Let us hope socially conscious media values get due recognition!
Today, standards in public life are declining. We can see even the once-much rated Parliament proceedings are falling in substance and gravitas. Many major bills, why, even the budget is passed without debates and serious deliberations. There are many other things like foreign funds to the political parties are passed, almost in the midst of din and disruptions and everyone feels elated that all political parties stand to share the infamy and the funds received by fair and foul means gets okay within a minute, as if no one noticed what was happening.
Now, the media.
There is a prevailing fear and a sense of threat to the lives of the journalists. Two or more journalists in the TV news industry had resigned or thrown out of employment for reasons everyone knows.
Now, comes the latest news. That the Prime Minister Mr.Narendra Modi’s rather “unparliamentarily language” was deleted from the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha. That in itself is a major victory for the Parliament’s dignity and weight. So, there are now mixed signals for the state of the press, media and free debate.
In this environment that Mr.Harivansh, a veteran Socialist editor and journalist who was close the late Jayaprakash Narayan and also to the other veteran ,the late Prime Minister Mr. Chandra Shekhar has been elected from the JD(U) to the high position of the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
Let us hope and even urge the veteran to see the media industry and its vast growth and also some distortions that had crept in Vadamalai Media wishes the new Deputy Chairman all success from a section of the media landscape that we occupy in the much undervalued agriculture and the rural media front.
A Progressive media man at the helm of the Rajya Sabha Rajya Sabha now has a new Deputy Chairman, namely, the JD(U)Mp Harivansh, a non-Congress man, a Socialist in the mould of Jayaprakash Narayan and Chandra Shekhar, the former Prime Minister. This is a happy news for various reasons.
One, the Prime Minister took a different decision this time, he gave up the post to a non-BJP candidate. And that to Mr.Nitish Kumar’s party and also to a candidate who carries lots of credibility and also stature to a post that was always seen as a prerogative of the Congress party.
Of course, the media screamed as if the heavens had fallen and the Congress under Rahul Gandhi once again lost and the BJP won in a very convincing manner. Nothing of the sorts happened. The Congress was of course was marked by dithering, there was much slowness and there were divided loyalties in the Congress ranks.
In fact, this was seen as a diminishing capabilities of Sonia Gandhi who, without any serious introspection, is going on with her past mistaken path. The Congress party is carrying even now a heavy baggage of old hands, all the tired faces are retained by Sonia Gandhi, no other younger and newer faces are seen at play.
Why not Rahul Gandhi or his young lieutenants take the initiative to contact Mr.Naveen Patnaik or Shiva Sena or why not Mr.Sharad Pawar didn’t speak to Sonia and field a Maratha candidate so that the Shiva Sena can be brought around?
As observers have noted that the Congress this time could have won this seat and only if they had not acted in their past manner. We are sorry to note that the Congress heavyweights of today are split persons, their minds are not there is their task, they are part time politicians and part time earners in their respective professions. Of course, the Congress party found learn to think in radical lines, please drop the obsessions with dynasty. The fruits of labour wont come so easily as in the past.
Now, the point we want to highlight is that Mr. Harinash must do everything in his domain top bring credibility to the free press and free media in the time of so much anxiety from his own brood. Free press is at stake.
Yes, Indian press and media is fairly free when we compares around the world. And, luckily, India doesn’t suffer any odium of pressmen arrested and put in prison etc. a plight we see in many other parts of world. That means Indian democracy is fairly tolerant for dissent and criticism. But lately, there is some disturbing trend.
Some journalists from the TV segment have lost their jobs and also the censorship is visible. Of course, it is not the domain of the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman to reform the media industry.
Yet, considering the prestige of the office into which Harivansh is trusted he can really play some role.