Holding corpse in your hands is enough to kaput all the romantic notions of death. This was the lone experience I had of holding an about-to-speak-but-would-never-speak body of any being. The situation indeed was saddening but not less thought provoking, It left me thinking silently for hours (unlike me). The attempt to encapsulate the entire being, into one or rather series of pictures was equally heart-rending. Number of attempt were made to capture (I hope those will be successful) the essence of the being that was to be burned to ashes. She was wife of my father’s friend, the cremation ground was, Nigambodh Ghat and the perpetrator was AIIMS.
Despite all the glaring news and reports of India’s economic growth and despite reels and reels of wastage on how India is faring, a medical institution as esteemed as AIIMS failed to save a not-so-valuable-to-them-but-valuable-to-her-family life of a patient suffering from mild form of Tuberculosis. It’s a simple case of crime amounting to the inculpable murder. Well, we all (Indians) are quite aware (rather more exposed to than aware of) of the defunct medical system. Every day we hear lot about such incidence, which indeed is not as glamorous as ‘prince’ falling in a well. After all, where is the money? I am not against profit making enterprise but I am surely against the entire corporate endeavor undertaken with profit-making motive.
I do believe capitalistic socialism (or call it inclusive capitalism) is the cure to the evils of human race. Pure socialism didn’t work so did fail pure capitalism. I do believe, it is the profit making motive and competition in Indian media that has brought in light most of the issues relevant to common mass, which otherwise wouldn’t have seen light of the day. But why all the profit needed to be reaped from the advertisers? In other word why only and only advertising is the revenue source for media? And why all media (without any exception) has to depend on the advertising revenue for functioning? If this is the only way, then how will media make money, if there won’t be any advertising?
This situation might not appear to be likely very soon but it is not at all improbable, and it will happen eventually. It’s not the case that there isn’t any other way to book profit, every media has potential to make profit by acting purely as pro-social rather than pro-profit or pro- advertiser or pro-market (whatever we wish to call it). It’s also not that companies are not practicing this. There are companies, though very few, likes of National Public Radio (NPR) and Wikimedia Foundation (owner of Wikipedia) practicing the donation model for revenue generation.
Accepting this open source model of revenue generation will not only free the media from generating and broadcasting pro-advertising content but also will give them extra space to raise socially-relevant issues.
The donation from consumers is not all that new phenomenon, the business history is not littered but have examples of how brand loyal consumers of southwest airlines’, Harley Davidson’s, and NPR’s came forward with their heard earned money to revive the company they loved. One thing here is very important to note, consumers didn’t came forward to help a profit making goliaths but to help a weak, fragile, struggling company that genuinely cared about them and about their wellbeing. Our system failed entirely in producing any such example of consumer love. I won’t disagree that Indian middle class has been rightly labeled the most selfish class but still I feel it hard to believe that there cannot be just one NPR in India.
In the cremation ground I read couple of lines written, entirely senseless and as mentally abusing as any religious thing can be. The lines went like,
Bhagwaan aur maut ko hamesha yaad rakho (Always remember dearth and god).
Jeevan aur mrityu do virodhi tatwa hain. Jeevan arth hai aur mrityusach (life and death are two bipolar opposite elements. Life is the meaning and death is the truth).
The question is meaning of what? And if one understands and accept this truth of death won’t god and religion be devoid of base?