It was the start of a good weekend, but it’s all spoiled now. Since yesterday night the national media is just beating around Modi’s puppy (read more about it here). I feel frustrated the way our media picks up inane dialogs from one interview and blow it up in all possible dimensions, effectively diverting the attention of the entire nation from several important issues and effectively makes a mockery of the janta.
There are several instances in our lives when we have thought about the magical attention-diversion the the media is capable of doing in our country – When Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign became a disaster & part of history from the big success it once was, when the indefinite strike by Mumbai traders against LBT got the least coverage by any media and so on. Countless instances when media has diverted the thoughts of our 1.27 billion population to pointless issues, which deserve to be in the gutter. This writing is my thoughts on how media should reform its role and aid in India’s growth to become a super power.
Why is it that the media behaves like a kid crying around the house to get his/her parents’ attention? Why the media cries out repeatedly, round the clock to boost its TRP rating? Is it this role that the media should play when India is facing issues such as right-employment (right people not getting placed at the right job), unemployment, inflation, an all-time weak currency, poor output from manufacturing sector, sluggish market, and corruption?
Being an essential part of the largest democratic country, Indian media has a much bigger role to play in our prosperity towards the so called super power of the world. Irrespective of the fact whether India will become super power or not (which has been argues in many forums and I will leave it for time to tell the result), the role of media is very crucial and they have a very big responsibility to the people, from whom they benefit & at whom they target. Executive formed for the people, by the people and of the people – will frame policies for the country, legislative brainstorms n refines it and people benefit from the whole process. This is the ideal democracy that we expect. But as shown in the diagram – People doesn’t get a full picture of the governance and policy framework due to numerous reasons including the quality of leadership in executive and legislative (read more about a supreme court verdict on this here), intense corruption and so forth. Here media should play the important role of bridging the gap in the process. Owing to the national presence, sophisticated technology tools, extended penetration among the executives, legislative n people – Media should be able to question the policies on behalf of people, bring out different perspectives from people to the national forum and creatively become a connecting bridge among all stakeholders.
Media should be able to cull out the insensitive topics and emphasize the positive essence in the discussion forums. One of the most pressing matters when our media is pampering Modi’s puppy is that of the weakening rupee. There is lots happening on that front which needs to be discussed, new ideas should flood out before the executives/legislators so that they can (or will be forced to) frame effective policies. There should be many more facebook posts and discussions on these matters than Modi’s puppy.
As shown in the diagram – India is high on imports compared to its exports and hence we have a net balance of payment to the rest of the world. This is called current account deficit (CAD). More the CAD => less the credit rating => riskier will be the investment in the country => less foreign investment or more flight of capital (from India to other safe havens like the US treasury bonds) => weaker rupee => environment favoring export n hurting import. But being the consumer economy it is, India’s ever expanding consumption of goods leads to more and more import, be it oil or gold or furniture or hardware. So why is it that we import more when there is a favorable environment for export (with the weak rupee)? It is because the output of our manufacturing sector is at an all-time low. We are not producing enough for our consumption and we are cutting out policies which can enhance Indian’s manufacturing sector. Some of the recent articles in The Economic Times emphasizing this fact and based on which I wrote this post include the article on flight of capital (read more about it here), Uday Kotak’s message on need to shift our focus from finance to commerce (read more about it here) and the security concerns raised over going too much after foreign investment (read more about it here). The government’s wrong policy direction is well evident in the cancellation of the ‘Buy India’ policy (read more about it here). So isn’t it ideal time for media to spread the entrepreneur bug among our youths, force the government to adopt the right policies and improve the production output of our country?
Why is it that these articles n topics are not getting the attention that it deserves? Do we have the leisure to pamper Modi’s puppy statement – when our economy as a whole is facing a financial turmoil? We have the world’s best economists and intellectual beings – but focus often gets diverted to non-productive, controversial matters in the run after electoral votes. Ultimately this leads to the productive crowd going abroad for fulfilling their dreams and ambitions, which very well is what India is missing now. Media has the utmost responsibility to bring the nation’s focus back to topics deserving attention and become active partners in the country’s development. Even though a part of the media industry emphasises on constructive journalism – there is a majority which takes the focus off key policy matters. Many of our youths have given up their faith on news media just because of this fact and hence we became silent spectators of the game as the Indian Express article says (read the article here).
It’s high time for media to become the effective glue among the participants in the democratic process – empower people with the right news, make legislators aware of the pressing issues n people’s ideas and force the executive to choose the right path and lead the country to prosperity. Else, it won’t be long before the media will get the same treatment as the political crowd get now – i.e., a place in the dust bin and no attention, irrespective of the good or bad they do.