India is the biggest Democracy in the world. Independent media has played a very important role in this great Indian democracy. We can not forget the role of the media in 1975 .
However, over the years,media has changed,expanded,emerged stronger and performed its duty. Not to mention Barkha Dutt's reporting during Kargil. There are so many more examples I can quote of brave and impartial reporting. If media has changed, so have the people who are elected to manage the democracy....will we ever see another Pt Nehru, Sardar Patel, Babu Jagjivan Ram, Shastriji, Sr Baldev Singh, Ms Indira Gandhi and so many more. Never a finger was raised on their integrity. From the present elected members one can hardly find one person who can be compared to them. Media, perhaps has failed to some extent in bringing the facts to the people of the country. If at all, at times media has actually buckled.
To say media is not biased or doesn't have favourites, will not be true. I was travelling in last week of September...there were blasts all over. I called my home in Delhi to enquire if all is well at home, a normal concern for the head of the family to ask. I was told, thankfully, all is well and on questioning on the headlines, I was told one popular English Daily carried news on the front page that Mr Rahul Gandhi and Ms Priyanka Vadra had gone for morning walk to Lodi Gardens. Even blasts were covered. Point is not why were they covered on front page? Point is different.
Last six months the inflation has been a cause of worry. Yes, every Thursday evening it was breaking news on all the channels..inflation hits so many years high..media reported the reaction of all the important Ministers and without exception, it was party line, that the international price of oil is the real villain at $130 plus...fine.
Now that the oil is down to $90 or so, has any senior reporter gone to all those who were cursing the villain, to ask Sir, now that the oil is at $90 why is the inflation high? No ,no one has done this and they wont.
I am not saying even once that Media is not responsible. I am just making a point.
Take the Arushi murder case....can the media say they were fair.? Did they handle that case well? People have their own view but let me say, general public was quite sick of the way media went about the entire case.
Like all of us, media has and should shoulder some social responsibility.In every forum we talk of TV reaching 'x' million homes in India.Which channel has ever carried carried a message say KEEP YOUR CITY CLEAN.......MSG AGAINST SMOKING.....ONE INDIA ONE COMMUNITY,MSG ON COMMUNAL HARMONY,DRUNKEN DRIVING.
There can be millions of msgs...each channel has copywriters but where is the initiative.I am not saying once,media is not doing its job,....like all of us they could do better as they have very vast reach and resources.
Week-ends the studios are converted into AKHARAS. Some of the famous phrases are
Would you like to defend yourself. so and so has accused of....
I want an answer from you YES OR NO
They have called you irresponsible party....what is your take
Would you like to react to his charge.........
Please rewind any weekend programme,you will hear all these phrases. In fact, when I watch one of these programmes I can actually speak the next sentence......it so routine and predictable. I am not saying even once, media is not doing its job..it is, but it can do better. Still Indian media is good, it also entertains, as for one Hindi News channel they say that punch line should be WE ALSO READ NEWS. Keep us all informed, giving us reasons to watch the best channel. It is the best who wins. Very soon, media will get once again an opportunity....elections are round the corner.
let us CHANGE INDIA......INDIA OF TOMORROW
B K CHOWLA