Monday, September 04, 2006


It is said that love is the emotion that brings two beings together no matter how different they are. Is it so? Is it really the binding force that brings two souls who may be poles apart together and can people actually spend the rest of their lives with one person? Or can one have more than one true love?

Almost all of us in India get married by the time we are 30, and to people we love. Is 30 the right age to take the biggest decision of your life that you’ve finally met your soul mate!? I wonder!! And what if one meets his or her soul mate after 30 which is very much possible, and if he/she wants to go to him/her then will we call them infidel? Or should they just go on living with the one they married even when they know that they’ll be happier in the other relationship? So the love was never there in the previous relationship. Isn’t it so? So am I right when I say that love has lost its value or should I say that there was no love in the previous relationship and therefore the marriage fell apart?

When one is in love, everything seems new, every day is so beautiful, but how long does this last? In today’s world, well, I’ll say not for long. Everybody may call me a cynic but I believe that love is no longer unconditional now; it has too many strings attached! These days the parameters to decide whether one will be happy in a relationship do not include same level of thinking and interests but money and status. And it’s true with all of us. But then can I call this relationship which is based on money and status instead of trust and respect, LOVE? Is this the new definition of love? Or can we still bring back the notion of unconditional love? Perhaps the notion of unconditional love is only restricted to our pets now. The era of puppy love is over! Or am I right when I say love has become lust. Is it only passion and the pleasure one gets from a relationship that holds two beings together?

Even after trying to find the answers to above asked questions, I still feel it’s not love that has lost its value, the people who have destroyed it by looking it in materialistic terms are to be blamed. If a relationship is solely based on money and status then it cannot be called love. Love is beyond that and I still believe its meaning has not lost the importance. Those who love someone irrespective of materialistic gains and even the physical pleasures will agree with me. We see love all around us and people who are just too fed up with their lives might like to believe otherwise and couples who only look for gains from the other should not insult the word love by calling their relationship love.


Thanks to media the middle class is far more involved in public protests than ever before. SMSes, candlelight vigils, online petitions have become the new way to participate in a protest. Though earlier in public protests media coverage did matter but its role is paramount today.

The trend started recently when in February, as news of the acquittal of all accused in the Jessica Lall case spread, middle class did something new. When a TV news channel asked people to send SMSes in protest of this mockery of justice, thousands of people from across the nation sent overpriced SMSes to four digit commercial numbers in protest. Even the print media played an important role by following on these stories and keeping the middle class engaged. And even Bollywood played a part! The movie Rang De Basanti persuaded the youngsters to get out of their house and protest for a cause. A month after the release of the film, a crowd gathered at New Delhi's India Gate to protest against justice denied in Jessica Lall case and held a candlelight vigil, a la Rang de Basanti.

This trend is certainly on the upswing, it started with protests against the injustice in the Jessica Lall case and since then, the middle class and the youth have used protests as the new way of forcing the government to give in to their demands. However, though the media has mobilized the masses to fight for their cause, at the same time it can be seen that today the protests have become more about attracting the media. Almost every cause that has an effect on the public has received coverage from the media. In fact, protests are becoming more inventive. Face painting and artfully designed placards make for striking images on the TV screen and photo features in the media. If the celebrities can be roped in, it almost always ensures a front-page photograph in leading daily newspapers, and TV coverage by news-hungry 24x7 news channels. But only the protests which use publicity attract the media. During the storm of media reports around the anti-quota issue, while student doctors and engineers garnered all the headlines and front-page photographs, it was rare to see any coverage at all of the demonstrations carried out in favor of quotas for OBCs.

But i wonder has the media really brought the otherwise indifferent middle class to fight for their rights? And what about the biased role of media-why do only high profile cases arouse media’s interest? And is media actually supporting the public cause or are these just the new ways of sensationalism and garnering more readerships?