From recent few months, Indian media channels are continuously broadcasting hot debates on Ram-Mandir issue and on release of film Padmavati. These two issues have become a prime concern of Hindi news channels. They have forgotten other issues related to slow down of economy, development, job creation and adverse effect of government’s decision of Demonetization on country’s growth. By neglecting major issues of country, they are shading lights on social issues and acting as catalysts in adding fuel in fire. A few days ago, BJP government of MP, Gujarat and UP said that release of Padmavati will exacerbate the communal violence and will hurt the sentiment of Rajput community. They said that release will destroy law and order in state. But here main question arises that how can a government ban a movie in which a director has used his/her right of freedom of expression, for just ensuring law and order in state. This type of moves from BJP led government is considered as an autocratic style of ruling by many political thinkers. In 1988, Rajiv Gandhi government had also banned a book named “Saitanik Verses” written by famous writer Salman Rashidi. For this act of government, Rajiv Gandhi was critically criticized by then people of country. How can a government forget the ruling of SC in C.Rangrajan Vs Jagjivan Ram case? In which SC ruled that State cannot take right of freedom of expression from people for just ensuring law and order on actual ground. This judgment is considered as one of the landmark ruling of SC on ground of freedom of expression.
Many critics are considering that BJP government is trying to hide their face by promoting the issue of Ram-Mandir and Padmavati. In this task, role of media houses are very impressive. They have done almost everything by promoting these issues and by neglecting the factors associated with slowdown of economy. Country has witnessed that how demonetization helped BJP to grab their hold in UP. Now they are doing same thing with Padmavati for just sake of grabbing again their hold in Gujarat. Here media houses should play their role by broadcasting proper contents.
What can be done by media?
- Media houses must think on moral and ethical ground while promoting these issues. They are known to be fourth pillar of our democracy. But it is evident that they have lost their actual path. In my opinion, they should focus more on development of our nation and moves taken by government for doing so, rather than focusing on social issues like Ram-Mandir. Although I am not against the government and media but at the same time it is their duty to focus equally on important economic issues in which true national interests are involved.
- Media and government should understand that right of freedom of expression are fundamental rights of people and no government can take these rights from people for ensuring law and order on ground.
- It is the duty of media to attract the attention of common people in politics of vote bank. At the same time political parties should also think that they cannot do anything for filling their vote bank.