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Spare Me Your Indignation

16/10/2015 8:10 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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I've always been a news junkie. The papers are delivered to my doorstep almost at the crack of dawn, and I hungrily devour the news with my cup of steaming tea. The news gives me a high - it opens my eyes to what is going on in the world, motivates me to do better than before and unfurls a whole world of possibilities out there. It's also a reality check that reminds me that I'm not the centre of the universe and that my problems are not as large and insurmountable as they seem.

But lately, I've started skipping major sections of the newspapers and even the news channels because somewhere along the way they have become mouthpieces of doom. About half an hour of it is enough to convince you that humanity is dead and that we're lucky to be alive - but hey, don't count your blessings because even if you're alive, you're living in hell. I can still cope with this but what is intolerable is the amount of indignation that pours forth in tandem with the bad news of the day.

"We have become an indig-Nation, subjecting everyone to our loud bellowing and pausing only to scour the news for a subject to fuel the next outburst."

There are loud cries over every issue, be it Indrani Mukerjea's arrest or her alleged overdose in jail, the beef ban, the potholes in Mumbai, the slow speed of the justice system, the corrupt politicians, the shenanigans of the BCCI and just about everything that you can think of. The self-righteousness with which "experts" and commentators share their insights and solutions make it clear that it is only they who are blessed with enlightenment and that only they can show us the path and bring about change. At first, I was optimistic about the angry voices. The louder their indignation, the greater the likelihood of change, right? This volume must, after all, be directly proportionate to genuine concern. But instead, all that the shouting accomplishes is to drown out the issue at hand. And so many real problems get diluted under the deluge of indignation.

If we are so indignant then why aren't we doing something about it instead of only speaking, sorry, shouting our concern on every platform available to us? How many of us have actually participated completely in a cause that we truly believe in and have gone all the way to support it? How many of us actually go ahead and pledge our time and/or money to show our commitment to improve or eliminate the issues that bother us?

Being indignant is not the solution but taking a positive stand and action is. If something bothers you go ahead and start contributing to making a difference, however minuscule the difference is. After all, taking baby steps is better than taking no steps at all. And last I checked, India is a free country and no one has bound us in chains to stop us from making a change in the right direction.

Or is it that it is simply easier to just be outraged and project a superficial concern about everything that seems to be going wrong in the world? We have become an indig-Nation, subjecting everyone to our loud bellowing and pausing only to scour the news for a subject to fuel the next outburst.

Please spare me and my ilk of your perpetual state of indignation whilst we go about actually trying to make a difference in the issues that are close to our heart. And if you really want to shout, how about, for once, using your loud voices to actually thank the unsung heroes who are out there working to create a better world?

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Indrani Mukerjea, former CEO of NewsX

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