Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
The media in general and the TV media, in particular, need to be disciplined by the Chief Election Commission (CEC), if the election is to make any real contribution to the Democratic Republic “we the people of India” had established by our Constitution at the end of our historical freedom movement. This is because; they are obfuscating the voters with prejudiced projections of electoral prospects of parties and/or candidates that have no necessity for recovery of the ailing system. Every speculation or opinion poll is a nuisance engineered by media houses in clandestine execution of the designs of power-seekers and compradors.
Name calling has become the norm of the day and sadly, the rival parties or politicians, except the Communists, are using media as their launching pad for indecorous propaganda. It is the duty of the CEC to ensure a free and fair election. If this duty is to be performed, media must have to be debarred from deforming the democracy by becoming the carriers of obfuscating designs of the power-seekers. Shrewd politicians are employing oral acrobats as panelists in TV discussions, who, having no party connection pose to be neutral debaters, but in reality are the peddlers of whosoever politician/party pay them.
Long fifteen years ago I had defined the syndrome as Mediacracy. The scenario has not changed during these years. I call upon thinking Indians including the CEC to study the linked article even at this point of time to save Indian democracy from this yet-to-be-recognized mediacracy.
Media must be debarred from dancing to the tune of politicians. At the time of the election, the CEC should do this minimum work to ensure that the voters are not swayed away by misleading propaganda. The media must be made to educate the people on which party and/or candidate stands for which political economy and whether or not that political economy is in tune with the purpose of our Constitution inscribed in its Preamble.
This election, we call upon the Media to juxtapose the manifestoes of all the political parties with the Directive Principles of State Policy, so as to educate the voters on which party has the commitment to carry the country to where our founding fathers had wanted it to proceed. If this call is not heeded to, it would be tomorrow’s call to quash mediacracy by any means, so that the Country can survive.