Friday, October 23, 2020
Home Column Media and Mandate - Part II

Media and Mandate – Part II

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In today time, media has become so powerful that it is in a position to make or completely break a government, it is usually conceded that Arvind Kejriwal might never have been the New Delhi Chief Minister, were it not for his brilliant performance on television and in public gatherings as well. The same is true about Narendra Modi who led his party to victory because of the dynamic confidence that he projected over the internet, television, radio and social media. Media brought change in India during the emergency by emphasising on the news about its excess and brutality and even a powerful Prime Minister like Indira Gandhi had to face the defeat in her next election. The media plays a distinctive role in bringing communal harmony which in turn preserves the secular fabric of the democratic country. However, media plays a very crucial role in shaping the public opinion and well as the democracy. It empowers the citizen through information and let them know that how great power they have in the form of vote. It also arranges debates, talk shows and discussion on burning social issues and contradicts the policies so that the different views regarding the same issues could be put forth.

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So this can said that the politics and the media share a complex synergistic relationship and must be looked at in juxtaposition to one another. Media, politics and elections are intertwined together and media platforms have become the essential ground for the discussion of political narratives and discourses. With the general elections approaching, one will have to keep an eye out for the various kinds of campaigning that will be done through media by different political parties to gain the attention of the public. Accordingly, governance rather than the individual or the party should be the dominant frame in the elections. Unfortunately, this is not the norm as result of which the polity is highly fragmented. The politicians through the campaign always try to put the image first and performance at a backstage. Social media is nowhere taking them to a rational ground, in the name of two way communication and interactivity politicians are again flashing up their images and trying to play emotive. There will always be two set of values. Social media is no exception to it. Unfortunately, we are more interested in candidates personal attributes rather than his efficiency as a representative of the people which is why the fixation is with individuals. However, social media will help us keep a watch on candidates before and after the elections to ensure that there is no mismatch between promises made and fulfilled.

Accountability and transparency are the two most proper functioning of a democratic system, however, the nexus between corruption and administration intertwined by the politics seems to be destroying the serenity and the peace of the country. Democracy cannot be successful without free press and free press is essential as it is the voice of the people and the media should never fall as the victim to some monetary or any other temptations, and must keep delivering the information to the people honestly. Media plays a vital role in shaping the human minds and is considered the fourth pillar of democracy which makes us aware of various activities like politics, sports, economy, social and cultural activities, politics etc.

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Media is like a mirror which shows us the bare truth which sometimes looks harsh and hitting. It is also assumed that most of the voter make their minds during the course of the campaign and be influenced by the news media and political propaganda that is also called as ‘political advertisements’. Political campaigns are completely based on agendas and there remains not a single agenda but sets of agendas which are designed carefully to attract the different classes of people, and this is done with the objective to divide and diverting people from being united over an issue. Media is changing the election campaigning patterns as it gives a single common platform for pluralistic content along with the linked pros and cons with almost every issue covered through the interactivity and generated discourses.

However, it is difficult to divert people and create agendas through media for a long run. As a consequent, it will be testing the ground realities of the political parties and will end up profiting the honest political campaigns. The dominant frame or the perspective used by the journalists while covering the elections emphasise more into which candidate is ahead, who is behind and what strategies are being used in the campaigns to attract the voters which is often called as a horse race in political sense. Moreover, in contrast, what voters need the most is the information and insight into what the candidate would do if elected? This will play a very important role in making the institutions and the democracy stronger with greater amount of debates and discussions on the kind of governance is needed to meet the challenges of the present and the future with providing the solution as well rather than questioning the earlier government.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of AFTERNOON VOICE and AFTERNOON VOICE does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)
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