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Indian Media: Distraction for Attention

The Indian media has mastered the art of distraction. In some way or the other, the media houses are diverting people’s attention from real issues and throwing light on the unnecessary crap that we should not even bother about. In the current scenario of turbulence, our country is going through so much, it is in the ambit of COVID-19, our health system is collapsing, GDP is at its worst, hike in unemployment, and there are other socio-economic issues which needs to be addressed properly. Here I pose some fundamental questions – Why the Indian media is showing no interest in these issues? Why the media houses are diverting people’s attention from real issues? Why the media is not doing its job properly? Is highest TRP is the main goal of the news channels?

One of the basic task of the media is to provide truthful and objective information to the people that will enable them to form rational opinions. Under the constitution of India, freedom of media is part of the freedom of speech guaranteed by article 19 (1) (a). However, no freedom can be absolute and reasonable restrictions can be placed on it.

One of the most problematic area of Indian media is that, it twists facts and present them the way they want. For instance, if someone has said 10 good things about the nation and pointed out one flaw ( to which one has the right to criticize the government in a democracy), the Indian media will drag the one flaw and portray the person as anti-national and anti-democratic. They won’t talk about the 10 positives one has talked about. Such incident has happened with Kanahiya Kumar in JNU and to many others as well.

A major lacuna is of the paid news, India TV, Republic TV, Zee News, Aaj Tak, ABP are primarily paid news channels in India. These channels highlight the propaganda of the political parties they are run by instead of criticizing them. This practice poses a direct threat to the Indian democracy. Another drawback, which is the root cause of the deteriorating condition of the media is the presentation of non-issues as real issues. The real issues which the country is facing, such as, poverty, unemployment, health care, environment are sidelined. the bulk of the coverage goes to showing the life of film stars, pop music, fashion parades, cricket and astrology.

Recently, Sushant Singh Rajput (SSR) is a name from which no ears are spared off. Initially the campaign began as “justice for SSR” but now it has dwelled into a completely different paradigm. The political parties are using Sushant’s death as an agenda for Bihar’s upcoming elections, they are basically diverting peoples attention and laying emphasis to woo the voters in the name of justice for SSR. Nowadays it is the only issue to which the media is giving 24×7 coverage. Starting from justice for SSR, then pulling the issue of nepotism in Bollywood and now, they are uncovering the angle of drug mafia in the film industry.

Irrespective of the rising number of COVID cases, India being the worst performing G20 country, ignoring the farmer’s issue, the media seems more interested and devoted to issues which the political masters are using to secure their seats. There is no doubt that the Indian media has became a circus, it is dancing on the tunes of the political masters. They are performing only one task, that is, “fooling and distracting people”.

One of the journalist of the republic TV has said that, they are doing the job of a ‘hit-man’, what they are doing is not journalism rather character assassination of a person. Today the BJP is showing full support in securing justice for SSR but it is ironic that a few years ago, when SSR was still alive, then it was the same BJP who was blaming him for spreading “Love Jihad” alleging that there was love jihad in his film Kedarnath and they wanted it to be banned.

All those questions that I posed in the beginning of the article, needs to be addressed. They needed to be pondered critically by every individual. Its high time now, the media should realize its duties and responsibilities seriously and work in that direction, otherwise, the death of democracy is near anyway.

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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