his surname as Satyart ie seeker of truth.His humanitarian activities transcend the limitations of boarders, and reach out to children who have been robbed off their childhood.He begun his child rights activities as early as 1981 even though UN convention for child rights had been born only on 1989.
I felt shame on my ignorance though I am a self confessed news junky (an addiction I am trying to get rid off) I recall an experience former President Mr. Abdul Kalam had in a school few years back, little children were at a loss when he had spoken about Gandhiji, after much explanation they figured out that Kalam was speaking about ‘that old man having no teeth.’ ; But the kids were aware of each details about Sharukh Khan(Bollywood actor). How do they even know?Satyarti lives in Delhi where most of the national medias are located, but his human rights activities are neither noticed nor reported.Media devote precious time and space to politicians and celebrities, in the guise of ‘human interest’ stories.Media argues that people get what they want (or deserve?), I find it a silly argument just for the sake of it, if that is the case why it is called pillar of democracy? Why not yellow journalism?
Thousands of children are trafficked in India to work for pittance in mines,fire work factories and restaurants/homes. But the plight of those children, or other marginalized people is not ‘news worthy’ for the media, they ignore those who try to improve the lives of those unfortunate kids as well. Same is the case with environment, developmental news etc, media share a little space for such news.
I might be a minority, and minorities are hardly heard, majority may want to read trivia, at the same time it is natural that, when they are constantly feed on silly stuff, they crave for more of it. Media can have positive influence on society if they want, instead they chase those ‘sexy midriff and cleavage’, to ‘sex up’ eyeing a huge market.
Authorities are not different either, government give out prestigious civilian awards as Padmasree, Padma vibhushan etc to most of the bollywood actors (certain regional language actors too)--many times I do not know why and for what-but Satyarti has never been hounoured by any awards. Recently Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has been honoured with the Bharat Ratna’(Diamond of India)the highest civilian award in the country, but I think people like Satyarti is the real Bharat Ratna.