Political dominance on media: A threat to Indian Democracy.
In our Country, Media is regarded as the fourth pillar of Democracy as it plays vital role in shaping the public opinion. Media makes us aware of our political , social and economical surroundings. The main and foremost job of media is providing the public with impartial information, unbiased news without any alteration or tampering. An unbiased, ethical media is a strong support to democracy whereas a biased media can cause disarray in the society.
Polarization of news houses.
In today’s India we can see polarisation everywhere, be it celebrity or common people, polarization can be see everywhere. The cancer of polarisation In our country is spreading so fast that it has become impossible for Media to remain uninfected with it. The Media is also divided into pro government and Anti government. One side doesn’t questions the government and the other side never loses a single point to criticise the government. Well it is not very tough to determine which media house is tilted towards which side, A common citizen having normal conscience can easily tell for which team a particular media house is playing.
Funding of media houses by politician.
The association of power with media goes back a long way. Control of media has been instrumental in manufacturing public consent and controlling dissent. This control of the information space can happen through a variety of channels. There are many media channels who have direct or indirect connections with political parties, many of them even represent political party. Prannoy Roy who owns NDTV has close connections with CPI (M) . Prannoy Roy’s wife’s sister Brinda karat is a Rajya Sabha MP from CPI(M) and Brinda karat's husband is general secretary of CPI(M). Mr Subhash Chandra, who is a Rajya Sabha MP from BJP owns Zee News. These are the examples of two prominent channels as we dwelve deeper we can find that each media house is associated with some political party, directly or indirectly.
The constitutional status of free press.
The preamble of the constitution grants the citizens of India the liberty of thought expression and belief. The liberty of thought and Expression in itself includes freedom of press. Under Article 19 1 (a) of Constitution of India, freedom of press have been recognised as a fundamental right. Just like judiciary press is made free so that it can question the government freely. As it is not feasible for every citizen to go and ask questions from there representative so Media does this job for them. The role of Media in a democracy is to form public opinion against wrong but it is the trend within the media which is today sharp and heightened with aggressive corporate control. Leave alone diversity and democratic coverage of trends and interests, this hegemonisation threatens the very credibility of large sections of the Indian media today.
As freedom of press have been stated in preamble and under Article 19 1(a) it is also a fundamental right but it is pertinent that press is not free today. Anyhow press is being directly or indirectly controlled by the political parties of corporates who are agents of the political parties. It is high time for the Judiciary to intervene and make some guidelines so that freedom of press can be ensured in real sense.
- Devesh Tripathi