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How strong, media, the fourth pillar of the democracy is?

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Amogh Arlekar
Thinker. Talker. Doer. Lawyer. Jt. Secretery at ABVP Konkan Region

Today Indian democracy stands at a juncture where one set of people are claiming that another set of people want to stifle their voice. The fact that the former set of people are being able to say this is evident of the fact that the latter set of people aren’t doing what they’re being blamed for properly.

It is the job of the media to report about happenings around the world to its readers/viewers. The media claims to be the fourth pillar of democracy in our country. It keeps on boasting about how it is the most ‘independent’, ‘unbiased’, and ‘fearless’. The media claims to be the torch bearer of democracy, and freedom of expression. The media perceives itself to be the watchdog of all the wrongdoings in society to present them before their audience.

While the media may claim to be doing all of what is mentioned above, what it actually does is bends down to the power of corporate funding without full disclosure. It selectively reports only those incidents which suit their agenda or pre-conceived notions. It keeps completely mum on even the slightest negative news about the high and mighty, on whose crumbs they live off, and never show anything damning to their own cabal despite it being the absolute truth.

It claims to be the torch bearer of democracy and freedom of expression but the Editors Guild or any of the other such powerful lobbying clubs shut their mouths when journalists not towing their line were killed in cold blood or when one of their created ‘intellectuals’ is exposed trying to sell off agenda as ‘expert opinion’. They do not even bat an eyelid when journalists are shooed away by career activists within the immediate vicinity of the Press Club of India for doing their job.

The Lutyens media haplessly continues to freshly brew new stories to fit their agenda day in and day out. Anyone who disagrees with their agenda will be denied any space whatsoever on any form of media. They will go to the extent of asking the employers of the people inconsistent with their agenda to sack them! Then they will come out with responses like ‘A book must be countered with a book..’ . It’s easy for them to say this because if you disagree with them and want your points of disagreement to be known and decide to write a book/article or if you’re lucky enough to make a movie, unfortunately it won’t see the light of the day. This is so because they or their ‘influential friends’ are the ones who control these industries, be it in the form of Directors of movies or Editors in prestigious publishing houses, or themselves as Editors or anything else in media houses.

If you try to expose them, they will black you out, they will slap defamation cases on you, they will name you and try to shame you on national media or national newspapers, they will run campaigns against you,they will label you as ‘bhakt’, ‘lumpen element’, and much more, they will make news stories about you without showing your side of it, but still call themselves the torch bearers of democracy and freedom of speech and expression.

Due to what it does to drown out or wipe off any contrary opinion to its agenda, the media is losing (if not already lost) it’s credibility at speed faster than that of light. The people who consume news through Main stream media (MSM) have gotten tired of the same agenda every single day. These consumers no longer take the word of media to be final and mostly turn to social media to cross check about the facts.

If the Indian media really considers itself to be the ‘fourth pillar of democracy’ then it should be ready to do what a pillar actually does, bear the weight of the structure (democracy). It must be accountable to the people just like other pillars of democracy. It cannot then function by keeping itself on a pedestal and by being above scrutiny . The media must be subject to scrutiny. The media house must give full disclosures about their financials, and also their ideological biases. They must be transparent and democratic in their functioning. They must show all the sides of the story. They must have zero tolerance to fake news or hitjobs. They should practice what they preach. But looking at the prevailing conditions within the MSM, this seems to be too much to expect.

Today’s youth, barring a few, do not know what a legend Ramnath Goenka was. One of the reasons for this is that the most of the journalists, who today have become the face of MSM, show no spine and do not tread on the path followed by him. The time has come for Ramnath Goenka of this generation to rise and clean up the media from the cesspool of nepotism, lies, propaganda, and holier than thou attitude. From the look of things, the next Ramnath Goenka is going to come not from the MSM but the social media.

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Amogh Arlekar
Thinker. Talker. Doer. Lawyer. Jt. Secretery at ABVP Konkan Region

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