Is it not an affront to voters’ intelligence?
Prof. K V Nagaraj-
India goes to polls again to elect its federal government. The next forty-five days will witness nothing short of a suspense thriller that would reflect the swinging moods of the voters. The enormity of the exercise can be seen in the staggered process of conducting elections. On the qualitative level, the electioneering has touched a new low of personal down grading. No political party is immune from it. An objective assessment of power politics in India will definitely put Machiavelli to smithereens. Gandhiji spoke of morality and ethicality in every sphere of life, but the political finesse of yester years is replaced by fringe narratives of no consequence. The Indian news media have also fallen into the rut of bias and advocacy ignoring their watchdog function in a diverse democracy like ours. While newspapers and magazines have maintained a semblance of objectivity, the role of television channels is debilitating. Certain identifiable media houses known for hoodwinking the public with their corporate turncoat policies have become propaganda vehicles. The trend is not new, but what is new is its vastness. With their focus on the voting patterns based on social divisions of caste and community, the Indian media are doing a great disservice to the nation. While these divisions are a reality, promotion of such a tendency does not augur well for the Indian democracy. Is it not an affront to voters’ intelligence? Have the Indian media marginalized the development discourse in favour of synthetic narratives of insignificant issues? The voters will perhaps answer this question soon.