The Bold Voice of J&K

Significance of media in present age

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   Shiv Kumar Padha 

Under the NMEP i.e National Malaria Eradication Programme, meant for the complete eradication of malaria parasite from the Indian soil, the department sprayed DDT. The DDT gave results in the beginning but later on the parasites developed resistance for DDT spray like our politicians and bureaucrats developed for the revelations made by the media and both became ineffective. There was a time when anybody preferred death to life with an iota of charge levelled against him even in a joke. There are immense such examples where the honest leaders and the politicians in the world have embraced death in the Parliament Houses before listening a word of charge against them. The names of Lal Bahadur Shastri and Dr. Karan Singh the Ministers of Railways and Civil Aviation respectively are worth mentioning here who, taking the moral responsibility, voluntarily resigned from their portfolios as a result of rail accident and IA plane crash during their tenure.
After independence the economy of India was in doldrums, the national coffers were empty; there was a grave challenge before the nation from poverty, unemployment, education, health, connectivity, power scarcity, means of transportations etc. Meeting the requirements of the country, with empty national exchequer, was a hard nut to crack. Salute to the post independence early generations of Indian politicians who steered the nation in the direction of progress, prosperity and development in the teeth of bankruptcy. The grateful nation reposed full confidence in their integrity, honesty, credibility and national character. These politicians of high caliber and moral character maintained transparency in the governance during the days when there was neither electronic nor independent print media in the country, no vigilance agencies like CBI, CVO, CAG put strict vigil on their working. Unlike the present time no case of embezzlement, corruption or misappropriation of government money by the ministers or bureaucrats was said to be reported during those days. But for the honest, sincere and dedicated efforts of our early generations of politicians, the nation would have been still reeling under poverty, hunger and want.
While the country was taking big leaps on the path of development the future generation of politicians swapped the values of honesty, selflessness, straight forwardness, nationalism and patriotism with covetousness, selfishness, opportunism and treason and reversed the order of preference from ‘country first, party second and me last’ to ‘me first, party second and the country last’. The degradation in the long nurtured national values started becoming visible during the late seventies when the unwatched coffers of the nation became a stimulus for watering the mouths of our ruling parties and their allies. Absence of ombudsman, weak or no opposition, tamed vigilance organisations, committed press and the judiciary and the blind faith of the innocent countrymen in government affairs served as a catalyst to enhance the temptations of our political parties, for amassing wealth in order to become millionaire overnight, misuse and misappropriation of national exchequer for personal benefits was considered as their prerogative. In order to conceal the booty they preferred the banks outside the country for this purpose.The process of such loot continued unabated with impunity till the crusade of print and electronic media, judicial activism, sting operations unbiased reporting and RTI activism unveiled many wolves in the lambs clothing active in the country.
Countrymen feel proud and feel indebted for the excellent services of some nationalist news papers and television channels being provided to the nation. Every day the faces of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats involved in multi crore scams, who provide harbour to terrorism in the country and those who fan the fire of hatred to gain political mileage. One thing is very strange with our politicians that they don’t take anything to their heart even if they are charged for grievous offences. They are seen addressing the masses, press conferences unabashed brazenly. The ministers and the bureaucrats of the country, whose scandals and scams were brought before the country by the sincere efforts of the print and electronic media, look poised, confident and without any indication of shame and repentance reflecting from their faces. The Parliamentarians and the legislators involved in the multi crore scams like fodder, 2G, CWG, coal, Adarsh, West Land Helicopter deal were sent to jail. The charges of these politicians were taken so lightly by the governments that they were allotted the same portfolios and the berths in the Parliament and state Assemblies which they had been possessing before. Such politicians and the bureaucrats having charges levelled against them look unaffected as if all of them have developed resistance for the revelations made by the nation friendly media. Many declared criminal politicians charged with heinous crimes come out from the jails on bails and take part in the election campaign for their parties. Even the handcuffed politicians look smiling amidst their supporters making Victory sign unmindful about the nature of charges leveled against them.
Print and the electronic media of a democratic country are the mouth piece of the public which highlight the problems of the people before the government for their immediate solution, unveil the scams and scandals of the government, bureaucracy, administration and the society without favour or ill will. It is surprising that the concerned authorities, instead of taking the cognisance of the sufferings as reported by the media, prefer silence instead of addressing the problems of the masses and tightening the noose around the persons responsible for that. Our politicians, bureaucrats and the administrators have developed resistance against the media reports, because they consider them a symbol of prestige instead of taking them as a blot on their personality.
In order to make the media more significant, more effective, more public friendly and more credible, it should give equal priority to the rural areas of the country, avoid giving paid news, give priorities to what is happening in the villages and the remote areas in the place of grabbing government Adds. and writing lyrics in the praise of the people in power. It is the humble and sincere suggestion of the learned countrymen in general and that of the intelligentsia in particular to the electronic media to refrain from (unless necessary) panel discussions on the controversial issues pertaining to religion, castes, intergroup and inter political rivalries because such discussions often result in breeding haterd and ill will in the society. The electronic media should, as far as possible, avoid giving a threadbare information about the security structure of the country, gadgets and the kind of weapons being used during the national festivals, on the LoC and IB, security covers, deployment of the
security forces on the strategic spots and about the lethal capacity of the weapon being used during the encounters and the violant mobs. All these revelations have proved harmful for the security of the country in the past. Press and the electronic media are the vital organ of a country, neglecting and underestimating their utility and importance tantamounts to damage to the smooth governance.

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