Flushing the Truth and Holding the Law: The Indian Media

Posted on April 9, 2009 in Politics

-Anshul Tewari

India, being a pluralistic society, has a diverse community. Indians are leaving their mark in every field and are breaking all barriers to raise the Indian bar.

India is a country where there are all kinds of people living in all kinds of situations, but the one thing common between all the citizens of India is the Right to Speech, or the Freedom to speech. When it comes to the freedom of the Press, unlike the laws in the the United States of America, there is no special provision for the press and the Indian press, being treated as an Indian citizen, is not burndened by any restricitions on their speech, which is certainly great, as, in a democracy, the media can play the role of a hero, a catalyst or even a revolutionary.

But, in the recent past, questions are being raised on the credibility of the media.


The media has been interfering in people’s personal domains, they have been conducting court room trials in their own newsrooms and have been exploiting an issue so much so that the people associated find it hard to live and either quit their job, or get grounded. Bringing the facts in front of the people is the correct thing. Exploiting something that has not yet been proved is illogical and childish.

This has been done in the recent Jagdish Tytler case. Tytler, who was convicted for inflicting violence in the 1984 Anti-Sikh violence was given a clean chit by the CBI, although the case is still going on in the Delhi High Court. It has been 25 years since the conviction and even today nothing or no one has been able to prove Tytler guilty. He has been winning elections from his constituency (North-East Delhi)in the past. But, the way the media has presented this case by hyping the issue, leading to the Akali Dal protests, has led to Tytler giving up his seat.

Jarnail Singh, a reported with the Dainik Jagran, threw his shoe at the Home Minister of India as a sign of protest against the ticket being given to Tytler. The news channel showed the interviews by opposition parties (who would obviously propagate against Tytler), and showed the protestsas well as interviews of Jarnail which have certainly contributed to change in the mindset of the people.

One must never forget that there is a thin line between Journalism and Ethics. One word by a journalist can cross the line. It is a known fact that a person cannot be called a thief until he is proved a theif. Then why present it that way?

The media has caused a number of resignations by conducting court room trials in their news rooms. The media has the power to make a person think. Now, it is the responsibility of the media to provoke a positive thought. The question is that is the media misusing its rights? Is the media taking the law in its own hands? Is the media being judgemental and biased?

There are a number of MP’s in a number of political parties with cases of henious crimes such as rape, extortion, murders and the list is long. The namelist is certainly long and we all know who they are.

Why doesnt the media take up the cases of the leaders who have been proved guilty and are still being given tickets? Not that the media does not highlight them, but why not create a hype about them? If the media talks about Tytler, why doesn’t it talk about Narendra Modi’s relation (nothing proved) with the 2001-02 Godhra riots? Why do they not talk about the hate speeches or the divisive politics? Even after being well aware, why do they not bring in intelligent people for discussions? Why do they not believe in bringing forward the reality and leaving the rest on the citizens of India? Why do they report as if they are supporting a particular political party? Why do they indluge in personal gains? Why?

The media has forgot its responsibility and duty towards the audience. Media is not a place for personal thoughts, it is a place to bring out unbiased and the true facts. One Jarnail Singh and his shoe must create reports, but not such which inflict violence and hide the truth.

Isn’t the media creating a bad name for itself? Isn’t it behaving like a frusted child whose toy has been taken away?

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