Connect with us


Conduct & Publicity



By Sanjay Sahay

The rumblings have been there, since the onset of the social media and every person becoming his own publicity manager. The digital marketing opened vistas of public engagement for the ever hungry ones, with literally no effort. Making a public figure out of nothing became too fascinating to maintain one’s sanity. There are tonnes of examples of personalities eating up public space for no rhyme or reason. Even public servants, serving and retired had joined this bandwagon in a polished or surreptitious manner earlier, have now got emboldened. Crash commercialisation has hit a breed recruited to be faceless and was very clear about it till recent times. The urge seems to be the fear of missing out in the rat race. Conduct and self publicity are inversely proportional.

When you lose your sense of proportion, it is a point of no return. You are also ready for whatever it takes to accomplish an undeserving goal. When you see people more undeserving than you having crossing bar, the lust is quadrupled. Being well known is a basic human instinct and social media has made you a prey of that. We have created a bold new world, where the conduct generally of both the content provider and the consumer matches. The filth is treated to be a part of the game. The cheap game of publicity is unending. First we allowed the TV channels to ride roughshod for some easy, cheap or wide publicity.

Now the horse has left the barn. The electronic media has declared its complete independence. This resonates in the program orientation, content and mode of delivery. They are on their own, difficult to believe if they are news channels of this country or a Bollywood soap opera. Most of them deliver the same, still they are able to sell. It seems they have found their magic sauce. They are still to decipher what code of conduct applies to them, if any. The right to speech and expression has been taken to weird levels. The general understanding is that rights of the media supersedes individuals rights.

Full time they publicise themselves; the channel and the larger than life anchors. Defamation is something they have never heard of. Reputation is meant to be destroyed, if it does not impact them. Privacy is a right, that too a fundamental one, is being adjudicated by every single TV reporter. When physical privacy is being violated, what is the digital privacy worthy of. They have spread a scare, and if we go by their own pronouncements, actors are hopping on to chartered flights, to keep them at bay. Can you keep banging at somebody’s car window, keep shouting and chasing the car? Whatever happens to the drug cases is another story but the reality is that electronic media is totally high on its new found power. Usurping power is the name of game.


The writer is an IPS officer, Cyber Security, Public Speaker, Technology Evangelist and Recipient of the President’s Police Award.

Continue Reading