Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bhopal Gas Tragedy or Celebrity Gossip - which is the real bakwas?

Today, while I was having lunch in the operation theatre canteen, I had a minor epiphany - though that is rather a strong word for what was actually just a minor realisation. The television was turned to a news channel which was talking about some renewed protests by the survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy. I was not paying much attention at all, when one of the other diners suddenly asked the gentleman who brings the food from the dietary department to change the channel using these very words - Isko abhi change karo. Yeh kya bakwas hai. (Change this immediately. What nonsense is this.) So the channel was changed to one of the usual entertainment channels which was talking about some B-town celebrities, their food, customs, parties and so on. It surprised me to realise that most of the people in the canteen (including yours truly) now turned their attention to the television where not one had evinced even the slightest interest before. And here came the epiphany. That we prefer to ignore the real world and its issues calling them bakwas (nonsense), while taking great interest in other things which are actually the real bakwas......


  1. Neil Postman in "Amusing ourselves to death" makes the case that electronic media - and he only focusses on 'serious' media (news, documentaries etc.) is inherently amusement driven. Postman suggests books actually help us think - while the opposite happens when we consume electronic media. I would agree.

  2. Excellent observation, Arpit. I wonder if it is our involuntary coping mechanism or sheer insensitivity that dictates this behaviour.