Kejriwal vs. Media ; End of an Era

Before you read the article, I’d like to request you to watch the following video, which will tell you exactly what transpired. Only the first half of the video is relevant in context of this article.

As you saw in the video, Kejriwal has threatened to lock-up the paid media if he ever comes into power. This incident prompted strong reactions from both the Congress and BJP. Some even likened it to the emergency era where free speech was banned and media houses were supposed to get their content approved by the government. Overall, all the TV channels and journalists heavily criticised Kejriwal for his comments. However, the situation has been blown out of proportion by the media, which is nothing new.

What Kejriwal said was that Modi has paid several media houses for favourable broadcasts and for maligning Kejriwal’s reputation. Now to what extent is this true, is debatable. But I support what Kejriwal said about locking-up such paid media. Media is highly important in developing a citizen’s mindset towards issues. If media has been paid, then it is not actually free speech. Many journalists said that Kejriwal was threatening the freedom of speech and expression, but what he actually did was threaten the corrupt media. It is comparable to the following circumstance : If a politician has taken a bribe and a whistle-blower wants to punish him, all politicians try to malign this whistle-blower and defend the guilty politician because he was just doing his duty.

But, all that said, Kejriwal has been highly critical of the media that was responsible for his meteoric rise. Some sections of the media allege that Kejriwal is frustrated with the controversies of AAP, emerging on a day-to-day basis. Kejriwal is trying to convey that a section of the media is corrupt and shows favourable news about Modi but what about the rest of the media? Surely the BJP doesn’t possess so much wealth that it can bribe all media houses. Even during the ill-fated emergency when Indira Gandhi wanted to censor the newspapers, quite a few newspapers decided to go out of business instead of publishing government approved news. This shows the integrity of the Indian media. Kejriwal must accept it that the media can criticise anyone and everyone. Just the way, it gave a shot in the arm to the AAP during the Delhi elections, it can bring down its reputation in a matter of days if such controversies arise.

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