Telling the truth
We (writers, artists, litterateurs and media persons) have every right to tell the truth in our way. It can have different colors, different languages and may be dramatic also. But we as a citizen have every right to know the truth. This famous statement of Nobel laureate Harold Pinter given in his speech at the time of receiving Nobel Prize has directive for modern media also. Today millions of pages are printed and hours of sound bites and miles of visuals are poured upon readers and viewers to tell the complexities of the modern World. But the words and speeches tell less and hide more. In fact they have become tools in hiding the misdeeds of power and diverting the common people’s attention. Most of the news and analysis are either sponsored or aimed at serving the cause of rich and powerful.
Why is this happening?
With the advancement of democracy credibility of media is under strong suspicion. The dignified distance between media and other institutions of democracy has been compromised in the name of development and positivity . During eighties there were strong debates among great editors whether media should be a mission or profession? In nineties the debate took a different turn that whether media should be secular or so called cultural nationalist and Hindutva oriented? Simultaneously the debate of upper caste bias and representation of OBC and Dalit aspirations also emerged on different levels. Media also became the part of liberalization debate which gave new dimension to media potential and priorities.
In short if emergency was greatest challenge before media and it shaped the future course of media action, nineties threw Mandal , Mandir and Globalization as great churning points before it. Twenty first Century arrived with great hope and with minimum hangovers of Twentieth Century ideologies. In fact we have seen the End of ideologies, End of History and emerging Clash of civilization and remaking of new world order in the last century.
In twenty first century media found great challenges in the form of growing intolerance of crony capitalism , communalism and identity politics. Forces representing these tendencies see freedom of media as impediment in their advancement. That is the reason why either media has surrendered its freedom before vested interest of corporate powers or political forces. In fact corporates have formed different political fronts in the name of honesty and people’s interest and they control the media. On the other front old order in the form of caste, gender and economic bias still exists to challenge the democratic advancement. Nirbhaya incident in the heart of Capital is glaring example of that cruel bias.
Therefore freedom of speech and expression are under attack and interest of poor farmers, labors , tribal and other vulnerable sections of society find lesser representation in the media. Here lies the cause of this decline.
Media cannot be independent by using the means provided either by corporate or by Government. It is not only the corporate media which neglects the interest of common citizens of country but Government media also could not carve out public space under the so called autonomy of Prasar Bharati.
Here comes the question of economy of media. Our Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi said that freedom of press cannot be retained by inviting advertisement from big business houses. He was in favor of running newspaper on the basis of subscription cost. It is difficult to follow his principle in absolute terms but that can be our moto to launch a new media movement called India Samvad.
This is a team of concerned journalists, citizens and professionals who believe that power of media lies in its credibility. We believe that media is part of democracy which stands on the strong value- by the people, for the people and of the people. That is why media should never favor rich at the cost of poor, ruler at the cost of ruled, haves at the cost of have not and lies at the cost of truth.
This is a new movement to make media credible, to make democracy sustainable, to minimize inequality and conflict of society and make the civilization more lasting.
Come and join us in telling the truth because it is truth which will ultimately prevail and you have every right to know it. Please contribute, co-operate and express solidarity with us to make it a success.