I have stopped watching cricket based shows on news channels since India's loss to Pakistan in the Bangalore Test of 2004. Then a show titled ' Match ka Mujrim' had declared that Sachin Tendulkar was guilty and needed to be dropped. It was I believe a ridiculous piece of TV journalism. I may not be an acclaimed journalist but i do believe that at all times journalist need to fair, practical and definitely not emotional.
4 years on nothing changed. Surfing various channels I bumped into a chat show on Headlines today. The Theme of the show was whether Rahul Dravid should be dropped. The anchor was hell-bent in proving to the entire world that Rahul was no longer good enough to be in the Indian side. The Panelist in this case was Chetan Chauhan- one of Indian cricket's most respectful citizens. He answered this question in the best possible manner- “Even thinking of dropping Rahul is wrong ". He said. That’s that. Not a thing more to be said about this.
It is a bit amusing and really shocking how public perception in India changes so quickly. Two months ago Rahul Dravid was India’s best batsmen in the one day series against England. His 92 at Bristol was as good as a innings as you would hope to see. For the last two years he has been the most consistent one day player- batting every in all positions for the teams sake. To even think, as Chauhan rightly observed, of dropping Dravid is sinful. To propagate it on National Television is devious, heinous and shows utter lack of knowledge of this great game.
The larger question is the role the Television media is playing these days. Unfortunately these days Public perception is influenced greatly by television media. Harsha Bhogle, master analyst and master commentator wrote this a few days back’ “Far too often these days the truth is becoming too large, too inconvenient, a burden to carry. Quotes are tampered with, conclusions need not derive from facts. And news anchors routinely shout down guests who dare to have an opinion different from the one that the channel seeks to propagate.”
Television news channels and their contents are greatly controlled by the desire to obtain better TRP’s. Whether that is right or wrong is a completely different question and not one for this blog to contemplate on. However there needs to be some responsibility when it comes to commentating, debating and analyzing a role played by someone who has given his all for the country.
Rahul Dravid is and will remain for sometime an integral part of team India. Anybody who thinks otherwise is following a different game. And we really don’t have to listen to people who follow a different game.