Intro: It’s time for media to be monitored by Government regulations in India and the culprits should be dealt with appropriate laws.
In India Member of Parliament (MP), Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), Judiciary, Bureaucracy, Police and NGOs all the pillars of democracy are accountable. Only ‘media’ which is termed as the fourth Estate is not accountable. It is called so because access to information is essential for democracy. Citizens can make responsible and right choices based on information rather than ignorance or misinformation. A clever choice of words can make things seem different than what they actually are. For instance, during the Vietnam War, the Defence Department of the United States used many misleading phrases in news reports. Instead of “forced transfer of civilians” they said “relocation”, and instead of “lies” they said “elements in the credibility gap”. Interestingly in India, it’s media which is leading all kind of misinformation campaign. Some of the examples are as follows:
Factually Wrong Reporting: The Times of India, dated August 2, 2014 published an article on Dinanath Batra, which as per Batra, was factually wrong besides being defamatory, derogatory, insulting and painting him in bad light.
Creating Fake News: There was frenzy in all kinds of Media about the winners of Bharat Ratna. The basis of this madness was not any statement from any government sources but the speculation that the government has ordered five Bharat Ratna medallions from the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) mint.
Acting as Mercenary: After the current disasters tour of Indian Cricket Team to England, surprisingly there was a unanimous decision by media to sack the Captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The only player who not only performed in the series but also under whose Captainship India won the first Test Match of the series. After almost a week’s campaign by media to remove Dhoni, the story changed to the women’s liberty. Yes, you read it right. Media was discussing women’s liberty and Indian Cricket Team’s performance. What one could easily see through was that even after a good performance a campaign was run by media to remove Dhoni and make Virat Kohli the captain, in spite of his disastrous performance in the current series. In turn Virat Kohli was targeted through the comment of Sunil Dev, the Manager of Indian Cricket Team. Media never asked the question as to why all the players (barring couple of players) lost their form after winning first test match. It’s obvious that media was acting as mercenary behalf of different individuals/groups.
Bias in News Reporting: Media never reports the atrocities on Hindus with the same commitment as do for other communities. In fact, a news channel had sent it’s reporter to report live all the way from Gaza but there was no live reporting from Saharanpur. There is no reporting on 30 odd Hindu girls which were confined in the Mosque in Meerut. Not even reporting that if it was a fact or fiction.
Social media is once again filled with the new plagiarism charges on Fareed Zakaria, but there is complete silence in Indian media as of now.
Fake Interview: A TV Channel had shown a pre-recorded interview of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, claiming it as a live one. And, it was presented in a manner in which the various quotes were used to demonise him.
The above examples are like ocean in the drop. The culprits of all walks of life in India get punished except media. It’s time that media in India gets monitored by Government regulations and if there are culprits in media then they should be dealt with appropriate laws. It’s time that media get’s some method.
Sandeep Singh (The writer is a weekly columnist of ‘Narendra Modi and CXO Leadership’ on his website www.swastik.net.in)