The Nag manis, supernatural energy in graveyards, Lord Ramas footprints in Sri Lanka, horoscope over cricket matches is what is encompassing mediascape in India nowadays. In a time when CNN has progressed from “fake news” to “fraud news” and an entire country has been held hostage to block Al Jazeera news network, Indian national news channels seem to have decided to be an appeaser rather than a critic of the ruling party. It has opted, as can be clearly, seen to be the conspirator of the state in whatever way possible. It is no coincidence that there has been a surge in mythological epic serials after the right wing parties dominated the national political scene. The telecast of Hindu mythological serials is neutral only when their interpretation is lead open as is evident from the original epics. Infact Hindu mythology much like Greek and roman mythology is very rich and interesting when taken such. However, the onslaught of such serials in the primetime cant be taken as a mere coincidence. Add to that, the imbecile portrayal of claims by some Hindu idealists that the whole scientific progress belonged to vedic period including first airplane on platforms showcase where the media in general is going.
However, national TV news channels of all have lead this mass propaganda of portraying a kind of “Hindu first “ideology. The role of media especially news channels is to ensure accountability and transparency from government through criticism and questioning. As a slogan of Arun Shourie puts it “News is what the government wants to hide. Everything else is propaganda.” Riding on the jingoistic fervor flowing through whole of India , news channels have took upon themselves to not only go with the flow but also multiply it. Not long back, it was the duty of the defence forces and diplomatic community to secure the interests of nation. The role of media was to question these quarters and their approach, if not those interests in first place. However, today one finds a whole generation of self calling “TV anchors” “defending the country” rather than being a questioning agency. In an interview with Aljazeera news channel (Here), a senior head of Zee news openly accepts its stance as “ anti Pakistan”. One wonders why media needs to anti or Pro anything rather than just a messenger–a unbiased teller of facts. A so called “Prime hour debate” is sufficient to devour Indian media of any credibility and authenticity.
Whereas a debate is meant to start with a question and end with a near around crux or conclusion through meaningful arguments, an Indian News channel debate starts with a conclusion whereby the participants, lead by the so called anchor himself , through their arguments prove that very conclusion and give a pat on their own shoulders. And the best debater award goes to the loudest participant which oftentimes is the anchor himself. This loss of journalistic values partly stems from the abrupt increase in number of news channels fueled by technological revolution and eased by the legal framework. However, whereas this “facilitation” has supported this growth for more than a decade now, the degradation of journalistic values is more of a recent phenomenon. In 1990s , Doordarshan the state run TV network started a number of programs like sarhad key do rukh, whose only goal was to bash other countries and depict the Indian state as the ultimate utopia. It is difficult to presume that the makers of such programs believed their own mouths. However soon the diffusion of social media took over the narrative and the TV news channels nonetheless found its hegemony challenged. An unfortunate yet unavoidable resultant of the widespread proliferation of social media soon came out to be the advent of fake and unauthentic news. Masses turned back to TV screens because they believed that TV news channels were responsible news agencies and accountable. The case happens to be as long as news channels are impartial, critical and questioning. It doesnt stand when the subject of evaluation is assured of only positive evaluation. The resultant is that in such times TV news channels become nothing but mouthpieces of the state.
This article was prepared or accomplished by Blogger Waseem in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of the Imadclicks.com