India has always had unsettling border controversies with its neighboring countries like China and Pakistan. The insurgencies in Assam and Punjab and the militant uprising in Kashmir have also been consistent issues of the country. Being a third world country, poverty, employment, and nutrition have also posed a major threat to this home of 1.3 billion people. With the hope of change from the grassroots level, India elected a party in the 2014 elections headed by a man who claimed to be a tea-seller and the sharer of India’s core sentiments. Elected by a majority, the right-wing party started showing its fascist tendencies within a few months. The fourth pillar of democracy, media, is entirely under the control of BJP, led by Mr. Narendra Modi.
The Modi regime understands the importance of both broadcast and social media. Their coming to power had a big reason in India’s youth who followed Mr. Modi on all social media sites, with his triumphant presence all across. But now, with his vice-grip on the media, he is totally distracting the Indian population by irrelevant news so that they do not discuss the economy, COVID-19, or China.
Right when India was recording the highest number of coronavirus cases daily, Indian media got the distraction with the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput and the alleged involvement of his then-girlfriend, Rhea Chakraborty. Media trials began even before the police or the CBI considered her a suspect. 24/7 coverage was dedicated to discussing how Rhea Chakraborty is complicit in the murder of Sushant Singh Rajput. Currently, she is under arrest by NCB with the charges of having drugs in possession, but the media is still discussing how she can be linked with the murder of the actor, the drug chain in Bollywood, and nepotism. Slight distractions from this coverage can include talking about some viral WhatsApp videos or showing the pictures of the Prime Minister of the country, feeding peacocks.
What are the real issues?
While the media is busy distracting, the country has reached a new record of the highest spike in a day, with 96,551 cases. The one-day death rise is also the highest with 1,172 deaths, as recorded on 10 September. The economy of the country has recorded a contraction in the GDP by 23.9% in the Q1FY21. Five million salaried people lost their jobs in July amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
India also saw the most massive migrant crisis after an immediate imposition of lockdown in the country, leaving millions of daily-wage earners on the street. From March-May, most of them walked home, until after months, arrangements were made. Currently, over 2000 Chinese soldiers have approached the Indian territories in Finger 4 ridgeline, which is 8 km. from Finger 8, the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The Chinese military is constantly acquiring territories in Ladakh, despite an earlier agreement of disengagement. But none of these issues are Prime Time news, as Rhea Chakraborty is more important than national integrity and the life of 1.3 billion people.
The Policy Times’s take on this
- Acts like the UAPA are slowly gagging the country’s educated mass, and they are being jailed for speaking against the government. But, it is the need of the hour to raise concerns.
- The media is trying their best to distract the citizens, so we should stop consuming news the way they are serving us. Several journalists and media channels are operating independently on YouTube and their news portals. We must follow the unbiased media.
- The theatrics of the right-wing party and the supporting media will continue, but it is upon us to see e what we want to know about the country.
- Both the military condition and the health situation of the country directly or indirectly affect all of us, and so, it is our right to stay updated on everything that happens.
- The government should be seeking the advice and help of the brightest Indians, and the reliable friends in the international community.
- And, we must talk about the economy, China and COVID-19 now.