10 years back, the college organized a photography competition and the topic was “Village Life”. I managed to click these by borrowing a point and shoot(aka digital camera) from a friend as my Nokia 6300 was inept for the purpose.
So on the day of the shoot, we went to the nearby village and told them about it; they were all smiles. Some of them also asked “kaunse samacharpatra sme ayega ye photo?” (Which newspaper will feature this photograph ?)
Though the judges didn’t find much “depth” in these and they selected an image which portrayed the dark side of the village life – the way they do it in media – paint a very grim picture of any situation to arouse your emotions. However, that’s not what villagers saw it as and atleast these photos depict a different story. They were content with their humble huts, their not so modern methods of lifestyle.
The world wasn’t getting worse for them every day, they didn’t know what protests were in trend in the social media or if the country’s economy was reeling under recession or worse yet that men are being lynched and woman are being raped. The negativity quotient was far lower as the professional pessimists couldn’t reach them.
Probably, things would have changed by now, with development and internet connectivity, they might not be happy anymore. After being fed with images of violence and videos of unease faced by common people 24/7, the mind would have been robbed of its calmness. The nature of the news would have distorted their self-defined or rather natural reasons to be cheerful. The individuals who create such gloomy content will surely put even “dementors” to shame.
Now if I had to answer the villager’s question today – I would tell him that media won’t show him smiling, it’s not good for their business.
P.S its not about me not winning the competition.