Friday, July 3, 2020
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Communication post 370

Prof.M.K Bhat

Television debates, social media posts, statements from various political parties etc ever since the abrogation of article 370 has led to the labeling of people as patriots and anti nationals. “We the people of India” is getting lost in this rhetoric created by motor mouthed people with particular interests. Everyone feels that his version is the only truth and is least interested to listen to the other opinion. The TV channels have adopted it as a profit model to get higher TRP and political parties try to show either hyper nationalism or carry the views antagonistic to Indian interests simply to polarize the voters in the country. Quite often the viewer glued to a channel fails to get an impartial view of the things and no one is impartial in delivering his/her responsibilities.
It may however be conveyed here that nationalist v/s anti nationalist perspective adopted by panelists in studios is not only dangerous for the smooth functioning of the country but it is against the very ethos of India. The ideological differences have been the essence of our constitution but the recent utterances by certain congress leaders point to their clumsy behavior even on the question of national integration. The statements of such Political leaders made post article 370, supported the enemy country so much that they were used by Pakistan to strengthen its propaganda on Kashmir. Modi bashing is O.K. but the obsession of Modi is so much with certain people that they go against the country and fail to realise that Modi is not India, country is more important than any person or party. The grand old party still fails to realise that its political strategies are no more liked by people. Further the weak control of the party has encouraged some of its members to come out with filth in public.
If any mistake of the past gets rectified by any party, such deeds should be welcomed by everyone despite the ideological differences. World is with India, Kashmiris wanted a solution to their problems, Ladhak had not even a single day of curfew so was with the various parts in valley like Gurez. Despite all this, certain journalists in order to get their TRP have limited J&K to Down Town Srinagar only where peace was a distant dream even when there was no militancy. The negative approach with acceptance in certain quarters has not only helped these people to paint everything in black but prompted reaction from the other side too. Communication is not only about negativity it shall also see hope in despair.
Certain communicators within the country, in order to appease political parties/promote their ideologies, instigate Kashmiris to agitate. They do not want to see the progress of general public in Kashmir. These people take refuge in freedom of expression to spread their anti India rhetoric for their own ambitions.
When questions are raised by people against their double standards, they intolerantly term such people as Bhakats, dub them as rustic Hindu chauvinists, anti secular, anti minority etc. People genuinely want to know from them, why there was no award wapsi at the time of emergency or Sikh riots. It may however be mentioned here that those who blame every difference of opinion as anti nationalism are equally wrong. People in TV discussions don’t hesitate to say their co panelists to go to Pakistan for any dissention and at times they term one as Pakistani in the studio itself. They feel nationalism as their domain and distribute its certificates as per their liking. All such people are doing a disservice to the country and no one is taking their discussion seriously any more.
In any vibrant democracy the space for dissention shall not crumble. Those who disagree with a particular opinion have every right to carry their view until it is not against the national interest or social ethos or does not work against the law of the land. Dissention is the essence of any vibrant democracy but it should not be against national interests at any cost. Slogans favoring terrorists is in no way dissention but well thought sedition against the country.
The aesthetic sense and the decency of the dialogue needs to be maintained at every cost. Today the discussions at national or state levels are so much polarized that either you have to ; criticize for the sake of criticism or make a point simply because you want to appease your political masters.
In this melee intellectuals/ political speakers sometimes times speak what they themselves don’t believe in. TV anchors have become judges unto themselves, they give judgments in the fraction of second, by raising their tunes ,terrorise the other opinion. A few among this tribe feel themselves as custodians of intellectualism/leaders of public still others believe in maligning opponents.
The research component of an issue for public consumption is least taken care of, half cooked facts from social media and Google Baba are used to justify the things. The social media without any boundaries is getting catastrophic day by day. Everyone being his own editor communicates whatever nonsense he believes in. It pollutes more than it purifies. There is a need of basic assurance from communicator to communicate impartially and unbiased things in public forums. Their words can make or break the reputation of others and quite often communicators have used their skill to serve their own interests without caring for anyone else.
The nexus between politicians and journalists over the years has helped the former to continue their illegitimate activities like, corruption, money laundering or anti national activity under the guise of terming any investigation as political vendetta. Media instead of investigating the case passes judgments with preconceived notions. They are more political than political parties. Baseless issues are raised to defame some; truth is at times sidelined to the change the narration against those who are not liked. Media houses have become headquarters of political parties.
While communicating, people least bother for the impact of their discourse on listeners. Since there is no accountability, everyone plays his own tune irrespective of bothering for its impact on the audience/country/society or communal harmony. Whether it is used by the enemy country or anyone else carries no importance for them. The situation is so alarming that people raise anti India slogans in the national capital, TV studios, public gatherings etc and justify such things as freedom of expression, it happens in India only. Those who communicate with people shall bear certain responsibility for putting their views in public domain.
Everyone must note that national interests are supreme and cannot be compromised for small gain, so while communicating on sensitive issues like army, national integration, religious beliefs etc, the responsibilities increase manifold. Every Indian is responsible for the good or bad happening in the country. The one up attitude adopted in the last seventy years cannot solve the problem. The narration ‘what to me’ needs to be replaced by the feeling’ it is me my country’. The discussions based on the phrase ‘better than thou’ should be replaced by ‘better for us’. Public knows everything so playing innocent theatrics carries no meaning any more.

(The author is Director (MAIMS) Guru Gobind Singh Indiraprastha University Delhi)

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