The India Today Group has decided to sell images of migrant labourers in distress during the lockdown. Copyright images of migrants fleeing for their native places are available on indiacontent.in for prices as high as Rs. 20,000 for a single photograph excluding taxes. The sizes range from small to large with the former costing Rs. 8000 per photograph.
मजदूरों की घर लौटने की हृदयविदारक तस्वीरें website पर बिक्री के लिए देख स्तब्ध हूँ ,— AMIT DIXIT (@AMITDIXIT4BJP) May 18, 2020
इन बेचरों को पता भी न है कि वो बिक गए उनके आँसू टूटी चप्पल फटा बैग सब बिक गया!
एक फ़ोटो का दाम 8000 से 20000 तक!माना कि सबको घर चलाना है लेकिन इन तस्वीरों से कमाई? pic.twitter.com/A7R4lLLCsd
While there is nothing wrong at all with selling photographs online for money, it does appear rather insensitive to profit from someone else’s misery. The circumstances appear more disconcerting considering the fact that these are the same people who harp on about ethics and morality day in and day out but here they are, trying to earn revenues from a tragedy.
The mainstream media is often at the forefront of levelling accusations at politicians of trying to gain political mileage out of tragedies, often rightly so, but here is India Today Group trying to earn revenues out of tragedies. The media appoints itself as the self-styled moral guardians of society and yet, here they are, acting in a very insensitive manner.
The mainstream media has also been busy comparing the amount of money businessman have donated during the Coronavirus crisis to help the world overcome it. India Today Group has been one of the networks who have engaged in this. Also, numerous journalists on numerous occasions in the past have suggested the appropriation of Temple Gold to help the poor or the economy. Given the manner in which the media always appears overeager to conduct charity with the money that does not belong to them, it is intriguing to note that media networks do not appear to engage in charity with the revenues they earn through their products. Quite certainly, India Today Group will not be publishing data regarding the percentage of their wealth that media networks have donated during the Coronavirus crisis.
The mainstream media also, quite ironically, demonises capitalists incessantly and often props up communist delinquents as the actual voice of the people. They are quick to amplify the allegations of ‘suit-boot ki sarkar’ made by political parties when the government makes it easier for businessmen to carry on with their work and yet, they themselves do not hesitate to engage in profiting from the misery of the poor.
A business provides its employees dignity and instils in them a sense of self-respect and yet, capitalists are continuously denigrated by the mainstream media. All the while, they side with communist leaders when they cast aspersions on the integrity of businessman without any nuance or valid justification. Simultaneously, the mainstream media is always eager for more and more socialism and in India, especially, the mainstream media has been at the forefront of cheering for socialist policies that inhibits the full potential of businessmen.
Yet, when it comes to earning revenues for themselves, the mainstream media suddenly finds virtue in capitalist practices. “Do as I say, not as I do,” appears to be the motto of media networks such as the India Today Group. It needs to be repeated here that there is nothing with selling photographs for money, however, it is indeed extremely hypocritical on the part of media networks which incessantly engages in moral sermons and yet, seeks to profit of the misery of poor migrant labourers.
During the Coronavirus crisis, we have seen journalists associated with prominent media networks urge the migrants to pose adequately so that they could capture better photographs. Such insensitivity have become a part and parcel of mainstream media networks. However, that hasn’t stopped them from preaching sermons through their platforms. It appears that they believe they are not subject to what they preach and consider themselves beyond the routine norms of decency.