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We are stuck! Next wave of revolution should come from Media?

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Don’t you think our country is at a very critical stage these days? Don’t you think it’s confused? On one hand it’s A.R. Rahman who is winning accolades across the world and we are happy that finally our artists are accepted across boundaries. On the other we had a shocker at IPL where no player from Pakistan was bought by any team.

On one hand we want that Australians’ should stop racist attacks on Indian students and on the other we are helpless to stop some maniacs saying that “Mumbai (only) belongs to Mumbaikars”.

Now, when we see it economically, India has grown tremendously well in last 18 years (after iconic policy reforms). Both IT and Telecom Industry put India on World stage, and that’s the reason why we are actually seen as a developing nation today. But with dollar gaining strength, foreign companies intruding Indian territory and IT industry getting saturated (in terms of both projects and resources) it looks like we are stuck! It’s good that Telecom companies leveraged the bottom of Indian pyramid and today we have around 400 Million Mobile subscribers in India. But today, the Industry is worried about further expansion and competition in the field. So what next? Is there a story building anywhere?

See there are many areas where small innovations are happening- rural/agriculture, renewable energy, internet etc but they are not powerful enough. My focus is here on- Media! Yes media is another Industry which is growing really fast and has matured to the level that it can be noticed at World’s stage. Recent partnerships/collaborations with Global players are a proof of same. The point I want to make is that Media is a very powerful tool, in fact the most powerful tool to influence any country or in fact this whole World. But we are making a big mistake of undermining something which is too obvious to get noticed! Govt is not properly utilizing media and perhaps don’t even care to do the same. If we look around we can see that how western politicians use media to deliver instant speeches to leave a lasting mark on the audiences around the World. Or for that matter look at how Al jazeera is used by Osama to deliver his threatening speeches around the World?

Our media Industry is a free bird today which makes its own rules and own news. With some proper regulations and guidelines it can become a tool of utmost use. I would have loved to see some of these actions from Media in the cases I have penned above-

1. On the issue of Pakistani Players and Artists- Bring both the issues of ‘Indian artists winning at Global stage’ and ‘Pakistani players not being selected at IPL’ together. Send a clear statement that if A.R.Rahman can perform a peace concert in Australia why can’t Pakistani Players play as a symbol of peace in India? It’s not that media should remain neutral- there is nothing right and nothing wrong in this world. What media says becomes right, and it’s time that our Industry should start taking ‘right’ sides.

2. On the issue of attacks over students in Australia bring ShivSena and MNS chief on a common forum and ask them following questions- Do you support such attacks? Ans- No. Then why do you threaten and beat Bihari’s who come to Mumbai to give Railway entrance exams? And if they answer Yes. Ask why? Ans- They should remain in our country and study. Ask- Will you give them admissions in colleges across Maharashtra?

My intentions here is not to show that I could have turned around the situation myself once given a chance. The point is- I want to show that there actually is a ‘right’ side in both of the above cases and it’s time that our media starts taking ‘right’ sides instead of being neutral. Our country needs a push from here and that has to come from an Industry which is already powerful and not from an Industry like ‘technology’ because that’s not our forte, right?

  1. Arun Prabhudesai says

    Rabi,
    Excellent post – As you rightly said we are filled with contradictions, but at the same time we also have to understand how the Democracy works – Everyone has a freedom of expression.

    I am still surprised How can a Democracy survive in a country where there is so much diversity. Diverse back-grounds, Diverse upbringing and such diverse people (Think North-East people and South Indians) coupled with Politics & corruption.

    It is sometimes beyond belief that we still live in such harmony (I am talking relatively) !

    1. rabi gupta says

      Thanks Arun,
      Yes, I agree with your points. Contradictory views are good and healthy for any democracy but they should not lead to strikes/riots and other harmful activities .

    2. Sumedh says

      I think Mr. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi must receive a lot of credit for that!

  2. Sanjay says

    And you think MNS and other political parties are logical/reasonable :-)

    1. Sumedh says

      Exactly !!! :)

  3. Pratap says

    I do not think the big media companies are going to change. They are operating for a profit and that is their only agenda, and they will report news that they think is “news worthy”.

    The way I see it, citizen journalism is the only cure to this problem of biased reporting and is the reason I created zeole.com

    1. rabi gupta says

      Hey Pratap I checked your website, gr8 effort I must say!! But the issue was never with online media. Online media is not as powerful as print and TV, and moreover credibility is only an issue over TV and print and not online. citizen journalism is definitely one of the ways forward but only for some specific issues. I regularly watch citizen journalist show on CNN-IBN but the thing is such journalism can never be comprehensive.

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