Indian democracy’s fourth pillar is just a hoax nothing else, reason lies in its functioning, the issues which it focuses and how it presents the news. In 1980’s there were two important bureaus in every newspaper one was a labour correspondent and the other was agricultural correspondent. Today this concept has eroded. Labour correspondent has been replaced by the Business correspondent who functions as spokesperson for business and provides his/her own narrative on labour news which is being given by PRO of the corporation. An Agricultural correspondent does not visits mandi, fields, farmers, agricultural labours rather covers agriculture ministry and Seed Company as it is related to press release. No newspaper or channel today appoints a full time labour and agricultural correspondent. It means the media structurally considers nation’s 75% populations are not worth talking to. Instead of discussing the reality, grave issues of society, it has just evolved as a narrative manufacturing unit of certain powerful lobbies. Mainstream press and broadcast media coverage has tended to adopt a laudatory tone, keep out or underplay the criticisms and objections, censor the negative political and socio-economic effects, especially among the poor, and provide little space to the voices of robust criticism and opposition, including those raised from the ranks of professional economists. Presently the media is politically free but imprisoned by profit as rightly said by senior Journalists P.Sainath and Paranjoy Guha Thakurta. Link
Let’s have a reality check. Mukesh Ambani is the biggest owner of media who runs a network of TV18, CNN-IBN, ETV channels. What is Tata Sky? It is an alliance of the Tata’s and world media mogul Rupert Murdoch which vigorously pushes neoliberalism in its own capacity. During drought condition in Marathawada district of Maharastra, any newspaper did not feel the need to take farmer suicides seriously at least with editorials instead they came up with rational pricing issue of water. In simple terms, privatization of water. IPL got preference over farmer’s concern, why? Was media not capable of emphasizing fully the plight of farmers? No, it was not because IPL is being handled by corporate head of our nation.
Three news channels repeatedly played a doctored video of JNUSU leader Kanhaiya Kumar carrying out vilification of whole university with an open media trial. This just cannot be a mistake It was an attempt hand in hand with student wing of BJP i.e. ABVP. Link
The media also kept mum on issue of “Beef Ban” in Maharashtra, U.P, etc. They did not bother to understand the cattle economy and the loss which people of lowest strata of society are going to face. OBC, Marathas got wiped out who earn their survival on daily basis. A farmer had to watch his cow dying in front of his eyes because he was not allowed to sell it. The cattle traders were hurted. The dalits of Kolhapur were the worst sufferers, as hides were not allowed to come in market. The Kolhapuri Chappal industry, the most famous successful “Make In India” concept got shattered. The recent Beef Ban in UP also gave a blow to the leather industry.Link
Why the NCRB data of farmer suicide do not get a panel of experts who can solve the agrarian crisis?Link
Why the rising unemployment remains an alien issue? http://www.firstpost.com/business/unemployment-at-5-year-high-why-a-jobless-gdp-growth-could-spoil-narendra-modis-2019-run-3043170.html
Nation’s Prime Minister image came up endorsing Reliance Jio in newspaper ads. This was clear violation of The Emblems and Names (Prevention Of Improper Use) Act, 1950 was not a concern for any media house. A private company was allowed to flaunt away with image of nation’s supreme leader for its business profit, unmasks the nexus between corporate and India’s ruling party. Link
Optimism in Indian journalism do exist parallel to shamelessness of present media. The best example of it is journalists like P.Sainath. A great journalist, who managed to bring concerning issues of agrarian crisis, labour dispute to the public’s notice by his intense investigations. An authority on rural India affairs, who also exposed the paid media scam. His voice on persisting inequality resonates and gets counted among the best in world. http://aiiserver.com/aiidev/news/slumdogs-versus-millionaires
His initiative named People’s Archives of Rural India (PARI) which solely focuses the hardships of rural India is a step to expose and treat plight of suffering India. https://ruralindiaonline.org .In Index of Worlds Press Freedom, India has come down to rank 136 out of 180 countries. There is increase in targeting journalists by radical nationalists, whoever stands fearless in support of democratic right of media against authoritarian rule of political class. The insane objective of a particular party to paint whole nation with one color, is just an established totalitarian rule under mask of democracy. Efforts to enrich Indian Journalism in pre-colonial era is not at all kept in mind of present generation of journalists. In no manner legacy of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, B.R.Ambedkar, M.KGandhi, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi and Bhagat Singh is being preserved. There is no crisis of intellect but there’s a crisis of soul. The Fourth pillar of Indian democracy in no more a watchdog against wrongdoing instead has turned out to be a faithful pet of social religious fundamentalists and economic market fundamentalists. As Dr. B.R.Ambedkar said and it ring truer than ever, “Journalism in India was once a profession. It has now become a trade”.
Source: https://turiyam.live/2017/05/10/press-instituion-presstitution/ (Saurav Kumar)