Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Good news

Over the last few weeks, I have been consciously searching for ‘good news’ in the country’s mainstream media. I don’t see much of TV, but I do read newspapers and browse a lot of news related websites. I am surprised how difficult it has become to find ‘good news’ these days.
Open the newspaper and see what is making the news today – corruption charges, murder, terrorist attacks, thefts, protests, strikes, rape, dacoity, frauds, accidents and so on. Downright depressing. 
Then, there is a second category of news, which can be classified either as good or as bad – depending on your point of view. A corrupt politician is exposed. A gang of dacoits arrested.  A child rapist sentenced to life imprisonment. I don’t know whether this should be classified as good news or bad. Though a gang of dacoits being arrested is good news, the fact that dacoities happen is not. We know that for every one thief who is arrested, there are nine others who go scot free. For every one corrupt politician who gets exposed, there are nine others (or ninety-nine?) who never get caught. Here, the glass is either half full or half empty, depending on your point of view.
These types of news form a large chunk of the front page and the first few pages of the daily newspapers. This is not what I am looking for.
There is a third type of news which I call the ‘neutral’ news. Plain and simple reporting of events or objects. A foreign delegation visits our country. A sports event takes place in which one side wins and the other side loses. The Election Commission announces dates of a particular election. A book fair is organised in the city. A local festival is celebrated by the people. And so on and so forth. These happen in the normal course of one’s day to day routine. Nothing great about it. This is not what I am looking for either.
I am looking for ‘good news’ in its purest form.  Something which truly radiates positive energy.
More than four hundred volunteers have agreed to contribute four hours a week to help the traffic police manage the city’s maddening traffic (see the blog a few days ago). Not only will they perform this free, they will in fact spend money out of their own pockets to take training, buy badges and so on.
A hospital in South India performs free Angioplasties on 175 poor and needy people. An angioplasty costs Rs.2 lacs. For the paan-wallah and rickshaw-wallah who benefitted out of this scheme, it is like getting a new lease of life. They would never have been able to afford an angioplasty at full cost.
Residents of a locality in Malad celebrate Dussera by sweeping up the entire locality and making it spic and span.
This is the type of news I am looking for. Good news in its purest form. Surprising how difficult it has become to find it. Try it out yourself.

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