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Media and the political dialogue

Ravi Ranjan Sinha /  On Monday Sahara(Bihar-Jharkhand) channel telecast a discussion on the way politicians in Bihar have been trading charges and hurling accusations against each other in a language which by no stretch of imagination could be  called temperate or audibly civil. Mad, robber, cheat, deceitful, betrayer have  been some of “ adjectives” that Bihar politicians have freely used against each other post  break up of JD(U) alliance with the BJP. This has continued unabated for over two months now.

Panelists on Monday’s discussion on Sahara included Journalist Indrajit Singh and sociologist Dr Hetukar Jha.Indrajit,  has spent  nearly 25 years in the profession and has the advantage of having seen  some old guards of Bihar politics including the Karpoorti Thakur by whose name most of JD(U) and RJD leaders swear. He could recall how careful leaders of yesteryears would be with their utterances. No personal attacks though they were not short of bitter and vitriolic comments when it came to ideology. Communist leaders never failed to call congressmen exploiters and feudal and agents of imperialism but those were reserved for public platforms.

All this leaves one with a feeling that the media too in a way encourages, and indeed, provokes such statements to create an impact.TV reporters always seem to look for comments which would be spicy and would make it easier for them to solicit another comment from the other party. Newspapers still have the practice of editing and moderating comments but 24 hours news channels appear to care little to see that their medium does not become an instrument for  exchange of such accusations and  charges  which  cross limits of decency needed for public life.

It is time TV editors review what they have been doing.A survey would show what they have been doing  was not liked by all.

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