quinta-feira, 4 de novembro de 2010

Por que devemos ler mais jornais e menos notícias

Desculpem, sou péssima tradutora! Na verdade, só eu entendo meu inglês, rsrs!
Mas mesmo assim o texto é ótimo! Deste blog.
Também é uma resposta para aqueles que acham que a esquerda é paranóica e "acha" que a mídia está sempre contra ela. Na verdade, podemos dizer que pessoas de esquerda geralmente gostam de ler, estudam história e tem um pensamento crítico. Ideologia TODOS tem, independente de coloração partidária (ou apartidária).

The maze of documents and the media observations on the wiki leaks’ recent release of 400,000 classified Iraq war documents ignites so many questions… so many thoughts. But one can’t help but notice the so many subtle and not so subtle diverging perspectives within the media agencies reporting the story.

The British media (Guardian, Independent, BBC etc.) came down quiet hard on the atrocities and cited un-reported torture stories to civilian murders to children shot dead. However, the US headline story in New York Times was “Wiki leaks founder is on the run” completely sidelining the subject of war-logs and harping upon personal life and daily routine of Wiki leaks founder. Why the disparity? Why are some people entitled to more truth than others? And what is the truth by the way?

It’s also a stark reminder of what transpired during the Aug 2010 floods in Pakistan. While Pakistan media was reporting devastation of floods, displaced people, economic losses the western media reported threats of hard-line Islamists organization filling the void and gaining sympathies of the masses & taking over. Why the disparity again?

Theoretically, the large divide between interpretations of the same news items mainly reflects biases, fears, political motivations and national sentiments. It’s not even funny how selective journalism comes creeping into our lives, snuggle beside us quietly and seriously influences our thoughts, views and opinions. The motives behind this divide is sometimes based on reality but viewed differently while sometimes facts are selectively exploited to achieve a certain goal. It will always depend on who is writing history. Winston Churchill once said “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it”. What an ironic statement this is…! Relying on so little for so much is surely tricky & hazardous.

To explain the matter further I provide 2 examples.

First Case in point: The Mongols. The middle-eastern and the western versions paint Mongols as barbaric murderers laying waste to human civilization and cultures. Historians narrate explicit and haunting stories of burned down libraries in Baghdad to cold blooded murders of thousands in Caucasus to knee deep rivers of blood in Eastern Europe. But, slide a little eastward on the world map; and stories about the same Mongols drastically change & start to echo the sounds of secularism, freedom of religion, superior military strategy, and rule of merit etc. For people in the eastern part of the world the great Mongol Genghis Khan is a prophet, a man sent from heaven and they continue to believe that he would rise once again to lead his people.

Second case in point: Muhammad bin Qasim. We have all read the story of the famous 17 year old military general from Persia who was sent by his paternal Uncle Hajjaj bin Yusuf to liberate (read remove trade hurdles) Sindh in 712 AD from the clutches of evil Raja Dahir. He is also very well known for his peaceful execution of his military campaigns and his tolerance towards local religions. But few of us know that when Hajjaj Bin Yusuf died, the new Khalifa (political enemy of Hajjaj) recalled and imprisoned Qasim in Mosul where he died at the age 20. How Qasim is revered in our books and what happened to him eventually is a completely different story which almost always (not by coincidence) remains untold in our part of the world.

Is it fair to dissect the history to arrive at our own version of story? Can we make knowledgeable decisions if we lack enough data points and understanding of what came to pass? I’m not sure and I’m still searching…!

Today there are calls by some to put the Wiki leaks founder on trial and by others to give him the Nobel Peace Prize. What would you do?

My guess is most would say give him the Nobel Peace Prize, considering how Pakistanis feel about United States policies. But what if Wiki Leaks had blamed it all on ISI or Pakistan army? Would you still vote to give him the Nobel Prize with the same level of conviction?

My guess is that the answer to knowing the difference largely lies in reading & understanding the world history in as much detail as possible thus arriving at an independent opinion. History can help us understand how societies have operated in the past thus refine our moral education. Have we yet learnt from it or not, that’s a separate matter.

To be absolutely fair, independent, un-biased and relentlessly pursuing this belief is not the path for the faint hearted but it sure is the right thing to pursue. A good judgment has a lot to do with wisdom accumulated through experience and it is primarily knowledge of what transpired in the past that can help us form a better view of our days to come. The only way we can have the clarity of mind to walk a chosen path is only if we understand the truth and history behind any given subject. But this process shouldn’t take place by reading the news only; in fact it should originate in reading real books. Same subject, different books, different authors is my recipe to get an insight and understanding.

Thomas Jefferson said “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers”.

Nenhum comentário:

Postar um comentário