One of the most annoying things to watch on TV is the way that some documentaries, especially historical programmes attempt to skim the surface of history.
I can understand tight recording schedules but to miss out fundamental aspects of history is an absolute sin and should be exposed immediately.
What really got me the other day was the way that Michael Wood, (The Story of India, Friday, 9pm, BBC TWO) painted an incorrect image of the Mughal empire. He misrepresented them, suggesting them as attempting to create harmony between the various religions. He missed out communicating their barbaric acts of ethnic cleansing that are truly unforgivable.
In addition, although he mentioned Sikhs for approx 2 minutes of footage, he made no attempt to explain who the Sikhs are and continuing to be defenders of the defenseless.
I also find it amazing that the same people are selected again and again to cruise around the word, for example, Michael Palin.
Back to my issue with Michael Wood. Although I find his presentation style, engaging and enthusiastic, what are we being presented with? Is it his opinion or is there simply not enough time to research fully such sensitive areas? Michael is described at the BBC shop site as…
’an historian and acclaimed writer’. I’m sure he is but what went wrong? There is no doubt that the filming is outstanding but documentaries are about more than landscapes, they are about documenting the truth!
At a recent couple of presentations I suggested that Sikhs need to create more media, for example documentaries, both audio and video, else we may have a situation on our hands where the media could potentially distort the truth.
The problem is that creating media takes time and dedication. We have to applaud www.siknet.com for their outstanding work, together with the Spinning Wheel festival – These initiatives help us all communicate positive messages.
This years participant categories range from juniors to the age of 126!
If you get a chance, watch the videos online and be impressed with the dedication that participants have put into create unique and engaging content.
It is such as shame that if you type in Michael Wood, The Story of India into Google, all you are returned with is a list of products, DVDs and books. Some damage has been done!
We need more curators to validate what is being researched, recorded and then eventually communicated. We need these people to have no political agendas or miss-out essential facts.
We need to speak-up against a potential tide of distortion.
We can only do this if we become so prolific in our investment in national education and a hope that truth will prevails.