Literacy in the country is reported to be increasing year after year. In one of the States, it is claimed to be 100 per cent, where virtually no one can be found without reading one daily or the other, including all types of periodicals in English language too, not to forget that there is no rural-urban divide in the matter of people of the State getting their daily dose of whatever appears in print, both words and graphics of all that is happening across the country. People seem to be lapping up with unbridled excitement and curiosity the (mis)demeanour of politicos, ever active in squabbling, toppling Governments, party-hopping, fraudulent deals, criminal acts, verbal spats, mostly, using words of mutual accusation as well as charges of amassing wealth by plundering public funds in the name of development projects, taking care to exaggerate the cost estimate providing ample scope for siphoning cash to personal pockets in crores, with the land’s masses unconcerned even as they read about the goings in the dailies, thanks to ever alert journos.
The land’s whatever sections get to read one or the other daily in any of the nation’s languages may have their share of grist for gossiping, but the illiterate millions are not laggards for gossiping thanks to near-100-percent penetration of the television, a number of them telecasting 24 x 7 so that nobody misses the daily dose.
Not many readers of dailies and viewers of telecasts on the small screen care to be aware of the bee-like toiling by the crew who take the trouble of reaching the spots where things are happening, often ahead of time, make notes, contact the editorial desk and reel off the matter that people get to read in the cool comfort of their arm chair. One cannot be sure which of the printed matter revolving round the politicos or criminal sections of society or mishaps on the roads and elsewhere or persons of repute in society or any other attracts the readers at large, who are likely to miss measures and decisions of authorities that are full of flaws. One such decision of a Minister in the Karnataka Government published in a section of the press can make readers sit up and ponder over what they are getting from the media as daily dose.
The State Government’s “No junk food on campus (of schools)” policy, not yet implemented (according to reports) has led to issue of guidelines for implementation of the rule. The Food Safety and Quality Commission had issued a notification on October 30 banning junk food on campuses. That is part of the daily dose for readers of dailies, while the children and their parents shall have the last word, norm or no norm for junk foods.