HIGH TIME FOR MEDIA’S TRIAL
Democracy is not a formula which unfolds in a proven mathematical way, every time you put it into operation. The general perception in the country, inclusive of the powers that be, is that democracy can take care of itself through the neatly laid out checks and balances mechanism created for this purpose, courtesy the Constitution of India. Unfortunately, that has not been the case and possibly, that could not have been the case. Norms, oversight, conventions, organizational culture, its external interfaces, overall ecosystem control and understanding of the perimeter of each organization, makes the real difference, rather than anything else. Self-regulation never delivers and finally becomes each to himself. The functional philosophy which emanates out of it is; misuse as much as you can, with no regulatory control.
The stark example of the democratic disarray has been the media, the shining example being the electronic media. Fourth estate is the guardian of democracy, keeping all institutions in check and keep the sovereign masses informed of all that they need to know and also take up cudgels on their behalf, whenever and wherever warranted. Investigative journalism is their primary duty in the interest of and all, the effort and dangers to the journalist for it, was worth every penny to the system. Notwithstanding some corporate interests being prevalent here and there, the content and the trajectory of journalism served the nation well. From this status, how and when it transformed into an agency of trial remains unknown, though we have experienced the shift happening in the last one decade or so.
Trial by media became the order of the day, the hounding nature and the shrill, pitch, audacity could give the feeling of vocal kangaroo court rather than anything being done in the name of journalism. No conventions, norms, laws and restrictions counted for, they could openly flout anything and get away with it, chasing the government / investigative functionaries and suspects alike. A suspect or an alleged accused, for them, was tantamount to conviction, by the highest court in the land. They were able to develop an ecosystem that survived on these extremely suspect journalistic capabilities, the purpose would remain clear to them and their cohorts. They could cook up any story or go to any length to change the trajectory of any accident, incident, crime, meeting and what not.
The way they chase the subjects, literally on the prowl, in huge hordes, and endlessly, puts all in doubt whether anybody has any legal right or not, or that all rights have been delivered only to the media. Evening prime time, the trial and judgement happens. Though there is the endless list of cases / activities to substantiate their nefarious acts, Rhea Chakraborty and Aryan Khan cases can be taken as the most illustrative examples. While the luck catches up with other fall guys, Param Bir Singh Or Sameer Wankhede or in a way Gupteshwar Pandey, the prima donnas of the media get away unscathed, case after case. They keep on doing the damage case after case, behave irresponsibly and if we go by the nitty gritty of the law, illegally too. It is time to put the media on trial, for all their commissions and omissions emanating out of vested interests, way beyond even crash commercial gains. If now also media goes scot-free, then we are all in the dock.
THE COUNTRY WILL KEEP ON FACING TRAIL MY MEDIA, IF MEDIA IS NOT PUT TO TRIAL.