Democracy means , a system of government in which the people of the country can vote to elect their representative. We all know that , India is the world’s largest democracy. Indian media has traveled a long way from the days of newspaper and radio to present day age of television and social media. Media is considered as the “Fourth Piller” in democratic countries along with Legislature,Executive,and Judiciary.
Media plays an vital role in shaping human minds. In India media came into existence in1780 with the introduction of a newspaper namely “The Bangal Gazette”and since then it has matured leaps and bounds. Media became a source of information for the citizens of colonial India , as they become aware of the arbitrariness of the british colonial rule.Thus gave a newfound force to “Indians Independence Movement” as millions of Indians joined the leaders in their fight against the British imperialism. The role of media in Indian democracy has undergone massive changes, from the days of press censorship during Emergency in 1975 to being influential in the present day elections.
Media act as a chain between the government and the citizens of the country. People have a faith in media as it has an impact on the audience. It makes us aware of various social, political, economical and cultural activities happening around the world. It is like a mirror ,which shows us or strives to show us the bare truth and harash realities of life. Media is the only who reminds politicians about their unfulfilled promises at the time of elections. Media’s excessive coverage during elections helps people, especially uneducated in electing the right person to the power. This promises in order to remain in power.
The liberalization of Indian economy in the 1990 ‘s saw an influx of investment in the media houses, political elites and industrialists saw this as an opportunity to improve their brand image. Media acts as the voice of millions of citizens, when government institutions become corrupt and authoritarian or when they turn a blind eye towards the issues concerning the society. The Indian media plays a courageous role in the coverage of “Kargil War”1999, 26/11Bombay Terror Attack that rocked the whole nation as the city was rocked by multiple terror attacks.
The older generation of the country is still fixated on tradition and culture, while the present day youth is more interested in the fast-moving world of technology and social media. Thus it becomes important for media to ensure that the information they are broadcasting should not be a biased or tampered in a way to boast the channel’s TRP. Media arrange debates so that different views regarding same issue could be put forth. It has made a significant achievement in educating rural illiterate masses in making them aware of all events in their languages. Coverage of exploitive malpractices of village heads and moneylenders has helped in taking strong action against then by attracting government attention. It helps to fester the spirit of unity and brotherhood among the people and install faith in democracy and justice.
The present media revolution has helped people in making an informed decision and thus has led to beginning a new era in a democracy. From being just an informer it has become an integral part of our daily lives.The media also exposes loopholes in the democratic system, which ultimately helps government in filling the vacuums of loopholes and making a system more accountable,responsive and citizen friendly.
But sometimes excessive coverage or hype of sensitive news has led to commended riots at times. Constant repetition of the news, especially sensational news, breeds apathy and insensitivity. Media should take utmost care in publishing some sensational news. They should not forget their ethics and laws.