Friday, January 15, 2010

Time to act human...

Please read the articles in the above mentioned links. This is the news of how Vetrivel , a police officer was attacked by a group of gangsters and who subsequently died on the street when onlookers(read ministers of the TN government , bureaucrats and a cameraman) chose to watch him die instead of saving him. Yup. It is shocking and shows how insensitive and cruel these onlookers have been. The incident has been handled in the most shabby and shameful manner. The policeman’s family deserves better and so do we.

I don’t want to speak about the role of the govt officials and bureaucrats in this case. Frankly speaking, I am tired of rambling about their attitude. May God save them and us. I instead want to understand the role of the cameraman in this case.

I totally understand that a cameraman sees the world through his lens. But does this mean that he fails to act when he really needs to. He seems to be keener on adjusting his lens to capture the right frame of the policeman’s suffering. What was he trying to show by capturing the video and what has he achieved .Did he want to expose the callousness of the ministers and bring them to shame ? Or was he trying to show us how people die? Why did he choose not to act? Did he think that we would appreciate his professional skills ? Didn’t we feel sick after seeing Kevin Carter’s 1994 Pulitzer winning photograph of the girl child and the vulture? He too was severaly criticized for having focused more on his photo than on the life of the child.

There is one message for the cameramen and the media – We the people know that there is lot of pain and suffering around us. We don’t want to see pictures or videos that lack a certain sense of sensitivity or humanity. That is not way to make us act. We are not thick skinned and in most cases, a slight nudge is sufficient. So when you see people suffer in front of your eyes, help them out instead of capturing a video for the rest of us !
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