Celebrity obsession

July 4, 2010

Dhoni

Sania mirza

So its the time of year again. Reportedly Mahendra Singh Dhoni , the captain of Indian cricket team is getting  married .  You can’t turn on a television set or read a newspaper without images of the couple staring at you with an ‘exclusive report ‘ to follow .

We had  the same thing when Sania Mirza was married a while ago . Media started publishing daily status reports on the countdown of her wedding .  We got articles of Sania spotted, Malik spotted , comments from various personalities about the marriage , which brands will no longer endorse her , reports from Pakistan , comments from Pakistani politicians  , debates whether Sania should have married an Indian instead, where the couple will live after marriage , whether Sania will support India or Pakistan in a cricket match  and so on . In short an information surfeit .

This is not just an Indian phenomenon . Remember the Diana death and the commentary that followed in practically every media outlet in the world. Conspiracy theories , comments from every person connected or not connected to the royal family .  We get a news report even now every time a son of Diana sneezes .

This obsession with celebrity detail does not extend to just news various memorabilia  of the celebrities from their clothes , written letters , used napkins to virtually anything the marketers can think , fetch exorbitant prices .

Why does the media do this . Do we really need details of every minor thing a person has done or said . The precious  time could be used to cover something useful and worth to bring  to the attention of the public . There are no dearth of issues worth reporting about .

Take for example the Bhopal tragedy . If the media actually gave the issue focus it is giving today in the past  we would not have been in the sorry state today . None of the main accused are punished , nor sufficient compensation received nor did we have  for cleaning up the contaminated site .

This is not the media’s fault alone . The media  shows what the people want . The truth is people are obsessed about celebrity gossip , news , trivia . So we have magazines which make a living solely  by publishing real or made up celebrity news .

We have thousands of fan clubs sprouting across every corner of the world . In India temples being constructed for celebrities . One word from a celebrity galvanizes an entire fan base into whatever avenue he/she wants .  Some celebrities actually do funnel this  into an useful channel  like social work . But mostly celebrities use this fan worship / following to successfully launch a political career or a business .

The media/ people needs to grow up and stop this obsessing over minute details of public figures . If you do need to read about something ,there is a vast ocean of knowledge easily available .

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