"I have been mighty upset ever since the Mumbai terror attack. The disappointment is not just for those ghastly three days that I spent in front of TV but also the activities around me that have been taking place ever since then", says a visibly disturbed Vishal Dadlani who is now filing a petition for CHANGE. "It is good to see us venting our frustration through blogs, SMSes and other means. However, I want people to stand up for the cause and do something about it as well. This is why I am filing a petition for CHANGE. I am addressing media here. I think that in the absence of responsible self-censorship, the media must be instructed to act in a particular manner, as required by on-ground reality." For this purpose, he has opened a website www.smallchange.in through which he is calling people to sign a petition that aims at inviting a change in the way electronic media operates in such times of National distress and emergency. He says, "Just like the rest of the world, I saw our local Police try to figure things out, I watched our valiant Officers Karkare, Salaskar and Kamte arrive, and almost immediately, lose their lives. I saw the NSG and Marcos arrive and started to watch each step of their operation, when suddenly, realization dawned! Over the next thirty or forty hours, I watched, helpless and frustrated, as our very own electronic media did things that seemed blatantly wrong to me. What they were broadcasting in the name of the news, were in fact the exact operational procedures, locations, and actions of our anti-insurgency forces! Minute-by-minute!" Vishal goes on to put forth the following questions: 1. Is it acceptable to us that what should have been a classified operation, was in fact an open book? Are we fine with the fact that terrorists inside the besieged buildings could have had real-time access to the same news channels that we did, thus giving them complete and thorough information about the actions of our forces? 2. Whether it's correct, both morally and legally, for a TV channel to broadcast to the Nation, an alleged live phone call, purportedly from one of the terrorists? 3. Some TV channels also had "live-and-direct" phone conversations with guests within the hotels, in which the said guests divulge their locations and room numbers. I can't see the point, or the newsworthiness of this. In his Petition to the High Court of Mumbai, he is also looking at the Hon'ble Court calling for the complete and unedited footage from all TV News Channels broadcasting the attacks 'live', starting from 9:30pm on Wednesday 26th November 2008 and until the morning of Saturday the 29th November 2008. "I urge more and more people to come forward and be with me in this initiative. Please visit www.smallchange.in to read the full text of the Petition and sign there to support the cause. I am willing to drive this initiative to the fullest and promise to go to Court as and when it is required. I don't want the voice to die down", concludes Vishal.
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