Anil Thakraney: The party-pooping media

28 May,2012

By Anil Thakraney


Newspapers and TV channels have been flooded with pictures of those ‘caught’ at the recent Juhu (Mumbai) ‘rave’ party bust. (We still don’t know if it really was a rave bash, but that’s not the focus of my article.) All these guys and gals desperately trying to conceal their faces in shame. Or, as I believe, because of the fear of being seen by their families and pals in such a tight situation. And each time I watch these images, I get terrified. No, I don’t get invited to many la-di-dah parties (sadly, haha!), and yet that lingering fear… that it could have been me out there.


Imagine going out with friends to a party and being suddenly accosted by cops just because a few buggers had decided to top up their noses. And being treated brusquely all night, and made to go through unhygienic tests at municipal hospitals. It’s a nightmarish feeling. Still, when you look at it rationally, you have to quietly accept that drugs were found at the venue, and so the cops had to do their duty. So far, so bad.


But does it surprise you how the media lands up at such busts in full force? It shouldn’t. Obviously, the cops, who want to project themselves as some sort of heroes, invite chosen reporters and cameramen to tag along. And thus more than a crime battle, this turns into a media spectacle. Leading to more stress and agony for the party goers.


This makes me wonder. Should we in the media broadcast and publish pictures of youngsters cowering with fear and hiding their faces? Is this ethical? Is it not possible that most of them are innocent party goers? Do they deserve to be put under such harsh spotlight? One more issue for all of us in the media to introspect upon. Of course, the reporters have to join in when the cops invite them. Of course, they need to cover the bust. But because, at the time, they don’t know who’s guilty and who’s not, is it correct to put out pictures of the people trapped out there?


My own view is such pictures must never be made public. And only after the police investigation is done, only after the culprits get booked, must we go public with images. That would be fair. Having said that, I know this practice isn’t going to stop anytime soon. Who cares if some drunk revelers are seen squirming? Who gives a rat’s ass if they are seen being treated like trapped animals? The editor wants pictures, you see. Else, he/she will say there’s no story out here. He/She will kick me out of the newsroom.


Let’s do some self regulation, people. Before it comes in from outside.


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PS: Brilliant ad by Prada. It’s directed by Roman Polanski and features acclaimed actor Ben Kingsley. This is the way to expand market share, I say!


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One response to “Anil Thakraney: The party-pooping media”

  1. Himanshu says:

    Hi Mr Thakraney…will request the publishers of your column to mention the date on which the column was published. This is helpful when one is reading through the archives of past articles. A date on the article will provide a perspective to the content of the text. There are so many rave parties happening at any time that I could not get the time period of the one being referred by you in this article.

    7 June 2012

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